5 Can’t-Miss Events at the 2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival

platedThe 2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival – Canada’s largest food and drink fest – is still a month away, but tickets for its biggest events are already selling fast.

This year’s festival, Jan. 16-Feb. 1, features hundreds of restaurants offering special three (or more) course menus at $18, $28 and $38 price points.  For epicures on a budget, it’s a great chance to “taste-drive” some of the city’s best restaurants, from simple bistros to fine-dining staples. (The list of participating restaurants will be revealed Jan. 7.)

But Dine Out is also known for its growing ensemble of special tastings, talks and tours. This year’s lineup features nearly three-dozen special events, tickets for which are on sale now. Here’s a quick look at 5 can’t-miss 2015 Dine Out events:

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5 Can’t-Miss Events at the 2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival

Croquet tournament and High Tea at VanDusen this Saturday!

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A garden party is coming to VanDusen Botanical Gardens this Saturday (Aug. 23). The First Annual Garden Party and Croquet Classic at VanDusen Botanical Gardens (5251 Oak Street) includes High Tea, cocktails, champagne, croquet and performance art installations. It’s probably safe to say VanDusen hasn’t seen anything like this in awhile, if ever.

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Croquet tournament and High Tea at VanDusen this Saturday!

Cheapest Way to See Shows in Vancouver? Tickets Tonight

Tickets-Tonight

Want to see some of the best live shows in Vancouver at half-price?

For years, a little ticket booth tucked away near the Vancouver waterfront has been offering some of the best deals on concerts, theatre, musicals and comedy in the city. Tickets Tonight, located inside the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre (200 Burrard St.), is the region’s only outlet for half-price, day-of ticket sales.

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Cheapest Way to See Shows in Vancouver? Tickets Tonight

Get your tickets soon – Craft Beer Week is coming!

Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014 runs May 30 - June 7. Photo: VCBW.

Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014 runs May 30 – June 7. Photo: VCBW.

It’s been a banner year for craft beer drinkers in Vancouver, with new breweries opening up, new events being inaugurated, bars getting wise to the scene and local liquor stores (both government-run and private) stocking more and more varied brews than ever before.

One of the early champions of this movement is Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Now going into its fifth year, 2014’s edition features 21 events and runs from May 30-June 7. Since the announcement, earlier this week, of this year’s crafty happenings, some have already sold-out – so get your tickets now.

Here are some of this year’s highlights (tickets still available).

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Get your tickets soon – Craft Beer Week is coming!

Dine Out – With Friends!

Delectable morsels of delight featured at Hawskworth, one of the over 200 participating Dine Out Vancouver 2014 restaurants. Photo: Shawn Conner.

Delectable morsels of delight featured at Hawskworth, one of the over 200 participating Dine Out Vancouver 2014 restaurants. Photo: Shawn Conner.

It’s Dine Out Vancouver time again. Now in its 12th year, the festival has become one of the city’s premiere culinary events, and for 2014 features over 260 participating restaurants. Besides prix fixe menus at many of the city’s top eateries, Dine Out is also featuring dozens of special food-related events.

To help build excitement for the festival (Jan. 17-Feb. 2), Tourism Vancouver corraled a number of journalists, photographers and bloggers into sampling food and drink from some of this year’s 200+ participants. (Restaurants began taking reservations yesterday, Jan. 7, so if you have been thinking of going, hurry!)

On the evening in question, the assorted media types, including yours truly, gathered together at Tourism Vancouver HQ before dividing up into eight differently themed groups to be whisked away to various destinations. My group’s theme was Dine Out With Friends, and our destinations were… well, read on.

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Dine Out – With Friends!