River Market
Photo Credit: River Market

Ever shopped in New Wesminster? Let us tell you, we rarely make it outside Vancouver for just the afternoon — but when we do it’s usually for good reason. This time it was to visit River Market and Urban Digs Farm for their Feast and Fun tour, an afternoon full of delicious food and play.

The market was first opened in 1985 as Westminster Quay Market. Now re-branded as The River Market, the fresh new space spans about 70,000 square feet and is considered a food-hub for the community. Today, River Market is home to over 25 of B.C.’s best award-winning independent restaurants, shops and schools — something any city would be proud of.

Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm

While we waited for other media to arrive for our tour, Our guide Erin helped get our motors running for the tour with a Cappuccino Royal from TreGalli, served with a delicious crispy cookie. We relaxed for a little while before popping in to Re-Up BBQ, where the Chef Michael showed us how to de-bone a fillet of salmon. He also made us some wonderful salmon sandwiches for our brown bag lunch, before we made our way to Urban Digs Farm.

Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm
These days, fresh local food we share with family and friends not only nourishes us, it also tells a story. At River Market this story comes alive from every angle, dubbed Food 360. Food 360 is at the core of River Market — one that is rooted in River Market’s land, culture, and community.

This philosophy is about celebrating the circle of food in a local, passionate and sustainable way. How do you ask? By allowing customers of the market to grow their own edible gardens, shop for organic foods, make delicious food in cooking classes, share meals in restaurants and cafes, and of course — food festivals!

River Market has received a few awards since the new building structure has been in place, taking home the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year Award in 2014, and the 2012 Land Award from the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. for their leadership, innovation, and collaboration in sustainable land use.

Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs FarmWe’ve been long awaiting a visit to Urban Digs Farm. It produces arguably some of the best meat and produce we have ever eaten. Urban Digs Farms supply families and chefs with trustworthy meat, eggs and produce grown at their farm and by farmers they know. The way your meat and produce taste reflect the way it was raised!

Our first experience with Urban Digs Farm was a very eye-opening one. We used to subscribe to their highly popular Beasty Box program, and when we received our first cuts of meat, well… this wasn’t like anything from the grocery store. It completely changed how we look at our food. Farms like Urban Diggs are passionate about educating people about where their food is coming from, so they can make better decisions about what goes on the dinner plate.

During our visit Julia let us roam the farm and see the animals in their natural habitat.

Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm Feast and Fun at River Market & Urban Digs Farm

Our tour wrapped up back at River Market, where we enjoyed some gelato, and a fun juggling lesson from the instructors at The Vancouver Circus School. Founded in 2005 by the Johnson family, the school offers recreational and professional development programs for all ages. The school is built on the foundations of education, creativity and active lifestyles, and their professional team of circus and acrobatic coaches help their students reach for the top when learning the art of circus.

River Market
Photo Credit: River Market

We had a great afternoon at River Market, and will definitely be back again someday soon to do a little more exploring on our own. Visit River Market’s website for a full listing of shops, hours, and special events. It’s a great little spot to explore, do a little shopping, and of course, have some fun!

XX – The Food Gays