In 1999, Freshslice Pizza founder Ray Russell set out to combine the once-separate worlds of pizza-by-the-slice joints and speedy pie delivery. Each ready-made slice or delivery pie is created with a dough recipe that's seven years in the making, with a wholesome multigrain base with a crispy texture unheard of in run-of-the-mill pizzas made with boring white dough or pickled Frisbees. At each of the restaurant's 70 British Columbia and Ontario locations, customers can pop in for a few takeout slices, select a feast from the litany of suggested topping combos, or craft their own creation from three different sauces, 20 different toppings, and a variety of cheeses. In addition to savoury slices of pizza covered in combos such as pesto, spinach, ham, and mozzarella, customers can dine on morsels of baked lasagna, sweet cinnamon sticks, or other pizzeria fare.
Chronic Tacos, whose tacos and burritos were voted some of the best in Vancouver in 2011 by readers of Georgia Straight, culls its recipes from the salsa-splattered pages of a family recipe book filled with three generations of Mexican delicacies. Chefs marinate and grill juicy morsels of steak, chicken, and pork several times a day, then tenderly tuck them into preservative-free corn and flour tortillas. To add zest, dollops of housemade salsa and sour cream perch atop tacos and, in the event of an emergency, rain from sprinkler systems.
Swaths of red and black cover the multilevel ceiling and walls of Joey’s Urban, and matte canvas photos of Joey's food hang on the walls. Contemporary music plays on the speakers, and LCD screens display sporting contests above the heads of patrons consuming fried fish and tacos. Fish 'n' chip meals sear a quarter-pound piece of cod ($12) or halibut ($16) in a crisp, fried coating. The included natural-cut fries with sea salt can be upgraded to classic poutine for an extra $2 and smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Patrons can also select from five flavors of à la carte tacos including ahi tuna or mexi-chicken ($4.50).
Although the cooks at Happy Mom's Cafe look across the Pacific for their recipes and culinary inspiration, they guarantee freshness by sourcing ingredients from local producers. This commitment to vibrant flavours also extends to their cooking methods, such as bubbling hot pots of trans-fat-free canola oil that heat meats and vegetables without exposing them to open flames. The menu features a number of vegetarian options alongside meatier plates of pork spareribs and beef chop suey in curry sauce.
Behind the facade of a century-old former residence, La Rustica’s chefs drizzle organic, from-scratch sauces onto locally raised meats and homemade pastas. The culinary team veers away from run-of-the-mill Italian eats, instead luring tongues out of hiding with bait in the form of fresh Madagascar peppercorns, barolo-wine reduction, and Sambuca flambé sauce. The two-floored eatery's covered patio and pastel-hued interior lend the eatery a relaxed, homey vibe whether sitting near the flickering fireplace or one of the establishment's many art pieces covering the walls.
Owner Salvatore Fancello modelled his well-known New Westminster eatery La Spaghetteria on the small ristorantes found on his beloved isle of Sardinia. Since its 6th Street opening in 1976, the restaurant has expanded to accommodate parties and special gatherings with a banquet room and romantic outdoor dinners on a heated patio area. Seven days a week, La Spaghetteria's chefs welcome guests for an early-bird special that offers a choice of 27 different pasta dishes to satisfy the cravings of noodle lovers and meatball bowlers.