Dine Out Eats Hit the Street: One of this year's signature festival events, Street Food City marks the first time that Dine Out Vancouver has included a street food category in its roster of prix fixe restaurant menus. Street Food City will roll out many of Vancouver's most popular food carts until Jan. 26 for lunchtime dining. Nine of the city's top food carts will congregate at the Vancouver Art Gallery's north plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing diners to sample a range of freshly prepared, internationally influenced goodies in one convenient location while receiving special discounts and freebies. After making their selections, diners can eat in an outdoor food court complete with heaters, tents, tables and chairs.
Mangia e Bevi Ristorante's fifth annual charity event, BACIO (Because a Cure is Obtainable), will take place until Jan. 30. A three-course dinner menu will be offered for $40; $10 from each will be donated directly to the Lions Gate Oncology Clinic and B.C. Children's Hospital oncology research in support of cancer research. The month ends with a special dinner and silent auction on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. The "Mangere, Bere, Vivere" (to eat, to drink, to live) dinner will include four-courses paired with complementary wines. Tickets: $100. Reservations: 6049228333 or www.mangiaebevi. ca. Mangia e Bevi Ristorante is located at 2222 Marine Dr., West Vancouver.
Year of the Dragon Dinner: Wild Rice offers a special menu that pays homage to the water dragon until Feb. 4 for $38.88 for two people. As in traditional Chinese banquets, each dish is rich with symbolic meanings meant to convey wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Wild Rice Vancouver is located at 117 West Pender St. and Wild Rice New Westminster is located at 122810 Quayside Dr. in the River Market. Reservations: www. wildricevancouver.com or 604642-2882 (Vancouver) or 778397-0028 (New Westminster).
Dine Out Vancouver 2012 will take place until Feb. 5. Eat your way through 17 days of culinary events and choose from hundreds of restaurants dishing up three or more courses at $18, $28 or $38 per person plus pairings to the Wines of British Columbia and Kronenbourg 1664 (at an additional charge). Check www.tourismvancouver. com to view and book menus.
FeastVan: A dining event established to introduce diners to the vast array of restaurants in East Vancouver will take place until Feb. 5. Local foodies and visitors to Vancouver will have the opportunity to enjoy a selection of specially priced three-course meals from some of East Vancouver's best restaurants. Lunch menus are approximately $20-$25 and dinner $30-$35. Prices and meal periods vary by restaurant and exclude beverages, tax and gratuity. The event is also aimed at raising funds and awareness for the Vancouver Inner City Back Pack Food Program. A list of participating restaurants can be found at www.feastvan. com.
Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival: Thirteen venues and 15 chocolate artists will offer a range of over 50 flavours of drinks along with edible treats until Valentines Day, Feb. 14. Participants and info: www.cityfood.com/events/ hotchocolate. Funds raised from the festival will be donated to the food services programs of the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.
*Cooking Classes: Cooking instructor Maureen Goulet of Ambrosia Adventures will host a cooking class Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6: 45-9: 30 p.m. at Y Franks store, 503 15th St., West Vancouver. Learn traditional Italian cooking with chef Zack Page from Carmelo's restaurant. Cost: $75. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6: 45-9: 30 p.m. chef Karen Barnaby from the Fish House Stanley Park will teach a class to become more confident in the kitchen. Cost: $75. Info: www.ambrosiaadventures.com or 604-218-2084.
*Aussie Wine Days: Wine Australia will hold two events in celebration of Australia Day. Taste & Tweet, is an all-day online tweet-up on Thursday, Jan. 26, across North America. A marathon discussion will take place with tweeters tasting Australian wines and posting their comments via #AussieWine. Info: www.apluswines.com. Unearth Australia: Pioneers and Superstars, is a walkabout consumer event Friday, Jan. 27, 7-9: 30 p.m. at Harrison Gallery, 901 Homer St., Vancouver. There will be over 120 wines from 37 wineries from all parts of Australia. Cost: $49. Tickets and info: www.housewine.ca.