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Taste Vancouver Food Tour Gastown

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 — 10:00am PDT
Comments 161

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.

Starbucks Audio

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.

200 Granville Waterfront

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.

Maple Delight Maple Delight

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.

Tin Ceiling Antiques

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.

Trees Organic - Cheesecake Trees Organic

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.

Water Street Cafe Crab cakes

Crab cakes

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.

Peckinpah Peckinpah

Peckinpah briket over pulled pork

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.

Apres Midi Tea

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.

Hotel Europe Tour guide

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.

Gassy Jack

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)
RT to enter to win Gastown food tour tickets from @TasteVanTours & @Miss604 #Miss604Holidays

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)!

Disclosure: Review
I was not paid to write this post (or any other). My food tour was compliments of the organizers.

Current contests on


  1. J says:

    My favourite local attraction is Stanley Park or Lynn Valley

  2. Nicole says:

    My favourite local attraction is the Capilano Suspension Bridge

  3. Brittin says:

    In Vancouver – Stanley Park

    Out here in the Valley – Fort Langley

  4. Jim says:

    My favourite local attraction is the hiking trails at Mt. Seymour.

  5. Murray A says:

    At this time of year…. Capilano Suspension Bridge HAS to be the #1 attraction.

  6. My fav hometown attraction has to be the beaches in the summer, and the beautiful mountains in the winter!

  7. Jenn says:

    Bicycles on our seawall! From Kits to Prospect Point, from False Creek to Gastown. Best way to show out-o-towners our fine city!

  8. Becky says:

    Stanley Park is a classic any time of the year! Or Robson street, great to see all the different people down there ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. marshall says:

    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.

  10. Stanley Park so beautiful!

  11. Roanne says:

    Watching the sunset at English Bay after a ‘refreshing’ swim in summer!

  12. Roberta says:

    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!

  13. Rachel says:

    My favorite attraction is Seawall

  14. Debbie says:

    My favourite all time home town attraction is the Stanley Park train! Its the best unique attraction we have

  15. Beth says:

    Biking the seawall is always number 1 on my list of recommendations!

  16. Martha says:

    i would say stanley park or capilano bridge

  17. bruce sommer says:

    guess what – gastown is the first and foremost attraction

  18. Sanaz says:

    Biking on the seawall is my favourite

  19. Brianne says:

    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!

  20. fiona says:

    my favourite attraction is the capilano bridge.

  21. Shawn says:

    Most definatatly I love English Bay and the Seawall.

  22. Winnie says:

    my favourite attraction is granville island ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Katie B says:

    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:)

  24. Michelle says:

    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.

  25. Christine says:

    Stanley Park and the Seawall!

  26. luc says:

    Volleyball on Kits Beach!

  27. Katie says:

    I love Gastown, the cobbles remind me of the small town in England that I came from.

  28. Belinda says:

    My favourite hometown attaction is a tour of the different statues around downtown Vancouver.

  29. Rebecca says:

    Sun Yat Sen Garden

  30. Lisa says:

    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!!!

  31. Ceci says:

    My favorite would be Granville Island!

  32. Von says:

    Lions Gate Bridge.

  33. Sunshine G says:

    The Vancouver Aquarium – love the jellyfish section!

  34. Marina says:

    The view frin the Lions Gate Bridge coming into Vancouver.

  35. cheryl says:

    Stanley Park

  36. Ruby says:

    Suspension Bridge

  37. Nancy says:

    Stanley Park

  38. Manveet says:

    Stanley Park

  39. Emily says:

    Great pics! I love the seawall, but I also bring most of my guests to the Aquarium- it’s definitely a treasure.

  40. Brittany says:

    Stanley park is so beautiful!

  41. Sarah says:

    Under the stars at Stanley Park.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Alex Cameron says:

    Favourite hometown attraction: Granville Island!

  43. Gladys Tsang says:

    My favourite hometown attraction is my home neighbourhood – Steveston!

  44. stacey says:

    capilano suspension bridge! it was where I was married!

  45. Kim says:

    The seawall around Stanley Park and the one on the North Shore.

  46. Jessica says:

    My favourite home town attraction is probably Steveston Village in Richmond. I grew up around there and its retained the small town vibe!

  47. S.Field says:

    I love VanDusen Botanical Gardens – can wander in there all day.

  48. Vanessa says:

    The lions!

  49. Vipersblood says:

    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.

  50. Don says:

    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.

  51. stephanie says:

    The mountains around Vancouver. Love the snow and hiking in the summer.

  52. Linda says:

    Downtown Vancouver in general. Just getting out and playing tourist in our beautiful city.

  53. Britt says:

    This city is filled with amazing sights, but Stanley Park is definitely one that stands out to me!

  54. Katie says:

    Stanley Park is pretty amazing

  55. tracy says:

    Granville Island!

  56. lor says:

    Going up on Grouse and savouring the incredible view!

  57. Andy C. says:

    The airport

  58. Anne says:

    Stanley Park is my favourite attraction, so much to see. A great place for visitors and locals.

  59. Karen says:

    My favourite attraction is walking along Main Street and 15th (Mount Pleasant); I love the hustle and bustle with a view of the mountains!

  60. lisa says:

    i love DT Vancouver

  61. linda says:

    granville island!

  62. Darcy says:

    Any part of the sea wall

  63. Brenda says:

    Granville Island- hands down!

  64. Lindsay says:

    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.

  65. Bonnie says:

    My pick is Stanley Park.

  66. Gary says:

    I think my new favourite is the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens

  67. Maggie says:

    Capilano Suspension Bridge

  68. Gerald says:

    English Bay!

  69. tania says:

    My favourite Vancouver attraction is Stanley Park!

  70. Chelsea says:

    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!

  71. rino says:

    Fav. attraction is Granville Island.

  72. Stotes says:

    Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge

  73. Jessica says:

    Any and all of our amazing beaches.

  74. chrissy says:

    I love my daily walk over the cambie bridge! such great views.

  75. Vania says:

    False Creek Seawall!!!!

  76. Chelle says:

    I like the Botanical Gardens at UBC

  77. Scott F says:

    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.

  78. Jennifer Breakspear says:

    The view looking west from Burrard Bridge.

  79. Bernadette says:

    Stanley Park! Is my ultime fave!

  80. mike says:

    granville island – great smells and great food

  81. shelly says:

    Coal Harbour!!

  82. Elysia S says:

    The Vancouver Aquarium. p.s. the pictures of the food is making my mouth water!

  83. Xing says:

    Granville Island and the public markets.

  84. Meline says:

    My favorite is Burnaby Mountain at night! So pretty with the lights…

  85. Natalie says:

    Vancouver art gallery

  86. Brent Bowker says:

    Tillsonburg, ON is my hometown. Going to go with tobogganing at the golf course!

  87. Marnie says:

    Favourite attraction – English Bay in the summer

  88. Jeremy says:

    Stanley Park ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. Jen says:

    Grouse Mountain…so much to see there!

  90. Eileen H. says:

    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.

  91. Tina says:

    Stanley Park

  92. Grace says:

    Vancouver Aquarium

  93. Teresa K says:

    Stanley Park

  94. I like Stanley Park and Third Beach!

  95. Kelly says:

    Richmond Olympic Oval

  96. Bon says:

    Granville Island!

  97. Joanne says:

    Capilano Suspension Bridge!

  98. Amy T says:

    Stanley Park

  99. Tiffany Kalanj says:

    My favorite is Main Street shopping!

  100. Evan says:

    Stanley Park due to its location, beauty, and overall accessibility.

  101. Aileen R says:

    New Westminster Quay

  102. Shannon says:

    Grandville island

  103. Vince says:

    Grandville island

  104. Deidre says:

    Grandville island

  105. Maureen says:

    Love spending the evenings after work on the beach at Spanish Banks. View of the North shore mountains, city, water and sunset. Gorgeous!

  106. Lucinda says:

    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.

  107. NM says:

    Stanley Park.

  108. Scott says:

    Definitely Grouse Mountain

  109. gail whitworth says:

    love granville island

  110. Julia says:

    Love the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park!

  111. vincent says:

    Gotta love english bay and stanley park!

  112. Tee says:

    <3 Gastown

  113. Gisella says:

    My favourite local attraction is Stanley Park and Granville Island…especially on beautiful sunny days during any time of year.

  114. Megan says:

    I love walking the seawall, and gastown eats and drinks!

  115. maria says:

    Stanley Park Seawall

  116. Camille says:

    I love van dusen garden the most.

  117. Brenda says:

    Gastown steamclock!

  118. A.J. says:

    Hard to beat the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center!

  119. Kevin Baggs says:

    My favourite spot is Lynn Canyon.

  120. shelaine says:

    Granville Island and False Creek!!!

  121. Gina says:

    The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre!

  122. Jan says:

    Lynn canyon suspension bridge

  123. Steph :) says:

    I enjoy the Vancouver Aquarium.

  124. Laura says:

    Granville Island!!!

  125. Heidi says:

    Whistler – any time of the year

  126. Val says:

    Stanley Park Seawall!! <3

  127. Lindsey says:

    Stanley Park!

  128. gigi says:

    Bright Nights at Stanley Park

  129. Stephanie says:

    I love Science World! Young and old, everyone has a blast!

  130. Tiffany says:

    I like the Vancouver Aquarium.
    ps – peckinpah is the best southern food!

  131. Dora says:

    Stanley Park!!!

  132. Jan says:

    The Aquarium

  133. octavia says:

    my favorite would be vancouver chinatown.

  134. Donna L says:

    Chinatown! So much good food mmmm

  135. Cliff says:

    Stanley Park

  136. Brenda says:

    I love Granville Island

  137. Edith says:

    Stanley Park…Seawall…English Bay ^o^

  138. Kevin Walton says:

    Stanley Park

  139. Janet says:

    Granville Island!

  140. Val says:

    I heart local theatre!

  141. Jewels says:

    van dusen gardens

  142. Harj says:

    Stanley Park, hands down.

  143. My favourite hometown attraction – let’s say Jericho Beach.

  144. Nikki says:

    Seawall & Stanley Park by Day – Gastown by Night. Perfect Day!

  145. Leo says:

    Buntzen Lake!

  146. Yvonne says:


  147. tim says:

    fav hometown attraction = vancouver canucks!

  148. Alisha M. says:

    My favourite part of White Rock is the beautiful walk along the pier!

  149. Lindsey Murphy says:

    I love the seawall, it never gets old!

  150. Blair Hirtle says:

    Dim Sum at Floata, walk through Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yet Sen GArdens

  151. Lynn says:

    Deep Cove (Kayaking) & stopping for fresh doughnuts at Honey’s afterwards. Delish!

  152. Annie says:

    Granville Island is a fun place to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

  153. Amanda says:

    Love the arts scene in the city – Art Gallery, Symphony Orchestra, live bands at the pubs!

  154. harold victor says:

    My favorite attraction is that Vancouver has downtown ocean beaches.

  155. […] Our tour guide was pretty great Image by miss604 Taste Vancouver Food Tour: Gastown Blog Post […]

  156. Crystal Letkeman says:

    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!

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