Vancouverites Name their Best Picnic Spots

Clockwise from top: Kid Carson, Johanna Wagstaff, Taryn Wa, Lisa Giroday

Clockwise from top: DJ Kid Carson, Meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, Chef Taryn Wa, Victory Gardens Co-founder Lisa Giroday

Vancouverites are to sun are like bees to honey. The minute the sun starts shining in this town, people flock to our diverse beaches, promenades and parks.

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to gather a cooler full of food from local shops (Cardero Bottega, Davie Street Market and JJ Bean), my croquet set and a flock of friends for a picnic. Being a WestEnder I’m a bit predictable: English Bay is my haunt because it’s a two blocks from my house. However, if I’m feeling inspired to venture further afield Deep Cove’s Panorama Park or East Vancouver’s New Brighton park come a close seoncd and third.

I recently asked four Vancouver personalities – a dj, a meteorologist, a chef and a gardener –  where their favourite picnic spots were and what was in their snack basket. Their answers underscore our city’s plentiful picnic spots and access to awesome eats.  Check out their responses below. 

Coal Harbour Photo Credit: Yorick_R/Creative Commons

Coal Harbour Photo Credit: Yorick_R/Flickr Creative Commons

Kid Carson – Host/DJ Kid Carson Show on Sonic FM

Favourite place to picnic: The great thing about downtown is that your blocks away from water wherever you are. Right now I’m living in Coal Harbour so I jump across the street to a patch of grass along the seawall. It’s across the street from my apartment, ha. You get outside more when you make it EASY, right? Grab a blanket and walk out the door. Also fun people watching in Coal Harbour, it’s cool to see so many tourists LOVING our city.

What I eat: Carderos Resturant in Coal Harbour, Ahi Tuna dinner to go. (Might as well have a meal as good as the view!)

Crab Park. Photo credit: Pete Hogan/Creative Commons

Crab Park. Photo credit: Pete Hogan/Flickr Creative Commons

Taryn Wa – Savoury Chef Foods

Favourite place to picnic: Crab Park, at Main and Waterfront in downtown Vancouver. Crab Park is close to the Savoury Chef kitchen in Strathcona, and it’s usually not very crowded. A few of my friends work in the area so it’s a great meeting place for all of us to go and unwind after work. There’s also a large off-leash dog area where my dog, a Shiba named Sawyer, can burn off some energy.

What I eat: I always say that no picnic is complete without a barbecue. I like to set up a hibachi and grill whatever I feel like having that day: steaks, sausages or skewers. Throw in some bread, a salad or two, potato chips and my favourite beverage, and I’m all set for a relaxing evening!

Crab Park. Photo credit: Kyle Pearce/Creative Commons

Crab Park. Photo credit: Kyle Pearce/Flickr Creative Commons

Johanna Wagstaffe – CBC News Vancouver Meteorologist

Favourite place to picnic: anywhere I can ride my bike to! Some past favourites: Sunset Beach at sunset, Coal Harbour under the cherry blossoms, Crab Park on a hot day.

What I eat: I love packing my bicycle basket with take-out from Red Burritos or Peckinpah. Will take burgers and a mini bbq down to Crab Park if I can gather a big enough gang! Baseball gloves, frisbies and portable music all a must!

Lighthouse Park Photo Credit: Chase N/Flickr Creative Commons

Lighthouse Park Photo Credit: Chase N/Flickr Creative Commons

Lisa Giroday – Victory Gardens Co-founder

Favourite place to picnic: Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. The hike is really easy, even if you’re carrying a basket full of picnic items, and it’s one of the most rewarding views in the city — truly West Coast!

What I eat: My favourite place to pick up picnic snacks is my own backyard! When you grow much of what you eat during the glorious months when picnicking is possible, there’s no end to the bounty you can take with you. I always pack a large salad with greens, cherry tomatoes, grated beets and carrots, and for finger food, bags of snap peas, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. For something savoury, I bring Qualicum Cheeseworks’ unpasteurized Qualicum Spice cheese (which I pick up from Pasture to Plate on Commercial Drive), and a loaf of fresh bread from Matchstick Coffee Roasters. Oh, and let’s not forget a growler of IPA from Vancouver’s own Brassneck Brewery!

Where do you like to picnic? Share your favourite spots in the comments section below.


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