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Why Are Foodies Flocking to Fraser Street?

Hot eats and cool real estate have us hitting up the Fraserhood on the regular.

March 19, 2018

By Emma Johnstone / Photo: Fraser Commons at Marine

It was only a matter of time before the Main Street buzz began to spread, and the culinary scene around Fraser Street is benefitting big time. With a bit more room to breathe (because let’s face it, Main Street is filling up fast), brew pubs, coffee shops and eateries are popping up a few blocks east—and new homes are following suit.

So, what’s all the hype about? If you’ve strolled along the stretch anywhere between Broadway and Marine lately, you’ve probably noticed the upsurge of residences and businesses. The answer is simply:  location, location, location. This area is still developing, making it a great investment for aspiring homeowners and restauranteurs; and yet, it offers quick access to downtown Vancouver, Richmond and more.

One of the newest developments located at the foot of foodie heaven is Fraser Commons, a four-building residence that consists of 363 gorgeously designed homes. A family-friendly community, Fraser Commons blends old-school South Van charm with high-end amenities—and plenty of hidden gems just a few steps away. If you’re thinking of making a move to the area (or just looking for a new restaurant to discover), take inspiration from our list of the best places to fill your belly on South Fraser Street.

1. Bells and Whistles

Photo: Bells and Whistles

Located just south of Kingsway, this newcomer to the Fraserhood is making a name for itself fast. The team that brought us Bufala, Wildebeest and Lucky Taco have hit on something simple but spectacular with Bells and Whistles. It’s an elevated East Van sports bar with an accessible yet delicious menu (the All-Day Breakfast Burger has us drooling just thinking about it). Everything from the well-crafted beer list—replete with rotating local tap selections—to the giant projectors in place of the usual excessive number of TV screens, is spot on. 3296 Fraser Street.

Photo: Bows X Arrows

2. Bows X Arrows

The Victoria-based coffee roasters have upped their game at the Fraser Street location with a stellar full dinner menu. In addition to their weekend brunch offerings (think potato leek tartiflette with gruyere, ham and poached egg) and their all-day menu, Bows X Arrows also offers seasonal mains like autumn vegetable salad and smoked lamb ribs with plum glaze. And when coffee just won’t cut it, grab a signature cocktail like the 26th Spritz: a playful homage to the location’s cross street, featuring aperol, dolin blanc, citrus bitters and cava. 4194 Fraser Street.

Photo: Earnest Ice Cream

3. Earnest Ice Cream

Small-batch, artisanal ice cream and some seriously local flavour options (take the Spruce Bud for a spin if you get the chance) make Earnest Ice Cream so very Vancouver. The Fraser Street scoop shop offers take away pints, heaping scoops in cones or cups and sundaes on rotation. There’s also an espresso machine on site, so be sure to try an affogato, otherwise known as a scoop of ice cream drowning in hot espresso—which, as you might imagine, tastes amazing. 3992 Fraser Street.

4. Koon Bo Seafood Restaurant

Not a dim sum restaurant (or a seafood house, frankly), Koon Bo is a throwback to Chinese food in Vancouver before the Hong Kong handover of the late ‘90s that changed the cultural landscape of our fair city. Bring a group to best enjoy the family-style dishes like Chicken Salad, a blend of shredded chicken, strips of jellyfish and fried wontons, and be sure to sample of few offerings from the Chef’s Special portion of the menu. 5682 Fraser Street.

Photo: Bâtard Bakery

5. Bâtard Bakery

Inspired by European tradition but firmly rooted in East Van, Bâtard Bakery is a true boulangerie, making all of its bread in-house and continually developing its menu with the seasons. Baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, quiches and coffee are all available daily, and there’s also some delightful boutique edibles and preserves to bring home. Bon appétit! 3958 Fraser Street.

Photo: Tandoori Raj

6. Tandoori Raj

There are many options for authentic Indian in this neighbourhood, as the southern area of East Van has been home to newcomers from India for many years—which has built a robust community and provided no shortage of restaurant choices. Tandoori Raj offers crowd-pleasing butter chicken as well as a wide selection of tandoori-baked breads and an extensive list of vegetarian dishes. This restaurant is also a popular option for takeout. 689 East 65th Avenue.

Photo: Masayoshi/Leila Kwok

7. Masayoshi

“Hidden gem” might be an understatement when discussing Masayoshi, a pint-sized omakase (a word which translates roughly to “I’ll leave it up to you” in Japanese) restaurant roughly halfway up Fraser Street. Chef Masayoshi Baba, with an impressive resume including 10 years as sushi chef at Tojo’s, presents a masterful omakase performance with the diners as his audience. Order three days in advance and prepare to be impressed. 4376 Fraser Street.

Photo: Dosa Corner

8. Dosa Corner

A dosa, for those who are unfamiliar, is akin to a large crepe with a savoury filling—a specialty of southern India and an increasingly popular dish in East Van. Try the very reasonably priced offerings at Dosa Corner, and while you’re there be sure to sample their delightful curries as well. 8248 Fraser Street.

With so many delicious reasons to visit South Fraser Street, you’ll want to call it home in no time flat. The Fraser Commons offers a close connection to the city, while still giving you many reasons to stay near home. On-site childcare, a private park and a plaza space, in addition to accessible amenities and the thoughtful design of these homes, make them an easy choice for your next move.

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