105 East Pender
In the spirit of Superbowl and indulgent snack food, I am reminded of a hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown that serves German-inspired street food (aka. seriously good sausage!) A few friends and I ventured there just before Christmas, (hence the guy in the Santa hat) on that one day in Vancouver where the 10 centimetres of snow actually stuck. Just our luck. But, the wintery trek set the stage for us to warm right up to Bestie.
Despite it’s unassuming storefront, Bestie turns out to be a decent-sized restaurant, probably seating around 30 people. It’s a neat place to visit in Vancouver for its hip, white-tiled walls, hand-drawn menus, and simple, wood seating. It’s functional, comfortable, and interesting without being pretentious.
There are two things that Bestie is known for: their sausage, and their curried ketchup. The latter is curry powder and spices, mixed with ketchup. Apparently, it’s a popular German thing, and after you taste it I think you’ll see why. The ketchup takes on a little kick of extra flavour that is super addicting with a pile of hot fries!
On that snowy day, I went with the Sausage and Sauerkraut and chose a chicken, artichoke and pancetta sausage. The sausage itself was really juicy, tender, and bursting with flavour. The meatiness and crispiness of the sausage was neatly complimented by the tartness of sauerkraut – thinly sliced, fermented cabbage.
I chose to get my curried ketchup on the side and enjoyed it with a fresh pile of Bestie’s Cheese Fries (three kinds o’ cheese!), but there is an option on the menu that gets it done all at once. The Currywurst (touted as Germany’s most popular street food) features sliced sausage on a bed of curry ketchup fries. You miss out on the sauerkraut, but hey, that’s what sides are for!
If you’re looking for comfort food with some culture, Bestie is your spot. It’s reasonably priced (the S&S was $9.5 and the Cheese Fries $5), well portioned, and not-overly greasy. The bonus feature? If you’re enjoying all the things to in Vancouver like, let’s just say, the nightlife around Gastown, and you have a hankering for some late-night sausage – they’re open ‘til 3am on Fridays and Saturdays!