Contributed by Guest Author
Vancouver has long been a popular tourist destination due to its breathtaking natural beauty and proximity to the wild wonders of British Columbia. Now thanks to the work of passionate, driven residents and a mayor who supports their goals, Vancouver is quickly becoming a global cycling destination as well. With 280 kilometres of waterfront and urban bike paths, it’s easier than ever to get across the coastal city on two wheels. When all that pedaling works up an appetite, the cosmopolitan hub has no shortage of great places to retire your ride and grab a bite. Here are five of Momentum Mag’s favourite bike-friendly bars and restaurants to check out on your next cycling trip to Vancouver.
Located on the Union Street bike path at the entrance to historic Chinatown, The Union is a local favourite for 20-30 somethings cruising between downtown, Gastown, and vibrant East Van. The hip Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant and bar is fitted with modern, reclaimed industrial décor and communal tables in an open-concept space. Their Asian fusion menu travels from Thailand to Laos to Indonesia, featuring delicious snacks and meals such as Som Tum papaya salad, pork belly bánh mì, and bún vermicelli bowls. It is accompanied by an equally original cocktail menu of spicy and sweet creations, such as a Tom Yum Collins to liven things up. With a small patio out front and daily drink specials, The Union is the perfect spot to kick back after a long day at the office or a long day in the saddle.
Tandem Bike Café
Tandem Bike Cafe is Vancouver’s first (and so far only) combination bike shop and café. Born of its two owners’ shared love of all things bicycles and coffee, Tandem serves up soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and coffee with a side order of bike repair. Located right smack in the city center, between trendy Mount Pleasant and Kitsilano, Tandem is your friendly neighbourhood café where you can be sure to find fast friends to talk bikes with. Come for a wheel truing, stay for a locally roasted espresso and a baked brie sandwich!
Tap & Barrel Olympic Village
The Tap & Barrel restaurants are pioneers in bringing local to the big leagues in Vancouver. They were the first establishment to introduce wine on tap in British Columbia, and since doing so have continued to tap BC wines exclusively. On top of their impressive wine list, they have an extensive and rotating selection of beers from BC breweries big and small, and a large menu of fun, fresh comfort food, inspired by global fusion but sourced locally. The Olympic Village location is a great stop for a refuelling lunch or an early evening cocktail after a day’s ride. Steps off the seawall, the restaurant has ample bike parking and a large patio overlooking False Creek and downtown, with the North Shore Mountains in the background. Lock up, order a pint, and enjoy the sight of passing cyclists while the glass city shines in the evening light.
Musette Caffè is a bike-friendly coffee bar serving up quality locally roasted coffees alongside live showings of the latest worldwide cycling events. Their two locations – one in historic Chinatown and one at the entrance to Davie Village – feature walls adorned with handlebars, vintage racing jerseys and enviable road bikes. Come in to talk shop with the passionate and friendly staff, or come for the delicious selection of drinks and treats, such as in-house “energy balls,” paninis, crepes, pastries, and a few gluten-free goodies. Musette also hosts weekly group rides – open to anyone – that depart from the Davie Village location every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine.
The Galley Patio and Grill
The Galley Patio and Grill at Jericho Sailing Centre brings a Long Beach vibe up to the Pacific Northwest. The beachfront restaurant serves casual fare, including a burger bar, salads, seafood, and a selection of BC craft beer and wines. But the real selling point is the location. The Galley is situated steps from the sand at Jericho Sailing Centre, near the Western end of the Seaside Greenway. The Seaside Greenway (or the seawall, in local parlance) is 30km of walking and biking trail connecting downtown to the beaches of Jericho and the Spanish Banks. After a leisurely ride from downtown, pull over for a refreshing beer and burger at The Galley, taking in unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains, the downtown peninsula and Stanley Park, and Burrard Inlet stretching out into the Georgia Strait.
Hilary Angus is a writer, bike-lover and cheese enthusiast based in Vancouver, BC and the Online Editor for momentummag.com. When she’s not cruising around the city on two wheels, she’s out in the forest on two feet.