5 Quirky Culinary Events at the 2016 Dine Out Vancouver Fest

DINEOUT_SHARK_480x280_both-1-Canada’s biggest food and drink festival is coming to Vancouver this January … and it’s got a few surprises.

The Dine Out Vancouver Festival returns, Jan. 15-Jan. 31. Hundreds of eateries – from trendy bistros to elegant restaurants – will be serving up special three-course, prix fixe menus at $20, $30 and $40 price points. In total, more than 100,000 food fanatics are expected to descend on the city to taste drive all that Vancouver has to offer.

But epicures also have the opportunity to partake in dozens of culinary-themed events. Options range from brunch crawls and cocktail tastings to some unusual options that are a bit more off the beaten track.  For culinary adventurers, here are 5 quirky, can’t-miss culinary events at the 2016 Dine Out Vancouver Festival:

Seafood, up close and personalThe Vancouver Aquarium is the setting for Feast with the Fish, a unique meal where your dinner companions include reef sharks, seahorses and sea turtles. Enjoy a four-course meal, including Humboldt squid calamari and ling cod and salmon tacos, all set against a tropical underwater backdrop. The event also features a behind-the-scenes tour. Jan. 27; $100. 

grilledcheeseAll grilled cheese, all the timeThe universe of grilled cheese is yours to explore at All You Need is Grilled Cheese at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Start with a glass of bubbly or cider, then graze your way around a room filled with different gourmet takes on the timeless sandwich. Exotic cheeses, freshly baked breads and inventive toppings bring out the more refined side of this childhood classic. You can also purchase specially paired BC wines at each grazing station. Jan. 20; $42. 


TsoTribecaPosterGet to know General Tso at this film/food festLast year, the quirky documentary The Search for General Tso won rave reviews with its in-depth exploration of the origins of the take-out staple, General Tso’s Chicken. At this event, you start the evening with a screening of the film inside the Shangri-La Hotel’s private theatre. Then, sit down for a multi-course dinner inspired by the movie at the hotel restaurant, Market. Jan 19-Jan. 22; $80. 


Listing-Image26Experience a drag dinner showGreat food meets drag cabaret at Dinner at the Birdcage, a one-of-a-kind dinner show hosted inside Gastown’s atmospheric Guilt & Company lounge. Graze on a gourmet tasting menu (featuring everything from grilled octopus and bison meatballs to fried chicken and waffles) while Vancouver’s celebrity drag queens strut their stuff and sing their hearts out. Jan. 21; $65.


Image---480-x-2403 (1)A different kind of beer pairing: Craft beer and craft donuts? Don’t knock it ’til you try it. On this unusual tour, Vancouver Brewery Tours shuttles guests to three of the city’s hottest breweries: Brassneck, Strange Fellows and Big Rock. There, artisan beers are expertly paired with goodies from Vancouver’s top chocolatiers, bakers and donut makers, including Thomas Haas Chocolates and Cartem’s Donuts. Jan. 21 and Jan. 28; $75. 

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