Would you travel just for food? I know, not many do. But, I’m a self-confessed foodie and I can travel any distance for good food. Haha! Some examples :
1. When I was in India, I have travelled to Bombay just to explore the Vada Pav, Missal Pav and best Pav Bhaji in India.
2. I used to ride on my motorcycle to Bangalore with friends just to explore the Bangalore Brewery Scene.
3. Visited many times Delhi and we did a “Food Walk” exploring the Old Delhi and other non-popular places
4. Visited Kolkata to enjoy the best Indo-Chinese cuisines in India and their other specialities.
5. In the US, have driven to Columbus, Ohio for Momos but, later found that Detroit has the best momos that I ever tasted in US.
6. Have visited all the major cities where Indian food is supposed to be the best (New Jersey, Dallas, Chicago and Bay Area) and enjoyed this cuisines in many popular places.
With above as a background, you can guess it’s not too hard for me to travel for best Indian food in entire North America (Not, just America or Canada)- Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.
Ever since we moved to Seattle which is more than 1.5 years ago, we have been contemplating visiting Vancouver to enjoy the best Indian cuisine but, it never happened due to various reasons.
Last weekend, it was planned that we should do a day trip just to enjoy lunch and dinner and carry some goodies and be back home the same day.
Unfortunately, I had to make a trip to Bay Area on work and was there most part of the week and arrived back in Seattle on Friday late evening.
I didn’t let that mar the original plan we made and next day (Saturday- March 4th, 2023) we headed out at 11:00am in our Tesla Model 3 Performance. It was the first long trip for the M3P of 115 miles one-way which can be covered in 1:45 hours.
Well, I wouldn’t call this a long trip as we normally drive 60 miles whenever the car is taken out as the distances out here is just too much.
We reached the border little before 1:00pm and I was greeted by the officer (French Canadian) : Officer :
Bon Jour Me :
Bon Jour Me :
Here are my documents Officer :
What’s the purpose of your visit Me :
Just a day trip to eat good food Officer :
Grinned like crazy and said, can you recommend some nice Indian places Me :
Gave him a few options that I got from my friends as it was our first visit
We chit chatted for 5 mins and Voila, we were on other side of the border.
I have visited Toronto on work a couple of times in the past so it was technically not my first time in Canada.
It was a pleasant and amazing experience at the Land Border Crossing (LBC) as it was my first time using LBC to Canada.
As soon as we were on other side, the city of “Surrey” comes which is Punjab away from Punjab. No kidding, it’s exactly like that.
You will find young Punjabi dudes sporting beards, gold chain, earrings, tattoos, smoking, having chai on the sidewalk and talking about their PIND.
Man, it felt amazing to be in that environment.
We went to a temple for darshan to take gods blessings. Second Pit-Stop-
We went to a place called Payal Business Center (It reminded me of Gaffer Market, Karol Bagh) and this place has plenty of Indian restaurants along with many other shops. We enjoyed one of the best chats and paranthas that we had in our US stint.
Food was unadulterated, non-customized and tasted just like how it would in Punjab/Delhi. We were literally in heaven and went berserk with our order. LOL!!
Post that amazing lunch, we drove 20kms further towards Vancouver downtown which was a major change from Punjabi Surrey…lol (Canada like most countries uses the metric system) so I had to recalibrate my speeds (Tesla did a great job by converting the speed limit into miles) Example :
100kmph speed limit was shown as 62 MPH on the screen. It felt super slow compared to the speeds that we are used to in US. I had to really monitor my speeds to ensure I maintain the speed limits.
Vancouver is like any other global city. We spent a couple of hours in the downtown walking around and enjoying the beautiful city which like Seattle is nestled between mountains and the pacific ocean. In fact, I think Vancouver city s prettier than Seattle.
On the way back, we stopped at Costco in Surrey to check out stuff and were again greeted by hordes of Punjabi people who were either customers or employees.
Dinner was at a place called Chacha Tandoori and Grill. Kitchen was manned by a sardarji (similar to Akash chat) so you can imagine the quality of food unlike in US where you’ll find a Mexican or a Chinese making Indian curries..Haha!…
It was simply like eating in India.
We finished dinner at 10:30pm and were home at 12:15am (including a 5 mins at border check where the American guy asked what we were carrying, we said just food and he grinned and waved us on).
That’s how an interesting 13-hour trip to Canada ended.
Some pictures of this whirlwind trip.
Cheers to lovely Canada and Indian Food. Approaching the border. Thankfully, no wait times despite being a weekend. Splattered with signs so the commuters don't take the wrong exit if they have no intention of crossing the border. Canada & USA Flag at the Border. Signboards in French. British Columbia has a lot of French speaking population. Spring is here. Trees are already changing color. Totally Agree..
Surrey is the first city after crossing border. This is where the Indian/Punjabi population reside. A wealthy city as I spotted plenty of high end cars. Rosso Diablo hits 3000 miles in 4.5 Months. Beautiful Darshan of God. The only picture I clicked of the car during this trip. It was cold and cloudy through out the day and I don't feel like taking pictures in these conditions. Lunch at Akash Chaat- Recommendation by a lady whom we met in the Temple. Pani Puri- After ages, it was like eating in Karol Bagh
. Though I am not a Punjabi/Sardarji (Wife is...), I couldn't find my PIND...LOL! Yours truly posing in PUNJAB
. Beautiful Vancouver Downtown. It's almost like a twin sister of Seattle. Similar landscape and nestled between mountains and Pacific Ocean. Bimmer Brothers at a traffic stop. Hottest Tesla I ever saw. It was completely matted out including the wheels. Looked like a stealth machine. This Naan was so good. I haven't had this good even in India. Balle, Balle. Yummylicious Most popular sweets store in Vancouver. We packed lot of goodies from here. Kulche Chole dished out by a sardarji. Imagine the taste. Wadiyan Ji Wadiyaan. Tikki Chole Oi Hoi... Tandoori Fish Cute, eh?