Bubble Tea 101: How to Enjoy Vancouver’s Favourite Dessert Drink

Photo Credit: Toby Oxborrow/Flickr

Photo Credit: Toby Oxborrow/Flickr

The origins of Bubble Tea lie in Taiwan in the 1980s, when it’s said that the Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taichung put an iced tea drink with sweetened pudding and tapioca balls onto their menu. The drink gained popularity across Asia in the 1990s, before spreading to the rest of the world, but it’s found its natural home right here in Vancouver. Across the Metro Vancouver area, we have almost 600 different establishments serving Bubble Tea –compared to just over 300 in the GTA, according to Urban Spoon, and in the past weeks two branches of Chatime the world’s most popular Bubble Tea franchise have opened up in the Bubble Tea hot spots of Robson Street and West Broadway.  However, although the drinks are wildly popular here, for many visitors to the city, it’s the first time they’ve encountered it, so to make it easy for Bubble Tea newbies (and help old-hands get out of their same-old-drinks Bubble Tea rut) may we present our Bubble Tea 101 guide to get you slurping and chewing like a pro, with the expert help of Linh Vo owner of Che-Licious Desserts & Snacks on Denman Street. Continue reading:
Bubble Tea 101: How to Enjoy Vancouver’s Favourite Dessert Drink

Mariachi Bands Take over Vancouver – Mariachi Fest Canada, May 30

1304222_5664a43579_zAre you ready to mariachi? Some of the top mariachi bands from across the country and around the world are converging on Vancouver for the Mariachi Festival Canada, June 30.

Now in its sixth year, the festival highlights the distinctive musical style from Mexico, as well as traditional dancing and indigenous rhythms, in one gala night at downtown Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.

While mariachi music is often caricatured in North American culture as guys in sombreros crooning on street corners, it’s actually a rich art form that dates back to the 15th century. A true mariachi band generally consists of at least eight instruments: three violins, two trumpets, one guitar, one vihuela (a kind of Mexican mandolin) and one guitarrón (an acoustic bass).  Mariachi originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco and quickly grew from simple street performance to a musical genre unto itself.  Continue reading:
Mariachi Bands Take over Vancouver – Mariachi Fest Canada, May 30

Free entry to eclectic Hawkers Market this Saturday

Image sourced from Hawkers Market on Facebook

Image sourced from Hawkers Market on Facebook

It’s part food festival, part night market, and part nightclub party…and there’s nothing else quite like it in Vancouver. Hawkers Market is back this Saturday (May 30), and if you play your smartphone apps right, you can get in for free.

The market, which has been happening periodically in Vancouver since September 2012, is billed as a “social food marketplace”. Startup foodie entrepreneurs bring their new products to the venues and meet customers eager to try the latest thing.

It’s the atmosphere that sets Hawkers Markets apart. These markets are bustling with dim lights, energetic music, and young foodies trying whatever’s new and novel as they sip craft beer.

Continue reading:
Free entry to eclectic Hawkers Market this Saturday

Get a Taste of Summerland in Vancouver at the Bottleneck Drive Wine in the Garden Party

Photo Credit: Lionel Trudel

Photo Credit: Lionel Trudel

Wineries from the Okanagan’s Summerland region are heading to Vancouver to raise funds for the VanDusen Botanical Garden on May 28th when the Bottleneck Drive Winery Association hosts their Wine in the Garden party. More than 75 wines will be poured at the event, alongside food pairings from Truffles Fine Foods, music from Summerlander, Ari Neufeld, and a silent auction with goodies from local companies including the Summerland Waterfront Spa & Resort and True Grain Bread up for grabs.

Tickets for the annual event (now in its second year) are $46 and can be purchased online, with proceeds benefiting VanDusen Botanical Garden‘s Education Program. We spoke with the Bottleneck Drive’s president Julian Scholefield, to find out more.

What can people expect from the event this year?

The Bottleneck Drive is sending 15 members down including one cidery and some of our associate members, so people can have an authentic Summerland experience right here in Vancouver. Continue reading:
Get a Taste of Summerland in Vancouver at the Bottleneck Drive Wine in the Garden Party

Hundreds of Free Concerts Announced for the 2015 TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest

Photo credit: TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Photo credit: TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

The biggest music series of the summer is coming to Vancouver this June. And hundreds of concerts are completely free.

Nearly half a million music lovers are expected to turn out for two solid weeks of jazz, blues, world music and more as part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 18-July 1. Now in its 30th year, the festival is bringing a host of headliners to the city, including hip-hop legends The Roots, blues guitar icon Buddy Guy, jazz fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke and vocal powerhouse Lisa Fischer.

But in addition to ticketed performances, the festival also offers fans literally hundreds of free concerts throughout the city. Here’s a quick preview of when and where to catch just some of the free shows: Continue reading:
Hundreds of Free Concerts Announced for the 2015 TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest