I recently moved away from Commercial Drive, which is pretty much a foodist’s heaven with its plethora of food shops, eateries and watering holes. These are the things I miss most.
10 best of the Drive:
1. Sausages and whisky at Falconetti’s, a dark, cavey little bar that is also open to the street. Excellent handmade sausages and fries accompany a decent bar selection and good people pouring. 1812 Commercial Drive.
2. Old-school Italian at Arriva Ristorante. The Drive was the original Little Italy and eventhough it’s much more diverse now, this is still the place for authentic carbonara or bucca alla amatriciana. 1537 Commercial Drive.
3. The Ravioli Store for fresh made pasta and Italian prosciutto. 1900 Commercial Drive.
4. South China Seas for spices, hard to find ethnic ingredients and cookbooks. 1904 Grant Street (at Victoria Drive).
5. Coffee from Calabria, Bump & Grind, Prado and Continental. No, sorry, I’m not picking one. They’re all favorites for different reasons; Calabria for making me laugh with its utter cheesiness – 1745 Commercial Drive, Bump & Grind for it’s bohemian furniture and comfy atmosphere – 916 Commercial Drive, Prado for its sleek minimalist decor – 1938 Commercial Drive, and Continental for the smell of roast beans and the undercurrent of revolution – 1806 Commercial Drive.
6. La Grotta del Formaggio for cheese and sandwiches. 1791 Commercial Drive.
7. Tandoori Palace, which is as close as I can get to having a regular haunt. I’ve only ever had their channa masala, but I’ve had it a LOT. Comfort food. 1439 Commercial Drive.
8. Bacon from JN&Z Deli. Enough said.
9. Havana. The food can be hit or miss but the deck, the décor and the pitchers of mojitos will sway you always. 1212 Commercial Drive.
10. Mediterranean Specialty Foods for amazing fresh hummus, spanikopitas, olives and assorted other Greek delicacies. 1824 Commercial Drive.
Not to mention the many fresh produce markets, bakeries and little ethnic eateries lined up for blocks. I’m looking forward to checking out my new neighbourhood, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll still be making some trips back to the Drive.
What are your favorites?