Bodega on Main: A Worthy Salute

Patatas Bravas and Gambas—tapas mainstays for over 40 years

Patatas Bravas and Gambas—tapas mainstays for over 40 years

Some restaurants just strike a chord. That’s very much the case with Bodega on Main, which has recently arrived almost right beside Campagnolo. I’ll admit that I went to check it out with a mix of trepidation and curiosity. After all, the original La Bodega was the first restaurant I went to in Vancouver. And that was a few years ago.

In those days I was “fresh off the boat” from Montréal. I was desperately homesick for my adopted home town back east. And very much missing my Quebec friends. Vancouver seemed cold and unwelcoming.

La Bodega was (not even) a block away from my hotel. (That building is now also about to be transformed into a condo tower…) I was staying in the hotel waiting for my things to arrive from Montreal, so I could move into an apartment, all but impossible to find in zero vacancy Vancouver.

One of the many things that I couldn’t understand about Vancouver was why the sidewalks rolled up at a ridiculously early hour. And the bars closed—unless you knew where to go. Luckily, I bumped into a bunch of friendly types at the hotel lounge (including everyone from high riggers in town for a few days to car salesmen from West Broadway). And they did know: La Bodega.


Bodega on Main: in a heritage setting and already bustling

Bodega on Main: in an impressive, heritage setting; and already bustling

Here’s what I say in this week’s Vancouver Courier

There’s something reassuring about restaurants that endure the passage of time — and, at least in Vancouver’s case, the rigours of development. Such is the case at Bodega on Main, the reincarnation of La Bodega, which earlier this year shuttered the Hornby Street premises it had occupied for close to 45 years.

La Bodega was a Spanish outpost on the West Coast, a haven for homesick Spaniards who would meet for tapas, conversation and, of course, to witness epic football encounters between Barça and Réal. Later came the Chateau Madrid, Vancouver’s sole Spanish formal room, though it yielded in time to tapas and informality.

The “new” Bodega (dutifully shorn of its definite article in current vogue) has a strong connection to the old in Paul Rivas, son of Francisco Rivas, who co-founded La Bodega with his friend José Rivas, in 1971.

Read more in the Vancouver Courier

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:09+00:00 October 13th, 2015|Dining, Restaurant Reviews|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.

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