Vancouverites Encouraged to Hug for Hunger, Mar. 20

photo: Hugs for Hunger

photo: Hugs for Hunger

First day of spring sees furry mascots hugging to support the Food Bank!

WHAT:
On the first day of spring, cute, furry, and gregarious animals will be waking up from hibernation and giving out hugs to Vancouverites. Spring Advertising will be unleashing the animals/mascots at various locations across the city as part of Hugs for Hunger, a fundraiser to help the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

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Vancouverites Encouraged to Hug for Hunger, Mar. 20

Vancouver’s not-so-secret neighborhood shops and markets

Photo credit: Le Marche St. George

Le Marche St. George Photo credit: Luis Valdizon

Corner store culture was a large part of my childhood.

On weekends I pedaled the half-block down to Jackson’s corner store to buy sour soothers with my mom’s spare change. In the summer my friends and I would flock to Bob’s Mini Mart for screamers – a decadent cup of slush with soft-serve ice cream on top.

The owners knew our names and the selection of munchies and trinkets for sale seemed endless.

Now, as an adult, I seek similar qualities in the delis, markets and shops I frequent:  availability of quality snacks, quirky goods and location, location, location.

Whether I’m hunting for a sparkly, spontaneous gift or fixing for a rare ingredient like garlic-scape salt or frozen lobster bisque Vancouver has a lovely smattering of eclectic markets, mini-grocers and shops that can provide these and more. Herewith are some of my favourite neighborhood shops and not-so-secret mini-markets around the city. Continue reading:
Vancouver’s not-so-secret neighborhood shops and markets

No Cars, 4 Huge Parties: Car Free Vancouver Day Returns

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

Photo credit: Rob__ | Flickr

(Don’t) Start your engines!

The sixth instalment of Car Free Vancouver Day is scheduled to hit city neighbourhoods June 16 (Father’s Day).  The premise of the festival is simple: Main streets throughout Vancouver are closed to traffic, so everyone can get out, stretch their legs and actually rub shoulders with friends and neighbours.

Over the years, Car Free Day has evolved into one of the best, totally grassroots events of the summer.  Pedestrianized streets are transformed into carnivals full of food, music, performers and general revelry.  It’s all volunteer-based and community-organized, so you’re sure to get a healthy dose of local colour and local weirdness.

As in past years, Car Free Vancouver Day will take place in four neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive, Main Street, the West End and Kitsilano.  Here are details on what you can expect if you leave the car behind: Continue reading:
No Cars, 4 Huge Parties: Car Free Vancouver Day Returns

Noodle Crazy? Ramen Pop-Up Restaurant in Gastown Draws a Crowd

Photo credit: Robert Banh

Photo credit: Robert Banh

Vancouver eaters (and restaurant staff) are aflutter about the ramen pop-up, No. 1 Noodle House, in the old Boneta space at 1 West Cordova in Gastown. The pop-up, which opened April 19, is targeting the late-night crowd, particularly restaurant staff looking for good food when they get off the line. So far, it’s attracting everyone and there seems to be enough room to handle the demand: unlike the tiny ramen shops in the West End, Vancouver’s go-to neighbourhood for ramen, the pop-up is large and can seat 75-90 people

No. 1 Noodle House has a mixed Asian fusion menu with ramen ($9.50) in varieties including spicy chicken and tonkotsu (pork broth), as well as banh mi, chicken wings, bao with fried chicken, pork spring rolls and more. Keeping in line with the budget-friendly nature of most ramen joints, everything is under $10.

No. 1 is another venture by Vancouver restaurateur Mark Brand (Sea Monstr, Boneta, Save On Meats, Portside Pub). Word around the food blogs (Scout Magazine; Vancity Buzz) has it that Brand is working with partners Matt MacDougall, Lindsay Lapierre, Tyrell Shaw and Alex Usow (Brand’s Sea Monstr Sushi partner).

It’s not easy to be Vancouver’s number one noodle house. In fact, it really depends whom you ask. Most Vancouver ramen joints are in the West End. Among the dozens of options, you’ll find fierce allegiance for Santouka on Robson (it also has locations in Japan and the U.S.), which always has a line. The favourite ramen there? Probably the miso with pork jowl. Other good ramen joints in the West End? Crowd-sourced opinion points to Motomachi Shokudo and Kintaro.

But head to Strathcona/Chinatown and you’ll find diners raving about Harvest market’s ramen menu, which has veggie options such as ramen with miso broth and squash, alongside ramen with pork shoulder, candied bacon, egg, and radish. Continue reading:
Noodle Crazy? Ramen Pop-Up Restaurant in Gastown Draws a Crowd