Re-vamped a few years ago as an eating, shopping, creating, and playing destination, New Westminster’s River Market is a delicious spot along the mighty Fraser River worth checking out.
From waffle cones heaped with cool, creamy gelato to soulful BBQ, and from lip-smacking good pan-Asian bites to a great wall of tea, there’s something at this fun community hub for every eater.
Here’s our guide for where to eat at New West’s River Market.
One of two ventures in the River Market that comes from prolific Vancouver chef Angus An, Longtail Kitchen is a great place to sit down and tuck into a vibrant and flavour-packed Thai meal. The menu is focused on beautiful renditions of classic dishes infused with the Pacific Northwest via top-notch ingredients. Get their finger-licking good signature chicken wings, bowls of comforting coconutty soup, or deliciously sauced noodles.
This European-style bakery is the spot to go for treats and baked goods to munch on while you wander or take home for later. They also do a bit of border hopping to focus on Mexican and Spanish food, so you can also satisfy your craving for tacos, tortas, and tostadas here, and more.
The permanent spot where you can find the soulful BBQ eats first peddled in Vancouver via a food card is right inside the River Market. From tender brisket slices to crispy seasoned fried chicken served with mounds of creamy slaw and a pour of their house-made cola, you can feast like a king or queen on Re-Up’s eats.
It’s hard to miss Great Wall Tea, because they’ve literally got a wall of tea–and, yep, it’s a great one. They’ve got over 150 varieties of teas from around the globe, and can guide you through choosing what’s best for what you are looking for or want to try. Stored in very-eye catching tins that bear charming tea cup photos taken by the owner, a visit to the bar here is a must for tea lovers.
Chicken, chicken, and more chicken is what’s on the menu at Freebird, the second Angus An effort at the River Market. The chicken spot has just winged its way into a new space at the Market (taking over the old Wally’s Burgers spot) which means more room to serve up their Asian-style roasted free-range, hormone-free chickens with sides like rice, soup, and salads.
If you scream like I scream for gelato, save room for a scoop or two of Tre Galli’s gelato. This casual cafe not only dishes up cups and cones of the cold, creamy stuff (or the equally cold but cream-free non-dairy sobettos), they also brew Italian espresso drinks and offer laid back fare like panini and pizza.
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A former Vancouver staple that’s migrated south, Wild Rice is a modern Chinese bistro with a Western touch. Tuck into appies like their wicked good chicken skins, or nibble on juicy traditional siu mai dumplings. Wild Rice has an array of vegan-friendly and carnivore-friendly eats like Peking Duck Tacos, Spicy Kung Pao Chicken (or Tofu!), stir fries, noodles, rice, and more. Plus you can grab a seat and sip on beer, wine, or cocktails here.
If any (or all) of this looks good to you, a cool program that River Market has put together is a food crawl passport. For $20, and available in both an omnivore and vegan option, get five out of a set of pre-selected signature dishes and make your way through the market. The passes are sold at the TINY booth (next to Great Wall Tea) on the ground level; cash only.
Address: 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster