The Eastside Culture Crawl is back again for 4 days starting Thursday, November 20th. This 4 day arts extravaganza really is a must see. During “the Crawl” over 400 artists in and around the heart of East Vancouver open their studios to the public. The event which grows each year now comprises some 83 buildings from Main Street to Victoria Drive and First Avenue to Powell Street. The mediums vary and include painters, jewelers, sculptors, textile artists, furniture makers, weavers, potters, printmakers, wood carvers and photographers. There is no set schedule for this event, you go where your mood and interests take you and the array of talent is amazing. To help guide you, the Eastside Culture Crawl has a great rundown of all the artists on their website including a printable .PDF map to help you find your way. The Crawl runs November 19th and 20th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 21st and Sunday, November 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. To figure out what you wish to see and when, check out the Issuu magazine online.
If you wish to mix things up and do some side trips in and around East Vancouver while on the Crawl, there are so many great stops en route. For instance, in Railtown there is Vancouver Urban Winery & Lounge which is a perfect start for brunch in the Belgard Kitchen before the Crawl or for a bit of wine or beer tasting after. There are more beer options if you head West a little ways including Parallel 49 Brewing Company, Bomber Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery and a newcomer Doan’s Craft Brewing. If Belgian beer is more up your alley Biercraft on Commercial Drive which is also a good spot for brunch before the Crawl. If you are looking for the perfect cocktail, we recommend Odd Society Spirits. Personally, we will be making a stop for brunch first before the Crawl. There are so many options in the Hastings Sunrise area and on The Drive including amazing coffee shops. If you are looking for suggestions to eat before the Crawl, in Hastings Sunrise there is the Roundel Café, Yolk’s Breakfast and Red Wagon Café for starters. On the Drive, there is Havana Restaurant, Scandillious or for the perfect sandwhich to go (big enough to share) we recommend La Grotta del Fromaggio. While there, we suggest making the walk next door to Fratelli Bakery for something sweet. You won’t be disappointed.
During the Crawl, les amis du fromage, 843 East Hastings, is another great spot to stop in and do a bit of cheese sampling. They will also have some local vendors in store doing Pop Up Shoppes. On Saturday, November 21st from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm they will have Mixers & Elixers. They produce small batch shrubs also known as drinking vinegar used in soda water and cocktails. Also on hand Saturday will be Grain which sources exclusively Canadian dry good products from farmers and processors they know. On Sunday, November 21st Noon – 4:00 pm, you will find SaltSpring Kitchen Co. in store. Melanie Mulherin makes delicious small batch preserves in some unique flavours such as Meyer Lemon & Lavender Marmalade, Sour Cherry, Rhubarb & Rosemary Jam, Blueberry & Basil Jam and the one that caught our eye Winter Wonderjam (Strawberry, Cranberry, Orange & Bourbon). Les amis du fromage is perfectly situated in Strathcona within walking distance of many artist studios.
For some more sweet stuff, the Licorice Parlour is a great stop with over 65 flavours on hand. If you are looking for coffee, there are many great options including the Wilder Snail in the heart of Strathcona, Pallet Roasters, 323 Semlin Drive and Platform 7, 2331 East Hastings St. Of course, there are an array of excellent choices along Commercial Drive including Continental Café, Moja’s Coffee and Prado Café to name but a few. If you find yourself in the Stratchona area, might we suggest a stop at Crackle Crème at 245 Union Street. This sweet little dessert cafe serves up artisan crème brûlée and authentic Belgian liège waffles as well as coffee. There will be many local restaurants, breweries and coffee shops at the ready to help you recharge your batteries before, during or after the Crawl.
See you on the Crawl.