By Alice Chen
Meant to be eaten family-style, a seafood boil refers to when shellfish, along with sides like sausage, potatoes, corn, are boiled (hence the name), seasoned with some serious spices, and poured right onto the table.
Neat freaks, look away because this is messy business. Seafood boils are meant to be eaten without utensils; diners are equipped with a bib, gloves, and tools (usually a wooden board, mallet, seafood pick and cracker) and simply dig into the smorgasbord of seafood.
While some seafood boils are strictly seasonal (such as WildTale’s Crab Boil, Yew seafood + bar’s Summer Crab & Lobster Boil Series, and Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar’s Sunday Seafood Boil Series), you can enjoy these five seafood boils in Metro Vancouver all year round.
The Captain’s Boil opened their first West Coast location this year. The seafood boil is tossed in a plastic bag, coated with their secret blend of Asian-inspired spices. The seafood is charged by weight and ordering is straightforward: you choose your catch, flavor, and heat.
Address: 1226-8338 Capstan Way, Richmond
The Fish Shack’s Fisherman’s Catch comes with a menagerie of Dungeness crab, mussels, snow crab, prawns, calamari, clams, green beans, potatoes, corn, chorizo – all boiled in a net with a Cajun mix and then cut open at the table. The Fisherman’s Catch comes in two sizes: small and big (with the latter including lobster).
Address: 1026 Granville Street, Vancouver
North Vancouver’s Pier 7 Restaurant offers The Boil every Thursday from 5 pm onwards. Portioned for two, The Boil includes snow crab, Dungeness crab, prawns, mussels, clams, calamari, including potatoes, okra, corn, and chorizo. Along with some breathtaking views of downtown Vancouver, Pier 7 serves up a more elegant version of the seafood boil; it’s hand-tossed and seasoned tableside, then served in the pot.
Address: 25 Wallace Mews Road, North Vancouver
Coast Restaurant’s Fisherman’s Catch weighs in at an impressive four and a half pounds and features Dungeness crab, snow crab, prawns, mussels, clams, and calamari. Coast offers three choices of preparation: lemon-garlic dill butter, sweet chili-lime, or classic Old Bay seasoning.
Address: 1054 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Located in Burnaby, So Crab So Good is an inconspicuous, no-frills restaurant located on the second floor. The seafood is cooked to perfection, and diners have the option of having either Combo A (shrimp, clams, mussels, corn, red skin potato and sausage) or B (includes additional Dungeness crab) with their choice of seasoning.
Address: 2853 Hastings Street, Burnaby
Alice Chen is a freelancer writer, content marketer, and chocolate consumer. Twitter: @_alicechen.