A Snapshot of Vancouver’s Street Corner Food Scene

Posted May 22, 2013 by Kenza Moller in Blog
One of the many food trucks in Vancouver

One of the many food trucks in Vancouver

We’re standing outside food cart shaded under a red umbrella, a human line stretching away from it, the smell of roasting meat and spicy sauces blooming into the air. The metal cart is plastered with pictures of celebrities lined up at Japadog, and its menu advertises Bratwurst Terimayo and Kurogoma Kimchi hot dogs. The hot dog in front of me is locally sourced, drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and crunchy seaweed.

With a mish-mash of cultures, Vancouver has a medley of delicious restaurants and cafés on every street corner, each with its own combination of flavors and funky décor. When you’re visiting for a short weekend, though, it’s hard to hit up all of the recommended top spots – especially since one local will tell you their favorite is the Naam’s vegan bowls, while others will rave about Ajisai Sushi.

Food carts in Vancouver are a surprisingly new thing. They were only officially licensed to be on city streets in 2010, and since then,  15 new carts are approved every May. It’s a a tough business that demands 24/7 dedication from their business owners, who usually double as cooks. Success is undoubtedly tough, and just over half of the food carts opened since 2010 are still in business. This May, fifteen more carts will be approved to open outside of Vancouver’s downtown core.

The Street Eats tour takes place entirely by foot, weaving up the steps of a public court to catch a view of Vancouver from above. Walking between food carts is enjoyable, too – Vancouver has been rated Canada’s most walkable city, and it aims to be the world’s greenest city by 2020. The tour, which begins along Hornby Street, gives you a good impression of Vancouver’s vibe: friendly cart owners, a busy Skytrain station, and people making their way through a regular Saturday.

Other Street Eats delights included a mobile Indian restaurant two tandoor ovens and fresh naan, fresh salmon smoked to order inside a food cart, and a chocolate chunk cookie spiked with chilies and salt (taking the recipe home was even better!).

This trip was made possible by Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver Foodie Tours, but all opinions are our own.

About the Author

Kenza Moller

Kenza Moller is our magazine editor and also our expert on budget travel. She is originally from the Dominican Republic and currently wrapping up a writing degree in Victoria, BC. She ran a non-profit foundation for animals and also interned at Canadian Geographic, and is happiest when traveling, scuba diving, writing or running. Check out her blog at www.kenzamoller.com.

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