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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Eat Your Way Through Vancouver

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5. Oddball Day


L’Abattoir is one of several cocktail destinations in Gastown.  

Spend a day exploring Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood and also its version of the Lower East Side, stacked with galleries, boutiques, lounges, and restaurants. Start with the mandatory photo op in front of Gastown’s steam clock—one of only seven clocks in the world powered by a steam engine—on the corner of Cambie and Water Streets. From there, stroll along neighboring blocks in search of haute fashion and home decor. At Obakki, shop for minimalist, architectural clothing by creative director Treana Peake. Orling & Wu is the place to buy fashionable housewares, such as Atelier NL’s clay plates and bowls, and bedding by Volga Linens. For lunch, make your way down the otherwise derelict Blood Alley to get to the 28-seat Judas Goat Taberna, serving the city’s best Spanish-style tapas—beef tongue with salsa verde, sablefish and heirloom tomato (from $3)—from a tiny open kitchen. Afterward, take in the area’s art offerings: Spirit Wrestler Gallery hosts cross-cultural exhibitions, while Baron Gallery focuses on contemporary pieces. Then wind down with a cocktail made with fresh fruit at Diamond, where the selection is divided into categories of delicate, proper, and notorious. Head to L’Abattoir for dinner, where the rich offerings include pan-fried sweetbreads ($14) and scallop-and-oxtail dumplings ($26). For a nightcap, try the Donald Draper ($10), a mix of bourbon, absinthe, and bitters.


Published on Nov 3, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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