Guide to Good Things in Vancouver

Listed in no particular order - as I think of them or find them:

1. Chocolate/raspberry tart at Caper's - Caper's has one of the best pastry cooks in town - add to that seriously dark chocolate and a not too sweet raspberry coulis and you have a tart worthy of Paris (said the bishop to the actress). And I know it's Whole Foods now but not here.

2. 'Fresh is Best' salsa, guacamole, chips etc on 2900 block Broadway in Kitsilano - their tortilla chips are so fresh and crispy- best I've tasted, their guacamole with a hint of cilantro, and salsa are 'squisiti' as the Italians say.

3.Baked chicken samosa at Choices. Beware, the kids in the deli are ALWAYS mixing up the chicken and veg. But since the veg is a lot of spicy potatoes and a few peas etc, the ground chicken is a much better bet and baked so not too greasy.

4.Chocolate Arts - chocolatier 2037 W 4th - elegant, original and utterly delicious. Nut-types rave about the "splinter" roast nuts in chocolate. I love the lemon-basil truffle. Best chocolate in town.

5. Walnut bread at Terra Breads on 4th or Granville Island

6. Cornbread at Terra Breads on 4th or Granville. I once had some French friends who arrived in town, sniffed, as French are wont to do and headed out in search of 'real bread'. They came back with baguettes from Terra but the cornbread is fabulous - with onions and cheddar cheese or is it Asiago? Oh damn - will have to go buy some and see.

7.View from The Galley cafe at Jericho Yacht Club. Just a caf with self-service good, basic food and the most jaw-droppingly beautiful view in Vancouver.

8.Caffe Artigiano - opposite the Vancouver Art Gallery on Hornby or on Broadway - best coffee in town. Get your lumpy bums out of Starbucks this instant!

9.The restaurant at Vancouver Art Gallery - most elegant and reasonably priced lunch place in town. Lunch on the terrace surrounded by flowers and ornamental trees with a background of classical music is a spring and summer treat.

10.Kits' Pool. Summer is approaching and I had to list something other than food. Blimey this thing is big! I felt like I'd swum in from London first time I completed a length but what a setting - it looks out on snow-capped mountains, Stanley Park and, the Pacific Ocean.

11. Various Chinese produce stores on Broadway between MacDonald and Alma. I favour Golden Valley, sometimes Tom's. Young's has the biggest following but the noisy music and long lines don't make it worth the few cents I might save. New Apple Farm always seems to be a bit more expensive.

12. Sambal green beans at Banana Leaf - you can feel virtuous by getting your veggies and still eat one of the tastiest dishes on this very popular and good menu.

13. Hollywood Cinema on W. Broadway in Kitsilano - $5 for a Monday night double bill in this family-run Art Deco treasure. The Last Picture show lives on here in Kits.

14. The pizza at the Olympia Greek restaurant either on Denman or Broadway - delicious crust, generous helpings.

15. Still on pizza - Rocky Mountain Pizza Co - out of Canmore, Alberta and frozen in stores here or at their restaurant
at 1st and Cypress.

16.Gruyere and Mushroom tart at Coco & Olive on Broadway

17. Go Fish - fish and chip shack at Fisherman's Wharf near Granville Island - the days are getting warmer and a basket of fish and chips by the water here is a Vancouver summer treat. Bald eagles sometimes hover enviously in the skies above.