2014 is nearly over – cue the dropped jaws and “Whaaaaaat? How did that happen??”

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Another year over, another 1,095 meals eaten by each of us (perhaps a few less for those of you who skip breakfast). Either way, 365 days are behind us, days that were – as usual – full of culinary treasures in Richmond. Here’s a roundup of the Best of Richmond in 2014, including both old and new favourites.

Food writer and Richmond-lover Charles Koh visited from Seattle several times this year, sharing his explorations and exceptional photography on the blog.

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One of his best new discoveries was Smokehouse Sandwich Co., a stylish, family-run sandwich shop off Westminster Highway.

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Everything is made from scratch, including their lemonades and hot sauces.

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Charles’ sandwich recommendation? The Samson: coffee crusted, strawberry glazed beef brisket with butter leaf lettuce, red bell peppers & aioli.

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Add some house-cut potato chips and a mason jar of lemonade, and you’ve got one incredible lunch.

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Charles also crafted a post called Where to Eat in Richmond, BC in 48 Hours, an outstandingly in-depth guide for his fellow Seattle-ites who want to visit Richmond, although it’s a list anyone can utilize (including locals).

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He provides a thoughtful and detailed itinerary for those wishing to spend a weekend exploring (and mainly eating!) their way around the city.

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Stops include dinner at Haroo, a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, dim sum at Shanghai River, and sushi at Ichiro. It hits all the major food groups and takes the stress out of choosing where to go; Richmond has an obscene number of good restaurants, and since it could get a little overwhelming for first-time visitors to the city, this post is perfect.

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This year, Ethan Adeland (one of the co-founders of the Food Bloggers of Canada) also lent his voice to the 365 blog, including two guides to exploring the Richmond Night Markets.

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He ate an impressive number of market goods and gave recommendations on what to try, including hand-pulled noodles, squid (a night market MUST),

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and sugar-coated Slavic rolls. They’re like big hollow donuts filled with nutella. Yup, chocolately hazelnut spread just poured on in there. I need to stop talking about them now because I want one so badly.

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Ethan also provided readers with a GREAT guide to Congee and Chinese Donuts!

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For the post, he sampled bowls at four different restaurants, as well as each of their offerings of Chinese donuts, those deep-fried sticks of deliciousness meant to accompany the rice stew/soup/porridge (whatever you want to call it).

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If you’ve never tried congee before but want to get into it, you can use this post to navigate your way through Richmond’s congee scene (yes, you’d better believe it’s a scene).

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For those of you wanting to celebrate a healthful 2014 and an even healthier 2015, good news! This post on Living Café showcases this relatively new addition to Richmond, a place where you can eat your greens and find refuge if you suffer from food allergies.

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The father-daughter team behind it are passionate about healthful eating and have created a gluten and peanut-free menu that also includes vegan, paleo, and raw options.

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Living Cafe is great for both locals and visitors alike, because it’s a place where any group can go, regardless of dining restrictions, to have an exceptionally tasty (and healthy) meal together.

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And finally, of the Richmond adventures I was privileged enough to have this year, my favourite was A Sunset Picnic at Iona Beach – my first trek out there!

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My friends Sally (a human) and Francie (a puppy) joined me there for a picnic dinner with goods I’d purchased at Osaka Market, a snacking wonderland.

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Half the fun of the day was wandering the aisles, picking up the tastiest treats I could find. And of course, few things can beat an evening spent at the beach, sitting in warm sand and looking out over the water.

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We ate, walked the dog on the breakwater, and watched as planes descended from the sunset into YVR. It truly was the best of summer. Francie agreed.

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A very Happy New Year to everyone – looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings to Richmond and beyond!