We’re taking a tasty tour of Vancouver’s many brunches to create The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide. This week we’re on East Hastings, tucking into the delicious brunch offerings at The Red Wagon.
Located in East Vancouver, The Red Wagon is a small corner café on East Hastings and Garden Street. It is an unpretentious neighbourhood joint with a distinct roadside diner feel, serving a mouthwatering variety of temptations.
With pulled pork pancakes, bbq brisket and eggs, smoked salmon scramble, crispy pork belly, and a whole range of other equally appetizing brunch plates, it’s no wonder that The Red Wagon attracts a large crowd come the weekend––a crowd that usually ends up wrapping itself around the building.
The most popular item on the brunch menu are the pulled pork pancakes ($14), for good reason too, it must be said. The dish consists of three buttermilk pancakes layered with pulled pork and is served in a pool of Jack Daniels-spiked maple syrup. It is a tremendous meal; the pancakes are thick and fluffy, and the pulled pork deliciously juicy and packed with flavour.
Each weekend the café also features a brunch special. On our visit the dish was comprised of duck confit, two poached eggs, and green onion pancakes served with a sweet hoisin, maple syrup reduction––a winning combination of flavours too good to resist. You may not think at first that these two very distinct condiments would go together but they do, amazingly well!
Although the café has a bit of greasy spoon vibe, the food dished up is anything but. While some dishes, like the Super Trucker (two eggs, two pancakes, pulled pork, crisp pork belly, home fries and toast), may be a challenge to finish, thanks to their generous size, the quality of the ingredients is evident with each bite, as is the cooking mastery of chef / owner Brad Miller and his team.
To wash all that sweet and salty brunch goodness down, diners visiting The Red Wagon have the choice between a range of early morning beverages like: tea, coffee, mimosa’s, juice, soda, an ice cream float, and more.
With such a delicious sounding weekend brunch menu it’s not surprising The Red Wagon is wildly popular. By 10 a.m. (after being open for an hour) the restaurant is bustling, so much so it is common to wait 20 to 30 minutes for a table. If a line up does start to form, the staff are usually quick to hand out warm, sugared doughnuts as a way to show their appreciation for waiting.
Although the food is the main attraction, it’s also worth noting The Red Wagon’s relaxed and welcoming dining space, as well as the friendly and knowledgeable staff, who are not only happy to share their recommendations, but are also generous on the coffee refills.
With excellent food, efficient service, reasonable pricing and a casual vibe, brunch at The Red Wagon promises to make hungry diners happy for all the right reasons.
The Red Wagon
Address: 2296 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Hours: Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.