It’s no secret that we have a bit of a love affair with East Village lofts (we just went live with our fifth listing at L’Atelier this year). And while we love L’Atelier for its wooden beams, over height ceilings, and timber flooring, we also love all the things that make the East Village a great place to live. And one of the biggest things is the wonderfully eclectic array of culinary delights guaranteed to satisfy every palate and budget. So, Jen and I took an afternoon to practice what we preach, and enjoy some of the best eats the city has to offer.
We started our adventure at Bai Bau at the recommendation of Jay Miron, a client and bespoke furniture creator who now calls the neighbourhood home. Serving up Bangkok dishes street-style, you can expect fresh ingredients, quick service, and plentiful flavor. We started with the Roselle Honey Hot Tea, which was as deliciously fragrant as it sounds, and perfect on a crisp fall day. Next up was a generous serving of pad thai, which struck just the right balance between sweet and sour. Finally, we tried the holy basil pork. And holy %#$@ was it amazing. The ground pork was teeming with the delectable flavor of fresh basil, green onion, garlic, and oyster sauce, making this dish a home run.
Next up was the Sweet & Savory Pie Co., where they firmly believe that “food is better when it’s hugged by pastry”. Something we can get on board with! We had the pleasure of chatting with the owner Megan Lahti, who originally opened up shop so that she could supplement her job as Port Moody City Councillor with something more rewarding. And what is more rewarding than sharing the gift of pie? Offering up both sweet and savory options, all pies are made in house with wholesome, local, organic ingredients. Customers can dig in and enjoy in the shop, or they can pre-order fresh and frozen pies for pick up.
Our first sample was of the mac and cheese pie. Yes, you heard that right. MAC. AND. CHEESE. PIE. Obviously, it was amazing. The pastry was flakey, the mac and cheese filling hearty, and the bacon-weave top undeniably indulgent. Next we tried the bacon cheeseburger pie, which tasted uncannily like – you guessed it - a bacon cheeseburger. We rounded this out with a classic chicken potpie, which filled our bellies and warmed our insides in such a way that only a classic can.
Jackalope was first described to us as a heavy metal pub, so naturally we were intrigued. A quick Google search reveals that they are a “chill East Van restaurant and dive bar serving dinner, brunch, and drinks”. Unfortunately, they weren’t open when we stopped by, but rumour has it that the food is amazing! Think Southern comfort food – locally raised slow cooked meats, house made cornbread, and lots of hot sauce. The real treat, however, is the décor. We did manage to sneak in for a few shots of the interior, graced with rock band and horror film posters, artwork, thrift shop finds of all varieties, and taxidermy heads (done up with a little Halloween twist). We will definitely be back to check them out.
Last up was Pallet Coffee Roasters. This location serves up house-roasted coffee, along with a mean looking breakfast and lunch menu with offerings including gourmet breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, lunch handhelds, and salads. This location closes at 3:00pm because it acts as a showroom for their other two cafes as well as for their wholesale business. Though we stopped by just after they had closed up shop, they were gracious enough to let us snap a few shots of the interior (which is gorgeous, by the way) and even let us have a peek behind the scenes in the area where the beans are roasted.
Tried and Tested Favourites:
Though we couldn’t stop in at all of these gems on our tour, we’ve stopped in at them plenty of times before. They’re fan favourites for a reason!
A much beloved brunch spot, this unfussy cafe serves up both classic and not so classic fare ranging from a trucker breakfast to a breakfast banh mi. We recommend coming here early on the weekend if you can, as there can be a pretty hefty lineup during rush hour (though well worth the wait!).
This cozy Italian eatery serves up the specialties of Rome using local fresh ingredients in a cozy casual environment. Think antipasti, pastas, and pizza… otherwise known as the trifecta of tasty.
Bringing Tofino’s favourite food truck to the heart of East Van. Though there are fewer surf bums at this location, the tacos and burritos are just as good.