Surprise! I vacationed in the Pacific Northwest last month! I bet you thought I was still here, blogging my little heart out. I’m sneaky like that. Really, I was in the glorious, freakishly rain-free cities of Vancouver and Seattle for a week with my husband and two friends. We flew from Detroit to Vancouver, spent 3 days in Vancouver, then took the train down the coast to Seattle, and spent 4 days there.
We planned this trip in celebration of us all turning thirty this year. Before I begin with a week’s worth of recaps full of delicious food and lots of other fun, let’s meet the cast of characters, shall we?
Left to right, that’s Eric, Katy, me and Jeff. Jeff is my husband (you may know him from his monthly gourmet pizza blog posts). Eric and Jeff have been friends since childhood, and Katy is Eric’s wife and our friend on her own accord now. OK, so that’s settled. We’re all thirty. I think we’re getting better with age. Except when we’re staring directly into the sun, as was the case here.
Our first order of business when we got to Vancouver? FOOD. We’d been on a plane and standing in customs all day! We threw our bags down at the hotel and walked over to Sushi Bella on Davie Street. Davie Street is definitely the LGBT-friendly portion of Vancouver. Since Jeff and I live in the most LGBT-friendly city in Michigan, we felt right at home. After two huge platters of sushi, edamame, and a pitcher of Sapporo, we were all feeling in brighter spirits.
We spent the rest of the first day wandering around Vancouver and stopping for drinks and snacks as we pleased. The only item on our agenda? Head to Gastown so I could meet up with a fellow food blogger.
We walked on over to Pourhouse and took some seats at the bar. Having been to quite a few artisanal cocktail bars in the last few years, I knew what to expect. Hipster bartender wearing flannel? Check. Wooden crate full of craft bitters? Check. Expensive but awesome drinks slowwwwwwlllllly prepared? Check.
We ordered our drinks and settled in to wait. I’ve prepared full meals faster than our drinks were made, but hey, it was a busy night and the guys in flannel had to shake. And stir. And flame. And swirl. And shake in one hand and swirl with the other hand. You know. The usual. I didn’t mind the wait, because the lovely Nancy from Gotta Get Baked walked in!
It’s always nice to meet a blogging friend in person, especially when they turn out to be as cool as Nancy. She was even understanding as we all almost fell asleep at our table after having been awake for 20 hours at that point. She told us lots about life in Vancouver and the sites that we should see. We enjoyed a meal of some of the apps and entrees at Pourhouse. Jeff deemed the brussels sprouts “the best he had ever had.” They were good, but I also think he may have been delirious from lack of sleep at that point.
We went back to our hotel (Sutton Place) for a good snooze. Our plan was to spend the next day at the beautiful Stanley Park. For the first few days, we were definitely still adjusting to the time change, so we were hungry at inconvenient-for-Vancouver times. Like, the next morning when we were ready for a quick lunch before Stanley Park, and literally no place in the city was serving lunch yet. And they weren’t serving breakfast either. So, we awkwardly lurked at tables outside Nero Belgian Waffles until they opened.
I’m happy to report that they were totally worth the wait! Would it be weird if this was one of my favorite meals from the trip? I really, really love savory waffles, and my waffle with havarti, arugula, tomatoes and whole-grain mustard was amazing. Sure, I was super hungry, since this meal was serving as both breakfast and lunch. But really, it was everything I wanted to eat right before a day of bike riding through Stanley Park.
For me, Stanley Park was the highlight of Vancouver, if not the whole trip! I love riding bikes, and I love beautiful parks. Plus, we were there on the PERFECT day. It was 65 degrees, sunny and clear. Even my bum rental bike (seriously, that thing was dying) couldn’t put a damper on the experience. We rode our bikes along the 9 kilometer seawall, stopping many, many times for photos of things like the Vancouver skyline (photo at the top of this post), random totem poles, dragons, and mermaid sculptures.
This trip was pretty epic. Everything I just listed, we did in a day and a half! So, I’ll be back most days this week with more trip recaps.
Restaurants + Bars We Visited & What We Ordered:
- Sushi Bella – Edamame. Gyoza. Shitake Roll. Ugly Truth Roll. Dancing Queen Roll. Wild Salmon Roll. Sapporo.
- Winking Judge Pub – Magner’s Irish Cider
- Pourhouse – Old Fashioned. Smoked Salmon Starter. Brussels Sprouts & Pork Belly. Pourhouse Burger. Pomme Frites.
- Nero Belgian Waffle Bar – Banella. Parisienne. Rocket. Tonyn.
- Vancouver, Part 1: Sushi Bella. Winking Judge Pub. Gastown. Pourhouse. Nero Belgian Waffle Bar. Stanley Park.
- Vancouver, Part 2: Cactus Club Cafe. Japadog. G Sports Bar & Grill. Hubbub Sandwich Bliss. Capilano Suspension Bridge. Yaletown. Blue Water Cafe.
- Seattle, Part 1: Serious Pie. The Whisky Bar. Seattle Coffee Works. Moore Coffee Shop. Storyville Coffee Company. Caffe D’Arte. Original Starbucks. Chihuly Garden & Glass. Space Needle. Lola. Seattle Waterfront. Elliott’s Oyster House.
- Seattle, Part 2: Pike Place Market. Market Grill. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Rachel’s Ginger Beer. Post Alley. Gum Wall. Pike Brewing Company. Cutter’s Crabhouse. Seatown.