Get to Know Your Local Producers: Long Table Dinners and Farm Events

Vancouver is fortunate to have a thriving local food scene, with lively farmers markets, nearby farms to visit, as well as restaurants that forge strong ties with nearby producers.

The abundance of fresh summer harvest means that these next few months are packed with long table dinners and farm events that bring you even closer to local food. Here is a selection of happenings that showcase the city’s love for local, seasonal, and sustainable eating:

Vancouver Farmers Markets

Vancouver Farmers Markets are in full swing now, with an abundance of locations that operate into the fall. Current markets are Trout Lake (Saturdays 9am to 2pm, until October 26), Kitsilano (Sundays 10am to 2pm, until October 27), Riley Park (Saturdays 10am to 2pm, until October 26), West End (Saturdays 9am to 2pm, until October 26), Downtown (Wednesdays 2pm to 6pm, until December 18), False Creek (Thursdays 3pm to 7pm, until October 3), and Mount Pleasant (Sundays 10am to 2pm, until October 27).

You can expect tons of vendors selling local produce, meat and seafood, artisanal food products, and crafted goods. The markets are a great way to meet farmers and learn more about the region’s local food systems. Food trucks are usually in attendance, and sometimes local artists entertain shoppers. The community vibe is always uplifting.

UBC Farm has markets on Tuesdays (4pm to 6pm) and Saturdays (10am to 2pm) for purchasing fresh produce, flowers, and other artisanal items. You can purchase a meal at a food truck, enjoy live music, and on Saturdays, they offer by donation tours of the UBC Farm at noon. They also have a Wednesday market (11am to 2pm) at Lee Square on campus.

Farmhouse Fest

UBC Farm is the lovely location for Farmhouse Fest on August 10, 2024 from 1:30pm to 7pm. The Fest spotlights local and non-local craft beer and cider (think saisons, wild ales, and sours), along with natural wine and kombucha. Local makers that will be pouring include Main St. Brewing, Strange Fellows Brewing, and Creek & Gully Cider.

In addition, there will be local food vendors, such as Via Tevere and Faim Raclette, as a balance to all the convivial tastings. General admission tickets ($124.40) and early entry tickets ($157.95) are available now.

Feast of Fields

Since 1993, Feast of Fields has been creating a venue for city dwellers to celebrate local producers. Their annual events, which take place at local farms in Metro Vancouver, the Okanagan, and Vancouver Island, invite guests to roam the farm grounds, grazing on bites from restaurants in the region as well as sampling local wine, beer, and other beverages. Live entertainment adds to the pastoral atmosphere.

The 2024 Metro Vancouver edition is set for September 8 from 1pm to 5pm at Athiana Acres, a farm in Steveston (Richmond). Guests will gain knowledge about the farm’s regenerative practices as well as a deeper appreciation for the chefs and farmers in the area. Stay tuned for info on the ticket release here.

LuLu Island Winery Summer Picnic Series

LuLu Island Winery in Richmond is bringing back their Summer Picnic Series (2-5pm), starting July 7, and on every Sunday until September 1. Bring a picnic blanket, relax in their idyllic grapevine tunnel serenaded by a local artist, sip wine, and nosh on charcuterie. Tickets ($39 per person) are available now.

Wildlight Kitchen + Bar Summer BBQ Series

Wildlight Summer BBQ Series; Photo: Maggie Lam

Wildlight Kitchen + Bar, located at UBC, has developed a reputation for its commitment to fresh, local, sustainable, and ethically sourced ingredients. Its produce comes from UBC Farm and the restaurant has positive connections with numerous local producers.

In the spirit of summer, chef Warren Chow is holding three long table Summer BBQ Dinners in their open-air atrium. The meals are served family-style and include a welcome cocktail as well as a BBQ feast. July 14 (5pm) is Brazilian Night with highlights like grilled bison picanha and tres leches cake; July 28 (5pm) is Korean Night with dishes such as galbi (short ribs), haemuljeon (seafood pancake), and napa kimchi; and August 11 (5pm) is Southern Night with such classics as smoked brisket, creamed corn, and peach cobbler with pecan ice cream. Tickets/reservations ($65 per person plus tax and gratuity) are available now by calling 604-915-0722.

Araxi Longtable Dinner

The Araxi Longtable Dinner is one of the most anticipated of the season. It returns this year for its 13th edition on August 11, 2024, from 3pm to 7:30pm. The award-winning Whistler restaurant, helmed by the talented James Walt, will welcome guests with a cocktail reception followed by a four-course family-style dinner, paired with local wines.

Not only is the food incredible, but the venue is also spectacular. North Arm Farm in Pemberton is gorgeous, particularly with Mount Currie as the backdrop. Tickets ($289 per person) are on sale now.

Creekside Cheese + Creamery Cheesemaker’s Table

Creekside Cheese + Creamery in Agassiz is holding a special long table dinner, the Cheesemaker’s Table, at their farm on August 28, 2024, starting at 7pm. The evening commences in the barns with the cows where you’ll have cocktails and canapés and chat with and learn from the farmers. Then, you’ll make your way outdoors for a long table dinner by Chef Craig Scherer of The Chef’s Acre. Over three courses, both plated and family-style, Chef Craig will talk about his culinary approach to local ingredients. Tickets ($175 per person) are available now.

Wild Blue Long Table Dinners

Chef Alex Chen and Executive Chef Derek Bendig of Whistler’s Wild Blue are hosting two Long Table Dinners this summer (July 7 and August 18, 4pm start time). The dinners take place in Whistler Village, close to the restaurant, and will entail a champagne/canapé reception and an al fresco four-course menu served family-style, with pairings from Wild Blue’s winery partners.

The July menu has been released with dishes such as a salad of summer peas, asparagus and burrata; chilled gazpacho with side stripe prawns, and a sumptuous seafood boil. The evening ends with a summer fruit tart and petit forts. Tickets for both dinners ($259 per person plus tax and gratuity) are available now. Part of the proceeds will go to local farmers and environmental projects.

Hopcott Farms’ Beer and Beef Fest and Long Table Dinner

The family-operated Hopcott Farms, a farm to table butcher, is holding two fun events this summer. The first is their Anniversary Beef and Beer Fest, which consists of two parts. The first is a free event (August 3, 11am to 4pm), with food samples, face painting, live music, and much more; and the second is a ticketed event (noon to 4pm) with a charity beef and beer garden. For the ticketed celebration, you’ll choose between beef ribs and a beef brisket sammy—both served with corn bread, coleslaw, baked beans, and pickles. Tickets ($28, plus $6 for a beer or cocktail) are available now.

Hopcott is also having a Longtable Dinner September 6, 2024 from 6:30 pm to 9:30pm. It consists of a welcome reception with charcuterie and cheese and local craft beer, followed by a four-course meal with Chaberton Estate wines and live music. Some of the proceeds go to Alisha’s Wish Child Advocacy Centre. Tickets ($175 per person) are available now.

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