PNW Days 3-5: Vancouver

Hi, happy Wednesday!

Today I’m sharing part two of our PNW trip. If you missed part one in Seattle, click here. If you want to see any other travel posts, click here.

Days 3-5 of our trip were spent in Vancouver, and we drank so much coffee, ate so much food, and walked so many miles! Let’s get to it:


Since we opted to drive from Seattle to Vancouver the night before, we were able to wake up to this beautiful view on Saturday morning:

Hello, gorgeousness! Vancouver is such a lovely city.

We were visiting my aunt and uncle, so we had dinner reservations with them at some of their favorite restaurants around Vancouver each evening. During the day, Nate and I would head out on our own to explore the city.

Vancouver is extremely walkable, so we put on comfy shoes and walked everywhere! The only “public transportation” (and I can hardly call it that…) we took was the ferry we took several times to get across False Creek.

On the first morning, we set out in search of….COFFEE! ( predictable am I?)

49th Parallel is a Vancouver roaster I’ve had many times in Austin, but this was my first time visiting the shop. I had a strawberry buttermilk donut and a capp and enjoyed every bite and sip!

The Vancouver Public Library is massive! It looks like a Colosseum…kinda.

It was the day before the gay pride parade, so the city was decked out in rainbow colors.

No rain, only blue sunny skies! July/August are definitely the best months to visit Vancouver.

Vancouver’s food scene is rich with lots of different ethnicities, and one of the things I’ve been LOVING lately has been ramen. So, I made it my goal to eat at several ramen shops during this trip. The first stop was Marutama Ra-men. Just look at that milky, golden broth…

More walking after lunch! We went across the Granville Bridge, which isn’t the most walkable. Burrard is much more pedestrian friendly and has even better views. But the view from this bridge wasn’t too shabby:

We stopped at Prado Cafe, which was near the base of the bridge. This ranks pretty low on my Vancouver coffee shops list. The girl at the register didn’t know what a “pour over” was. (Btw, there are lots of great coffee shops that don’t serve pour overs, but I think that an employee should probably at least be familiar with the word. ;))

More wandering, more shopping, more snacking! We eventually made our way to Granville Island and browsed around for a while, stopping in stores and drinking beer.

The False Creek Ferry was an easy way to get across False Creek without having to backtrack all the way across the long bridge. It’s about $3.50 per person and the ride is just a few minutes long.

Dinner was at Coquille, one of the hottest new restaurants in Vancouver. We had a delicious dinner at this Gastown restaurant: raw kusshi oysters, dungeness crab and artichoke dip with grilled sourdough, lobster risotto, ahi tuna, ling cod, and glazed sole with mushrooms and summer truffles. Everyone at the table ending up trying little bites of everything so we could taste it all!

[No pics of dinner because I was trying to be off my “blogger mode” as much as possible and take a true break. 😉 ]

After dinner was a slow walk home past Canada Place. This day was so much fun!


We got on some bikes and went out for a morning ride! First stop….any guesses?

Hint: if your guess starts with  “c” and ends with an “offee,” you’re on the right track.

Timbertrain was my favorite coffee shop of the whole trip (including everything I visited in Seattle.) The store is a great little size, has a lovely design aspect, roasts their own wonderful coffee, the baristas were knowledgable and skilled, and the pastries here were so dang good!

I posted a picture on instagram, and Sam Hugh, our wedding photographer from Austin, sent me a message saying that his friend owns this place. Small world, eh?

And then, before our bike ride, we stopped at just one more coffee shop in Gastown: Nemesis Coffee was just a couple blocks from Timbertrain.

It was bright, modern, young. They had great coffee roasters available (like Friedhats from Amsterdam) and a really cool brew bar!

Two cups of coffee later…we were finally ready for our bike ride around Stanley Park.

The park has gotten really crowded these days! It’s totally different from my memories of roller blading around the sea wall 20 years ago when I was a little girl. If you’re trying to do a bike workout, go somewhere else. But if you just want a leisurely touristy activity, this is a great place to enjoy a few miles.

After the bike ride, we had ramen, then (more) ramen for lunch.

Stop 1: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. We had to weave our way through the gay pride parade to get here, which wasn’t easy! Good news: we had a great view of the parade during lunch. 😉

Stop 2: Kintaro Ramen. This one was SO GOOD! The line was about 30 min long, which was good because I was still full from the previous bowl of ramen.

After a lazy afternoon, we headed out for dinner at Nightingale.

Oh, friends… It was all so wonderful! Nightingale does small, shareable plates, so we ordered about 12 of them and shared everything! The baked sweet potatoes with saddler’s smoked bacon and creme fraiche and the cacio e peppe pizza were the two dishes that stood out to me the most.

Post-dinner: cocktails at Uva Wine and Cocktail Bar….

And then a quick stop at Bella Gelatteria on the walk home! (Haha…but not so “quick,” because the line was 45 minutes long!)


This was my favorite day of the whole trip! We booked a kayaking reservation for 9 am, which meant we were awake by 7:30. That’s not early by normal standards, but for vacation, it was the earliest we ever woke up on the entire PNW trip.

We stopped at 49th Parallel for coffee, and they were filming a movie on the street! Apparently a lot of movies are filmed in Vancouver?

Waiting for the ferry to take us to Granville Island. The weather was absolutely perfect! 68 degrees and sunny. I’m a pretty happy lady.

We kayaked around for a couple hours. You know that “last-day-of-vacation” feeling, when you’ve been eating about twice as much as normal for 5 days in a row? It just feels so good to MOVE! At this point, I was mentally planning all the Barre Code classes I would be taking once I got back to Austin. 😉

The kayak rental was on Granville Island, so we just stayed there for lunch. Nate really wanted to eat a whole dungeness crab on this trip, and our research led us to The Lobster Man. 

It’s a whole-sale seafood shop, but they offer to cook it for you there if you can wait. So we bought a whole crab….

Checked out at the register, and were told to come back in 30 minutes!

The Public Market is a very easy place to kill time. I picked up a macaron to snack on (because I actually can’t resist them…), we picked up a Christmas ornament (our souvenir of choice for cities we visit together), and then I ate a lox bagel from Siegel’s Montreal-Style Bagels. 

Oh my soul…. This bagel was about as good as they come! I was even denser and chewier than the $18 bagel I ate in New York this year.

I lost Nate until I headed into Liberty Wines and found him buying a bottle of B.C. rosé and two plastic wine glasses for a little picnic! He’s really good at thinking of fun little ways to make something just a bit more festive. 😉

We wandered back to The Lobster Man to get our (cooked) dungeness crab, found a spot to sit at the harbor, and picked out every little piece of meat while we drank the whole bottle of rosé.

So much happiness.

In the afternoon, we had just a little bit of time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we went back to Gastown to check out two more coffee shops.

Hello, gorgeous colors!

This was a warm afternoon, and lots of the coffee shops didn’t have a/c, so we sat outside for a little breeze. The Birds and the Beets was so warm and toasty, I had to get a cold brew!

Revolver Coffee was packed! I had a pour over, and after snagging a seat inside, I immediately took the coffee outside because it was so stifling in there!

This is the pour over I had, which also happens to be a line from The Life Aquatic that we quote all the time. Ha!

Here you have two very caffeinated vacationers!

I said we were going to visit two coffee shops, but we ended up visiting a third because Timbertrain is just soooo good! So we stopped once more for another cappuccino, this time also getting some waffle sticks for a healthy afternoon snack.

Dinner was at the incredible Blue Water Café, one of my aunt and uncle’s favorite B.C. restaurant. I ate here once before when I last visited in 2012.

Here’s the story about my dish: my aunt told me many times to order the sablefish, that it’s the best thing on the menu, yada yada. But since Nate was ordering it, I really thought it would be best that I get something else so we can try more options. So I ordered the sturgeon.

Big mistake.

Not that it was bad…not at all! If I had never tasted the sablefish, my sturgeon would have been the tastiest thing I had on the entire trip. But the sablefish is a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth piece of fish that is unlike anything I’ve ever tried.

Long story short: if you go to Blue Water Café, order the sable fish.

One final night in Vancouver, watching the sun set from the back patio and dreaming about the next time we’ll get to visit the PNW.


Thanks for stopping by today, friends! I’m certainly no travel blogger (I love being off blogger mode when I travel and I enjoying this precious time with my hubby, rather than live-documenting every detail and carrying my camera equipment with me,) but I love to recap my travels because:

A) It’s fun to share a few little recommendations with you!

B) I always love looking back at past vacations, especially if we’re re-visiting a city and I want to remember something, like that one coffee shop we loved so much in Vancouver…. 😉

Happy Wednesday!

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5 years ago

Loved your trip recap! I can’t wait to visit Vancouver one day and drink all the coffee!! 🙂 I’ve always loved the 49th Parallel beans I’ve gotten from Fleet. We also like to try ramen places when we travel. I have yet to find one that beats Ramen Tatsu-ya (just a few that I think are a close tie). Have you found one?

terra @
5 years ago

Looks like a great trip! I’ve spent a good amount of time in Portland, but haven’t ventured outside of there to any other big cities up there, but I really want to visit Vancouver – so many delicious things to eat and drink!

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