Whether you're planning a sunset picnic or festive soiree to mark Bastille Day, or if you're simply craving un gout de France, Vancouver is teeming with incredible spots to find authentic, delicious French food.
For a Parisian-inspired picnic, look for traditional and easy-to-carry foods for your basket or chic tote bag. French picnic essentials include baguettes, cheese, pâté, saucisson and wine, plus pastries.
Since Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, your French Vancouver outing can also be about enjoying nibbles and great company (but we will never judge if you want to partake in a solo picnique).
Even if you aren't planning to pack the party to go to a Vancouver park or beach, the city's cafés, patisseries, and restaurants have many authentic dishes for you to enjoy.
What to pack for a French picnic in Vancouver
For your charcuterie spread, visit Oyama Sausage Co. at the Granville Island Public Market for all your pate and saucisson. There, French citizen Jérôme can help you shop from their extensive French-style items.
Baguettes can be found throughout the city of Vancouver, and the Consulate General of France in Vancouver has a list of bakeries either founded/owned by French citizens or whose bakers, owners, or employees have done French training.
Head to L’Atelier Patisserie for pastries like eclairs or Paris Brest - this spot just ranked on a new Top 25 Places to Eat in Vancouver list. But you’ll also find beautiful French treats at Faubourg, including a special edition cake and eclairs available from July 13 to 17 for Bastille Day.
La Bise Bakery has canelés - a cylindrical sweet treat with a caramelized exterior and soft interior. For a more “elevated” picnic, Le Bon Moment out of Burnaby has a rotating menu with several mignardise (bite-sized desserts).
If you want to grab a bottle of French wine to go with your picnic, take note that drinking alcohol is allowed in certain parts of 22 Vancouver public parks this summer.
French restaurants in Vancouver
When it comes to sit-down restaurant experiences in Vancouver that transport you to la belle France, Vancouver has plenty of tantalizing options.
Also downtown is Alouette, a French bistro that makes a vol au vent, a traditional savoury dish that's like a pot pie made with golden baked puff pastry that’s as light as air.
Visit the newer spot Collective Goods to have a Croque Madame, or grab a seat at Jules in Gastown for a bistro meal finished off with the traditional French dessert clafoutis, which features fruit and a flan-like custard.
For more information about French culture, businesses, and events in Vancouver you can follow @france_vancouver on Instagram.
@vancouverisawesome How do you say #forkingawesome in French? 🥖🥐🇫🇷 #vancouverbc #frenchfood #bastilleday ♬ Romantic Paris (French Music) - AndyWarner