Vancouver Weekender: September 23rd through 25th, 2011

A quick look at the weekend forecast reveals we’ve got a few days of sunshine ahead (though, knowing ‘Raincouver’ we recommend you keep that umbrella handy). This weekend calls for notables to get outside and explore the city, and we’ve rounded up some events and ideas that fit the bill.

Start with dinner on Friday night at the acclaimed, award-winning foodie-favorite: Bao-Bei Chinese Brasserie and see what all the buzz is about for yourself. This cozy little spot has garnered wide-spread praise for its modern (MSG-free) take on traditional Chinese comfort foods and carefully crafted drinks. You’ll find Bao-Bei located at 163 Keefer Street.

Follow suit with a stop in a few doors down at The Keefer Bar (pictured above) for an apothecary cocktail treat blending carefully selected ingredients sourced from the local Chinatown market. We recommend you find your inner Zen with the delectable Tiger’s Tail, or opt for a quick-fix and order their signature Smoking Dragon. Enjoy the eclectic, up-beat and interesting ambiance this space offers at 135 Keefer Street.

Wake-up (slowly) the following day and head out for some brunch-fixings at the notoriously good-times The Elbow Room located at 560 Davie Street where, “if you don’t finish your food, a donation will be collected for charity.” Be forewarned: attitude abounds at this popular Vancouver breakfast junction; diners are all-but-told to get their own coffee and water as needed. Their mouth-watering selection of omelettes, Bennys and ‘Country Style’ big breakfast offerings are certain to fulfill your appetite and help get your Saturday started.

Next up, head over to the Main Street Station Farmers Market located at Thornton Park adjacent to the Pacific Central Station and get the scoop on fresh, local goods. Enjoy the pick of the crop courtesy of 30 different vendors and providers at one of Vancouver’s larger markets that’ll only be around for a few more weekends.

So you’ve grabbed your goodies and are headed home, but not before stopping by Viti Wine & Lager to take your pick from more than 350 craft BC and Import brews (and nearly 600 different wines) that’ll pair perfectly with your market finds – and make for a lax night with friends. Find Viti Wine & Lager next to the Moda Hotel (post-home bevy anyone?) at 900 Seymour Street.

Hankering for a night out? No problem. You’ll find your fix at the 3rd Annual Olio Festival celebrating all things Music, Skate, Art, Film and Comedy-related. With plenty of late-night entertainment acts to choose from, this is the perfect way to cap off an eventful day. Venues and schedules can be found online, tickets vary in price.

Roll into a relaxed Sunday (and relish the weather!) with a stroll around Granville Island, grabbing a fresh brew and baked goods at the Agro Cafe. With fresh, organic, fair-trade coffee wafting through the doors, you’ll be happily placated. Find them at 1363 Railspur Alley.

Tuck into the shops and take in the laid-back bustle that is quintessentially Granville Island-style before making your way along 4th Avenue toward the award-winning Kitsilano haunt (with a Parisian-vibe), Bistro Pastis. Tuck into well-priced haute cuisine with a West Coast twist. We love their Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and Salade Niçoise, served with a side of Pommes Frites (mais oui!).

Looking for something a little less indulgent? Then head over to Legacy Liquor Store located in Athletes Village (1633 Manitoba Street) and educate your palate, for free. What young professional doesn’t want, or need, to bone-up on their wine-savvy ways? This Sunday, Legacy is boasting the Best of BC Tasting from 2 to 6pm, featuring top producers of fine wines from the Okanagan region – a definite notable experience.

Hankering for a taste of 90s grunge? Sunday night will see Pearl Jam playing to a massive audience at the Pacific Coliseum starting at 7:30pm. With a few key-spots left, what better a reason to break out your plaid and don those worn-out jeans than this? Guaranteed you’ll be Alive in an Ocean of musical bliss.