Have you ever visited a place and thought to yourself, “Ah, this feels like home?” I’m sure you have. Every time I go to Kitsilano, one of Vancouver’s most vibrant and sought-after neighbourhoods, that is my sentiment exactly. I explored the UBC campus and Kitsilano with my good friend Esma during the last two days of my Vancouver trip and I truly had a hard time leaving. There is something about the ocean air and the mountain views that is pure magic: so unique for a major Canadian city and certainly something that this girl has always been drawn to.
We stayed at UBC, as some dorms are opened up to the general public for short-term stays during the summer. The campus is one of the largest and most beautiful I have seen! Mountain views abound, as do beautiful gardens (both the UBC rose garden and the UBC Botanical Gardens are worth a visit).
Esma and I settled into our room and then went to the Museum of Anthropology. I have a very short attention span when it comes to museums and galleries so I felt badly for going through the exhibits so quickly. I just can’t be bothered to stop and read everything. Plus, I was getting
hungry hangry and the only thing on my mind was Virtuous Pie. Yes, there is a VEGAN pizza and ice cream restaurant on the UBC campus. Swoon.
I ordered the Stranger Wings pizza + a kale Caesar salad + an IPA from a local brewery (don’t remember which one). And then I went back for ice cream because who can resist vegan salted caramel chocolate ice cream in a house made waffle cone? If you can, we can’t be friends. Everything was to die for (spoiler alert: I would return not once, but twice over the next day and a half).
It rained all day on Friday, which I was really happy about. I love the rain! I took a long walk from UBC to Kitsilano, exploring some of the side streets off of West 4th along the way. I love the arts and crafts style of architecture that was in vogue early in the 20th century.
By the time I returned to the campus, I was ready for more pizza. LOL. Basically, my travel routine is eat + walk to work up an appetite + eat some more + repeat. I went back to Virtuous Pie and got the Grandma Pie: Cheddar Cream, Cashew Mozzarella, Queso Fresco, San Marzano Drizzle, Red Onion, Parmesan, Rosemary, Thyme. I added chorizo ‘meatballs’ and it turned out to be one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I think I shed a tear after eating the last bite.
Thankfully, they had just unveiled their soft serve flavour of the month: Hazelnut Chocolate with Erin Ireland’s famous banana bread, roasted hazelnuts, and salted caramel. Again, how could I say no?
Go big or go home, I say.
Esma left on Friday evening so I called it an early night and woke up early on Saturday morning to make the most of my final day in the city. I sat outside on the patio at JJ Bean and enjoyed a lovely Americano. Then I wandered over to the UBC Farm and checked out the farmers’ market. It is held every Saturday morning throughout the summer! I was so impressed by the array of local products and organic produce grown right at the farm. Talk about an inspiring example of sustainable agriculture in action!
Virtuous Pie is conveniently located just around the corner from the farm, so I naturally ventured over there for the breakfast sandwich of my dreams afterwards. Unfortunately, I was too excited to take a photo. You”ll get the idea from the description, however: House-made Brioche Bun, 33 Acres Brewing Chorizo Patty, Tofu Scramble, Cheddar Cheese, Cashew Hollandaise, Chipotle Aioli, Oven Dried Tomatoes. Served with a side of Cajun Tater Tots. Um. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard.
I walked some more, taking a slightly different route away from campus and was struck by this view on Blanca Street:
Nothing but good vibes coming out of that picture. <3
The final foodie adventure of my trip was at Turf on West Fourth. I got a delicious green smoothie, a power bowl with marinated portobello mushrooms, brown rice, asparagus, hummus, and spicy almonds, and airplane snacks: a slice of Erin Ireland’s chocolate chip banana bread, a chocolate avocado pudding cup, and a black bean burger wrap. Suffice it to say that I was absolutely stuffed by the end of it, but it was so worth it. It’s not every day that I get to feast at Vancouver’s amazing plant-based dining establishments, so I took full advantage. And I ended up with a lot of recipe ideas for this blog, so I’m calling it a win.
Well, that’s a wrap for my Vancouver trip! It was hard to leave such a beautiful, bustling, and progressive city, but I’ll be back soon. 😉
With love and an open heart,