AHLOT City Guide: Vancouver

Updated: Feb 19, 2019



In honour of our Cannabis Collections: Discovery Series Vol.1™ launching in BC later this week, we asked our friends on the West Coast for recommendations of fun things to do around Vancouver! Since it's the week of Chinese New Year, don't be surprised to find some CNY inspired activities.


We’re all too familiar with the stereotype that’s been thrust upon cannabis users, but we know our Thinkers better than that! Cannabis is meant to inspire minds, awaken our senses, heighten our appreciation of nature, and connect us with people.


If you should find yourself waking up in the beautiful city of Vancouver this weekend, here’s how we suggest you spend your day:


Morning:

Up and at 'em, Thinkers! It's a brisk winter morning and you probably let yourself sleep in a little longer than usual. Just make sure to leave some time to enjoy the perfect strain from our Discovery Series™ before heading out to brunch.


Where's brunch this morning you ask? A quaint spot in Railton, known for it's Italian-focused dishes just east of Downtown Vancouver. Not sure where we're talking about? Just Ask For Luigi. Haha...


Consistently listed amongst Vancouver's multitude of "Best Restaurants" and "Good Eats" articles, this restaurant has become a staple recommendation since it first opened 5 years ago. Wood furniture and accents complete the homey vibe of the beautiful interior, with large windows stretching along one wall and a bar tucked in the corner. Best seat in the restaurant? Tables #14 & #15, right under the giant windows with the perfect amount of lighting to get that Insta-worthy brunch shot.


Doors open at 9:30 am for brunch and while it's ridiculously easy to justify an extra hour bundled up in your blankets, you won't want to get there in the middle of the morning rush. The wait time can be over an hour long due to its popularity and a seating capacity of 20, so the extra lie in will definitely cost you.


The early morning wakeup will be worth it though, trust us. You must be thinking, "Pasta in the am? Seems a little much." But throw a sunny side up egg on that freshly made pasta dish, take a whiff and your stomach will start to rumble.


"Get over yourself. EAT. ALL. THE. CARBS. To heck with your new years resolution." - Your Stomach.


After you surpass your own expectations and clean off your plate entirely, it's time to finish with a lil' happy ending...of banana bread! Get yo head outta the gutters. The first batch of Ask for Luigi's famous banana bread dessert comes out at 10am. With a no reservations policy and tight seating arrangement, I guess the early bird gets the...bread, in this case ;) Served with whipped, salted caramel butter, it's the perfect way to end your elevated meal.


P.S...didn't wake up on time and there's a huge line up? Try Belgard Kitchen for another great brunch solution just 5 minutes away!


Afternoon:

Stuffed to the brim at this point, you're probably going to need to walk off the impending food coma. And by walk, we mean skate! A classic Vancouver tradition, Robson Square is a free outdoor rink that offers rentals for $5/pair. Reasonably priced for big groups, this activity should help offset your morning brunch costs.


Once you've done a couple laps (or more, we all know that one friend who takes a friendly activity and blows it out of the water - we get it Stacy, you used to figure skate in middle school!) and your feet are getting cold, it's time to join in on some hot festivities. What better way to warm up from the cold than the ultimate feel-good winter drink? Yup, hot chocolate.


Get ready for a sugar high, 'cause Vancouver's 2019 Hot Chocolate Festival is back for it's 9th year, taking place until February 14, 2019. There are 70 drinks to try from a list of delectable coffee shops, dessert bars and restaurants, but we've narrowed it down to the ones closest to Robson Square.


1. Bel Cafe, serving Nuts About You (3min walk)

2. Diva at the Met, serving Gimme S'more S'mores and Lavender Dream* (4min walk)

3. Perverted Ice Cream, serving Pop It Like It's Hot! and Young, Dumb and Full of Kumquat (6min walk)

4. Thierry Chocolaterie, Patisserie & Cafe, serving Maybe the Last (6min walk)

5. 49th Parallel Coffee & Lucky's Doughnuts, serving Chocolate Power Plant and Dark Chocolate Love (8 min walk)

6. Mink Chocolates, serving Who You Calling a Conehead? and PETA Kool-aid (9 min walk)

*Not avail. between 3-6pm


Evening:

Now that you're warm, let's get you to dinner, before that sugar high runs its course and you become a h-angry beast.


Since it's the weekend of Chinese New Year, we thought we'd recommend something on theme. However, for many of us second generation Chinese, making a full-on Chinese New Year meal is well beyond our cooking skills. If you fall into the category of "Parents never taught me their Poon Choi making secrets", then the next best (easiest) dinner to prep - while still staying on a Chinese theme - is hotpot.


No, not buds that are heated up...


It's a style of Chinese cooking where a simmering pot (the hotpot!) of soup stock is placed in the middle of the table and all the ingredients are raw, to be placed into the soup to cook as you eat. It's the perfect meal for anyone who wants to have people over to celebrate, but can't be bothered to actually cook. All it takes is an initial investment to buy the pot and an eye for laying out raw food on the table ;) If you're even too lazy for that - it's cool, we feel you on this - to go out and buy your own ingredients, you can opt to hotpot at a restaurant too.


However, we prefer the at-home experience. Throw on an old-school Stephen Chow movie (God of Cookery is a great classic to start with!), sit back and relax with the remaining strains in your Discovery Series Vol.1™ to end your day of adventures.


Here's to the highest common denominator!


Specials thanks to @kylegray for the suggestions :)

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*Cannabis Collections are excluded from this offer.

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