Capturing a moment at Solly's Bagels – Flickr photo by Jennie
At 18, I spent my summer in Israel working on a kibbutz. This was my first extended trip on my own and I have wonderful memories eating falafel and shawarma sandwiches from street vendors in Jerusalem. A few years later, I spent a summer studying French in Montreal. From our hilltop dorms at the Université de Montréal, my friends and I combed the streets for great food. We discovered Schwartz's (home of the famous Montreal smoked meat sandwich) and St. Viateur Bagel, crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside…heaven in one bite. Later I got to know the great Jewish delis in places like New York, L.A. and even Portland, developing my cravings for matzoh ball soup and potato latkes. And so I made a quest in Vancouver for great Jewish/kosher nosh.
There are two good options for bagels: Siegel's and Solly's. Siegel's are closer to the Montreal variety while Solly's are in the New York vein. Solly's also has many other traditional Jewish pastries such as rugoleh, knish and cinnamon buns which are all quite tasty.
Siegel's Bagels (2 locations); 1883 Cornwall Ave.,Vancouver, 604-737-8151(open 24hrs); Granville Island, 1698 Johnston St., Vancouver, 604-685-5670 (9am-7pm). Close to Granville Island venues.
Solly's Bagels, Bakery and Deli (3 locations); 368 West 7th Ave., Vancouver, 604-675-9750 (Mon-Fri 6:30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm); 2873 West Broadway, Vancouver, 604-738-2121 (Mon-Sat 7:30am-6pm, Sun 7:30-5pm); 189 East 28th Ave., Vancouver, 604-872-1821 (Mon-Sat 7am-6pm, Sun. 8am-6pm). Close to Vancouver City Hall, Ukraine House, and Vancouver Olympic Centre.
When you're craving a smoked meat sandwich or a falafel, options for kosher delis are Kaplan's Star Deli Restaurant and Bakery, Omnitsky Kosher Delicatessen, and Sabra Kosher Bakery and Deli. The first two have traditional deli food and Sabra's dares to also venture into Asian fare.
Kaplan's Star Deli (2 locations), 5775 Oak St., Vancouver, 604-263-2625 (Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thurs-Sun 10am-8pm),
1059 Alberni Street, Vancouver, 604-806-0333 (daily 9am-9pm). Close to downtown venues and Vancouver Olympic Centre.
Omnitsky Kosher Deli, 5866 Cambie St, Vancouver, 604-321-1818 (Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm, Fri 8am-3pm, Sun 10am-5pm). Close to Vancouver Olympic Center.
Sabra Kosher Bakery and Deli, 3844 Oak St.,Vancouver,604-733-4912 (Sun-Tues till 7pm, Wed-Thurs till 8pm, Fri till 4pm). Close to Vancouver Olympic Centre and Granville Island venues.
On a final note, Community Kollel is a local Vancouver organization that promotes Jewish Education and awareness. On Friday nights, they have free Shabbat dinners. A new Kosher restaurant Maple Grill (maplegrill.com) at the same location boasts a fusion menu and should be up and running during the Olympics.
Maple Grill, 1967 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-568-4885; Lunch: Sun - Thur: 11:00am - 5:00pm, Fri: 11:00am – sundown.
Dinner: Sun - Thur: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sat: Sundown - 12:00am, Brunch: Sun: 10:00am - 4:00pm. Near Granville Island venues and Vancouver Olympic Centre