Vancouver Weekender: August 26th through 28th, 2011

The week’s flown by and we’ve been drumming up ideas to help our Notable readers get the most out of what’s shaping up to be another fair weather weekend.

For starters, may we suggest you secure your space, bar side, and kick-back for après-work action at the always-packed Rodney’s Oyster Bar in Yaletown. For the people-watcher, this local watering-hole is replete with colourful characters (and for the ladies, plenty of eye-candy to go with that cocktail). Our recommended drink of choice has to be the Rodney’s Caesar, complete with jumbo prawn garnish and just the right amount of freshly grated horseradish and spice.

After you’ve had a chance to unwind and you’ve noshed on some seafood samplings, head over to the edge of Gastown where you’ll find Van Django playing within the serenity of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Don’t be fooled into thinking this event will put you to bed early – quite the opposite. This amazing acoustic string ensemble “raises the roof with punchy, driving music” that lends an upbeat groove to their take on “hot jazz.”

When the show’s over, meander over to the much-loved Shebeen for a night-cap. Always a favourite late-night stop off for Vancouverite’s hankering for a relaxed, fun atmosphere, this spot is where it’s at if you’re a Scotch lover.

Saturday calls for more sunshine, and to get you geared-up right, we think you ought to stroll down to the cozy, comfortable Two Chefs and a Table located in Railtown and partake in some mouth-wateringly good brunch-eats. We love the simplicity of their menu and the individual French press coffee brought right to your table. Choose from an abundance of freshly-baked goods or traditional breakfast fare (we like the West Coast-style continental breakfast served with Smoked Salmon).

If you’re not checking out the two-day Urban Culture Conference Awards taking place at the Plaza of Nations (we’ve made note of this before) why not trek out to nearby Historic Steveston Village in Richmond for a day of exploration, shopping and eating instead?

Located alongside the Fraser River, and a short drive from downtown Vancouver, this is the perfect day-trip destination for discovery. With plenty of on-going festivals, galleries, cafes, boutiques and restaurants beckoning – we think your day will be filled before you know it.

After you’ve stuffed yourself with some of the best Mexican food the lower mainland has to offer at the Little Mexico Cantina, and have stocked up on some great wines after swinging by Sip Wines during one of their free Saturday tastings, head back to town in time to take in a Whitecaps game at Empire Field.

Enjoy a lazy start to Sunday with a bite to start things off at the Twisted Fork, located on Granville Street, before you venture off to the ever-popular Portobello West Market where you’re bound to unleash the need to shop. Over the years, Portobello West has grown exponentially as a must-see and do haven for fashion-savvy Vancouverites. Doors open at 11am and the first 45 people get a swag bag loaded with crafty goods.

After an afternoon indoors, we think you ought to head over to the Stanley Park Malkin Bowl to Burn One Down with Ben (Harper, that is). Celebrating one of the last outdoor concert events of the season, the one and only Ben Harper is set to take the stage with his signature style starting at 5:30pm.

Image courtesy Po Yang’s Flickr.