While Canadian food, like poutine, may not be standard international fare, Canadian beer has found its way into refrigerators the world over. Molson dates back to 1786 and now ranks among the world’s largest brewing companies. Its importance to Canuck culture is such that “Molson muscle” has entered the Canadian lexicon as slang for beer belly. But while Molson may be the most quintessentially Canadian brew (check out their I Am Canadian commercials if you’re in doubt), there are plenty of contenders for the title of best beer north of the border.
With the possible exception of maple syrup, Canada isn’t really known for its contributions to world cuisine. The Brits left behind a legacy of bland and boiled food that defined cooking here for generations. In fairness, cosmopolitan cities like Vancouver and Toronto have embraced new flavors brought by immigrant groups, and both cities boast thriving Asian food scenes. Finding a real, down-home Canadian meal, however, can be a challenge.
Mention “walking tour” and some travelers cringe. I understand. There are only so many narrow, cobbled streets I can wander down before I get bored and start thinking about lunch.
But with an elaborate network of seawalls and pedestrian walkways along its waterfront, Vancouver might convert even the staunchest anti-walker. Part of the appeal is the rawness of the landscape. The city’s “urban” walkways wind through old-growth forest and past beaches strewn with boulders, driftwood and even naked hippies. The other attraction is that, while the walk might feel at times like a backcountry trek, there are restaurants, bars and a few 7-11s along the way. [Read more…]