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North Vancouver Food Tour: Shipyards, Craft Beer and Pizza!

Posted April 22, 2024 by Mark Stevens

Visit Vancouver, British Columbia and you’ll quickly be struck by the city’s exciting array of culinary delights.

Regarded as one of the word’s top food cities, it offers a bounty of incredibly fresh seafood (thanks to its Pacific Coast location) while its cultural diversity delivers unique twists.

Pizza topped with Brie and fresh pear anyone? (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

With such an abundance of flavours to explore, it can be tough to decide where to start.

Why not kick off your culinary explorations with a walking food tour in the Shipyards, one of the city’s emerging foodie districts?

Not only is a food tour in North Vancouver one of the best ways to learn about local food and culture, it’s a fantastic way to dive into Vancouver’s delicious offerings in a short period of time.

Overview of This Food Tour in North Vancouver

The Shipyards is home to welcoming public spaces with spectacular views. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

I’ve researched culinary (and other) attractions in New Orleans, chased down foodie must-dos in the Florida Keys and cruised St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands on a gourmet quest.

In short, I like food (and drink).

That’s why, when I recently visited Vancouver, choosing the North Shore for my base, I was thrilled to discover the North Vancouver Shipyards Food Tour, offered by Taste Vancouver Food Tours.

Their 2.5 hour adventure, conducted by knowledgeable guides, is a perfect way to get oriented to the culinary scene on Burrard Inlet’s north shore (Google Map).

It includes an eclectic collection of gustatory treats, insights into the stories behind the food you’ll enjoy and a fascinating history lesson at the Lonsdale Quay Market and The Shipyards.

It’s the ideal place to spend an afternoon or top off a day at Grouse Mountain, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Lynn Canyon Park and other outdoor attractions in North Vancouver.

North Vancouver Shipyards Food Tour Highlights

North Vancouver Shipyards Food Tour Highlights

1. Sample a Variety of Tastes and Textures

Sample some house-made gourmet soup on this food tour. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Note that the tastings on Taste Vancouver Food Tours change regularly. Some stops and hidden gems have been omitted out of consideration for the food tour operator.

I never thought a pizza decorated by brie and pears would work but our first stop at an unassuming pizza counter in the Lonsdale Quay Market convinced me otherwise.

It wasn’t their only flavour, but after one taste I found myself wondering: why mess with success and try anything else?

Before I tasted a spoonful of “Turkey Dinner Soup” at the next stop The Soup Meister’s Nephew I wondered at the hubris of such an aspirational name.

Then I tasted it. It deserved the name.

The rotating daily menu is drawn from a collection of 150 recipes. I’d like to try every single one.

House-made pasta at The Nook. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Next up, and rounding out the parade of tastes and textures, was a flavourful hummus and crispy, yet light, falafel at a Lebanese hot spot.

It was followed by Italian fare presented family-style from an open kitchen in the Shipyards. The traditional cacio e pepe was as creamy as what you’d find at a trattoria in Rome.

2. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Get your donut and southern-style fried chicken here! (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

As unlikely at the pizza with pears and brie was, a fresh-baked donut topped by fried chicken at Cream Pony Donuts was even more counterintuitive. But it worked. Delicious.

For lunch order chicken then a donut. Or live dangerously and have chicken ON a donut. Satisfy your sweet tooth here with a fascinating twist.

This food tour also includes dessert! (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

At another sweet stop we got a lesson in environmental stewardship along with some unique flavours such as Cold Brew Coffee, Matcha Green Tea and Lavender Shortbread.

This beloved Vancouver ice cream shop features quality locally-sourced ingredients, a daily flavour list unique to each of its four locations and a commitment to the environment.

3. Sample Something Stronger

Sample some wine from the Okanagan Valley at Artisan Wine Shop. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

At our second stop – the Artisan Wine Shop – our libations came with learning.

Exclusively featuring wines from B.C.’s Okanagan Valley, shop staffers taught us about the variety of grapes grown there, about the various microclimates, about the offerings of seven regional wineries.

Quite instructive. Even more delicious.

In addition to the allure of the areas we’ve been exploring thus far, the North Shore is home to a growing (and even more appealing) industry.

Welcome to the newly minted Brewery District.

Not convinced? This stretch of shoreline plays host to seven microbreweries, a distillery, a winery and even a cidery (cider mill).

Sean, our food tour guide, with a tasting at Streetcar Brewing. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

One of those breweries, Streetcar Brewing, was a thirst-quenching stop on this tour.

A flight of their offerings from a rotating daily tap that changes two or three times a week proved to be perfect libation to accompany the fried chicken donut from next door.

Why You’ll Love This Food Tour

  • Solid introduction to two major North Vancouver attractions, Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards, a lively public space that rivals Granville Island for personality.
  • The knowledgeable and personable guide will provide you with insights into the fascinating ship building history of the Shipyards District. For example, during World War II, 15,000 workers plied their trades on this very spot!
  • You’ll meet local vendors and hear the stories behind their food and drink.
  • 6 food tastings and 2 alcoholic beverages. You won’t go away hungry!
  • Excellent variety of delicious food and drink tastings.
  • If you’re taking a cruise, staying on the North Shore can save you money. A food tour is a fun and easy thing to do pre or post cruise excursion.
  • Small group of maximum 16 people.

Good to Know

  • Though a fabulous location if you’re going to explore other North Shore delights like Lonsdale District, the Distillery District, Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge, you have to board the SeaBus (10-15 ride) from downtown Vancouver
  • There are private tours available.

Who is This Tour For?

A former industrial wasteland was transformed into a people-oriented space. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

  • Our tour included a wide range of ages and was a great option for visitors to the North Shore. Vegetarian options were offered at each stop.
  • Special dietary needs can be accommodated with 24 hours advance notice.
  • Would be a fun addition to a girls getaway weekend in Vancouver.
  • It’s family-friendly so children are welcome. But the tour structure doesn’t lend itself to young children.