Dine Out Vancouver: Take a Tour Off The Eaten Track!

Sourced from Off The Eaten Track Facebook page

Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 20-February 5, 2017) is easily one of my favourite food events of the year. The post-December blues are banished with a whopping 284 restaurants to choose from, each serving a sumptuous prix fixe menu ($20, $30, $40). It’s basically a food-lover’s dream.

Even better, Dine Out is more than just booking prix fixe meals; it also offers over 100 food-themed experiences, many of which are highly interactive, varied in format, and, of course, delicious. They’re great date ideas if you want to do something beyond sitting across from one another over dinner.

One of the experiential options I’d recommend would be a fun food tour led by Off the Eaten Track. The company began in 2012 and is owned by Bonnie Todd, who has made it her goal to take tour guests to local foodie neighbourhoods beyond the usual popular touristy areas. Many visitors explore Robson Street and Gastown, but are less likely to investigate areas beyond the downtown core.

In their fourth year participating in Dine Out, Off The Eaten Track will be holding three types of tours: Sip, Savour, and Shop on Main Street Tour (January 21, 22, 27, 28, 29; February 3, 4, 5); Discover the East Village Culinary Tour (January 21, 22, 28, 29; February 4, 5); and Discover Railtown Culinary Tour (January 25, 26, 27; February 1, 2 3).

The tours run roughly 2-3 hours long and are packed with informative insider information about the current neighbourhood, as well as its history and evolution. For example, the Discover Railtown Culinary Tour takes you to an area of the city that was once the vibrant heart of Vancouver’s Japanese Canadian community, as well as a site of industrial businesses. The neighbourhood now is the home of many unique small businesses, many of them serving outstanding food. The tour will talk about existing old architecture in Railtown, as well as stories of Japanese Canadian families who once lived in the area. As well, 5% of ticket sales will be donated to HAVE Café, a culinary training society located in Railtown.

Luc & Lisa Leimanis, owners of Uncommon Cafe; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The tour begins at Uncommon Café, a mixed space that houses a café, cooking school, and commissary kitchen. There, you’ll be taught how to make pizza dough, as well as get the chance to make your own pizza, with toppings like chorizo, basil, and richly flavourful tomato sauce.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

After your pizza, expect sweet treats at Cadeaux Bakery. You’ll then move onto Railtown Café, a counter-service café that prides itself on freshly made sandwiches, soups, salads, and pastries. You’ll sit together and enjoy a meal of their ancient grain salad with red kale, topped with their beef brisket, as well as a taster of one of their rotating vegetarian soups (eg carrot ginger).

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

And finally, the tour will wrap up at The Settlement Building, home of Postmark Brewery and Vancouver Urban Winery. You’ll sample two craft beers, in addition to a wine.

Inside the Settlement Building; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

For more information and tickets, visit Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s website.


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