Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours

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During a trip to Vancouver we found ourselves with a day with nothing planned. To fill that day we researched what day trips we could do from Vancouver. We took a look at the map of British Columbia and one city jumped out at us, the iconic ski resort of Whistler. Even though our visit was during the springtime, we knew we still wanted to travel to Whistler.

We didn’t have a rental car and had to explore other options for reaching Whistler. It was our understanding that a train ride in Canada is a great way to see the country’s landscape. As appealing as that sounded a train from Vancouver takes an entire day to reach Whistler and we’d have to spend the night in Whistler. To keep the visit to one day we had only one practical choice, riding a bus service to our destination.

Gray Line Tour Bus - British Columbia, Canada

Gray Line Tour Bus

Gray Line Tours

A few companies offer direct bus service between Vancouver and Whistler but we opted for the tour company Gray Line. Gray Line has a 10-hour tour with stops at Whistler and Shannon Falls. We’d used Gray Line before in other parts of the world and knew how reputable a company they are. By choosing Gray Line we knew we’d have the opportunity to stop at other places besides Whistler and be escorted by a knowledgeable guide.

On the day of our excursion the Gray Line bus arrived at our hotel in the morning. Our driver/tour guide for the day was Jack, a Canadian who’d lived in Vancouver his entire life. After we got on the Gray Line bus Jack continued on to pick up the other tour travelers from their respective hotels. With everyone on board Jack made his way through Downtown Vancouver. Along the way Jack pointed out sights and added historical commentary related to the various regions we passed. At this point in our trip we’d been in Vancouver a few days. The insights provided by Jack added clarity and perspective to the sights and districts we’d seen and visited on the days prior. Once out of Downtown Vancouver the bus made its way to Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, and the main road to Whistler.

Porteau Cove - British Columbia, Canada

Porteau Cove

Howe Sound - Porteau Cove Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

View of Howe Sound from Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Sea to Sky Highway 99

With traffic being light the morning of our tour our driver/tour guide Jack made extra stops along the way to Whistler. These stops were a pleasant surprise since they did not appear on the original itinerary. The first of these stops was Porteau Cove, a provincial marine park. At Porteau Cove locals can camp by the waterfront or launch boats from the dock. Visitors to Porteau Cove see stunning views of Howe Sound, crystal blue water, and towering green trees.   Those lucky enough to visit Porteau Cove after dark can stargaze on cloudless nights. They might even have the chance at viewing the Aurora Borealis during the right parts of the year.

After Porteau Cove we made our way to our first official itinerary stop, the Squamish Adventure Centre. Those traveling through this region with a rental car will want to stop at the Squamish Adventure Centre. The Visitor Centre has information, brochures, and a booking desk for those looking to partake in outdoor activities. Those interested in the history of the First Nations, Canada’s indigenous people, will find informational exhibits throughout the Centre. In addition, the Squamish Adventure Centre has restrooms, a cafe, and a gift shop.

Squamish Adventure Centre - Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Squamish Adventure Centre

Alexander Falls - Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Alexander Falls

Whistler Olympic Park and Alexander Falls

With time still in our favor from the lack of traffic we made an unscheduled detour up a road that leads to the Whistler Olympic Park. The Olympic Park was the location for many of the athletic events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Close to Olympic Park is a waterfall called Alexander Falls. Our bus parked in a gravel lot with access to a viewing platform. Without having to hike we walked to the platform and had a direct view of the waterfall.

As we walked back to the Gray Line bus one of our travel mates pointed out something the rest of us had missed. In a grove of trees a good distance from the parking lot the tops of massive trees were swaying even though there was no breeze. Our eagle-eyed companion had spotted a black bear and her cub that had climbed up to the top of the tree. Although the bears were a good distance from the bus, we could still see them well enough from our location. To see bears in their natural habitat awed the bus full of city folks and we knew we’d gotten more than our money’s worth for this tour.

Whistler Village - Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler Village

Hunter’s Bowl at Stonesedge Kitchen - Whistler Village, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Hunter’s Bowl at Stonesedge Kitchen

Roast Duck Mac N Cheese at Stonesedge Kitchen - Whistler Village, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Roast Duck Mac N Cheese at Stonesedge Kitchen

Whistler Village

From Alexander Falls the Gray Line bus made its way to Whistler Village. The sprawling pedestrian avenues of Whistler Village beckoned us with its stores and restaurants. We’d arrived in Whistler Village at noon and had three hours to ourselves to explore Whistler. Our first order of business was lunch and for that we went to Stonesedge Kitchen. This restaurant prides itself in serving “comfort food” and it did not disappoint. We ordered the Hunter’s Bowl and the Roast Duck Mac N Cheese. The Hunter’s Bowl has venison with rigatoni, mixed in a tomato cream sauce. Besides the dishes we ordered two beers from a local brewery, Whistler Brewing Company. We had the Bear Paw Honey Lager and the Whiskey Jack Ale. The beers paired great with our dishes and we left Stonesedge Kitchen satisfied, renewed, and ready to tackle Whistler Village.

Walk around Whistler Village and you can’t help being smitten with the quaint and charming buildings. Even in springtime the chalet architecture gives you the sense you are in a snowy wonderland. You might think that Whistler Village in the springtime is a ghost town. It turns out the opposite is true as every store and restaurant was open for business with plenty of vacationing folks walking the pedestrian pathways. Even the ski lifts were operational, allowing visitors the chance to reach the top of the mountains for gorgeous views. Plus in the springtime there may still be snow on the top of the mountains and even limited skiing available.

Ski lifts at Whistler Village - Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Ski lifts at Whistler Village

Rebagliati Park - Whistler Village, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Rebagliati Park

Whistler Olympic Plaza

Throughout Whistler Village walkways connect the various hotel properties. These non-strenuous walks take you by roaring streams and tall trees such as those found in Rebagliati Park. Around the various hotels you will find more shops and restaurants. First-time visitors will want to see the Whistler Olympic Plaza. The original use for this location was for the medal ceremonies during the Whistler Olympics. Now people come to Olympic Plaza for concerts, to hangout, relax, and soak in the surrounding views of nature. The Olympic Plaza is home to the Olympic Rings, a perfect photo spot. Near the Olympic Rings are plaques listing each of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games medalists.

Whistler Olympic Plaza - Whistler Village, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler Olympic Plaza

Whistler Olympic Rings - Whistler Village, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler Olympic Rings

Shannon Falls

After an afternoon in Whistler Village we boarded the Gray Line bus and began the ride back to Vancouver. Along the way, again on the Sea to Sky Highway, we stopped at a scenic viewpoint. Here we had panoramic views of snow-capped mountain ranges and fields of green trees. From the viewpoint the bus took us to the last of the scheduled itinerary stops, Shannon Falls. A short walk from the parking lot led us to a viewing platform where we could gaze at the waterfall. We were fortunate that we undertook this tour in the springtime. The recent winter’s snow had melted off the surrounding mountains. That was why the waterfalls, rivers, and creeks we’d encountered during the day’s trips were full of rushing water. Shannon Falls was no exception, and magnificent to view.

Sea to Sky Highway 99 Viewpoint - British Columbia, Canada

Viewpoint along the Sea to Sky Highway 99

Shannon Falls - British Columbia, Canada

Shannon Falls

From Shannon Falls our driver/tour guide Jack drove us back to Vancouver. Along the way he made one last diversion through West Vancouver, offering us views of local neighborhoods and the skyline of Downtown Vancouver. From West Vancouver Jack deposited travelers back to their respective hotels. Everyone one of us left the tour bus with smiles on our faces. Each of these added stops and detours made our trip to Whistler extra special. On a direct bus we’d have seen just Downtown Vancouver and Whistler Village. If you plan on visiting Vancouver and have a day with nothing planned we recommend you explore Whistler with Gray Line Tours.

View of the skyline of Downtown Vancouver from West Vancouver - Vancouver; British Columbia, Canada

View of the skyline of Downtown Vancouver from West Vancouver

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Gray Line Tours - From Vancouver to Whistler

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Porteau Cove Provincial Park: 49.557121, -123.236311
Squamish Adventure Centre: 49.707029, -123.145871
Whistler Olympic Park: 50.139143, -123.113705
Alexander Falls: 50.135199, -123.127904
Whistler Village: 50.115743, -122.956334
Stonesedge Kitchen: 50.114190, -122.956994
Rebagliati Park: 50.115830, -122.950342
Whistler Olympic Plaza: 50.118817, -122.954993
Shannon Falls: 49.669969, -123.156460
West Vancouver: 49.334897, -123.166785
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Porteau Cove Provincial Park
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC, Canada
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Squamish Adventure Centre
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Squamish Adventure Centre, Loggers Lane, Squamish, BC, Canada
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Whistler Olympic Park
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Road, Whistler, BC, Canada
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Alexander Falls
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Alexander Falls, Squamish-Lillooet D, British Columbia, Canada
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Whistler Village
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Whistler Village, BC, Gate Way Drive, Whistler, BC, Canada
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Stonesedge Kitchen
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Stonesedge Kitchen, Whistler, BC, Canada
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Rebagliati Park
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Rebagliati Park, Whistler, BC, Canada
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Whistler Olympic Plaza
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Whistler Olympic Plaza, Village Stroll, Whistler, BC, Canada
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Shannon Falls
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
Shannon Falls, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
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West Vancouver
Visiting Whistler with Gray Line Tours
West Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park

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Next to Vancouver’s West End district lies a massive public space called Stanley Park. Here people commune with nature just minutes from the busy urban city center of Vancouver. Paved paths allow bikers, roller bladders, runners, and walkers the chance to exercise. Fields, picnic areas, and beaches give people a chance to relax in a natural setting. For first timers a visit to Stanley Park is a daunting task, what with over 1,000 acres to explore. It won’t be possible to explore the entire grounds and nothing ruins a vacation more than running out of time. This article will be your guide for spending just a few hours at Stanley Park.

The Stanley Park Bus

Although within walking distance from most of Vancouver’s various districts, save your energy for once you reach Stanley Park. Regardless of where you are starting from in the city the easiest way to reach Stanley Park is by boarding the #19 Bus. The #19 Bus routes through the city on major streets such as Kingsway, Main, Pender, and Georgia. The last two stops on the route headed to Stanley Park are Stanley Park Drive at Pipeline Road and Stanley Park Loop Bay. Although you might be tempted to ride the #19 Bus to either of these stops we recommend getting off at W Georgia and Denman Street. At this stop you’ll be able to catch the start of the Seawall, a pathway that follows along the waterfront.

The Search, a statue near Devonian Harbour Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Search, a statue near Devonian Harbour Park

Seaplane at Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Seaplane at Stanley Park

Stanley Park Trail - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stanley Park Trail

From Bus to Seawall

You’ll exit the #19 Bus at W Georgia and Denman Street, and Devonian Harbour Park. You are at the correct stop if you see a statue of a woman searching through her purse. The artist J. Seward Johnson Jr. sculpted this statue. Known as “The Search”, you’ll often find fresh flowers either in the statue’s hair on in the purse. From the statue continue walking on W Georgia Street with the water and Devonian Harbour Park on your right-hand side. At the point where W Georgia Street becomes Lions Gate Bridge Road use the path that heads straight to the water. Continue to the path that runs along the waterfront and use this path to reach the Seawall.

Harry Jerome statue in Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Harry Jerome statue in Stanley Park

View of Canada Place from Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View of Canada Place from Stanley Park

View of Vancouver from Stanley Park trail - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View of Vancouver from Stanley Park trail

Stanley Park’s Seawall

Walk along the Seawall to appreciate Stanley Park and Downtown Vancouver at the same time. You’ll pass boats docked in Burrard Inlet, the trees of Stanley Park to your left, and the tall skyscrapers of Vancouver across the waters to your right. These stunning views afford wonderful photo opportunities. As you’re taking your pictures you may even see a seaplane sail overhead and land on the waters in front of you. Continue along the Seawall until you see the statue of a runner. This statue is of Harry Jerome who took part in the 1964 Olympics and won Canada a bronze medal for the 100-meter run. From this statue continue walking until you hit a plaque on the Seawall that is the Port of Vancouver lookout.

At the lookout you will have a photo perfect view of Canada Place, the skyscrapers of Vancouver, and maybe even a cruise ship. From here you will walk to the farthest point of Stanley Park that this guide covers, Brockton Point Lighthouse. Built in 1914, from this Lighthouse you will have a view of Lions Gate Bridge in the distance. After you’ve soaked in the view head back the way you came along the Seawall.

Brockton Point Lighthouse in Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Brockton Point Lighthouse in Stanley Park

View of Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View of Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park

Totem Poles in Stanley Park - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Totem Poles

As you’re walking back from the Brockton Point Lighthouse make a right at Stanley Park Drive. Follow the signs to the Totem Poles. You will come upon a grove with eight Totem Poles. A nearby plaque illuminates visitors to the fact that the Totem Poles were coat-of-arms for the British Columbia Indians. According to the plaque Totem Poles are only found in British Columbia and Alaska, which makes it well worth your time to visit this grove. From the Totem Poles make your way back to the Seawall and retrace your steps to the #19 Bus stop.

Time Needed for Stanley Park

Google Maps lists the walking time from the #19 Bus Stop, at W Georgia and Denman Street, to the furthest point in this guide, Brockton Point Lighthouse, at 30 minutes. With that in mind, set aside another 30 minutes for the return walk. Add another hour if you plan to walk at a leisurely pace and will stop for photographs. This guide should take you around two hours to complete.

 

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Stanley Park

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Bus 19 Stop - W Georgia and Denman Street: 49.292903, -123.133972
Pedestrian Path to Seawall: 49.295072, -123.136042
Harry Jerome statue : 49.298137, -123.119166
Port of Vancouver lookout: 49.300201, -123.116398
Brockton Point Lighthouse: 49.300882, -123.117030
Totem Poles: 49.299248, -123.120802
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Bus 19 Stop - W Georgia and Denman Street
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Devonian Harbour Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Pedestrian Path to Seawall
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Harry Jerome statue
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Port of Vancouver lookout
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Brockton Point Lighthouse
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Brockton Point Lighthouse, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Totem Poles
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park
Totem Poles, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Vancouver’s Granville Island

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Granville Island in Vancouver is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Set along the waters of False Creek, Granville Island offers visitors scenic views. Spend the day shopping or eating at the various stalls within the Public Market or in the surrounding buildings. Unwind while perusing galleries or drinking beer at the Granville Island Brewery. Enjoy the waterfront while strolling along nearby Island Park Walk. Granville Island has so much to offer that tourists will find it one of the top highlights of their trip.

Getting to Granville Island

Tourists planning to visit Granville Island will arrive either by car, bus, or boat. Granville Island is accessible by car but you will be fighting with other drivers for the few parking spots available. The better plan is to arrive at Granville Island by bus or by boat. To get from Downtown to Granville Island you will board the #50 bus. The route for bus #50 runs through various Vancouver districts. Visitors staying in and around Gastown, Chinatown, Downtown, or Yaletown will take bus #50 southbound. Hop on the #50 bus labeled False Creek via Granville Island and exit at the W 2 Ave at Anderson Street stop. From the bus stop it will be a four-minute stroll to Granville Island via Old Bridge Walk.

A unique way to reach Granville Island is via boat on the waters of False Creek. Two boat companies sail along False Creek, Aquabus and False Creek Ferry. Both boat companies have eight docking locations along the waters of False Creek. You can catch one of the boats in popular tourist locations such as Yaletown or near BC Place at the Plaza of Nations. Boats land at each of the docks every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait very long to catch the next boat. The simplest thing to do is arrive at the dock and hop on to whichever boat company arrives first.

Once on board you’ll pay the driver the fare to ride the boat. The boats hold between twelve and twenty passengers at a time. Passengers sit on benches next to windows so everyone has a view during the ride. The boats sail quietly along the waters of False Creek and offer a relaxing journey while sailing past the buildings of Vancouver. Exit the boat at the Granville Island dock. From the dock you are steps away from the main building for the Granville Island Public Market.

Granville Island Public Market

The most popular place to visit on Granville Island is the Public Market. Inside this building you will find a vast array of vendors. You can buy baskets of various fruits or bouquets of flowers. Other vendors sell pastries and bread still warm from the oven. Locals decide between fresh pasta and ravioli to bring home to cook later. It’s easy to check off your grocery list at the Public Market.

A few vendors at the Public Market sell food products you can eat on site. Lee’s Donuts is a must for those with an inclination towards fried dough. The Honey Dip Donut is a popular choice and tastes delicious. Enjoy your food with a cup of coffee from either JJ Bean or Petit Ami. If you are in the mood for more pastries and heartier fare stop at Laurelle’s Fine Foods. Laurelle’s is a bakery deli that sells meat pies and muffins. The dough on the meat pies flake right off and melt in your mouth.

Next to the Public Market are more buildings full of shops, galleries, and other food options. Those who wish to sample a local beer will want to swing by Granville Island Brewing. To maximize your tasting opportunity order a flight which allows you to sample up to four different beers. The Island Lager is their original beer and a fan favorite. For a true Canadian experience be sure to sample the Maple Shack Cream Ale. In addition to beer Granville Island Brewing offers a food menu with dishes such as poutine.

Island Park Walk

After you’re finished with Granville Island head to nearby Island Park Walk. This path just on the other side of Granville Island offers views of Granville Island plus residential homes and boats docked at the harbor. The path is especially stunning in the fall time when the leaves have changed colors. Here along the path visitors can dream of living next to Granville Island. Imagine waking up on a weekend morning and heading over to pick up items for brunch at the Public Market.

If daydreaming leaves you famished, at the end of Island Park Walk you will find Go Fish. This popular eatery sells quality seafood dishes from a simple shack. For fried golden perfection order the classic fish and chips. Or try the fish sandwich with either seared ahi tuna or salmon. Afterwards take Island Park Walk back the way you came towards either the #50 bus or to the Ferry Creek docks to catch the next boat home.

 

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Granville Island

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Granville Island 49.270622, -123.134741 Overview of Vancouver, Canada and Vancouver’s Granville Island

 

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Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination

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Food and Traveling

A tourist’s travel time is finite in that when we travel our trip has a defined beginning and end. We book our flights and know ahead of time how many days we will spend in a city. To maximize our time we plan our days and list out attractions to visit. We make concessions and leave places off our list but what can’t be missed out on is eating. Whether we admit it or not, eating is one of the main reasons we travel.

As food becomes a bigger part of our travels, the struggle becomes trying to cram in as many eateries as possible within the confines of our trip. Sometimes we eat at a restaurant at the start of our trip that changes our food outlook for the rest of our visit. This restaurant serves food so good it makes every meal afterwards pale in comparison. A restaurant that blows your taste buds away and makes you reconsider your list of other eateries. You planned on eating at different places every meal but you want to return to this one restaurant. In Canada’s British Columbia, Jam Cafe is that restaurant.

To categorize Jam Cafe as just a breakfast joint is an understatement. To classify Jam Cafe as reason enough to travel to Victoria or Vancouver isn’t hyperbole. Jam Cafe alone lifts these Canadian cities into full-blown foodie destinations. To qualify as a foodie destination the city needs restaurants where people will stand in line for hours to get seated. People will wait in line for the chance to sit and enjoy a meal at Jam Cafe. This restaurant holds its own against any of the top foodie restaurants in any major metropolitan city in the world.

Jam Cafe: The First Visit

Our first experience with Jam Cafe was on a five-day trip to Vancouver. On our second day, a Sunday, we were looking for somewhere to grab a hearty breakfast. We wanted a meal that could sustain us for the busy day we’d planned for ourselves. Our hotel was near the stadium, BC Place, which meant scant opportunities for a true breakfast experience. Yet according to Yelp within walking distance on Beatty Street was Jam Cafe.

When we reached Jam Cafe, we saw a line of ten people waiting to enter the restaurant. A true foodie will tell you, a line in front of a restaurant is good news. It’s not that anyone wants to wait to eat but the fact that people will wait means you can expect that whatever you order will be delicious. The goal of leaving a restaurant with a full, happy, and content belly is a worthwhile goal. We soon realized the folks in line were groups of three or more people. Going to Jam Cafe with a group is a great way to try multiple dishes but you must wait longer for a table. As a party of two it enabled us to jump to the front of the line when a smaller table became available. We were lucky, having only had to wait in line for ten minutes.

Our host guided us to our seats and once seated we took time to soak in our surroundings. Jam Cafe is one of those places that invoke a sense of eating at someone’s home. The warm atmosphere of the decor has a quaint rustic tone. Although the restaurant was busy, every single employee we interacted with was friendly to us the entire time we were at Jam Cafe. The friendliness of the staff, the atmosphere, and the high quality dishes combine for an excellent dining experience. With Jam Cafe you’ve got a restaurant you could eat at every day of your trip and be happy.

Here we are six paragraphs in on an article on a restaurant and we haven’t even started in on the actual food. That alone is proof of how Jam Cafe isn’t just a restaurant. It is a travel foodie destination you have to experience for yourself. The words and photos used in this article to describe the food don’t do it justice. Many of the dishes given to patrons are so full of food you could share with someone else and still be well fed. Open daily from 8am until 3pm the menu at Jam Cafe includes breakfast and lunch. Regardless of what time you visit Jam Cafe you can order from either the lunch or breakfast menu.

We were at Jam Cafe because we wanted breakfast so after careful deliberation we decided upon the chicken French toast and the fried chicken Benedict. The chicken French toast is a quintessential foodie dish. It’s a dish where the listed ingredients shouldn’t work together but they do, blending into a mouthful of deliciousness. The chicken French toast includes a buttermilk battered piece of fried chicken on brioche bread. On top of the bread and chicken are tomatoes, pickled cabbage, and green onion. The dish includes a dollop of jalapeno sour cream and over everything is a tobasco honey sauce. These ingredients culminate into a savory food melody for your mouth.

The cousin of the chicken French toast is the fried chicken Benedict. In the center of the Benedict is a whole chicken breast, fried to crispy perfection. Along with the fried chicken the Benedict comes with two poached eggs. The chicken and eggs sit upon an English muffin and comes with a traditional hollandaise sauce. Along with our main courses we ordered a side of biscuit and two coffees. In addition on the table was a bottle of maple syrup, a Canadian staple. The maple syrup added a sweet balance to each dish. It was a struggle not to pour the fresh delicious maple syrup over every bite.

Second Times a Charm at Jam Cafe

We left Jam Cafe so satisfied that even though we only had three more mornings in Vancouver we knew we had to return. On our last day we had an afternoon flight and planned on walking parts of Stanley Park before we had to head to the airport. We figured what better way to fuel up for a walk than to go back to Jam Cafe before taking the bus to Stanley Park. This second visit was midweek, on a Wednesday, and no one was waiting in line. Although seated right away, inside each table had patrons eating with huge smiles on their faces.

We wanted that same expression of joy on our faces and jumped right into the Jam Cafe menu. This time the dilemma was whether we try something new or dive back into what was now the comfort food we’d eaten on our first visit. We decided to try new dishes and ordered the Charlie Bowl and a cinnamon cream cheese swirl pancake. The Charlie Bowl has crumbles of biscuit, hash browns, ham, and cheese. On top of this food goodness were two eggs and a pouring of sausage gravy. The Charlie Bowl comes in two varieties the regular version and the Little Charlie. Both are good size plates and even the Little Charlie serving might leave you with leftovers. The cinnamon cream cheese swirl pancake was a dish that satisfied our sweet tooth. To cap it off, we added a side of sugar-cured bacon to each dish.

With the restaurant not being as busy as on the weekday we chatted with one of the owners of Jam Cafe, Jim Walmsley. It turns out that the Vancouver location is the second Jam Cafe. The first opened in Victoria, British Columbia. The Jam Cafe in Vancouver opened early 2016 and in just a few months had amassed a popular following of devoted foodies. Even without having to advertise the restaurant finds itself busy with a constant flow of diners.

Our second visit to Jam Cafe was coming to an end and this time around we weren’t able to finish our meals. The Little Charlie we’d ordered had leftovers we got boxed up to go. That precious food box made its way with us on the plane ride home. We couldn’t miss out on every last bite of the meals we’d ordered. Lucky for us when we got home the food was still edible. In the comforts of our own home we enjoyed our last bites of Jam Cafe. If we ever go back to Vancouver, we know we will have multiple meals at Jam Cafe.

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Jam Cafe

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Jam Cafe - Vancouver: 49.280234, -123.109717
Jam Cafe - Victoria: 48.430392, -123.367745
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Jam Cafe - Vancouver
Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination
Jam Cafe, Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Jam Cafe - Victoria
Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination
Jam Cafe, Herald Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Vancouver Dining

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Vancouver dining reflects the diversity that embodies the city. Within the various neighborhoods that make up Vancouver visitors will find every cuisine imaginable. This article aims to help travelers in choosing which restaurants to visit. Listed below are six of the best eateries in Vancouver. Each of these Vancouver dining options in this article embodies a different eating experience. From fine dining to food trucks, no one will ever leave Vancouver hungry.

Blue Water Cafe – Fine Dining in Vancouver

Being next to the Pacific Ocean means any Vancouver dining list must include at least one restaurant that serves high quality seafood. For the freshest seafood and a fine dining experience look no further than Blue Water Cafe. Here you will experience top-notch service from a knowledgeable wait staff. The menu includes a plethora of seafood caught in local waters. The chefs create each dish with extreme care. These chefs understand that eating is more than sustenance. For those that enjoy oysters Blue Water Cafe’s extensive menu won’t disappoint. The seafood tasting for two is a perfect way to sample four different seafood dishes. Although not a traditional Japanese restaurant, the sushi rolls and sashimi are delicious. The main course seafood selections range from scallops to lobster to local fish such as the sablefish. Other than seafood Blue Water Cafe’s menu includes steak and chicken options.

Chatime – For When You Need a Drink Break

Walk the many streets of Vancouver and you’re bound to get thirsty. When it’s time for a drink break stop by one of Chatime’s two Vancouver locations. Chatime proclaims itself as being the world’s number one place to get bubble tea. Although the title for world’s number one is always up for debate, Chatime is in the discussion for a good reason. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan and is a tea based drink served with milk and either tapioca balls or fruit jellies. Chatime brews their tea fresh in store and that freshness is found in every sip you take. Natural ingredients and natural flavors combine to make sure that your drink will be delicious. Besides Vancouver Chatime has a store in the nearby cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey. Other than Canada, Chatime is available in ten other countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the United States.

Dinesty Dumpling House – A Chinese Restaurant Beyond Chinatown

To search for a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown is akin to searching for hay in a haystack. The trick is finding a good Chinese restaurant in parts of the city not designated a part of Chinatown. When the craving for Chinese food hits you and you’re on Vancouver’s busy Robson street head to Dinesty Dumpling House. Dinesty specializes in Shanghai style Chinese dishes. One of the more popular dishes is their Xiao Long Bao, dumplings filled with soup and meat. Diners can watch employees of Dinesty through large glass windows as they wrap the dumplings for each Xiao Long Bao order. Dinesty’s menu features traditional Chinese dishes and snacks. Other dishes worth ordering include spicy wontons, string beans with pork, and deep-fried prawns. Keep in mind that besides the Robson location Dinesty has three restaurants in Richmond and one in Burnaby.

Guu – Japanese Izakaya

With six locations in Vancouver, Guu has cornered the market on Japanese izakaya dining. Izakaya’s are Japanese pub style restaurants where diners order a variety of small plates. This tapas style dining experience makes Guu a great place for dining with a group. The more people in your party the more dishes you can order and try out. With Guu’s extensive menu making selections will be a difficult task. A refreshing seafood choice is the Tuna Tataki. The chefs sear the fish in this dish and serve it with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. Another popular dish is the melt in your mouth Kakuni, known as pork belly. For noodles order the Yaki Udon. Those that enjoy beer will find Guuud Ale intriguing. This beer is a joint venture between Guu and the Russell Brewing Company. This beer is a perfect pairing fit with any dish you order.

Japadog – Street Food

Vancouver dining isn’t regulated to just restaurants. Along the streets of Vancouver you will find various food trucks. Before today’s food obsessed culture only the bravest of travelers dared to order food from a food truck. Times have changed and now food trucks lead the way in innovative cooking. Culinary fusion is at the forefront of many street food chefs. Japadog is no exception, serving Japanese style hot dogs. Each menu item is a twist on a traditional Japanese dish joined with a hot dog. A first reaction upon seeing the creations at Japadog might be curiosity. The moment you take your first bite any worry you might have had vanishes. The various flavors blend to form one perfect bite after another. Within Vancouver Japadog operates four stands, a truck, a trailer, and one store. Visit any location for a great food truck culinary experience.

Tim Hortons – Canadian’s Popular Restaurant Chain

For a Vancouver dining experience that screams Canada visit Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is one restaurant chain you won’t be able to avoid while visiting British Columbia.   In Vancouver alone you will find twenty Tim Hortons stores. Even those that have never been to Canada might have seen a Tim Hortons add while watching a hockey game. Tim Hortons may well be as synonymous with Canada these days as the maple leaf. You’ll even find two Tim Hortons at the Vancouver International Airport. Tim Hortons sells coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Lovers of donuts will enjoy Tim Hortons bakery selections. Their donuts are soft and fluffy, regardless of which chain you visit. Since you’re in Canada, be sure to try one of the maple-flavored donuts.

 

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Vancouver Dining

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Blue Water Cafe: 49.276155, -123.121129
Chatime: 49.286649, -123.128278
Dinesty Dumpling House: 49.290780, -123.134073
Guu: 49.284008, -123.125433
Japadog: 49.280244, -123.118355
Tim Hortons: 49.193316, -123.181198
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Blue Water Cafe
Vancouver Dining
Blue Water Cafe, Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chatime
Vancouver Dining
Chatime Robson, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dinesty Dumpling House
Vancouver Dining
Dinesty Dumpling House, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Guu
Vancouver Dining
Kitanoya Guu Original Thurlow, Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Japadog
Vancouver Dining
JAPADOG, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Tim Hortons
Vancouver Dining
Tim Hortons, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Domestic and International Terminals, Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC, Canada

 

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Overview of Vancouver, Canada

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Ask ten different people what their favorite thing to do in the Canadian city of Vancouver is and you are likely to get ten different answers. The reason you get varied responses stems from the fact that few places in the world compare to Vancouver. To the casual observer Vancouver is just another metropolitan city. Yet Vancouver differs from other major cities because it embodies diversity. In one day visitors can hike Stanley Park in the morning and then shop Downtown among the masses in the afternoon. Foodies buy produce at Granville Island one moment and enjoy fine dining in Yaletown the next. Convention goers attend meetings at Canada Place and then lounge waterside at English Bay Beach. Tourists walk historic Gastown before slurping noodles in Chinatown. These dichotomies exist in harmony with the diverse people of Vancouver.

With something for everyone Vancouver as a tourist destination appeals to even the most discerning of travelers. First time travelers looking at a map of Vancouver might notice that the city looks like an oyster shell. As anyone who loves oysters knows, you’ll want to crack that shell open and dig into what Vancouver offers. Vancouver isn’t a difficult city to navigate but the easiest way to get oriented is to begin somewhat in the middle of the city in the Downtown district. Downtown is home to the financial and business districts of the city. Among the skyscrapers you will find the Vancouver Central Library. This stunning building is an architectural contrast to the stark skyscrapers. In Downtown you’ll want to make your way to Robson Street. This is one of the main thoroughfares in Vancouver and stretches the length of the city.

On one end of Robson Street is BC Place, a stadium where one can catch either a sporting or musical event. Continuing on and around Robson Street you’ll find a variety of shops. A number of the stores are global brands but a few, such as Roots, are Canadian brands. Few tourists will walk the entirety of Robson Street, but those that do wind up at Stanley Park. If you don’t wish to walk, or don’t have a car, you will reach Stanley Park by bus. Stanley Park is a massive public space with paved paths for bicyclists, roller bladders, and walkers. Here visitors enjoy trees, totem poles, and the waters of the Vancouver Harbour.

To the east of Downtown you will find Canada Place. If you arrived by cruise ship, you will have most likely disembarked at this spot. Besides being a cruise ship terminal, Canada Place is home to a convention center and hotel. Near Canada Place is the oldest neighborhood in the city, the historic Gastown. First time tourists visit Gastown at least once, to see the Steam Clock and a chance to shop for souvenirs. Next to Gastown is Canada’s largest Chinatown. Vancouver’s Chinatown traces its history back to 1885 and to this day is full of shops and restaurants. While in Chinatown you will want to visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This tranquil spot is a wonderful place to recharge and center oneself.

West of Downtown, in simplest terms, is synonymous with food. The regions of the West End and Yaletown are quintessential foodie neighborhoods. Here you will find well-established diners among up and coming restaurants. Further west, across the waters of False Creek, is Granville Island. Here at the Granville Island Public Market are vendors galore. Visitors can buy fresh produce, straight out of the oven breads and pastries, and a plethora of other food products.

Regardless of how you spend your time in Vancouver you will find navigating the city easy. Those who enjoy walking will find wide avenues and flat surfaces. Bus routes traverse throughout the entire city. Ferries sail to Granville Island or further afield to places such as the city of Victoria. Vancouver’s rapid transit system, SkyTrain, runs through parts of Downtown. The SkyTrain connects Vancouver to the cities of Burnaby, New Westminister, Surrey, and Richmond. For those arriving in Vancouver by airplane, the SkyTrain’s Canada Line will get you from Vancouver International Airport to your destination in no time.

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Vancouver

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Vancouver Central Library: 49.279754, -123.115679
Robson Street: 49.284605, -123.124824
BC Place: 49.276750, -123.111999
Stanley Park: 49.298319, -123.137684
Canada Place: 49.289124, -123.116498
Gastown: 49.282808, -123.106688
Chinatown: 49.280600, -123.100553
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: 49.279649, -123.103913
West End: 49.285646, -123.130621
Yaletown: 49.275702, -123.119907
Granville Island: 49.270622, -123.134741
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Vancouver Central Library
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Public Library- Central Branch, West Georgia Street, Central, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Robson Street
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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BC Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
BC Place, Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Stanley Park
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
and
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park

Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Canada Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Convention Centre West Building, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Gastown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chinatown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Chinatown, East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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West End
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
West End, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Yaletown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Granville Island

Overview of Vancouver, Canada
and
Vancouver’s Granville Island


Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

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