Eaters Gotta Eat: Where Burdock and Co’s Shiva Reddy Sources Her Favourite Meals in Vancouver

Where the charismatic wine nerd goes for brunch pizza, "adult mac and cheese" and outrageously good goat curry.

Great taste? Shiva Reddy’s got it. Not only is the trained sommelier on the front-of-house team at Michelin-starred Burdock and Co and a food and wine columnist for the CBC, she’s also busy making a docu-series spotlighting South Asian culture (watch for Not Your Butter Chicken premiering in May). For your eating pleasure, the industry veteran divulges her fave cacio e pepe, Jamaican patties, and “the best brunch in the city” (hint: there’s pie).

Bar Tartare

54 Alexander St.

Bar Tartare, previously the beloved Juice Bar, is reimagined with a rotating tartare menu (fish, meat, and veg options) and different chefs cooking weekly. “Right now, for example, you have Alvaro [Montes De Oca] from Ubuntu Canteen doing modern Mexican,” says Reddy. “It’s a really fun wine bar and they make it really accessible. All the wines look at farming practices, they’re all minimal intervention styles, and they also carry classics too.”

La Quercia

3689 W. 4th Ave.

For Italian, intimate La Quercia, run by husband-and-wife team Adam Pegg and Karin Lazzardis, gets Reddy’s vote. “Their wine bar is the kind of place you walk in and they all know your name. The dish that won my heart is Stoney Paradise Tomatoes with burrata. It’s outstanding. I went back at least three times to have it again.” For a carb pairing, Reddy gets the Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe (even though she knows cacio e pepe is “like an adult mac-and-cheese”) and to sip, a Northern Italian white Friuli. 

The Pie Shoppe

1875 Powell St.

“It’s the best brunch in the city—it’s so freaking good!” says Reddy of the East Van spot owned by sisters/pastry chefs Stephanie and Andrea French. “Great coffee, great pizza, interesting pies. I like to have Hawaiian pizza, which I would never order anywhere else, they caramelize the pineapple perfectly. It’s called The Kent and it’s such a tasty time.”

Baby Dhal Roti Shop

2707 Commercial Dr.

“I think takeout spots are so important because we can’t all afford to dine out all the time anymore,” says Reddy, who goes to Trinidadian hot spot Baby Dhal for the “outrageously good” Goat Curry, but you really can’t go wrong because all the comfort-food faves—think oxtail stew, pholourie, and curry chicken—because they’re made fresh in-house daily.

Indian Roti Kitchen

2961 Cambie St.

“When I want to fight fire, I like the really spicy Lamb Roti,” she says of this tiny take-out-only spot which serves up rotis so enormous they often last multiple meals. “I know everybody is a sucker for Butter Chicken, but it’s so good when it’s made well, so sometimes I’ll get that.”

Cultivate Tea

2280 Main St.

“I really love a good tea spot, and I love Cultivate because it feels like you’re no longer in Vancouver—it’s such a calm, relaxing environment.” Her sips of choice? “One of the Phoenix Oolongs or an exploration of different kinds of pu-erh teas [a type of Chinese tea made from fermented and aged leaves].”

Sushi Hil

3330 Main St.

“Chef Hilary has done such a good job with this place—it’s unassuming and it just hits way above.” Order of choice? Reddy couldn’t tell you; she never looks at the menu. “I literally walk in and have no intention except for a feeling: that I want to feel nurtured and have interesting flavours. Chef Hilary just picks for me.”


350 Carrall St.

The sake and cocktail program, and a fusion-y Rice Cake Bolognese—made with classic Korean rice cakes and gochujang bolognesehave Reddy flocking to Pidgin’s bar. “You just get to see such a curious endeavour around West Coast cuisine there. For a lot of people they think West Coast means farm-to-table through a European lens. But farm-to-table is just literally a farm to a table and the West Coast is made up of so many different cultures; Pidgin does that so well.”


La Buca

4025 MacDonald St. 

Italian again, but this time it’s Northern-style dishes at La Buca on the West Side. “Some of the old-school Savio Volpe chefs are there [including Mark Perrier] as well as Ubuntu chefs. So it’s a cool fusion of people in one kitchen and it’s just so nice and chill.” Last summer, she tried an unforgettable salty-sweet-creamy Corn Cappelletti so good she brought her mom back for it the next day. “Mom loved it; didn’t even share any with me.” 

Merci Boulangerie

2879 Commercial Dr.

“Natalie Cumberbirch is the coolest, nicest person you will ever meet in your life,” says Reddy of the owner behind Merci (whose career path includes working at Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris.) The much-loved spot for bread and croissants only just recently opened a storefront in early February. “It’s delicious, traditional, homey Parisian food.”

Rise Up store interior
Photo: Tanya Goehring

Rise Up Market

704 Vernon Dr.

The rich community environment and delish Jamaican Patties have her running to Rise Up whenever she’s in Strathcona. “They’re so nice there. They actually take the time to get to know you. Plus, I love that you get to see so many intergenerational relationships happening: older kids coming in for a doughnut, elderly folks coming in for a coffee… it’s just really nice.”