Just because you aren’t jetting off to a beautiful Greek island or backpacking through Southeast Asia this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience authentic food and drink from those places right here in Vancouver.
Several summertime food fetes will be taking place around town, with weekend markets and one-day outdoor festivals serving up everything from gourmet Hong Kong–style street food to authentic Latin American bites—no passport needed.
Here are five foodcentric events to explore around Metro Vancouver during the hotter months.
Greek Day on Broadway (Between MacDonald and Blenheim)
June 2019 has been named Greek Heritage Month, which makes it all the more fitting for Greek Day on Broadway to take place on June 23 (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) across a five-block stretch.
Presented by the Hellenic Canadian Congress of B.C., the daylong festival will feature various market vendors, entertainment, live music, and a kids’ zone.
But the star of the show is the authentic Greek fare, including calamari, souvlaki, and loukoumades (Greek honey doughnuts). The 3 Greek Sisters, cookbook authors, will also be on-stage doing cooking demos for the hungry masses.
Carnaval del Sol (88 Pacific Boulevard)
The Pacific Northwest’s largest Latin festival, according to Latincouver, the 11th annual Carnaval del Sol returns to Concord Pacific Place on July 6 and 7 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.). The massive cultural celebration will showcase more than 450 artists in eight plazas that blend together music, dance, visual arts, sports, and, perhaps most important, culinary offerings.
In the adults-only Driftwood Beer Plaza that has a capacity of 1,000, attendees will find tasty grub and live music.
The Food Plaza will feature B.C.’s best Latin American restaurants and food trucks, highlighting flavours from Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, El Salvador, and Cuba. We’re sure there will be enough tacos, Venezuelan hot dogs, fried plantains, and paella to fill up a good percentage of our city’s population.
Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest (Columbia Street, downtown New Westminster)
There are food-truck festivals, and then there is the food-truck festival. New Westminster’s Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest returns on July 27 (4 to 10 p.m.), with a whopping total of 97 eateries on wheels.
This year’s participants include Aloha Poke, Dim Sum Express, Dolce Amore Gelato, Japadog, Meat and Bread, the Praguery, REEL Mac and Cheese, Rocky Point Ice Cream, Tacofino, Snow Cloud Shavery, and Whistler Wood-Fired Pizza Company.
And while you enjoy your Baja fish taco, crispy pork-belly sandwich, or lemon-yogurt-cookie ice-cream cone, musicians will be on-site to serenade you. Other event highlights include artisan markets and several beer gardens—all the more reason for you to block off the calendar on the last Saturday of July.
Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road, Richmond)
This seasonal foodie attraction needs no introduction. The Richmond Night Market is arguably North America’s go-to destination for Asian street food (read last year’s New York Times article for concrete evidence), and includes 120 food vendors serving up more than 600 mouth-watering items.
If you don’t mind rubbing shoulders the entire evening with crowds of hungry guests, your belly can be filled with everything from takoyaki to Taiwanese fried chicken, from bubble waffles to Xinjiang-style spiced lamb skewers.
New and creative dishes available this year include cheese-and-mayo torched lobsters, rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches, and White Rabbit Candy liquid-nitrogen ice cream. Pro tip: bring plenty of cash.
Shipyards Night Market (15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver)
Although it has beautiful hikes and picture-perfect scenery during the day, the North Shore tends to have a “no fun” reputation after dark. But that changes in the summer with the Shipyards Night Market that runs every Friday (5 to 10 p.m.), composed of artisan businesses, live music, a beer garden, and good food.
In its “hot food alley”, visitors will find more than 30 local food trucks and vendors creating some tasty bites. Newcomers to this year’s event include the vegan double-decker Buddha Bus from Buddha-Full, as well as the Chowdery and Truckin BBQ. Folks who visit after work will be able to satisfy their appetites with tacos, frozen treats, fish and chips, gelato, and much more.
The best way to get to this outdoor attraction is by taking public transit—from downtown, we like to hop on the SeaBus, which gives great views of both shores.