VAN: Three North Van Spots Worth Checking Out This Fall

North Van went and got hip.

We recently headed over to the North Shore for a girl’s night out along the ever-transforming Lonsdale Avenue and discovered that this once-sleepy section of town has been totally revamped.

Think: a younger, trendier, sexier crowd. 

And so to feed this young professional appetite, plenty of great new spots have popped up for cocktails, light bites, and late night patio sessions.

The three hot spots we choose to visit are all owned and operated by longtime Vancouverite and North Shore boy, Paul Mon-Kau and his business partner-in-crime, Jeff Murl. Ands we can see exactly why they’ve cornered the market given that each establishment offers up plenty of atmosphere, great service, and exceptionally good grub.

The Little District
We wandered in and were immediately greeted and shown to our table in their new, back patio (very cool). Surrounded by greenery, the setting is very Toronto-style (in our opinion at least).  Lighting is a little on the dim side (a few TiKi torches would perfect it), though we were notably impressed otherwise. Cocktail offerings were aplenty and our appetites filled by the large share-style plate featuring fish tacos, cod fritters as well as crab and shrimp cakes. A little on the deep-fried side, but oh-so-good.

El Matador
It felt as though we’d been transported back to an authentic Spanish wine and tapa bar. Rustic styling, dark wood, and red-hued lighting throughout the tight space set the mood just right. Adding to this ambience, Mon-Kau and Murl have created an extensive menu geared toward light share plate snacks (grilled goats cheese, cabrales, mixed olives) and a variety of sherry and Spanish wines. This spot gets our vote for a cozy date night go-to this fall.

The District Brasserie
A place known for its Belgian-influenced dishes, this is first restaurant the duo opened in the area. Imagine mounds of juicy mussels and hand cut Belgian fries you simply can’t stop eating. Paul wasted no time getting to work in the kitchen prepping us a nearly-midnight snack comprised of steak tartare, warm beet salad, and grilled chorizo as we sipped at a variety of craft beer samples. Definitely a place that gets packed with locals, all of whom covet a spot on the street-side patio for some people watching.

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