There’s a new contender when you’re deciding where to eat in Vancouver. Located on Fraser Street, it’s Fray. Owners Kyle Polanski and Chris Parry bought the Pho restaurant in this location and soon decided to renovate and rework the place into its current life as an east-side eatery in late September.
Fray seems to be going for a sort of upscale rumpus room feel. They have a well-stocked bar decorated with Mexican luchador masks and 80s Star Wars memorabilia, a table top arcade game at the window seat and celebrity mug shot prints on the avocado-coloured walls. The theme continues with stacks of board games in the corner, including Jenga, Settlers of Catan and many other classics.
Where to Eat in Vancouver with Kids
Though the menu does include Pabst Blue Ribbon and it’s clear they’re trying to lure the hipsters from Main Street, the service is friendly and you won’t feel out of place bringing your kids. You’ll find crayons and activity sheets on each table, with pop art gags like colouring in Henry Rollin’s tattoos or draw on the hairstyles of Arcade Fire. There’s no change table, but there is a wide counter in the women’s washroom for dealing with diapers.
They have a small menu for the younglings including soup, steamed veggies, beef burger, pasta, mac and cheese, plus homemade ice cream on offer. The adults’ menu is interesting, with a small but varied selection of choices.
Fresh, Local Food
Wondering where to eat in Vancouver for the locavore set? Fray specializes in quirky comfort food, sourced locally and organic wherever possible. The menus even feature a map showing you the locations of their suppliers. After much hemming and hawing over the menu, we ordered a Pemberton flatiron steak and taco salad, an order of veg on the couch (cauliflower couscous steamed veggies), a Jenga tower of portobello fries, plus a burger from the kids’ menu. The portobello fries were something I had never tried before: panko-encrusted portobello strips with an aioli dip. They were juicy inside, crispy on the outside and the garlicky dip was a perfect complement. Highly recommended! The food is really as fresh as they say.
Eat and Drink at Fray
Though Fray is going through some growing pains, they’re rolling with the punches and honing their menu as they go. So far, so good. I look forward to going back soon to see what’s new. During the week, Fray is where to eat in Vancouver for appies and beers. They have a good selection of local micro-brews as well as a few international favourites. Try it for a date-night dinner with your partner and sample their BC-heavy wine list. On weekends they open all day: bring the family for brunch. There’s free wireless internet if you’re just interested in lingering over coffee and a snack with your laptop. Book a table online at OpenTable.
Lisa Corriveau is our East Side Contributor. When not writing, she can often be found at the park chasing her little boy, sewing clothing, cycling, reading just about anything, performing on stilts, eating chocolate or drinking craft beer. (Sometimes several of the above simultaneously.) Lisa lives car-free in East Van, with toddler, husband and a few bikes. You can also find her on her blog, The Sprog.