Wild Thing is your neighbourhood watering hole with the friendly vibe of Cheers but the charming setting of a European cafe bar. The natural wine selection is exciting, the cocktails are ever changing, and the food is playful and diverse. Although when it comes to the menu, it depends which location of Wild Thing you’re talking about.
Two Sides of the Same Wild Coin
After less than a year, Wild Thing has two locations in Vancouver: the OG snack bar location on Powell and the new Main Street space previously occupied by the Wildflower. Wild Thing is standing comfortably with each foot in a foodie Vancouver neighbourhood.
The Snack Bar on Powell is open for dinner and Wild Thing on Main is open all day, but that’s not the only difference between the two. Wild Thing on Powell offers a vegetarian menu with many fully vegan dishes. Wild Thing on Main serves it all, not only brunch and dinner but also vegan, meat, and vegetarian dishes. This comfortable range of options marks a commonality: inclusivity. Gluten free items are also noted on the menu, making either Wild Thing location a great choice for diverse eaters.
Wild Thing is anchored in two restaurant rich areas. Their new location on Main fills a void left by the Whip, the Wallflower, and the Rumpus Room while upping the creativity to meet the new higher culinary bar of the neighbourhood. Thankfully, they are still serving breakfast and brunch to the Main Street crowd. Brunch was originally served at Powell but moving brunch to Main allows Powell to shift fully into an evening wine and snack bar.
Powell Street: The Slightly Older Sibling
Located at Powell and Victoria, Wild Thing Snack Bar is in the same block as some other great restaurants like Straight and Marrow, Aleph Eatery, and Elephant. Wild Thing is the place to share scrumptious snacks while imbibing in a natural wine or a well crafted cocktail. The Snack Bar is a romantic, intimate space and a seat at the bar also allows you to watch the chef at work.
I have enjoyed every cocktail I’ve tasted at Wild Thing, so much so that it is hard to single out a favourite. But I do have a dreamy photo of the Eastside, which matches the green bar at Powell, and has a refreshing blend of lime, mint, cucumber, and gin. The New York Sour is festive and nods to the natural wine offerings with its red wine floater. Jones Does the Cha Cha is also tasty with flavours reminiscent of a hot chocolate in a cold brew coffee version of an espresso martini.
At Powell, the creamy mushroom risotto is amazing (and can be made vegan). I almost licked the plate. Cait’s kale salad with red onion, covered in panko crispy goodness, parmesan, and smokey dressing is also very tasty. The fried halloumi is a great plate to share. The warm, salty cheese is topped with a bright salad of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Main Street: Wild Thing Makes My Heart Sing
Wild Thing on Main opened in May in an updated and refreshed space. Gone is the flower mural from the Wallflower. Also gone is the TV. The neutral colour scheme draws focus instead to the interesting architecture of the space. Compared to Powell, there is more space for fun and games (and trivia) at Main.
There is also room for a bigger menu, including daily brunch. All the eggs bennys come on house made biscuits. The braised greens and baked brie benny is enriched by the hollandaise. The thick cut bacon benny has the bright addition of tomato as well as chilli oil. Wild Thing also serves vegan omelettes like the kimchi one with tofu and broken rice which was savoury and hearty. Forget hash browns because they have a potato gratin covered in hollandaise that is sublime.
Kody Abrams works with Todd Graham from HandTaste Ferments to develop the food menus. Besides Kody and Todd, the five person team behind Wild Thing is rounded out with Ezra Kish, Erin Rideout, Rayne Williams, and Tam Fuller. With a strong team with a diverse background, the creativity seems to be boundless.
In terms of the dinner menu at Main, the fish sauce cured chicken wings are sticky and delicious. The burger is also tasty. The menu at both locations changes every few weeks, giving the chefs room to play with seasonal ingredients and flavours.
Wild Thing Snack Bar is at 1867 Powell Street. Wild Thing on Main is at 2420 Main street.