Eating and Drinking Guide 2010: Best Destination Food Shops

Nikuya Meats
11220 Voyageur Way, Richmond, 604-276-2983. Specializing in Japanese, American, and Australian Kobe beef, this store supplies more than a dozen upscale Vancouver restaurants, like Blue Water Cafe. It’s the only Canadian importer of gold-grade Snake River Farms cattle, and also stock sought-after Kurobuta pork.  

4156 E. Hastings St., Burnaby, 604-291-9373 Brothers Rino and Sergio Cioffi dry-age anything at customers’ requests, though there’s plenty that’s ready to go: bison prime rib and grain- or milk-fed veal are available weekends. Find exceptional Italian sausage, lamb from Salt Spring and Alberta, and buffalo bocconcini direct from Italy.

Dolce Gelato
15045 Marine Dr., White Rock, 604-535-1070 Head south for the best gelato this side of Milan, where owners Davide Pacifici and Elisabetta Minzoni hail from. This is the real deal: classic Italian flavours (stracciatella, bacio, cioccolatto), made daily on the premises, deeply infused with flavour and served up—creamily, dreamily—with spatulas rather than ice-cream scoops. Da morire, as they say in Italy—to die for.

Panadería Latina Bakery

4906 Joyce St., Burnaby, 604-439-1414 Hidden behind a nondescript storefront just north of the Joyce SkyTrain station, this shop serves South American treats like pandelos de crema (turnovers filled with cream) and sticky-sweet hojaldra (layers of pastry and dulce de leche). Hot sandwiches are also available; try the Gautón, loaded with tomatoes, cheese, green beans, and slices of tender beef ($9.25). Stock up on the imported Latin American groceries that line the shelves, including canned tomatillos, Mexican hot chocolate, and varieties of salsa you’d never find at your local. ¡Delicioso!

Galloway’s Specialty Foods
7860 Alderbridge Way, Richmond, 604-270-6363; 110-8620 Glenlyon Pkwy., Burnaby, 604-430-6363. Richmond’s go-to place for herbs and spices, condiments, and a vast array of dried and crystallized fruits: think Turkish apricots, tamarind, and Calimyrna figs.

Hopcott Premium Meats
18385 Dewdney Trunk Rd., Pitt Meadows, 604-465-7799 The Hopcotts dry-age their hormone- and additive-free beef for 21 to 28 days in large coolers for maximum tenderness, an extremely costly process (they lose at least 10 percent of the meat due to shrinkage)—but the end result is beef of the highest quality.

Scardillo Cheese
7865 Venture St., Burnaby, 604-420-9892 The Scardillos have been making the freshest bocconcini, ricotta, mozzarella, and other Italian cheeses for over 25 years here, at their combined Burnaby factory/retail location. Great selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, too.

JD Farms Specialty Turkey Store

24726 52nd Ave., Langley, 604-856-2431 Free-range, non-medicated, all-natural turkeys that make really great holiday dinners, plus fresh and smoked turkey sausages. The store also stocks organic goodies to accompany the turkey to the table: bread, spices, honey, and more.