A Local’s Guide for a trip to Beautiful British Columbia: Stay, Eat and Drink

British Columbia is home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, and is a thrill-seekers paradise. Here are our tips for a trip to BC.

It’s called Beautiful British Columbia for a reason!

British Columbia is home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, and is an absolute mecca for thrill-seekers everywhere! People flock here for the snow, the biking, the hiking, the lakes and so much more! This makes Vancouver and Whistler two of the hottest travel destinations in Canada, and we’re here to help you plan your perfect mountain getaway.

Joffree Lakes, British Columbia, Whistler

Where to stay: Trusty Top Picks

First things first, where you stay can be key to your trip’s success. Want to get out early for those fresh lines in the winter? Or do you want to wake up to a view of that glorious mountain sunrise? Whether you’re travelling in luxury or saving your money for the adventures, we’ve been there, tried it all and want to pass on our experiences.

Vancouver and Whistler are your most likely destinations from which to explore the mountains, so here are our top picks for each:

Vancouver:

  • Shangri-La (5*) – Fantastic location in downtown’s West End, perfect for some city exploration.
  • Fairmont Pacific Rim (5*) – Beautifully modern hotel with stunning views across the bay and towards the mountains.
  • The Burrard (3*) – a stylish and affordable boutique hotel in the centre of downtown Vancouver.
  • Victorian Hotel (3*) – a charming, quaint hotel ideally located on the outskirts of Gastown in downtown Vancouver.
  • Samesun Hostel – a thriving and popular hostel slap-bang in the centre of Granville Street at the heart of downtown Vancouver.
  • Kitsilano Beach Hostel – across the water along Kitsilano beach, this is a good option outside the hustle and bustle of downtown, close by the water.

Vancouver Hotels, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler:

  • Four Seasons (5*) – Whistler’s most iconic hotel on Blackcomb mountain
  • Fairmont Chateau (5*) – It’s that luxurious hotel you see in all the photos of Whistler village!
  • Delta Village Suites (4*) – Unbeatable location in the heart of the village with spacious rooms fitted with kitchens
  • Nita Lake Lodge (4*) – A gorgeous hotel set right on the shore of Nita Lake, nestled amongst the trees
  • Whistler Lodge Hostel – This is your classic wood cabin in the woods, it’s absolutely gorgeous, along Nordic Drive in the cheaper Creekside.

Our Trusty spots for Food and Drinks:

There is a great food scene in Vancouver, with the Gastown district home to some of the country’s tastiest and trendiest dining and bar spots. There’s a great and varied selection in this city, so we’ll break it down into Brunch, Dinner, and Drinks.

Brunch:

  • Twisted Fork Bistro ($$) – A cosy and popular brunch spot along Granville Street in central downtown serving homemade-style dishes.
  • Café Medina ($$) – A Vancouver brunch institution, always packed out, serving delicious Belgian food.
  • Nuba ($$) – Beautiful Lebanese brunch in Kitsilano, where four of every five options are vegetarian or vegan.
  • Edible Canada Bistro ($$) – The perfect spot for a typical Canadian brunch.
  • Meat & Bread ($) – More of a lunch spot, they make the best sandwiches in Vancouver, hands down!

Dinner:

  • L’Abattoir ($$$) – Beautiful spot for French-style brunch, dinner and cocktails in the heart of Gastown.
  • Vij’s ($$$) – Fine Indian-style dining, hugely popular place in downtown that attracts the stars!
  • The Acorn ($$) – Fresh seasonal produce and vegan options in the hipster Main Street neighbourhood.
  • Kingyo Izakaya ($$) – Delicious sushi and Japanese fusion on Denman Street close by Stanley Park.
  • Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market ($$) – Super fresh Oysters. A must visit for seafood lovers!
  • Mean Poutine ($) – Bit of a curveball here, but this tiny street vendor serves the best poutine in Vancouver.

Drinks:

  • The Keefer Bar – Creative artisan cocktail bar in Chinatown fuelled by exotic herbs and spices.
  • Prohibition – Speakeasy cocktail bar in the Rosewood Hotel, serving some of the most creative cocktails in Canada
  • Guilt & Co – A dark and intimate basement bar featuring alternative live music.
  • The Diamond – A popular and elegant cocktail bar found in the Gastown district.
  • The Narrow Lounge – A secret cocktail spot hidden behind a graffiti-covered passageway down Main Street.
  • Long Table Distillery – Intimate micro-distillery serving their own handcrafted gins, vodkas and seasonal spirits.
  • LIFT Bar – A sleek and elegant spot (also serves food) with stunning views across Vancouver Harbour.

Crystal Lounge, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler also has a great, albeit less-extensive dining scene, so here are our top picks:

Brunch:

  • Elements ($$) – A cosy brunch spot serving their twist on classic dishes.
  • Wild Wood Pacific Bistro ($$) – The best eggs benny in town!
  • Crepe Montagne ($) – Amazing choice of Crepes and French breakfast delicacies.
  • Purebread ($) – Your go-to spot for all things sweet in Whistler!

Dinner:

  • Bearfoot Bistro ($$$) – Innovative, creative, fine-dining with flair.
  • Araxi ($$ – $$$) – A Whistler staple, Araxi is the fine-dining restaurant in town.
  • Trattoria di Umberto ($$ – $$$) – Italian fine-dining, fresh and flavoursome.
  • Mongolie Grill ($$) – A chain across Canada; fill your bowl with your choice of stir-fry ingredients and sauces and watch the chef grill it right in front of you. Super tasty.
  • Caramba ($$) – Tasty wood-fired pizza and Italian cuisine along the Village Stroll.
  • Creekbread ($$) – Cosy and intimate restaurant in Creekside serving delicious wood-fired pizza.
  • El Furniture Warehouse ($) – $5 meals, need we say more? This is the Whistler cheap eat, always with a queue out the door!

Drinks:

  • GLC (Garibaldi Lift Company) – Right next door the Village Gondola, GLC boasts an epic aprés ski scene, with a heated decking facing out over the slopes.
  • Longhorn Saloon – Longtime rivals of GLC, Longhorn’s is the first place you see when you ski or bike into the village. Its outdoor heated patio is always jam-packed!
  • CBB (Cinamon Bear Bar) – Swedish Aprés on a Wednesday during the winter!
  • Crystal Lounge – The best value and tastiest wings in town!
  • Tapleys – A local’s favourite and a great spot for a few beers before hitting the clubs. Check out their Bingo nights!

Check out our follow up See & Do guide for tips on how best to fill your time. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a hiker, or just want to chill in the mountains, we’ve got you covered!

Safe travels, and enjoy beautiful BC!!!

Rich x
Insta: @rcater

 

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