6 food trends in Vancouver to try in 2018

by Sharon Miki

Getting tired of those tried-and-true menu items? Had your fill of poke and acai bowls? Make 2018 your most delicious year yet with these tasty food trends in Vancouver. [Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Liberty Distillery]

6 food trends in Vancouver to try in 2018

Floral flavours

What’s the freshest (and perhaps the prettiest) food trend blossoming in Vancouver for 2018? Florals. Flowers have a rich history of adding botanical flavour and colour to traditional dishes –  think rose water in Persian cuisine, dried lily flowers in Chinese soups and squash blossoms in Italian dishes – but they’re seeing a new boom this year, bringing aroma and zest to salads, savoury dishes and cocktails in the form of rose, hibiscus, lavender, elderflower and more.

  • Where to find it: Botanist at The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel (1038 Canada Place)
  • Try: The What The Flower from their Flowers + Trees cocktail menu (a mix of gin, electric daisies, cherry blossom tea, lemon, ginger and cardamom)

Vegan gelato

Living that plant-based life, but still want a creamy treat? Dairy-free gelato is no longer just wishful thinking for sweet-toothed vegans and the lactose averse. Made with other trendy ingredients (think cashews, coconut milk and hemp seeds) as dairy-free bases, vegan gelato is a versatile treat. Look for non-dairy alternatives to traditional ice cream or Italian gelato to become a new dessert staple in the city.

  • Where to find it: Umaluma (235 East Pender Avenue)
  • Try: Vanilla Vanilla for a vegan twist on a classic taste or Strawberry Malbec for a refreshing bite

Grain-to-glass spirits

Going organic takes on a whole new spirit this year in Vancouver. Whether used in cocktails or enjoyed in their traditional form, grain-to-glass, handcrafted spirits satisfy a thirst for more local products. “People are paying a lot more attention to where their food and beverages come from…people are looking for local every chance the get,” explains Angie Quaale of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store. “It’s exciting to see the grain-to-glass movement growing with local craft beer and distilleries, and you’re just going to see that continue to grow and improve.”

  • Where to find it: The Liberty Distillery (1491 Old Bridge Street on Granville Island)
  • Try: The Liberty Flight, a flight of four half ounce servings of B.C. organic spirits including Truth Vodka, Railspur No. 1 Unaged White Whiskey, Endeavour Gin and Trust Whiskey

Middle Eastern tastes

Hummus, tahchin, tabbouleh…oh my! Rich in aroma and offering a variety of healthy and vegetarian options, the cuisine of the Middle East is making a splash in Vancouver. Whether you go for fine dining or casual restaurants, Middle Eastern flavours will call your name this year.

  • Where to find it: Nuba (207 West Hastings Street, 146 East 3rd Avenue, 508 Davie Street and 3116 West Broadway)
  • Try: La Feast, a two-course mezze sampler to share featuring hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanooj, pickled cabbage, fattoush salad, Najib’s special (crispy cauliflower), falafel, mjadra, vegan stew, Macedonian feta and marinated olives

Breakfast in a bowl

Gone are the days when avocado toast ruled the brunch table. In 2018, breakfast decadence is all about breakfast bowls with a twist. For a distinctive taste and experience, this year’s breakfast bowls are pairing classic western breakfast food basics like eggs, meat and potatoes with unusual elements like kimchi and soy sauce.

  • Where to find it: Breakfast Table (1481 West Broadway)
  • Try: Coffee-crusted pork belly hash, a one-of-a-kind union of pork belly, Milano bourbon coffee, sunny-side-up eggs and veggies

Ready-to-eat cookie dough

Ah, nostalgia. Remember those rainy days spent baking cookies with family? Remember sneaking a lick of the batter from the bowl? There is a brand new, specially-formulated ready-to-eat cookie dough, made without raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients, so you can capture those flavours and memories of eating batter by the spoonful without feeling sick to your stomach. Eaten on its own or incorporated into desserts, it’s one sweet trend to look forward to.

  • Where to find it: Well Seasoned (117-20353 64 Avenue, Langley)
  • Try: Classic chocolate chip ready-to-eat cookie dough
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