The commercial landscape along East Hastings in the Hastings Sunrise area has seen a few changes lately and we expect there will be a few more in the coming months. We went to check out the most recent addition, being Plenty + Spare located at 2168 East Hastings Street. If you need any inspiration, they are conveniently located next to East Village Bakery. Plenty + Spare had their grand opening one week ago today after spending a few weeks getting organized in their new space. They carry their own line of soap and skincare products that are made without a long list of items you don’t want in your skincare products which are locally sourced whenever possible. The store also has a selection of houseware items which they will be adding to in the coming weeks and months. If you can’t make it over to this part of East Van, their products are also available in a number of other retail locations including a few favourites of ours such as The Soap Dispensary and Much & Little on Main Street, Scout & Co. in Steveston and The Good Omen in New Westminster. For a full rundown of where their products are available, visit their website at Plenty + Spare. On the other hand if you wish to learn to make products yourself, you may wish to check our their do-it yourself workshops they will be hosting. Self-Care Sunday Workshops begin Sunday, April 30th at a cost of $56 per person. Plenty + Spare is open Wednesday to Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Stop by and support this great new addition to our local business community.
One of our earliest posts was a self-guided tour aimed at discovering some of the hidden gems tucked away below East Hastings Street at the foot of Commercial Drive. Now the Hastings North Business Improvement Association has created the East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport to help guide you to the 6 craft breweries and 1 craft distiller tucked away in the less travelled routes of the City. To participate in this self-guided tour, all you need to do is pick up a Passport at any one of the 7 participating locations in the East Village. Your Passport contains a map with all the participating breweries and distillery located within easy sipping distance from each other. All you are required to do is, to start exploring and tasting. Generally speaking, this exploration is fairly walkable, save for Bomber Brewing which is a little further South. Lots (if not all) of the breweries have bike racks out front for those that wish to cycle between their destinations. When you take your passport to each destination, get a stamp from each participating brewery/distiller. Once you’ve collected your 7 stamps, you will receive an East Village branded growler. Taking part in The East Village Brewery & Distillery Passport will be the area’s oldest brewery (established in 1995) Storm Brewing, as well as Parallel 49 Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Doan’s Craft Brewing Co., Callister Brewing Co., Bomber Brewing, Andina Brewing and Odd Society Spirits. If you are taking the tour on a weekend, our personal recommendation would be to land at Odd Society Spirits for their free tour that happens every Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm. They provide a great background and history on the process and science of making craft spirits. Did we mention the owners are pretty passionate about what they do? It certainly comes across in everything they do.
However you choose to do the East Village Brewery & Distillery Tour is up to you, ie. you could hit all the spots in one day, break it down into 2 days or more. While in the area though, we do have a few suggestions. When you stop in at Callister Brewing Co., which houses a few micro breweries, be sure to check out the art on the wall. When stopping at Doan’s Craft Brewing, make some time for the arcade games while sampling their beer. Pac Man is our go to, but there some 80+ games to choose from. Whilst taste testing, we encourage food and some of the spots have snacks available or food trucks that are often nearby offering good eats. En route you will find lots of great spots to start or finish your day or for a pit spot, some we recommend that you may stumble across in your path include Scandillious or Yolk’s for breakfast, The Pie Shoppe for a sweet treat, Bistro Wagon Rogue for dinner at the end of the day. NOTE: The good folks that bring you Parallel 49 Brewing are just working on some renovations to their Tasting Room which will soon include eats in house. We understand they will be up and running end of March to serve you beer & food. Further note, Andina’s Brewing is just finishing up their space and will be opening soon. In the meantime, you can get tasting and working on that Passport of taste.
Dine Out Vancouver, Canada’s largest restaurant festival gets under way January 20th and runs to February 5th. Each year the line up of delicious events gets better and better. One of many that caught our eye was Vancouver Foodster’s East Village Brunch Crawl happening Saturday, January 28th in the Hastings Sunrise area. The event will begin at The Waldorf Hotel, 1489 East Hastings Street, with registration which takes place between 9:30 am and 10:30 am. You will pick up your “passport” which is your guide to a number of restaurants in the Hastings Sunrise/Grandview Woodlands area. Some of the delish foods you will enjoy include fresh juices, smoothies, coffees, eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles, omelettes, brunch pizza, meats, seafood, hash browns, baked goods and a few more goodies. Some of the stops we hear include Nonna’s Table, Gourmet Warehouse, Italia Bakery, Platform 7 Coffee and Di Oliva Tasting Bar with more to be announced soon. Outside of your passport, we do recommend you bring your appetite. We don’t expect you will leave this event hungry. Cost for the Dine Out East Village Brunch Crawl is $52.50 and includes all food and beverage samples at each participating location. To purchase your tickets for this Brunch Crawl, visit Tickets Tonight. The event runs from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. If you’d prefer to do a brunch crawl along Commercial Drive, that one is happening on Sunday, February 5th which kicks off at Federico’s Supper Club. For more information, visit Vancouver Foodster.
Richard Wolak of Vancouver Foodster is bringing back his Tasting Plates event to the Hastings Sunrise area affectionately named East Village. What is Tasting Plates? It is basically a culinary roving tour that takes place at different food and/or beverage establishments. You register for the event at the designated spot in this case, The Tiki Bar at the Waldorf Hotel which is where you will show your printed or digital ticket(s) and pick up your Tasting Plates Cards. From there, you wander whether by bike, foot, car or transit to the various venues and nibble away to your hearts content. Each location will have specific menu items on offer for the Tasting Plates. Now the East Village is an area which has much to offer the food lover. The spots Richard will be featuring on this tour include Nonna’s Table Café & Pizzeria located in the historic Waldorf Hotel. This is an Italian restaurant with a retro Polynesian/Tiki feel to it. Another stop includes Windsor Meats at 2276 East Hastings Street. This is a great meat shop and as an added bonus, the butchers have a great sense of humor which we hope would be on display during the tour. Next up is the Italia Bakery, 2828 East Hastings Street and oh what a sweet spot this in. The cakes, the pastries and oh the biscotti, bellissimo! Cannoli King food truck will be on hand with what else, of course, homemade cannoli. Also, on the tasting tour is a stop at Di Oliva Tasting Bar, 2632 E. Hastings Street. We love this spot! An amazing selection of over 50 kinds of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars with some truly amazing flavours. Some of their items are currently stocked in our pantry. Lastly on this tour, is a stop at The Brighton, 2471 E. Hastings Street, this is a great pub-style restaurant with some unique offerings and when you get the chance, check it out the great little patio tucked in the back. There is lots to enjoy on this foodie tour including meeting other like minded food lovers. You can purchase advance tickets for $40 through Eventbrite, otherwise if you wait prices are $55 per person as of May 15th. The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. and goes till 10:00 pm.
Want to do something tasty and fun with your mom for Mother’s Day? Well Off The Eaten Track Tours is offering their Vancouver’s Best Brunch Tour in the heart of the East Village with a discount on Saturday, May 7th. You are invited to join them on Saturday morning at 9:30 am to meet some local businesses and nosh your way through a progressive brunch. On this tour, you will visit 5 culinary spots including a 35-year old Italian deli, a funky southern restaurant, a bakery, a local butcher shop and Vancouver’s smallest tea shop. There are only 10 spaces available on this tour. If you wish to get your seats, be sure to use the promo code TREATMOM to receive a 10% discount. For more information on the tour, or to purchase your spots, visit Vancouver’s Best Brunch Tour.
Photo Credit: Off The Eaten Track
Richard Wolak of Vancouver Foodster is bringing his next Tasting Plates event to the East Village. What is Tasting Plates? It is basically a culinary roving tour that takes place at different food and/or beverage establishments. You register for the event at the designated spot in this case, Pallet Coffee Roasters, 323 Semlin Drive, one block East of Victoria Drive just North of East Hastings Street. You show your printed or digital tickets that you purchased online and in turn receive your Tasting Plate Cards. Thereafter, you wander whether by bike, foot, car or transit to the various venues and nibble away to your hearts content. Each location will have specific menu items on offer for the Tasting Plates.
Now the East Village is an area we enjoy hanging out in. So many great places on this stretch of road near Nanaimo and East Hastings. As it happens, Richard will be featuring some of our favourites in his upcoming Tasting Plates. On March 11th, he will start the event at Pallet Coffee Roasters where you will obtain your Tasting Plates Cards. Pallet Coffee Roasters is a great little spot to check out for coffee and/or lunch whether as part of the Tastings Plates or next time you are in the area. Next up on his list is Windsor Meats, 2276 E. Hastings Street. This is a great meat shop and oh, last time we checked in, I believe they boasted some handsome butchers. So you may get a sense of humour along with your visit. We are thrilled to see Di Oliva Tasting Bar participating in this event. This new olive oil & balsamic vinegar tasting bar is a must try. Next up on the tour is Jackalope’s Neighbourhood Dive which has been serving up some delicious brunch items. Then there is Platform 7 Coffee which spot is designed after a railway station and if you are lucky and the weather is nice, check out the garden tucked in the back. We see Richard will be making a stop at our favourite distillery, Odd Society Distillery, at 1725 Powell Street, the makers of East Van Vodka, Crème de Cassis and Wallflower Gin to name just a few of the spirits they make. Oh and they make some seriously good cocktails! There’s a lot to love on this foodie tour. We are sure you won’t be disappointed. Tickets for this event are $45 and available online at Eventbrite. The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. and goes till 10:00 pm.
We would like to introduce you to a new business in town, one that all food lovers should make a detour to. It’s called Di Oliva Tasting Bar located at 2632 on East Hastings Street in the East Village. Di Oliva Tasting Bar is brought to you by owner, Lisa Funaro. Lisa brings you an amazing selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from various parts of the world including Australia, Peru, Chile, Southern France and Italy to name a few. All the olive oils are cold pressed for high quality and freshness. The balsamic vinegars are from Modena, Italy and aged up to 25 years. The olive oils and balsamic vinegars are all organic and infused with 100% natural ingredients meaning no artificial flavours, colours or additives. And yes, tasting is encouraged and made very easy with their set up. You will find very different types of olive oils including the more grassy flavours, as well as the mild tasting ones great for baking or those with very robust peppery flavours. As for the balsamic vinegars, we can only say wow! Some of our favourites include Blueberry Balsamic, Honey Ginger Balsamic and the Espresso Balsamic was hands down our favourite. There are descriptions on the face of each which sets out the flavours/notes of each much like a wine. Generally, oils and vinegars are $12 for a 200 ml bottle, $20 for a 375 ml and $32 for a 750 ml bottle. There are some exceptions for a couple of specialty items like the Toasted Sesame Oil for $15 for 200 ml, $22 for 375 ml and $37 for a 750 ml. This is one of the bottles that made a return trip home with us. Amazing flavor. There are also sample bottles for $5.00 and sets of 4 for $20 which make a perfect gift.
Outside of the oils and vinegars, you will also find some delectable sauces like the one that founds its way home with us which was a tomato, olive & ouzo sauce. Lisa will soon be offering free tasting events in the evenings for groups of 8 to 10 people at which time all attendees also get 10% off their purchases. Di Oliva provides the appies, you provide the people. They are also working on a Recipe Board and have a host of ideas for how to use the oils and vinegars in cooking, baking and beyond. We encourage to check out this great new addition to East Vancouver. Di Oliva Tasting Bar is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and closed Mondays.