Taste Vancouver Food Tour Gastownby
There are few things I enjoy more than being a tourist in my own hometown and when I’m offered the chance to experience the city like a visitor it’s rare that I’ll pass it up. Last week, I was invited to participate in the Taste Vancouver Food Tour’s Gastown Tour. Meeting up with ten others, who hailed from cities around the globe, I received my ear-piece, my lanyard, and set out on foot behind our guide, John “Gassy Jack” Deighton himself for the next tour hours.
Right off the bat the tour became more than a culinary adventure. The first few stops mentioned the history of the waterfront, from its very first years as a part of Vancouver up until the last twenty years.
Our first bite was of lobster macaroni and cheese at Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar. I’ve been to Rogue before and I’ve ordered the lobster mac n’ cheese, and I would do so again. The portion was about the third of the size of the actual menu item and was a nice way to warm up our taste buds for the rest of the tour.
The second tasting stop was Steamworks where we met brewmaster Conrad Gmoser who told us a bit about the IPA we sampled next.
On our way again, we stopped next door at Rogers Chocolates for a sample, complimented with a quick story about the founders. The sweet treat was followed up with some rolled maple syrup from Canadian Maple Delights.
Heading West down Water Street we crossed over and hopped into the arcade where we learned more about the building and the unique tin ceiling in the hall.
Ending up on Cordova, we looped back into Brioche where owner Eduardo Bilardelo spoke to us about his style of cooking, his ingredient choices, and a little bit about his hometown in Sicily. We were each given a healthy portion of freshly-made tortellini.
Lobster, pasta, beer, maple syrup, and now cheesecake. Trees Organic was the next stop where we tried two of their top-sellers. The key lime and the mocha cheesecake.
What tour of Gastown would be complete without the compulsory stop at the steam clock? I was happy to hear our guide note that it was indeed a creation of the 1970’s and not as old as some might think it to be.
I then stepped foot into the Water Street Cafe for the first time. We heard about the history of the hotel building in which it sits, its significance during The Great Fire, and the story of the cafe. The sample crab cakes were moist and packed with meat, not over-powered by any sauce at all.
Our food tour took a few more detours, winding in and out of the John Fluevog store, the Smart Mouth Cafe (where Greenpeace once met, since it was formed in Vancouver you know), and ended up on the corner of Water and Carrall. There, we found Peckinpah
This North Carolina barbecue joint opened up on the corner of Maple Tree Square, just behind the statue of Gastown’s namesake. The smokey aroma gives you a great big hug when you walk in the door and our sample of briket and pulled pork was enough to make me run home (not immediately of course) and tell John we’re returning for a full meal very soon.
Looping around to Gaoler’s Mews (pronounced Jailer’s Mews) our last tasting stop was in Apres Midi, a quaint teahouse whose selection was reminiscent of Silk Road in Victoria.
We sampled their market spice tea which had floral, cinnamon, and honey notes. Our tour then finished up, fittingly, at the foot of the Gassy Jack statue.
I look at Vancouver with the eyes of someone born and raised in the area — and someone who regularly does historical research — so it’s not everyday that I learn something new. I have to give the organizers credit for throwing in at least two tibdits about Gastown that I had not previously heard. To me, that makes for a winning tour for locals and visitors alike.
The tour was $39 a piece which is reasonable based on the information, the ground covered, and the ample tasting opportunities. This Gastown Tour runs daily from 2:00pm to 4:00pm until January 8, 2012. You can also book private tours for your group of 6 to 16 people throughout the year.
Update for Summer 2012: The food tour is now open every day. Check the official website for exact times.
If you would like to head out on the food tour yourself, they have offered up two Gastown tours to one lucky reader of mine. You can explore Gastown with a friend or treat an out-of-towner. Here’s how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite hometown attraction (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 10:00am on Tuesday, December 20, 2011. Must be 19 years of age or older to do the tour as there is the stop in the pub.
Update The winner is Linda (@lindabook)!
161 Comments — Comments Are Closed
My favourite local attraction is Stanley Park or Lynn Valley
My favourite local attraction is the Capilano Suspension Bridge
In Vancouver – Stanley Park
Out here in the Valley – Fort Langley
My favourite local attraction is the hiking trails at Mt. Seymour.
At this time of year…. Capilano Suspension Bridge HAS to be the #1 attraction.
My fav hometown attraction has to be the beaches in the summer, and the beautiful mountains in the winter!
Bicycles on our seawall! From Kits to Prospect Point, from False Creek to Gastown. Best way to show out-o-towners our fine city!
Stanley Park is a classic any time of the year! Or Robson street, great to see all the different people down there 🙂
My favorite hometown attraction is Downtown/ Gas Town covered in a new blanket of snow while it’s snowing at night with all the Christmas decorations, side by side with my wife.
Stanley Park so beautiful!
Watching the sunset at English Bay after a ‘refreshing’ swim in summer!
The tree(s) lit up with Christmas lights by the Inukshuk on the Seawall where my hubby proposed!
That food tour sounds like a really cool thing to do!
My favorite attraction is Seawall
My favourite all time home town attraction is the Stanley Park train! Its the best unique attraction we have
Biking the seawall is always number 1 on my list of recommendations!
i would say stanley park or capilano bridge
guess what – gastown is the first and foremost attraction
Biking on the seawall is my favourite
My favourite Vancouver attraction is without a doubt the seawall! It’s the most beautiful route around the city and it highlights the best views. Either rollerblading or biking, it’s the perfect Vancouver activity!
my favourite attraction is the capilano bridge.
Most definatatly I love English Bay and the Seawall.
my favourite attraction is granville island 🙂
Fav vancouver attraction: Stanley Park – you can walk, bike, rollerblade, picnic, attend a concert, head to the Rowing club for a bite and meander back in a horsedrawn carriage. Love it.
I just recently moved to Gastown and think this tour would be a great chance for my boyfriend and myself to get to know the neighborhood:)
It’ll have to be Stanley Park, for the year-round beautiful view.. and Gastown, the cobblestone walkways and street lamps really give it a historical feel.
Stanley Park and the Seawall!
Volleyball on Kits Beach!
I love Gastown, the cobbles remind me of the small town in England that I came from.
My favourite hometown attaction is a tour of the different statues around downtown Vancouver.
Sun Yat Sen Garden
La Casa Gelato. Not a typical attraction, but I always take out of town guests there. Lucky for me I can go whenever I want!!!
My favorite would be Granville Island!
Lions Gate Bridge.
The Vancouver Aquarium – love the jellyfish section!
The view frin the Lions Gate Bridge coming into Vancouver.
Great pics! I love the seawall, but I also bring most of my guests to the Aquarium- it’s definitely a treasure.
Stanley park is so beautiful!
Under the stars at Stanley Park.. 🙂
Favourite hometown attraction: Granville Island!
My favourite hometown attraction is my home neighbourhood – Steveston!
capilano suspension bridge! it was where I was married!
The seawall around Stanley Park and the one on the North Shore.
My favourite home town attraction is probably Steveston Village in Richmond. I grew up around there and its retained the small town vibe!
I love VanDusen Botanical Gardens – can wander in there all day.
Sounds like this would be a fun tour. Lived here most of my life and have never had a chance to try any of the cuisine or beers in Gastown.
Canada Place where you can walk beside the cruise ships during the summer and you get a great view of the waterfront and the North Shore Mountains.
The mountains around Vancouver. Love the snow and hiking in the summer.
Downtown Vancouver in general. Just getting out and playing tourist in our beautiful city.
This city is filled with amazing sights, but Stanley Park is definitely one that stands out to me!
Stanley Park is pretty amazing
Going up on Grouse and savouring the incredible view!
Stanley Park is my favourite attraction, so much to see. A great place for visitors and locals.
My favourite attraction is walking along Main Street and 15th (Mount Pleasant); I love the hustle and bustle with a view of the mountains!
i love DT Vancouver
Any part of the sea wall
Granville Island- hands down!
This looks fun and even though I am a local, I tend to forget about Gastown and what it has to offer. I love the steamclock.
My pick is Stanley Park.
I think my new favourite is the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens
Capilano Suspension Bridge
My favourite Vancouver attraction is Stanley Park!
the attraction sort of depends on the weather. one of our many great beaches in the summer, or one of the local mountains in the winter. and Stanley Park all year round!
Fav. attraction is Granville Island.
Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge
Any and all of our amazing beaches.
I love my daily walk over the cambie bridge! such great views.
False Creek Seawall!!!!
I like the Botanical Gardens at UBC
The hiking trails on the North Shore are some of the best local spots the Vancouver area has to offer, especially the ones that are not quite as well known as the grind and other popular trails.
The view looking west from Burrard Bridge.
Stanley Park! Is my ultime fave!
granville island – great smells and great food
The Vancouver Aquarium. p.s. the pictures of the food is making my mouth water!
Granville Island and the public markets.
My favorite is Burnaby Mountain at night! So pretty with the lights…
Vancouver art gallery
Tillsonburg, ON is my hometown. Going to go with tobogganing at the golf course!
Favourite attraction – English Bay in the summer
Stanley Park 🙂
Grouse Mountain…so much to see there!
The over-all favorite would be Stanley Park. We have walked our dogs there so many times and sat outside for so many concerts, that the place is full of memories.
I like Stanley Park and Third Beach!
Richmond Olympic Oval
Capilano Suspension Bridge!
My favorite is Main Street shopping!
Stanley Park due to its location, beauty, and overall accessibility.
New Westminster Quay
Love spending the evenings after work on the beach at Spanish Banks. View of the North shore mountains, city, water and sunset. Gorgeous!
My favourite Vancouver attraction is in Burnaby. It’s the Burnaby Village Museum. It’s pretty all year around and especiall pretty during the Christmas Holidays.
Definitely Grouse Mountain
love granville island
Love the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park!
Gotta love english bay and stanley park!
My favourite local attraction is Stanley Park and Granville Island…especially on beautiful sunny days during any time of year.
I love walking the seawall, and gastown eats and drinks!
Stanley Park Seawall
I love van dusen garden the most.
Hard to beat the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center!
My favourite spot is Lynn Canyon.
Granville Island and False Creek!!!
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre!
Lynn canyon suspension bridge
I enjoy the Vancouver Aquarium.
Whistler – any time of the year
Stanley Park Seawall!! <3
Bright Nights at Stanley Park
I love Science World! Young and old, everyone has a blast!
I like the Vancouver Aquarium.
ps – peckinpah is the best southern food!
my favorite would be vancouver chinatown.
Chinatown! So much good food mmmm
I love Granville Island
Stanley Park…Seawall…English Bay ^o^
I heart local theatre!
van dusen gardens
Stanley Park, hands down.
My favourite hometown attraction – let’s say Jericho Beach.
Seawall & Stanley Park by Day – Gastown by Night. Perfect Day!
fav hometown attraction = vancouver canucks!
My favourite part of White Rock is the beautiful walk along the pier!
I love the seawall, it never gets old!
Dim Sum at Floata, walk through Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yet Sen GArdens
Deep Cove (Kayaking) & stopping for fresh doughnuts at Honey’s afterwards. Delish!
Granville Island is a fun place to go. 🙂
Love the arts scene in the city – Art Gallery, Symphony Orchestra, live bands at the pubs!
My favorite attraction is that Vancouver has downtown ocean beaches.
[…] Our tour guide was pretty great Image by miss604 Taste Vancouver Food Tour: Gastown Blog Post […]
My hubbie, sister, and brother in law recently went on this food tour. We bought the tickets through group on. We had a fantastic time! The “gassy jack” host was funny and informative. The food selections were great! I had no idea that Gastown had as many great restaurants as it does. We will for sure go back to some of the restaurants we sampled. Afterwards, we all tried to pick our favourites, but couldn’t, as there were too many to choose! Was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and would highly recommend this to anyone!