This week we were cruising around in the Mazda CX-5, a great everyday vehicle that can get you from point A to B, and all the stops in between with no issue. This is one of their more basic models, making it an ideal starting vehicle for newer drivers, at a very reasonable price point.
It is equipped with all the new standard amenities in tow. Its interface is easy to navigate with clear push buttons. The heating and cooling seat option is within able reach. And most importantly for many young drivers, the CX-5 boasts a quality sound system with clear speakers. With the volume on high and the windows cranked down, you cannot hear any of the cars passing by. You feel secluded in your bubble with ample cabin room for comfort traveling. It even has an off-road option and sports mode for specialized outings.
I did have an issue with the arm rest (out of personal preference), it would have been more comfortable with a raised centre console and a more fulsome cushion, for extra support.
This would become our mode of transport as we zoom zoom-ed around Vancouver’s Chinatown highlighting our favourite spots.
Truth be told, Chinatown is one of the areas I frequent with many great drinking holes and dining options. It was hard to narrow my favourites down, so this is more of a round-up highlighting my most frequented Chinatown stops.
130 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3, Canada
Arguably the best place for Chinese BBQ in the lower mainland and tri-cities. Whenever in the area or given the excuse, we find ourselves here for a meal. The meats and sauces require time to prepare so are pre-made ready when you order it. Kept warm underheat lamp and topped with still steaming white rice. I typically get the 2 two meat combos over rice to be able to have all the meats per single meal: soy chicken, BBQ duck, roast pork, and BBQ pork. I visit so often that I have even branched out and begun trying their other menu items like the marinated jellyfish and curry beef brisket. I am sure I will complete their entire menu one day.
223 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2T9, Canada
What seems like the originator or contributing factor the popularity of Korean style cream filled doughnuts in Vancouver. Known for their fluffy yeast-based dough and various cream stuffed fillings done seasonally. This is their original location, but they have since opened a new one downtown.
Foo Hung Curios
168 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3, Canada
Located in Chinatown’s Storytelling Centre, I have only just recently discovered Chinatown’s official gift shop. It is filled with the cute and the kitschy. From dim sum candles, to soy sauce enamel pins, and Chinese dish ware printed wrapping paper to keep sake greeting cards with illustrations of Chinatown’s most popular historical buildings. There is so much that you want to buy for you and/or a friend. They have seen much popularity after the release of Boba Grizzly and Raptor apparel, bringing Canadian pride to bubble tea fanatics.
The Irish Heather Shebeen
248 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6, Canada
With one of the most extensive listings of whiskeys from all around the world, this bar is a must for any enthusiast. Order them by the sniffer or try one of their curated flights, theme after airline travel. Be warned, they do dabble in the rare and the extraordinary, so be prepared to pay for what you get.
250 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T7, Canada
One of the city’s largest collections of vegan and plant-based food stuffs and products are all assembled here for easy browsing. They also carry an curated assortment of locally baked good for sale and on the go snacking.
Kevin & Kevin
488 Gore Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 2Z6, Canada
The name does not lead much to what it is. This cafe goes from an AM healthy juice bar and vegan cafe to a late-night cocktail bar with classy vegan small plates. A great casual place to meet up at. Be sure to grab a seat in one of their indoor swings for a different dining and drinking experience.
Treasure Green Tea Company
227 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6, Canada
Looking to spruce up your tea collection, upgrade your teatime, or learn more about what goes into your cup? Look to the award-winning Treasure Green Tea Company for exotic blends, tea leafs procured from the highest mountains and furthest peaks, plus all the serve ware to steep and sip them properly in. A unique and educational tea experience with knowledgeable staff to help guide. Spot them by their counter booth set up outside the shop for ice cold tea shaken to go.
The Keefer Bar
135 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3, Canada
This is one of my favourite bars to recommend for its unique medicinal and Chinese apothecary theme. Kept tight, dark, and gloomy with X-rays used for lighting and IV drips for decoration. They host a large collection of modern and specialty cocktails organized by their characteristics. And they have more recently expanded their space into their yard, a complete light versus dark transformation from their bar. Keefer Yard is a brightly lit space with nature lighting and pop art graffiti. Serving blended drinks and tropical vibes, with the add-on option of mini putt.
New Town Bakery
148 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3, Canada
Well before its appearance in the Netflix movie “Always be my Maybe”, New Town has been a staple for many Vancouverites. And my go to for what I believe are the best steamed buns in all the Lower Mainland. My favourite is the Dai Bao, a big bun stuffed with “everything”. A Frankenstein meat loaf filling with BBK pork, salted egg, and sausage for those who want it all. All their baked buns are great too. I am most partial to their sweet BBQ pork bun with its honey glaze inside and outside the bun.
The Chickadee Room
182 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4, Canada
For gluten-free fried chicken and cocktails shaken and stirred by one of Vancouver’s most decorated bartenders, this one stop hot spot is a must, especially as they now have added cheddar chicken jalapeno corn dogs to their menus.