TRIP LENGTH: 3 Days
This trip to Canada began with a three-hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver. Ben and I quickly found out that crossing the border to Canada on a Saturday morning was two-hours to get through the boarder crossing line into Canada. YIKES! Vancouver was such an awesome city to visit, and it was really easy to get around. I’d suggest printing out a map like this one to help you plan your visit.
WHERE WE STAYED:
We used Airbnb and stayed in the Hastings neighborhood, which is in the east-side of Vancouver. It’s not in the heart of the city, but it was a great (and affordable) location for us because we had a car. If you do not have a car, I’d suggest staying in Gastown or Downtown-Eastside.
WHAT WE DID:
Visit the Steam Clock – Gastown
305 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B9, Canada
Located in Gastown, this clock is one of the few in the world that is powered by steam. It is something cool to check out if you’re heading down to the water for lunch or dinner.
This was one of the most FUN things that we were able to do in Vancouver! We rented bikes from Stanley Park Cycle for two hours and were able to get a 10% discount for University Students! Biking around the park is definitely a must-do if you are visiting Vancouver. We were able to bike around the seawall as well as through the park itself. The trails are made for bikes and the incline isn’t too steep for most parts.
Explore and Shop at Granville Island
1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3, Canada
The Granville Island has everything from shops to breweries to performances. But one of the best things that we found was the island’s Public Market. Inside of the Public Market are a ton of vendors and artisans that sell fresh pasta, meats, produce, chocolate, and other unique gifts. Definitely come with an empty stomach for some delicious food!
WHERE WE ATE:
I originally booked a reservation for dinner at the Alibi Room to celebrate Ben’s 22nd birthday without knowing very much about the restaurant (besides that it had an amazing beer menu). When we first arrived to the location, we realized that the restaurant is not exactly in the greatest location, but it did not disappoint. I ordered the veggie burger, and this was definitely one of the best veggie burgers that I have ever had. But even better, the beer menu did not disappoint. I actually ended up finding one of my favorite beers (which would change Ben’s life forever). Check out more below about Parallel 49 Brewing Company below.
Let me just start off by saying that Ben and I aren’t necessarily the hugest fans of waffles. So when I told him that the only place within walking distance of our apartment was a Scandinavian breakfast joint that was famous for their waffles, he probably didn’t know what to expect.
Scandilicious changed our minds about waffles…well at least mine. Ben ordered a Napolean Waffle served with apple cider pulled pork that was absolutely awesome (and later inspired us to try and make our own apple cider pulled pork at home). I ordered a West Coast Waffle that was basically a salmon eggs benedict on a waffle. YUM. This breakfast joint is definitely low key, but is unique and the food is amazing. I would highly highly recommend this place for breakfast!
We actually stumbled upon this ramen place when we were renting our bikes to go to Stanley Park. We noticed that there was a huge line of people outside, simply waiting to get a seat at the restaurant. So, naturally when we returned our bikes (and were starving) we thought that we’d check out the place (I mean it must be good if there’s that long of a line outside right?). It turns out that we were right. Even at 3:00pm the place was still packed! The ramen was to die for and was so authentic! Now I understand why everyone was waiting outside (;
Grab a Cup ‘O Joe at JJ Bean
Sushi Nanaimo (Japanese)
350 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5L, Canada
Chinatown was not at all what I expected. Although the area is quite large, it is also extremely run down and many of the shops are closed. We did end up finding the New Town Bakery, which thankfully sells dim sum and snacks. After a disappointing experience with dim sum at Din Tai Fung, I was glad we were able to find something a little more authentic. I ordered my favorites: deep fried taro, chasiu bao (baked bbq pork bun), and jin dui (red bean filled pastry).
WHERE WE DRANK
Discovering Parallel 49 may hands down be one of the best parts of the trip for Ben (: I am not much of a beer drinker, but DANG all of their beers are just awesome (and cheap). They even have a different infusion beer every day as a special. At their tasting room, a flight of beer is 4CAD which is about 4USD….yes you read that FOUR DOLLARS. The beauty of this is that it means we can try all of them without breaking the bank.
At Alibi Room, I discovered the Old Boy Brown Ale which is now my absolute favorite beer I’ve ever had (and it tastes even better on tap!). Overall we definitely lucked out discovering this place. If it wasn’t for Ben’s suggestion at the Alibi Room (and the fact that the tasting room was in walking distance from our apartment) we probably would never have discovered this gem. Parallel 49 please please please come to the United States. Thanks.