Launched in 2010 and most familiar to neighbours as a cozy community café, the Dunlevy Snackbar has recently come into its own as a 22-seat full service restaurant.
Theo Lloyd-Kohls is behind this venture, and in former overlapping iterations, it has been a multi-purpose event space for experimental music, film nights, book launches, readings, and writing; a venue for birthday and wedding parties; and a popular coffee, brunch, and lunch spot.
Now, at the helm of the kitchen is Aarin Smith, who has lived and worked in Toronto, New York, the Philippines, and Korea. The current Asian-inspired menu is small but diverse, and pays homage to the Strathcona neighbourhood. You’ll find such fare here as pork belly steam buns with spicy cilantro salad and lime gochujong; indulgent Inari pockets with fermented black bean and Sichuan sauce; daily bibimbap, or mixed rice dishes; and a refreshing smashed cucumber salad with puffed rice, chili oil, and cilantro.
Lloyd-Kohls hopes the snack bar will be an escape of sorts. “Somewhere you know you can have a glass of wine, a bite to eat, and chill out. A real escape from the outside noise and drama of a city,” he says. To set the mood, every evening after 9:00 p.m., local DJs spin vinyl—ambient sounds, bossa nova, or bedroom rap, depending on the night.
The Dunlevy Snackbar is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. until midnight. So, if you’re feeling peckish late at night, here’s a place for a little nibble. Better yet, if you find yourself pedalling along the Adanac bike route, you can swoop in for a bite.
Fair warning: the share plates get polished off quick, and after a few, you may find that you might not want to share at all.
Photo by Jennilee Marigomen.