Travel Blog

27 Jul

Communal Dining in Vancouver

Social Feed at Peckinpah, May 18th 2011

These days, there’s definitely no stigma in going out to dinner alone.  Plenty of singles hunker down at two-top tables across the city every night. But if you’re among those solo diners who’d rather have some company, there is an alternative: communal dining.

Here’s how it works:  Groups of strangers get together for set menus at designated restaurants.  You eat together, get to talking and suddenly you’ve made a few new friends and a had memorable meal.  There are a few options if you’re interested in doing this in Vancouver.

The Irish Heather | Gastown

The Irish Heather, a gastropub in Gastown, has been hosting communal dinners several nights a week for years.  Called the Long Table Series, these dinners feature hearty pub meals (think roasted leg of lamb and roast beef with Yorkies) paired with a craft brew, which you enjoy at a single long table with other diners. I’ve been to one in the past, and it was a lot of fun (Prices are great, too:  around $16, including the beer).

Now, there’s a new option for communal diners in the city.  A creatively named company called the Social Feed organizes family-style, pass-the-plate dinners every week at trendy restaurants around the city (Mia Stainsby profiled the company in last week’s Vancouver Sun).  So far, the Social Feed has held dinners at some pretty cool spots:  gastropub Six Acres; pan-Asian Flying Tiger; Lebanese-influenced Nuba; Southern BBQ joint Peckinpah and Italian deli La Ghianda, as well as the Irish Heather.

long table-full

The Social Feed seems like a great way for people to get out of their bubble and meet new friends, which can sometimes be hard to do in Vancouver.   It’s oriented mainly to a younger crowd: people who don’t yet have to worry about making dinner for the kids and have some free time on their hands.  Dinners are around $22-$24 (alcohol is extra) and spots can be booked right on the website.  Upcoming restaurants include Flying Tiger on Aug. 2, Nelson the Seagull on Aug. 4 and the Refinery on Aug. 11.

Do you know of any other communal dining options in Vancouver?  Have you been to a Long Table or Social Feed event?  Please share feedback below.

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