Top 3 More-Than-Just Food Festivals in Vancouver

Even if you are not a gourmet, you have probably been to Dine Out Vancouver Fest and to EAT! Vancouver, or at least heard about this marvelous, but mainstream event. Wine or Craft Beer festivals or Christmas markets are stunning, but they are also not a part of our today’s list. What is then? The events that offer more than just an eating-out opportunity — however tasty the food is it’s just a dining experience — from a chic wedding-like community gathering to a program that supports women’s empowerment.

1. Hot Chocolate Festival

When: January/February

Where: Different venues around Vancouver

From traditional chocolate bars to melted cocoa with chili or other bold experimental flavours. Stop by different participating cafes, chocolatiers and bakeries across the city or get lost in a local Bermuda triangle — Bel Café, East Van Roasters and Chocolate Arts — with local habitués. What can be better than a cup of hot chocolate in a cold winter day? Participating in a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program at the same time:

2. Ce Soir Noir

When: August

Where: Crab Park/Creekside Park

The free picnic, where “your vibe contributes to the overall vibeness,” takes place in one of the city’s most picturesque green spaces. Bring your baskets full of food and drinks, friends full of joy and, most importantly, dress in black to blend with the rest of the picnickers in this unique celebration of darkness (or sense of community, whatever makes you feel more comfortable). Choose this grass-roots event instead of an ordinary dinner and you dressing up appetite will also be satisfied.

3. Le Dîner en Blanc

When: August

Where: Locations vary

If you hold with those who think that white is the new black, you should rather choose this voguish event, usually happening the same day. This time you will also need to bring your own white tables and chairs — there is just not enough spare chairs outdoors to accommodate 4,500 people. However, you can purchase a three-course meal from Le Dîner en Blanc chefs and leave your food at home. Unlike Ce Soir Noir, which is intentionally ad-hoc and barely organized, this is probably the fanciest picnic you can imagine. It was created as a replica of the original Dîner en Blanc in Paris, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year.

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