Richard Wolak, the “VanFoodster” joined Sean in studio today to discuss great eats on Commercial drive. He told the story of the Mekong. In 1997, Victoria Tran opened MeKong, and it was one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in the entire area, and one of the first Asian restaurants on Commercial Drive.
For years Commercial Drive was known as Little Italy and Little Portugal, and shops and restaurants mostly catered to those communities. Tran says it was tough going for the first few months and hard getting people to come into her restaurant, but that the support of the Italian and Portuguese communities in the neighbourhood was what kept her going until business finally took off.
From dine-and-dance, to fresh-baked cannoli, to pizza, to gelato, there’s something for everyone’s tastes:
- Lombardo’s Restaurant is Commercial Drive’s original wood oven pizzeria established in 1986.
- Federico’s Supper Club, owned by Federico himself, has been going for 15 years. Federico is also the entertainment at this popular dine and dance.
- Gelateria Dolce Amore is a family business run by the fourth generation of the Grippo family who have celebrated the richness of their Italian cultural heritage in Vancouver’s Little Italy on Commercial Drive. And they make great gelato! Cash Only.
- Fratelli Bakery has also been going strong for 18 years, and specializes authentic Italian baked products including pastries and squaress, cakes, biscotti & cookies, breads and more.
Where to Find Them:
Five Elements Café – the successor to Victoria Tran’s Mekong
1046 Commercial Dr
Lombardo’s Restaurant – Italian Pizzeria
1641 Commercial Drive
Fratelli Bakery – Italian Bakery
1795 Commercial Drive
Gelateria Dolce Amore – Gelato and Sorbeto
1588 Commercial Drive
Listen to the full review here – starts at 4:30: