Follow Me Foodie's Kid Picks
In this blog, we usually focus on cooking, eating together and finding meal inspiration to get us through the daily grind. This time around, we are taking a slight detour! We’ve reached out to the amazing Mijune Pak aka Follow Me Foodie for her foodie insights on the kid-friendly dining scene. If you aren’t familiar, Follow Me Foodie, is an international food blogger extraordinaire, a fantastic resource if you want to be in the know on the best dining options out there. She covers everything from cafes, to markets, to diners to fine dining. We hope you enjoy this chat with Mijune as much as we did!
BT: What are some of the best places to dine with kids that you’ve come across?
MJP: For the kids, a market setting is always fun. This provides plenty of food options and a fun learning setting. Local Vancouver Farmers' Markets or The Public Market on Granville Island are good options, and Edible Canada at the Granville Island Market is appropriate for the whole family if you want a restaurant setting. There’s a really nice patio, lots of great food options, a kids menu, plus you can head over to the Kids Market afterwards to play! I’d also recommend Go Fish on Granville Island, a great local fish and chip stand (what kid wouldn’t like that?).
As for restaurants to explore with the kiddies, I think both The Reef and Burgoo are good options. Both offer home-style cooking but introduce international flavours. And of course, food trucks are perfect for kids, especially in the summer. There are so many great options around BC. One I love is PazzaRella Auto Pizzeria Napoletana which offers authentic Neapolitan style pizza. They have the real, custom built wood fired pizza oven right there in the truck, which is super-fun for the kids to watch.
**Side note: Here is a listing of food trucks in the Lower Mainland. Google “Food Truck” and “your city” to find options close to home.
BT: What other food experiences have you come across that inspire food passion at a young age?
MJP: Farms are great for this. It’s so fun to go out into the suburbs and explore farms like Kraus Berry Farms, where you can order fresh corn pizza, blueberry ice cream and milkshakes made with farm fresh berries. It’s really a hands-on experience! The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts offers some great classes for teens. Also, I’d recommend parents check out the SuperChefs programs and classes by Greg. He offers lots of great learning experiences to inspire healthy eating.
BT: Did your family contribute to your passion for food? If so, tell us a bit about that.
MJP: Yes, for sure. At home, my mom was a really good cook and definitely inspired my passion for food. Growing up, I would bake and cook a lot at home. As a family, we actually dined out quite a bit, which is very common in the Chinese culture. We would go out to celebrate often vs. staying at home. This combination contributed to my passion for writing about, travelling and talking about food. As a result, I’ve switched roles with my parents: Now I’m the one encouraging them to try a broader variety of cuisines.
BT: And finally, can you share a favourite home recipe that you like to cook?
MJP: To be honest, I rarely use a recipe. On most nights, I’ll open the fridge and see what’s in there. As a result of this ‘technique’, I came up with this recipe for Maple Roasted Squash & Edamame with Warm Soba Noodles in Miso-Sesame Soy Sauce also found in our recipe archive here!