Vancouver’s food and drink festival offers a chance to try restaurants all over the city, including many right by Capilano University
Justin Scott // Managing Editor
Vancouver’s premiere culinary festival is back until Feb. 4 and it’s better than ever. With over 280 restaurants, craft breweries, wineries and more participating, Dine Out Vancouver is Canada’s largest food and drink festival. Establishments offer fixed-price menus of $20, $30 or $40 per person, serving three course meals that often include off-menu items that are crafted specifically for the festival.
“This one here is stuff that’s not on the menu and that’s what Dine Out wants you to do,” said Seth Adler of Deep Cove’s The Village Table. Adler, who’s no newcomer to the festival, came up with an entirely unique menu for the just-over two-week event. Offering soups and salads as starters, fish, chicken or pasta as entrées, and decadent selections of desserts on their $30 Dine Out menu, there’s surely something for everyone.
Located just 10 minutes down the road from CapU, The Village Table is just what its name claims. It’s a small community-oriented eatery tucked away in Deep Cove’s Dollarton Plaza that encourages local patrons from the “village” to emerge from their warm homes and eat some quality food and drink some delicious wine or beer with friends. However, one of the main purposes of Dine Out is to encourage those who may not normally dine out to do so, or for those who do, to venture from their usual restaurants and try new ones. “It’s a different clientele that comes in,” Adler explained. “There’s new faces coming through and trying the place, and the ultimate goal is to try to get them to come back.”
This year’s festival is a bit different than those of the past for Adler. Deepwater Micro Eatery, also operated by the man behind The Village Table and located in Deep Cove, has joined the Dine Out festivities for the first time. Falling into the $20 menu bracket, Deepwater offers high quality bites for an affordable price. Adler recommended the truffle fries to start and either their notorious tacos or newly added chicken wings as a main. For Deepwater’s menu, Adler opted to include the restaurants staples as opposed to crafting a new menu as a way to introduce the newer business’ food to its patrons.
However, Dine Out is a city-wide event and should be treated as such. For starters, the North Shore has 24 participating restaurants. With a variety of cuisines available from southern barbecue to pacific seafood and all the in-between, one could enjoy multiple nights of Dine Out without even crossing the water. Of course, if you do decide to venture across a bridge or catch a ride on the Sea Bus, there’s a plethora of options available to you, from newly opened restaurants to some of the cities most established, Dine Out covers it all.
Additionally, Dine Out offers a wide variety of events that allow the festival to be more than just eating good food. From pizza making classes, to brewery, winery and distillery tours, the differing activities add an exciting dimension to an event many think of as a way to simply try new restaurants. There’s even a food trivia night at The Bimini on Feb. 1. Their themed tours are a great way to try some of the cities best offerings of certain indulgences, be it Japanese food and sushi, coffee, or a multitude of other local specialties, you’ll be sure to see something that catches your eye.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the festival though, is not the opportunity to finally go to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to and be able to afford more than just a bread basket, but the chance to get out and meet people from your neighbourhood. Definitely try to hit the hot spots in the city, but also try something around where you live or go to school that you may never try otherwise – after all, this is the best time to do so. With all the festival-goers looking to get in on the action, it just may be a good idea to book a reservation.