Summer barbecues and sausages are forever linked together. And Vancouver’s sausage scene has never been more exciting.
The craft beer revolution has spurred Van restaurants to serve handcrafted sausages alongside locally-brewed suds. The street food explosion has added a slew of new haute dog options to the already innovative JapaDog. The invasion of artisan butchers has resulted in an abundance of worldly chorizos, brats, bangers, wursts, mergez, kielbasas and kolbasz, most often made from organic BC meat.
With so many new options at hand, where are the best places to upgrade your summer dog? Find out below.
Bitter Tasting Room in Gastown is a favourite among the craft beer crowd. The food menu features quintessential bar fare including beer snacks like handmade sausage rolls with mushroom ketchup, and heartier fare like the sausage platter of links handcrafted by “master butcher” Drews Driessen.
Served in batches of five, diners can choose among grown-up weiners, paprika-spiced debreciners and kreiners studded with emmental and porcini mushrooms. Each comes with kraut and a zingy mustard ragout. If you like these ($14-$15 per platter) try their budget-friendly, all -natural dogs at sister kiosk Fetch.
Meanwhile, Save on Meats, the charismatic neighbourhood butcher shop and diner offers Brit-style bangers and mash – housemade bangers and mashed potatoes with gravy. Ensemble Tap by Vancouver celebrity chef Dale MacKay serves up a housemade sausage platter that comes with a pretzel for added bonus points. Another Vancouver craft beer and sausage favourite is Falconetti’s on Commercial with 8 international sausage variations served on a bun or in a tortilla.
In the early days, all Vancouver food carts were hot dog vendors and the innovative JapaDog was the haute-est dog of all. Enjoying these legendary Japanese-style hotdogs, loaded with grated daikon radish, seaweed, teriyaki sauce, fried cabbage and bonito flakes, will always be a true Vancouver experience. Even though JapaDog just opened in New York…
In addition to JapaDog’s pioneering ways, food carts Eli’s Serious Sausage and Big Dogs Street Eats are heating up the Vancouver hot dog scene. Eli’s specializes in locally sourced pork sausages made by a fifth generation butcher. While the pretzel bun is pretty sexy, the currywurst option (served in a dish) is hard to find on the West Coast and well worth it.
Big Dog Street Eats is known for healthy, organic sausages. Think all-beef or all-turkey smokies alongside exotics bison, lamb, chicken and salmon. If these aren’t bizarre enough for you, try the $100 lobster, Kobe beef and cognac Dragon Dog from DougieDogs on Granville.
From Woodland Smokehouse on Commercial, to Save on Meats in Gastown, and Pete’s Meat and The Honest Butcher in Kitsilano, the summer grilling options have never been better.
What’s you favorite summer sausage or hot dog? Weigh in below!