Tip to the Cypress Mountain crowd—dinner in West Van beats early Sunday evening traffic tie-ups

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      Live cameras on the Cypress Mountain website are showing that it's another busy Sunday. 

      This means that immediately after darkness descends, outdoor adventurers will inevitably find themselves caught in long lineups to cross the Lions Gate and Ironworkers bridges. 

      Winter North Shore traffic tie-ups in the late afternoon and early evening have been among the worst in the region since the pandemic began.

      Who knew that it could be bumper-to-bumper going down sleepy 11th Street in West Van?

      That's become the reality as aprés-ski motorists try to stay off the even more crowded Taylor Way.

      But there's a way to ease the pain of gridlock—and that's by avoiding the bridges during the prime rush hours and going out for a bite in West Van.

      Here are four recommendations.

      If you like Indian cuisine, Swad Indian Kitchen (1734 Marine Drive) offers a spicy fix in an upscale atmosphere. The chicken lollipops even made it into the Georgia Straight's Best of Vancouver issue.

      Those who prefer French food and white tablecloths can drop by Chez Michel (1373 Marine Drive).

      Across the street, Heirloom Ambleside (1390 Marine Drive) is an ideal casual eatery for vegetarians and vegans. The meatless cheeseburger may be a little messy to eat but it's delicious.

      But if beef is your thing—and you feel you need a carnivore's delight after a day on the mountain—there's always the Beach House Restaurant (150 25th Street). It's not cheap, but the steak frites served with garlic bread and a heaping plate of fries will kill any snowboarding-induced hunger pangs.

      By the time you finish dining at any of these establishments, the traffic will have melted like the snow in spring, making for a much more pleasant drive home.