Vancouver: Granola? How About Sushi?


I live in a city where infinity is trumped by a wall of statuesque mountains. The salty smell of the Pacific Ocean hits me in rush-hour traffic. Farmers’ fields are the same distance from downtown as the nearest Ikea. My city is defined by its staggering beauty, and those who live here are known to embrace all it has to offer, all year long, because unlike Montreal and Toronto, our glorious bounty isn’t trapped under a sheet of ice between November and March.

But eating local doesn’t mean you have to leave your neighborhood, or even your couch. Companies like Spud! and Organics At Home deliver local organic produce directly to your quarters. From May to October, there are weekly farmers’ markets in four areas throughout the city. And when the temperature drops, the earth still has plenty to give. Apples, kiwis, winter savory, pheasant—these are just some of the items that can be found at monthly markets during the cooler months.

Sadly, big(ger) city folk still think of Vancouverites as Gortex-clad granola gobblers. But that’s only because Vancouver was early to the game of sustainable cuisine. We’ve never considered sustainability to be a gimmick or trend, and now that sensibility is setting us apart—just look at restaurants like Gastropod, Chow, and Fuel, which all pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients, year-round.

Whether it’s taken out or eaten in, sushi is undoubtedly the most popular food in Vancouver. Its sushi rivals that of L.A.’s or Tokyo’s. And sushi restaurants are easier to find than convenience stores in some neighborhoods. Added bonus: Oceanwise, a conservation program started by the Vancouver Aquarium is fast becoming the standard for all restaurants that serve fish in the city.

Finally, Vancouver’s mastery of food isn’t a secret among the locals. The elite of the world’s culinary community are catching on, too. French-born Daniel Boulud partnered with Lumière this year to redo its menu. Superstar chef Jean-George Vongerichten chose Vancouver to launch his first Canadian restaurant, Market, which opened in January.

So—to eloquently conclude—Toronto and Montreal can take their granola and choke on it.

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