Vancouver, B.C.

Just “aboot” nearly 400 miles (617km) north of the town of Albany Oregon lies one of North America’s largest and most beautifully defined cities – Vancouver, Canada. And although a streamlined trip by car took me 7 hours to reach my destination, I was destined to spend even more time in the realm of discovery; exploring, photographing, and soaking in this vivid splendor of British Columbia.

Panoramic view of Downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park.With a slight break of clouds and fog this panoramic view of Downtown Vancouver reveals its beautiful skyline as seen from Stanley Park.
During a slight break in clouds this panoramic view of downtown Vancouver reveals a majestic skyline as seen from Stanley Park.

Black Felt marks my foot travels in two days spent Downtown Vancouver.
Black Felt marks my foot travels in the two days spent exploring downtown Vancouver.

Did you know…

Vancouver, BC was founded in 1886 and was named after captain George Vancouver, an English officer in the British Royal Navy. George Vancouver was well known for his exploration and precise charting of North America’s Pacific coast. Today many North American landmarks have names that were given by Vancouver, including Mt. Rainer, Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens and many others. george vancouver british columbia royal navy canadaDue to the convenience of its seaports and the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, Vancouver quickly grew from its early settlement of a few thousand to its current population of well over 600,000. With over 2.4 million people living in the greater Vancouver area, it’s become the fourth most densely populated city in North America. In terms of livability Vancouver often rates within the world’s top ten cities (based on crime rates, availability of healthcare, quality of education and transportation as well as its general beauty)

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“Vancouver is the fourth most densely populated city over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City.”
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View of Devonian Harbour Park on the Northwest corner of downtown. Canada Place is just barely visible in the distant left hand side.
vancouver british columbia canada
In all hours of the day and night you will see both foot and car traffic in a city that never sleeps.

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vancouver british columbia canada
Looking down Granville St. (Hwy 99) where you are bound to find great food, entertainment and meet unforgettable friends. For all three of these look no further than the Two Parrots Perch and Grill. In regards of service (quality, size and atmosphere) it’s an experience beckoning another!

It may seem strange, but with all the curiosities that one may encounter while traveling abroad, there was only one that kept my eyes fixed on the ground… weeds! Even in wintertime on the streets of such a massive metropolis, I could easily spot this nature’s produce.

wild food of vancouver british columbia canada
Down an alley and nestled against a building I immediately spot a group of wild edibles. From left to right: Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), Wild Lettuce (Lactuca), and Plantain (Plantago lanceolata). All three plants may be eaten however Wild Lettuce and Plantain are often too bitter raw. [Many varieties of Lactuca have a history of medicinal properties worth investigating]
Broad-Leaved Dock - Rumex obtusifolius leaves, tender stems and seeds can be eaten raw as a tart green, or cook as a vegetable.
Hard to miss is the Broad-Leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius). Its fresh tender leaves and stems can be eaten raw as a tart green, or cook as a vegetable. Creeping along to the right is a variety of blackberry while a member of the Mustard is seen on the left.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a juicy and tender green similar to Iceberg Lettuce, perfect as a base for salads or topping on your favorite sandwich.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a juicy and tender green similar to Lettuce, perfect as a base for salads or an addition to your favorite sandwich. Harvest the top 2 in’s for choice selection.
Looking closer you can spot Chickweeds single line of hairs running down the stem, whereas its lookalikes may have no hairs or hairs all over.
A look closer reveals Chickweeds single line of hairs running down the stem, whereas its lookalikes may have hairs all over or no hairs at all.
A row of Bittercress self-sowed between two sidewalks.
Self-sowed between two sidewalks is a row of Bittercress. A member of the Mustard family, Bittercress is rich with flavor and can be added to  foods as a tasty spice.
wild edible berries of vancouver british columbia canada
Amongst the Blackberry vine is last years Hawthorne berries. Snack on these and get a dose of Vitamin’s C and B complex. Just be sure to spit out the seed!

Whether you’re a wild edible food enthusiast like myself or simply an adventurous person seeking a new “playground”, Vancouver BC is well equipped to appease your appetite. So next time you find your eyes hooked on the sights of a new city, be sure to also take a look down by your feet, there just may be an exotic dish perched in that not-so-exotic location.

Till next time, Happy foraging!


Special thanks to JD Bump for providing myself a level of accountability and helping me realize my goals. Thank you!


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2 comments

  1. Too bad the sun did not shine on your day of shutter snapping, Hank. Vancouver is my home. I love it so much. Thanks for the glimpse of edible weeds. I never knew I had such treasure in my own garden.

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    • Yea some sunshine would have definitely made the city a little more photogenic, but still a beautiful place nonetheless. I’ll have to go back this summer. Glad I could share a glimpse for you. It’s inspiring for me to see this unnoticed food all over the place.
      Cheers!
      -Hank H.

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