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Vancouver

Montreal Smoked Meat at Dunn’s

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Smoked meat sandwiches reign supreme at Dunn's Famous

Smoked meat sandwiches reign supreme at Dunn’s Famous

Up there with hockey and maple syrup is another of Canada’s favourite things: Montreal smoked meat. The famed sandwiches have a near-cult following—and it’s easy to see why. At Dunn’s Famous, the vintage-style deli serves beef brisket that’s brined, dry-cured and slow-cooked in the country’s smoked meat mecca, all before arriving in a delicious heap between rye bread. One bite, and you’ll be a convert, too. Round out this slice of Montreal flavour with latkes, matzoh ball soup and poutine.

Break-Up Socks

By SHERI RADFORD

Say "Buh-Bye" to your boyfriend with these sassy socks

Say “Buh-Bye” to your boyfriend with these sassy socks

If it’s time to ditch that dud of a boyfriend, why risk a long, drawn-out confrontation? Instead, say “Be My Ex,” “Buh Bye,” “Bite Me” and “2 Bad for You” with a sassy pair of “It’s You” socks from Instance. These socks were made for walking—right out the door and into the arms of a super new sweetheart. Find them at Walrus.

Gem of a Store: Lao Feng Xiang

By SHERI RADFORD

Find sparklers of all sorts at Lao Feng Xiang on Alberni Street

Find sparklers of all sorts at Lao Feng Xiang on Alberni Street

Gold and diamonds and pearls, oh my! Whether the celebration is a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day or no occasion at all, you can’t go wrong with a gift of jewels. Lao Feng Xiang, one of China’s oldest jewellery brands, recently opened its first Canadian store, right here in Vancouver. Find out for yourself why it’s been popular with luxury shoppers ever since. Ready, set, spend.

East Meets West: Chinese New Year

In honour of Chinese New Year on Feb. 8, we present our top ways to experience the best of Chinese culture in Metro Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen  Classical Chinese  Garden. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/iStock)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. (Photo: ©Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/iStock)

Ring in the year of the monkey at the 43rd Chinatown Spring Festival Parade, which winds its way through downtown on Feb. 14. Gung hay fat choy! (more…)

New and Improved: Brix & Mortar

By SHERI RADFORD

Bring friends to indulge in Brix & Mortar's revamped menu. (Photo: Joann Pa)

Bring friends and indulge in Brix & Mortar’s revamped menu. (Photo: Joann Pa)

Savvy celebrities always know when it’s time for a facelift, and the newly expanded and renamed Brix & Mortar is no exception. It kept the features that made Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar a Yaletown favourite for over 15 years—award-winning wine list, glass-covered courtyard—and introduced a new menu and revamped cocktail list. Tip: try the pickled pineapple pork belly, and wash it down with a Shooting Tsar.

Spiritual Journey: MOA’s (In)visible Exhibit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“Miao” by Li Jiun-Yang

“Miao” by Taiwanese artist Li Jiun-Yang

Take a trip into another world—no passport required—at the Museum of Anthropology’s (In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art (to Apr. 3). Ghosts, spirits and deities reign supreme in Taiwan, a tiny island nation with a fascinating history. For millennia, trade and colonialism have contributed to the complex spiritual landscape, which encompasses Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and animism, to name just a few. Now, seven artists explore the otherworldly through art, such as Li Jiun-Yang’s “Miao” (pictured), an installation piece that resembles a Buddhist temple. Certainly a worthy addition to any itinerary.

Hy’s Steakhouse is Raising the Bar

By TIM PAWSEY

Wash down a jumbo prawn cocktail and smoked bacon sliders with (from L-R) an Old Fashioned, a Gin Fizz and a (still being mixed) Manhattan. (Photo: KK Law)

Wash down a jumbo prawn cocktail and smoked bacon sliders with (from L-R) an Old Fashioned, a Gin Fizz and a (still being mixed) Manhattan. (Photo: KK Law)

The city’s longest-running steakhouse never sported a true bar—until now. Once reserved for private events only, the second-floor space above the venerable main room of Hy’s has been tastefully refurbished to include a full bar as well as a panelled lounge beyond sliding doors, which can be closed for privacy as needed. On the menu: cocktail classics with modern flair and highlights from the group’s 60-year history, such as prawn cocktails, Dungeness crab cakes and cheese toast.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

A Toast to Juniper

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Head to Juniper for the Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Newly launched Juniper is shaking up Chinatown with a potent mix of charisma, cocktail creativity and Cascadia-inspired, down-home dishes. The spirited space features Pacific Northwest flavours that range from Fraser Valley pork to juniper-cured salmon, and lively libations such as no-nonsense negronis—on tap, no less—regional wines, and over 30 gins for matching with an array of aromatic tonics. We’ll raise a glass to that (mostly so we can order another).

Shark Club’s Winning Strategy

By SHERI RAFORD

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Left sitting on the bench? Not this sports bar. Shark Club is back in the game and better than ever after a year and a half of extensive renovations, including a new look, revamped menu, expanded selection of beers, and creative cocktails dreamed up by some of Vancouver’s top mixologists—plus 59 televisions and two huge media walls. Game on!

Coastal Canadiana: Timber

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Chris Whittaker serves up a bison burger with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles, at Timber. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Chris Whittaker serves up a bison burger with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles, at Timber. (Photo: KK Law)

With its logging-themed decor—complete with Swedish saws and welcoming stuffed beaver at the door—Timber offers a tongue-in-cheek salute to BC’s lumber industry, with a slice of retro on the plate. Casual choices include mushroom poutine, a substantial bison burger, chilli-and-maple-glazed chicken wings, fish ’n’ chips, and elk tourtière, all perfect for pairing with an array of good local brews and wines.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Handmade with Love: Bamboletta

By SHERI RADFORD

Kids can't resist cuddling with the cute creations from Bamboletta

Kids love cuddling the cute creations from Bamboletta

Who can resist the cute creations from Bamboletta? A labour of love for owner Christina Platt, who moved to Vancouver last year, along with her team of more than 35 women who work from home on Vancouver Island, the small company handcrafts each one-of-a-kind doll using high-quality natural fabrics that are sourced locally as much as possible. Stuffed with local wool, the dolls sport colourful hair made from raw yarns that are hand-dyed and hand-spun. Despite price tags of up to $375, Bamboletta dolls have become so popular that they often sell out within minutes. Don’t fret: new ones appear on the website every Friday at noon, plus at random times on Mondays and Wednesdays. Find your child’s new favourite bedtime companion at www.bamboletta.com.

The Cat’s Meow

By SHERI RADFORD

Cuddle kitties and sip coffee at Vancouver's first cat cafe. (Photos: Sheri Radford)

Cuddle kitties and sip coffee at Vancouver’s first cat cafe. (Photos: Sheri Radford)

Vancouver’s first cat cafe has the purr-fect combination of coffee to sip and kitties to cuddle. Read the rules and wash your hands before entering Catfé, temporary home to between eight and 12 rescue cats, all available for adoption from the BC SPCA. Then settle in for some quality feline time. It’s the cat’s pyjamas.