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Stops Along the Seawall: Tap & Barrel

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It’s week 2 of our 4-part series: Stops Along the Seawall! We’ve been grabbing our bikes and bumbling along Vancouver’s famous 22K of waterfront, taking in the sights and scoping out the best places to eat along the way! Last week, we kicked off the series with a visit to Beta 5 for one of their Saturday Ice Cream Socials. Their hefty ice cream sandwich was so satisfying in the blazing hot weather – I hear they’re coming out with new flavours each week!

Some things (ice cream included) just taste better in the sunshine; cold, craft beer is another. As foodies on bicycles, journeying to a sun-kissed patio for a chilled, local brew is exactly the kind of trek we’re willing to make. This being said, we found ourselves at not just one, but two Tap & Barrel locations in the last week, to relish the world-class view and indulge in some patio eats.

Patio-hunting is a sport of its own and you’ll find many Vancouver food blogs with guides to their favourites. But, designing the perfect patio experience is much more than just outdoor seating with colourful umbrellas, and Tap & Barrel has got it right.

The views:

Are some of the best in the world. Perched on the shore of Olympic Village, you’ll catch a breathtaking skyline, including iconic Vancouver tourist attractions like Telus World of Science and BC Place. Day or night, the ocean catches the reflection of the glistening glass buildings that line the seawall.

Tap & Barrel’s second location spills onto Jack Poole Plaza, just beside Convention Centre. The view is marked by stark white boats, seaplanes, and of course, Stanley Park and North Vancouver. It’s an after-hours escape for the downtown crowd, regardless of the day of the week!

Tap and Barrel2

The spread:

Every patio will have burgers, nachos, and pizza on their menu. And you might think to yourself, “What makes this unique?” With a few years of dedicated foodie research under my belt, I think tactful twists on these staple items can make all the difference. Consider the following:

  • Tap’s Signature Jumbo Pretzel. Baked in their wood stone hearth oven and bigger than the size of your head.
  • F ‘n K Burger (I think it stands for Fork and Knife…) – Poutine, sea salt fries, 7oz. 100% CAB chuck burger patty, mayo, lettuce, tomato
  • Craft Beer & Cheddar Mac…and yes, I would like that with Pork Belly!
  • They have an impressive beer selection, sold by the glass or in “flights” of five! The flight is my favourite way to try new, craft beer offerings. This week’s recommendation: 33-Acres of Life.

Tap and Barrel1

The soul:

Tap & Barrel is laid-back, local, and a trendy place to be. It’s actually one of 5 Vancouver restaurants owned by the Daniel Hospitality Group – Tap & Barrel has 3 locations (two in Vancouver, one in N Vancouver) and is sister to The Mill and the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Each with their own waterfront real-estate, it’s clear to see that the Daniel Hospitality Group knows a thing or two about patios!

The style:

A focus on local flavor and sustainability is often a trait of successful Vancouver establishments. All of the fish at Tap & Barrel are Ocean Wise, meaning that they are managed, caught and harvested in a way that has limited impact on the ocean habitat.

Tap & Barrel was also one of the first places in Vancouver to serve “wine on tap.” By purchasing wine in barrels, as opposed to bottles, they are able to save 300 bottles/barrel. In the last two years, Tap & Barrel eliminated the need for 50,000 wine bottles and labels! Cheers to that!

If you’re biking along the seawall, you’ll be tempted by Tap & Barrel not once, but twice! Be warned: if the sun in shining, it’s almost impossible to resist. Don’t worry too much about your sweat-beaded forehead – you’ll enjoy the breeze on the patio!

Tap & Barrel
Olympic Village – 1 Athletes Way
Downtown – 1055 Canada Place


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