International Brunch, Family-Style, at the River Market in New Westminster
One of our goals here at Brunchcouver is to take you out of the city limits. To brunch in other cities. In the spirt of getting out of the city to explore other places, last week a few of us on team Brunchcouver met up for brunch in New Westminster at The River Market.
Now, I’ve been to The River Market lots of times. It’s an adorable little oasis with lots of great little local restaurants, shops, and fantastic views of the Fraser River. I like to drive out there sometimes, get a coffee or a tea, stroll the boardwalk a little, take some photos, and then buy a pile of groceries at Donald’s before heading home.
I’ve eaten here a few times, as well, but never brunch. I didn’t even know they did brunch.
“Our philosophy here is family-style, local and sustainable,” says Erin Jeffrey, the Special Events Manager for the River Market. “We encourage people to eat together, and often host long table dinners.” Most of the restaurants here source their ingredients locally, like the Re-up BBQ, which gets in a whole hog from the Fraser Valley, breaks it down, and uses the whole animal in their dishes, right down to smoking their own bacon. Everything here is meant to be either recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
But what about the food? There is literally an international selection here for your brunching pleasure.
River Market Brunch:
Coffee & Tea: To get yourself caffeinated, you can pick your poison: coffee from Tre Galli Gelato, or tea from The Great Wall Tea Company. Both do insanely delicious lattes (one of the best London Fogs I’ve every had was from The Great Wall), but Tre Galli’s specialty is the Royal Latte. It’s topped with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon, and comes with a crunchy, almond-y amaretti cookie.
Re-Up BBQ: There really are not enough positive descriptors for this place. Breakfast was, to start, a house-made, fluffy, warm biscuit, melty with butter, and a pot of homemade lemon curd. The lemon curd and the biscuits were both outstanding, and we wanted to request the lid for the lemon curd so we could take the leftovers home. After the biscuit disappeared, we all were still swiping at the lemon curd with our fingers.
The main breakfast was a southern classic: biscuits with gravy, fried chicken, bacon and eggs. This may have been the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. It was crispy and warm, but still moist on the inside. The skin was about a half and inch thick. I have to go back for more. There was also a house-made gravy, smothered over the homemade biscuits, and perfectly-fried eggs, still runny in the middle, to go alongside their house-smoked bacon. It’s worth a drive to New West just for this. It really should be on everyone’s brunch bucket list.
Crepe Des Amis: for old-fashioned, French-style Crepes, Crepe Des Amis has so much to offer. They have both sweet and savoury crepes, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Crepes are made to order, right in front of you, and there are lots of breakfast options, like the Carnaval de Quebec; two eggs, spinach, ham, maple syrup, bacon bits, and cheese. Oooh, yeah. We had the Francine, which is nutella with bananas and walnuts. Swoon.
Longtail Kitchen: owned by the same folks that own Maenam, you had better bet your sweet tukus you’re going to get some amazing Thai food here. My two favourite places for Pad Thai in the city are Longtail and Maenam. Thai brunch consisted of fried rice with a crispy, salty pork sausage, spring onions, cilantro, and then they #PutAnEggOnIt. The egg is wok-fried, so it gets tons of crispiness and carmelization on the bottom, while still remaining runny in the yolk. So good.
We were also served a spicy chile dip, guaranteed to wake up your tastebuds! It was beautifully presented, and served with veggies, like miniature green eggplants, cucumber, radishes, hardboiled eggs, and deep-fried, battered chicken skins.
Pamola: By this time, we were getting incredibly full, so we took our dessert to go. Pamola is a Mexican bakery in the River Market. They also make, I am told, Tortilla soup to die for. We had these beautiful, jam-filled cookies (she makes her own preserves in house) and a larger cookie called a Polvorone. It was a shortbread-like cookie, and very nice.
Paddlewheeler Pub: We had no room, but the River Market is also home to an old-school pub, where you can get a traditional bacon and eggs kinda brunch, and where you can get your booze on in the form of a Caesar, if you feel the need.
810 Quayside Dr, New Westminster
Open from 10 am.
The River Market also offers a $20 Food Crawl passport for Omnivores and Vegan/Vegetarians. Learn more about the Vegan options here.