Vancouver Weekender: May 11 through 13, 2012

With sunshine in the forecast and temperatures likely to (finally) hit 20 degrees, we’re all about getting outdoors to enjoy a weekend full of action.

Friday calls for a bit of a post-work patio touring. For starters, we suggest you beeline it over to the recently opened English Bay Cactus Club Cafe and score yourself front-row beachside seats with a notable view. Thus far we’ve dined aplenty in their lounge, noshing on signature dishes exclusive to this stunning location (ceviche, yes please!); they’ve only just extended seating to their beach-level patio (with about 100 spots available).

Next, cocktail your way over to Kitsilano and grab a seat at either of these old favourite spot for a bit of people-watching: Las Margarita’s or Hell’s Kitchen. Both long-time classic go-to’s offer no-nonsense grub and are perfect places to catch a bit of sun while unwinding after a hectic week at work.

Saturday marks the official re-opening of Vancouver’s bustling farmer’s market season with the launch of the Trout Lake Farmer’s Market (at a new location) set to start doling out local produce and goods. With more than 50 different vendors on hand, stock up on a variety of fresh and homemade items at this picturesque location in East Van. Trout Lake Farmer’s Market is open each Saturday from 9am until 2pm – don’t miss out!

While we’re talking food, EPIC Sustainable Living Expo and Green Living Exhibition marks its 6th anniversary in Vancouver and takes place all weekend long at the Convention Centre. Learn from experts, hundreds of exhibitors, take in live-cooking performances and score foodie insights and samples galore.

Come Saturday night, we think you ought to get yourself over to the Summer Night Market in Richmond (one of the largest in the Lower Mainland and one of the top four night markets in the world).  Take in hundreds of vendors, live performances and demos, and don’t forget to save room for food – there’s plenty of that, too.

We’re thinking that Sunday will be all about Mom for most YPs out there.  We’ve got a few noteworthy spots we think you ought to consider taking her to for a bit of leisurely brunch. First off, be sure to check out Yaletown’s Cento Notti at the plush OPUS Hotel for their ‘twisted Italian’ take on comfort foods that’ll get Moms’ thumbs-up. As an added bonus, Cento Notti is donating 25% of all Mother’s Day brunch proceeds to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 25th Annual Miracle Weekend. Now that’s worth noting.

Another option that fits the Mother’s Day bill: Gramercy Grill is offering a special brunch menu with mom in mind. She’ll love the laidback casual atmosphere and quaint street-side patio almost as much as the delicious menu offerings. Tempt her with Wild Berry French Toast, fresh Chicken and Mushroom Crepes, a Seafood Tower and plenty more.

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday with Mom by treating her to a stroll through either Van Dusen Botanical Gardens or checking out the Vancouver Chinese Garden (where she’ll even get in free on Mother’s Day).