Bianca Maria, 2469 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-253-9626
Sweet, cramped, Italian flags everywhere, this place has more interesting things packed in its 200 square feet than you'd find in any supermarket. They even had seeds for different specialty Italian lettuces and beans. Agnes, the owner, is charming and there to serve you (and since she touches the food, she does not touch the cash). I picked up fresh linguini, bread and a jar of Italian tomatoe and basil sauce that will be tonight's dinner.
Skye's Nut Heaven, 2471 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-568-4303
A funky window display, a hipster young lady offering samples on the street, and an artsy presentation of what could be very boring products makes this place a must on any Hastings Sunrise roam. Fresh organic nuts, oil-based soaps, neatly packaged German chocolates, unique sodas, halva imported directly from Istanbul, and lots of nuts were some of the things that arrested me; but I am sure there is more to discover. And bonus, a friendly owner who did not blink as my camera flash was blinking continuously.
Ugo & Joe's, 2406 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-253-6844
Skip the supermarket shelves and go directly to the fresh food counter. There, along with meats, delis and cheeses, you have freshly baked goodies. The Egg Taralli with icing sugar were freshly made and I bought some that I enjoyed with an afternoon tea. The lemon and orange Biacotti looked decadent, but way too large. And those Cannelloni on the left are NOT stuffed with meat and tomatoe sauce, but by a sweet mix of ricotta cheese and flavours. The Lady bought us some that we indulged on en route. Delicious!
Lisbon Bakery, 2454 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-253-0234
Just because this is an establishment on the street, and those donuts looked delicious, it was worth a quick trip. Old fashioned baking, obviously popular given that most of the shelves were empty by 11 am.
Moccia's, 2276 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-255-2032
Just look at how elegantly everything is displayed. Two years ago, this place was highly recommended as part of the 100 food places to try in Vancouver, so I tried one of their roasts for New Year's Eve party. It was amazing. In addition to fresh meats and sausages, they have ready made meat balls and risotto balls that, unfortunately, had to wait until another trip given how heavy the grocery bags were getting at this point.
Como Market, 2431 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, 604-255-1544
You pass by this little market and you think it is a fresh peppers store. The selection was amazing, every colour and size, from sweet to hot. My favourite unique find was piperade, those round peppers with a sweet taste and a red colour that looks more artificial than natural. I bought a few of those and some of the same colour but on the other end of the sweet-to-hot scale.
- To Be Continued Tomorrow -