It’s August and that back to school feeling is looming. It’s more important than ever to make every summer day count. How do you spend the perfect summer day in Kits?
Here’s one sweet itinerary.
The Perfect Summer Day in Kits
Breakfast of champions
Start by obtaining a locally-roasted Fernwood coffee at Culprit (2028 Vine Street at West 4th Avenue). The inviting yellow shop front tends to put all customers and staff in a sunny mood. Enjoy the small talk and order breakfast. Whether you eat gluten free or not, their gluten-free treats (which have been called the best on the West Side) will woo any hungry caffeine-fiend. We chose the fudge-y zucchini chocolate cake and the Greek yogurt parfait, with gluten-free cinnamon fig granola and rose honey.
Next, use your legs and walk or jog the seawall to the UBC Endowment Lands where you can spend your morning among soaring trees and waist-high ferns. Easily accessible from the beach at Spanish Banks West, the trails retain a wild and off-the-beaten track feeling.
Once you’ve sated your desire for lush green and playing make-believe Fern Gully, get thee inland to Aphrodite’s Cafe (3598 West 4th Avenue at Alma) for leisurely lunch.
Although the pie, for which it is known, is tasty, Aphrodite’s has been doing a seasonal, organic and local menu since long before anyone coined the phrase “100-mile-diet.” The salads are adorned with flower petals and herbs; the squash fritters come with a tangy-smoky paprika yogurt sauce.
History pit stop
After lunch, mosey slowly over to nearby Banyen Books (3608 West 4th and Dunbar) for a feeling of the Kitsilano of yore. The quirky shop dates back to 1970, when our super-fit, yuppie beachfront ‘hood was the Haight-Ashbury hippie enclave of Canada. Browse texts on inspiration, astrology, metaphysics, healing, religion and art to your heart’s content. See what emerges from the mash-up in your head. Leave with a a small token — a new journal, incense, a crystal — as a nod to free-thinkers past.
Walking on water
You can’t truly enjoy Kits without getting up close and personal with the water. Next stop, more action at Jericho Sailing Centre (1300 Discovery Street), home to WindSure and Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre, which offer hourly stand-up paddle board and kayak rentals. Get wet and worn out. Once your fingers are raisins, head in for dinner.
Stay close to the beach, this time Kits Beach, for dinner at Hapa Beach (1516 Yew Street) the revamped, Kits-inspired take on Japanese izakaya by the Hapa a group. Filling beach bites vary from Kobe sliders to teppan steak-frites and addictive prosciutto-wrapped pineapple tempura (priced between $6 and $12). Munch them on the 25-seat patio or taken out for a picnic on the beach. Cocktails like shiso mojitos and sake margaritas (patio only) facilitate snacking.
A sweet finish
Finish by heading up to West 4th to window shop the retail corridor and obtain good old-fashioned ice cream with new school flavours at Rain or Shine (102–1926 West 4th Avenue at Cypress). We always find it hard to make flavour decisions in there, but the limited editions are usually your best option. Current faves: Sun Ray Yellow Plum and Brassneck Imperial Stout.
Last modified: August 7, 2014