Seven unique vending machines worth seeking out in Metro Vancouver

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      Back in August, TransLink announced a 12-month vending machine pilot at select SkyTrain stops—and we’re not just talking soft drinks and Snickers bars. (Although, no shame to those who like that kind of stuff.) The Metro Vancouver transportation authority decided to partner with small, local eateries to show off the region’s fare and provide ready-to-go meals while you’re—well—on the go.

      Thanks to TransLink’s initiative, select SkyTrain stations now host a variety of vending machines offering everything from gourmet pizzas to Filipino delicacies and even air balloons. Here are a few unique vending machines you won’t want to miss.

      Fresgo by Nicli Pizzeria

      Nicli Pizzeria has been running for two decades strong in Metro Vancouver, serving up Neapolitan pizzas and other italian favourites in North Vancouver and Wesbrook Village. They also had a to-go spot at Stadium–Chinatown Station for a while. At their vending machines at select SkyTrain stations, you’ll find a variety of hot pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, wraps, pastas, and beverages.

      Khaykery Bakery 

      Sweet tooths, rejoice! You’ll find Filipino treats like silvanas (a cashew meringue wafer sandwich filled with buttercream) at the Khaykery Bakery vending machines at Metrotown and Joyce SkyTrain stations. They’re sold in six-pack samplers, so you can share with friends (if you want).

      Da Candy Craze

      Da Candy Craze operates a couple of vending machines in the city, serving up something totally unique—air balloons. Located in Metrotown SkyTrain station, this machine robotically fills air balloons for those running late to the party (or others who just want the whimsy of carrying around balloons)! The company also has a vending machine at the Kids Market in Granville Island, serving up hot-and-ready popcorn.

      Bento Wave by Sushi Mori

      As far as fast food goes, it’s about time we saw something a little healthier than burgers and Cokes. Coquitlam-based sushi fusion eatery Sushi Mori now offers fresh sushi, salads, and Asian teas at its Bento Wave vending machine at Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station on the Evergreen Line. You can get an assortment of nigiri and rolls for $12.

      Art Vending Machine 

      As anyone who’s ever enjoyed any kind of art in Vancouver knows, you’ve got to support local artists. The art vending machine at the Garden Court of the Bentall Centre (Tower 4 at 1055 Dunsmuir Street) does just that, showcasing (and selling) the work of up to 14 local artists at a time, from paintings and sculptures to jewellery and ceramics. Items can range from a single dollar to $60.

      Pop Mart Vending Machine

      It’s practically a bodega on the go at Waterfront Station, where you can grab collectables, toys, action figures, pins, plushies, cups, and phone cases at the Pop Mart vending machine. 

      The Smoothie Machine

      Alright, this one’s a little harder to get to—unless you’re taking an international flight out of YVR. Just througyh security, the Vancouver airport has three new smoothie vending machines that’ll fuel you up with vitamins and minerals. Tap your debit or credit card, and walk away with a fresh-made groovy guava, mango tango, or strawburst smoothie.