Sea Island, Richmond

Yesterday morning, Marnie and I sustained ourselves on fruit, nuts, coffee, and tea until I was done my post, holding out for the meal we would find once we had left the Holiday Inn.  By noon we were ravenous, ready to find ourselves a hearty lunch and planning to go a little out of the way since Marnie had a car.  As much as I love biking, there are just some places I never seem to get to on Talulah, and Sea Island is one of them.

If you Google “Richmond Restaurants” and look on a map, you’ll see there are a number of eating options outside of the main terminals of YVR; there’s The Flying Beaver, for example, which sits right on the river and is attached to one of Harbour Air’s float plane terminals.  I’d noticed there are a few cafes in that  area, some of which cater to airlines but also offer food to the public.  Our plan yesterday was to seek out the Sideslip Café, which is located in the Avitat building on the southside of YVR.

Sideslip Cafe sign

I checked the cafe’s website ahead of time, but when we arrived, we were greeted by yet another ‘closed for the holidays sign.’  January has made me mistrust the world.

Sideslip Cafe closed sign
I’m kidding – EVERYONE deserves a good holiday, and once we get into February, I’m sure I’ll run into this problem less often.  Marn and I were in a bit of a pickle, however, as we were so, so hungry and had a particular craving for sandwiches.  So back to Google maps we went, and saw there was another café nearby.  It turned out to be inside the South Terminal, a building which we, until we drove up to it, didn’t realize existed.  YVR’s South Terminal is self-contained, and looks like an airport that would service a small community.  Marnie and I have both flown out of the Vancouver Airport countless times, and yet neither of us knew there even was a South Terminal – it felt like a secret!

South Terminal, YVR
A little research informed us that it’s “a regional hub for small aircraft, float planes, helicopter operations, corporate charters, sport fishing camps and aerospace facilities.”  That made sense, considering the West Coast Fishing Club is right next door, and offers chartered fishing trips to Langara Island off the northern tip of Haida Gwaii.  Basically, anyone who is flying out of the South Terminal is headed somewhere rural – places that are only made accessible by one or two airlines, and some just by helicopter.  Learning this made me want to ask each and every passenger, “Where are YOU going??”

South Terminal, YVR
The only place to get food in the South Terminal is Galiano Café, which is small, but had quite a lot on offer.  There’s breakfast, custom-made sandwiches, burgers, salads, entrees, baked goods, and various daily specials.

Galiano Cafe sign

I asked for a vegetarian panini and the daily special, which was perogies with Bavarian sausage.  With my stomach growling, there’s just no way I could have refused perogies.

Galiano Cafe
I got the food to go, and Marnie and I took it to one of the benches on the river beside The Flying Beaver.  It was brisk out, but yesterday was just too nice a day to be inside.

bench near river, Sea Island Richmond
Galiano Cafe’s food was pretty darn good – the panini had tomatoes, grilled peppers, grilled zucchini, and a ton of melted mozzarella.  The bread was whole wheat focaccia, which had been doused with olive oil, salt, and oregano.  The fries were tasty, too!

Vegetarian panini from Galiano Cafe
The cheddar perogies had been deep-fried, and the sausage was rich, so while our other meal was nap-inducing, it was really satisfying.  Instead of the pasta salad the meal was supposed to come with, I asked for a green salad, which was basic but fresh.

perogie and sausage meal from Galiano Cafe

So, good news people – if you’re flying out of YVR’s South Terminal, you’ll be well-fed.  Or, if you’re just a couple of gals who’ve recently left the Holiday Inn and really want a sandwich but are hoping to find it in an unlikely place because meals with a story are better than meals without, then you’re also in luck.

Sea Island view of river, near the Flying Beaver



Galiano Cafe, South Terminal at YVR

4440 Cowley Crescent, Richmond BC

Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options