Dine Railtown: Month-long initiative supports Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community


The Dine Railtown feature dish at The Belgard Kitchen is a Yam Gnocchi with Lamb Ragu. Photo courtesy The Belgard Kitchen/Dine Railtown

A new month-long initiative kicking off on November 1 is aimed at benefiting an organization that supports vulnerable members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community.

Dine Railtown features nine area restaurants, each offering a special dish from which each sale proceeds are donated to the Powell Street Getaway, one of 42 sites operated by the Lookout Housing and Health Society across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island.

The Powell Street Getaway at 528 Powell Street, is a peer-led resource centre that supports people living with chronic illnesses, addictions and/or mental health challenges. Funds raised from Dine Railtown will be put directly towards Powell Street Getaway programming and initiatives.

Railtown is home to some of Vancouver’s most popular and critically-acclaimed restaurants, including Ask For Luigi, The Mackenzie Room, and St. Lawrence. They’ll be joined by industry peers The Belgard Kitchen; Cuchillo; LanaLou’s; The Uncommon Cafe; Railtown Cafe; and Pallet Coffee Roasters in offering a Dine Railtown feature dish.

Ask For Luigi is one of Railtown’s most popular restaurants. Photo courtesy Dine Railtown

Dine Railtown is being done with the support of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA), which includes the Railtown community in its area of operation.

Railtown is also the location of Oppenheimer Park, a flashpoint for ongoing conversations about housing and the temporarily un-housed community. Many of these esteemed restaurants operate in direct proximity to the park; Dine Railtown gives Vancouverites the opportunity to not only support those businesses, but to also support the work of the Powell Street Getaway.

The Dine Railtown map was designed by Vancouver artist Tom Froese.

“We’re proud of the owner-operated small businesses that have come to define Railtown as a true dining destination in Vancouver,” says Theodora Lamb, Executive Director at the SBIA in a media release. “It’s an opportunity for people to discover some of what this area has to offer through a culinary lens while, at the same time, building connections to the community in which these businesses operate.”

Dine Railtown

When: November 1-30, 2019
Where: Participating Railtown restaurants

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom