GOOD TO KNOW: http://donnellygroup.ca/the-lamplighter/
Specialties: Classic pub food, huge selection of Canadian beer on tap
Gluten-free: clearly marked on the menu; hard cider
Other: Happy hour, prime rib on Sunday
Note: Nightly events
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use them to make a purchase, I'll earn a bit of money from the sale to save for my next gluten-free adventure.
Zigging instead of zagging leads to a couple new Vancouver faves
My first trip to Vancouver B.C. ended up being a quick overview of the city. We covered a lot of ground but didn't really stop to take in the sights or wander the neighborhoods. My second visit, which came sooner than expected, was spent getting acquainted with Gastown, a historic neighborhood bordering the waterfront and home to a colorful mix of upscale boutiques, eclectic restaurants, Canadian trinket shops, local watering holes, transients and trash galore.
Victorian Hotel near Gastown
Thanks to a twice-rescheduled concert and a flexible cancellation policy with Expedia and the Abbotsford Super 8, Shawn and I found ourselves 30 miles from Vancouver with no child, no plans, no reservations, and the opportunity to spend some time in one of Vancouver's oldest neighborhoods, which we neglected to do on our last visit. First order of business, find a hotel in or near Gastown. Quickly done. The newly remodeled Victorian Hotel is a European-style hotel in that the building is turn-of-the-century and the super modern bathroom is down the hall. An added touch is a mini suit armor standing sentry at the entrance to the third floor. In daylight he is kind of cool and adds to the historic feel but after dark, on a late night trek to the bathroom, he seems a little larger and a little more aware of the occupants comings and goings and mostly scares the hell out of you. Given the choice, I will always pick a memorable older hotel or inn with charm over a slick, elevator-filled, modern chain. Since we arrived before our room was ready, we parked the Sube, zipped our jackets, and headed out to find something to eat.
Finding gluten-free in Gastown - The Lamplighter Public House for dinner
Map in hand, we headed toward the waterfront and walked up one side of Water Street and down the other peering in windows and reading menus - looking for the right mix of ambiance and "blow your New Year's resolution" food. We finally settled on The Lamplighter Public House - the menu was clearly marked with several gluten-free and vegetarian choices and to be honest, I saw yam fries on the menu and made a beeline for the door. If you happen to be a beer drinker, I recommend carving out time to stop by the Lamplighter. The beer list is extensive - lagers, pilsners, ales, witbier, IPAs, porters, stouts, rotating taps and hard ciders - most of which are brewed in Canada. I would have loved to try a beer or two but beer is rarely gluten-free so I settled for a pint of hard pear cider. In the end, I saved the "blowing my New Year's resolution" meal for another day and ordered the grilled kale and chicken salad with yam fries to start. My meal didn't blow my doors off but it was filling and tasty and the cider was pretty good too. Shawn chose fish and chips and a beer because it kind of felt like the thing to do, though he mostly knew better. His review: The beer was good, the fish and chips were classic British style and tasty for what they were, but he's discovered he's an ugly American in this way and mostly misses Skipper's.
Our first day and night in Canada didn't go as planned but we did get another crack at Vancouver and I found my new favorite place to stay. Although next time I might request a room without an ever-present suit of armor outside my door. The Lamplighter Public House doesn’t make my list of places I MUST to go back to but it was an enjoyable enough start to our much needed mini-break in British Columbia.
Read about our first trip to Vancouver.
A note to readers:
I am gluten sensitive/intolerant so I am not overly concerned with possible cross contamination. If you have severe reactions, I recommend taking additional precautions.