The Best Thing I Ate All Week: Clam Chowder at Crab Park Chowdery

This could be the beginning of a friendly competition with chowder capitals South of the border.

April 5, 2017

By Gabrielle Lakusta / Photo: @hangrymechanic

Thanks to working a part-time job as a tour guide, I wind up in Seattle every few weekends with nothing to do but wait for the bus to depart—so, of course, I spend my time eating. And more often than not, I’ll track down a hearty bowl of clam chowder. Spoiled from the greats (it doesn’t seem to matter where I go—or maybe I just have good luck—I always find amazing chowder), I often head back to Vancouver unable to find anything that compares.

But that all changed when Crab Park Chowdery opened its doors in Gastown in mid-January. Along with being the first restaurant in Vancouver to specialize in chowder, Crab Park also caters to the city’s vegan and vegetarian crowds with vegan chilli and smoky tomato soup on the menu. They also serve loaded baked potato soup, a rotating chowder of the day, and my personal favourite: New England clam chowder.

It was love at first taste. Packed with potato, onion and tender clams, it’s well-balanced and less heavy than other cream-based chowders: the unusual green tint is indicative of the flavourful (and secret!) blend of herbs incorporated within. Crab Park is also the first spot in Vancouver to serve their chowder in a bread bowl. Made by Swiss Bakery, the sourdough is fresh enough to eat on its own (if you don’t go for the full bread bowl, you’ll get a hearty piece on the side for dipping), but is even better when smothered in rich, creamy chowder.

With warm millwork and exposed brick throughout, the chowdery’s Gastown location is the perfect place to cozy up with a hot bowl of chowder, especially on rainy days—and now I won’t need to wait until my next tour down south to get a taste of the good stuff.

New England Clam Chowder, $7,

(Photo: @hangrymechanic.)

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