Warm up to Hot Chocolate Festival 2019

Hot Chocolate Festival

Winter and Hot Chocolate are perfect match so what could be better than a whole winter month of Hot Chocolate! Presented by Cityfood Magazine, the 9th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival is now  on until February 14th, 2019.

The Festival finds 29 participants around the city creating an offering of 70+ varieties of chocolate drinks.  The Hot Chocolate Festival gives guests the chance to explore Metro Vancouver’s favourite cafes, chocolatiers, patisseries, gelaterias, and restaurants in search of a new favourite Hot Chocolate blend. Created with Milk, Dark and White Chocolates, flavours range from single origin cups, vibrant and spicy blends, liquor and floral infusions, vegan or coconut milk options.

The Festival reaches across Metro Vancouver; Temper Chocolates & Pastry in West Vancouver, to Trafiq Café and Bakery on Main Street, and Gem Chocolates in Kerrisdale or Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby. Why not take in one of the Chocolate Cooking Class at the Trattoria in the Italian Cultural Centre. Visit hotchocolatefest.com to see what the participants have to offer and to download the Hot Chocolate Festival map and guide and see how Hot Chocolate Makes You Happy.

The Hot Chocolate Festival supports the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters’ Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program, Growing Chefs and Fresh to Families. 

JFL NorthWest Promises Vancouver Laughs

Vancouver Just for Laughs Festival, JFL NorthWest brings 10 days of international comedy to Vancouver, February 14 – 23, 2019.

For the fourth year, JFL NorthWest fills the city with the best, boldest and most outrageous stars of stand-up, improv, podcasts, and sketch comedy. The Best of the West draws attention to up-and-coming breakout comedy stars of the future. The concurrent 2nd Annual Just for Laughs Film Festival projects comedy on the big screen, with feature and short film screenings, red carpet events, talk-backs, and panels.

Howie Mandel & Friends: February 14, 2019
Howie Mandel & Friends: February 14, 2019

The laughs kick off on Valentine’s Day with Howie Mandel & Friends at the Orpheum Theatre, and closes on February 23rd with shows like Michelle Wolf at Vogue Theatre, Nicole Byers at Rio Theatre and The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler at Yuk Yuk’s. In between, catch shows from Gabriel Inglesias, Aziz Ansari, Ken Jeong, Fred Armisen, Whitney Cummings, Steve-O, Antoni Porowski and more. Our local comedy scene are well represented by The Ryan & Amy Show, Little Mountain Improv, Nasty Women Comedy, Wes Barker and many more Best of the West.

Michelle Wolf: February 23, 2019
Michelle Wolf: February 23, 2019

The laughter plays out at venues across Vancouver, including the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Vogue Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Rio Theatre, Biltmore Cabaret, Fox Cabaret, The Comedy Mix, Yuk Yuk’s and many more spots around town.

JFL NorthWest takes place Thursday February 14 – Saturday February 23, 2019. To find the full line-up and book tickets for all shows visit jfrnorthwest.com

Vancouver Foodster launches 1st Vancouver Soup Festival

In the midst of winter,  when nothing comforts like a bowl of soup,  Vancouver Foodster has introduced the 1st Vancouver Soup Festival.

From January 10 to 31, 2019, a different selection of soups will be featured weekly by each of the participating restaurants.

Over the three weeks, the public is invited to visit and try each of the soup entries and choose their favourites. The Vancouver Soup Festival will then have 3 sets of winners, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place chosen each week over the 3 weeks of the festival. Week one of the festival is on now, until Jan 16, week two runs Jan 17-23, and finally week three is Jan 24-31.

When visiting the and tasting the restaurant’s soup entries, visitors are encouraged to tweet, post on Instagram or Facebook to share their favourite Festival soups, be sure to mention and tag @vanfoodster and #SoupFestYVR so others can follow along.

The weekly entries for the Vancouver Soup Festival include:

Week One:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: 
Harrira (Chick Pea & Lentil)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Hun Dun Mian (Wonton)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St, Vancouver
Soup: Pozole Verde (Mexican Corn Stew)

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr. Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy. Maple Ridge
Soup: Gaeng Liang Soup with Cheese Ice Cream (Kabocha Squash)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: The Naughty Thai (Coconut Chicken Curry)

Week Two:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St. Vancouver
Soup: Bessara (Green Pea)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St. Vancouver
Soup: Shu Cai Mian (Vegetable Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie St. Vancouver
Soup: Mexican Lamb Consomme

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Green Pea with Chicken Ravioli Soup

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Week Three:

Location: Moltaqa Restaurant, 51 W Hastings St.
Soup: Loubia (White Bean)

Location: Rhinofish Noodle Bar, 550 Main St.
Soup: Niu Rou Mian (Taiwanese Beef Noodle)

Location: Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street
Soup: Mexican Red Lentil Soup

Location: Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Cr, Langley & 20395 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
Soup: Tom Yum Hot House Soup (Thai Tom Yum Tomato)

Location: Liquids + Solids, 901 East Hastings St. & 1550 West Broadway, Vancouver
Soup: Garden Variety Chili (Vegan Chili)

For full details on each soup, participating restaurants and to VOTE for your favourites, visit vancouverfoodster.com.

Make a Dash for Dine Out 2019 Tickets

Since 2002 Vancouverites have been filling their winters and bellies with Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s prix fixe menu deals.  What started with just 57 restaurants has grown to become Canada’s largest food and drink festival, with 300+ restaurants, breweries, wineries, events and more to indulge.

Grand Tasting
photo: Carly Whetter

From January 18 to February 3, 2019 restaurants from South Surrey to North Vancouver welcome guests with $15, $25, $35 and $45 fixed price brunch, lunch and dinner menus.  The restaurant menus are revealed and reservations are open to the public today, January 10th,  visit dineoutvancouver.com to start your Dine Out planning.

In addition to a restaurant menus, a series of spectacular tasting events fill the days and evenings.  The events start off with The Grand Tasting, a preview launch event January 17th at Rocky Mountaineer Station. The World Chef Exchange brings chefs from San Diego, London, Sydney, Montreal and Dusseldorf to work with local chefs in their restaurants. Street Food City, the food truck fest is back for its eighth year.

Street Food City
photo: Carly Whetter

Secret Supper Soirees are are back for mysterious dinners. Food & Drink Tours of all kinds fill the festival dates. Many events are already sold out, so if you haven’t check out the Events listings and book soon.

Coming from out of town, or even if you’re local, why not make a night of it and book a night at the Dine Out Special Room Rates or a Dine & Stay package with one of the participating Dine Out Hotel Partners. 

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2019 runs January 18 – February 3, 2019. For menu information, restaurant and hotel reservations and event tickets visit dineoutvancouver.com

5 Places To Plunge Into 2019

New Year’s Day brings many traditions, resolutions, new taxes and for many a Polar Bear swim or Penguin Plunge into frigid waters to kick the New Year into motion. Whether you take the plunge on your own or at an organized event, enjoy the start of your 2019.

Here’s a few of the local Polar Bear swims taking place around Metro Vancouver:

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim – English Bay Beach 2:30 – 3:30pm : dress up, donate to the Greater Vancouver Food Banks and dive into the waters of English Bay for the 99th year.

North Shore Penguin Plunge – Panorama Park, Deep Cove 12:30 – 3pm : live music, food, and refreshments, proceeds support the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 2.

Delta Polar Bear Swim – Boundary Bay Regional Park 12-1pm : start 2019 off with the 39th annual plunge into the chilly waters of Boundary Bay.

Port Moody Penguin Plunge – Rocky Point Park Boat Launch 11:30 – 1pm : a fundraiser for the Pleasantside Community Association registration $5/person or $10/family

White Rock Polar Bear Swimdue to the recent storm damage to White Rock pier, this annual event is cancelled for this year. 

A Beach Near You – any time, any place with a shoreline can become a spot for a polar bear swim; take a solo plunge to find your 2019 zen or gather your friends for a group penguin plunge.

Whatever way or wherever you spend your New Year’s Day, I hope it heralds a healthy, happy and successful 2019!

 

 

 

 

5 Fireworks Shows for NYE 2018

The New Year’s Eve forecast is cloudy but mainly dry, so it looks good for an evening outdoors watching fireworks to ring in 2019.

Here’s a few spots to catch a New Year’s Eve celebrations with year-end fireworks displays;

Concord’s NYE Vancouver: In a few short years Concord’s NYE has grown to be Canada’s biggest New Year’s Eve Celebration. Catch the festivities and TWO fireworks shows, at 9pm and midnight, around Canada Place and at Vancouver Convention Centre.

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration: End the year at the winter wonderland of Grouse Mountain, from 5pm entertainment and activities surround the skating pond with a special family-friendly 9pm fireworks show.

Family First Night: Mt Seymour presents the North Shore’s longest running family NYE event with tobogganing, snowshoeing, magic, fire pits and fireworks for the whole family.

Whistler New Year’s Eve: the ultimate aprés ski evening, highlighted by a special edition of Fire & Ice show plus fireworks capping off a family-friendly event.

 

5 Neighbourhoods’ Spots to Shop for Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just days away, but there’s still time to pop into these neighbourhood shops for some great stocking stuffers and gifts.

Here’s a few of the places you might want to put on your list when Christmas Shopping;


GASTOWN

Old Faithful Shop : clothes, housewares, papergoods, and more

espace d. : furniture, art, books and jewelry

Orling & Wu : bed, bath, beauty, boardroom and beyond

 

CHINATOWN

Treasure Green Tea Company: premium and rare teas, gifts and accessories

Dalina:  treats, gadgets, and groceries from soup to nuts

Eight Treasures Shop at Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: one-of-a-kind collectables, gifts, art

 

 

 

DOWNTOWN

Cook Culture: everything you need for the kitchen, cooking and culinary

Vancouver Art Gallery Store: unique art books & works, jewelry, giftware

Redfish Kids: baby, toddler, & children’s toys, clothes, and accessories


YALETOWN

Barking Babies: everything for the hip canine and dog lover

The Cross Decor & Design:  kitchen, bedroom, living, lifestyle

Masc:   face, body, hair care, products and advice, for the men on your list

GRANVILLE ISLAND

Circle Craft Co-op: works of 130+ local craftspeople

Craft Council of BC Shop: featuring products from council membership

Make Vancouver: design, print, engrave and make your own custom product