Neighbourhoods matter a lot. And not just for resale value, either. In their own way, they are alive. They live, breathe, grow and develop. And there’s a sense of each of these places, something that’s impossible to engineer; a certain feeling that comes from knowing the people in your community, and of feeling like you’re a part of it.
If you’ve never had your butcher offer you a free bag of bones for your dog, or had your barista warmly welcome you by your first name, you’re missing out on that neighbourhood that everyone should be searching for. We’re here to help you find it
A brief history of time.
Hugging Burrard Inlet from Burnaby to Anmore, you might have assumed that Port Moody was named after the local weather's impulsiveness or the water's temperament. And if you did think that, you’d be wrong. The city was named in 1859 after Colonel Richard Moody was tasked with clearing a trail from BC’s then capital to the inlet, just in case New Westminster was attacked from the south. The idea was that military supplies could be shipped through Burrard Inlet and run from Port Moody to New West, down the trail Col. Moody eventually cleared. You might have even heard of the path he carved: it’s called North Road. The more you know, right?
Fortunately, no attack came, and in the coming years, Royal Engineer John Murray ended up owning half the town. You’ve probably seen more than your share of streets named John and Murray, and now you know why.
Fun fact: St. John Street, Port Moody’s main street named after John Murray, is a misnomer. It was meant to be called John St., but John Murray’s son accidentally put the street abbreviation in front of John, so the official survey gave us St. John Street. A high title for a man who, apparently, was no saint himself. Take that bit of information to your next dinner party in the Tri-Cities.
Now that you know the lay of the land, here are a few of our favourite businesses in Port Moody. Be sure to stroll down St. John Street and Ioco Road and visit any of the hundreds of diverse shops in the area for yourself. You’re bound to find a local favourite that makes you feel right at home.
Sail away with me.
Home to Moody Ales, Parkside, Yellow Dog, Twin Sails, the newly opened Rewind, and whatever will take the place of The Bakery as they shift to new management, Brewers Row in Port Moody has never been busier. Good luck with parking (just take the train to Moody Centre and walk over the overpass on Moody Street). It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite, but we don’t mind giving you our thoughts—bold opinions to follow.
Twin Sails opened in 2015 and has served some of the best beer in the province ever since (honourable mentions go to Backcountry Brewing in Squamish and Brassneck in Vancouver). They’ll likely have staples like Dat Juice and Would Crush on the menu, but the rest of the rotation moves quickly, and there’s always an excellent range of progressive American IPAs, stouts, sours and wild barrel beers to choose from. It’s a must-visit on Brewers Row.
That being said, if you’re heading to Brewers Row for a fun time, maybe a date night or a get-together with friends, the vibes at Parkside and their newly launched Rewind Beer Co are hard to beat. Have a taste at all of them and find your favourite pint. The walk from Twin Sails to Moody Ales is about 3 minutes long, so you won’t be out of breath.
You had me at pie. And you definitely had me at handmaid pies made from scratch, with love, and always with the best seasonal ingredients available. That’s not even fair. My waistline never stood a chance.
Co-owner Lisa Beecroft has been very busy over the last decade. While running Caffe Divano back in 2015 (another Port Moody staple you need to visit), she tested demand for the Lower Mainland’s most delicious pies and surprise surprise, they quickly became a hit. They were so popular that Beecroft opened Gabi & Jules in July of 2016, naming the business after her two daughters, Gabriela and Juliana.
If you’re after sweetness, try their Caramel Apple Walnut Pie, Strawberry Ginger Peach Pie, or do what we do and always go with the feature pies that rotate weekly. If it’s savoury you’re after, the Hardy Brown Ale Beef & Mushroom Pie gets its namesake from a favourite beer at Moody Ales, just down the road from Gabi & Jules. Dinner is served.
Let’s get ready to rumble.
When you need to break a sweat in the neighbourhood and burn off all of those pie-related calories from Gabi & Jules, there’s one place to go. Gibson MMA is a mixed martial arts school owned and operated by the formerly #1 ranked Shooto Fighter in the World, and UFC 24 Middleweight fight champion, Lance Gibson Sr.
The school offers classes in MMA for both youth and adults, boxing, submission wrestling, Muay Thai kickboxing, women’s kickboxing and conditioning, and a co-ed extreme total body conditioning class that will push you to the edge of tapping out. The instructors are some of the best in Canada, featuring Canadian champions, All-American Wrestlers, and a long list of people you want in your corner.
Original’s Restaurante Mexicano is a local gem that you might miss if you’re not looking closely. It kind of looks like a detached home because, well, it is a detached home. Don’t be shy though, step inside and experience one of the best meals Port Moody has to offer. Their boozy drinks make for a great cocktail hour, try the Chamomile Pineapple Margarita or a Rey Mago (Tequila Reposado, Ancho Reyes, grapefruit, soda press, fresh lime & rosemary).
For lunch or dinner, you really can’t go wrong, but we love the Chilaquiles, Sopecitos, and the Chile Relleno - poblano peppers stuffed with cheese on three corn tortillas, topped with avocado and fresh pico de gallo and a side of beans. ¡Ay, caramba!
We should also point out that Original’s might have the best coffee in the city, so stop by if you need a pick-me-up. Their Cafe de Olla is Mexican coffee infused with cinnamon, cloves, and piloncillo (unrefined, whole cane sugar). You won’t be disappointed.
We all scream for ice cream.
I can hear you saying “yeah duh” through the computer screen. But it would be altogether impossible not to mention Rocky Point Ice Cream on a list of the best local businesses in Port Moody. It’s undeniable, as is visiting Port Moody without stopping for a cone. They also might have the best doggie cone in Greater Vancouver, if you’re in the neighbourhood with your four-legged friend.
Rocky Point has been proudly scooping in Port Moody since 1997, expanding over the years with offerings in New Westminster, Coquitlam, and with their two roving ice cream trucks that can be found across the Lower Mainland on any given day (if you’re lucky). So that’s the inside scoop.
A beautiful day in the neighbourhood.
It’s hard to put a finger on what makes a neighbourhood a great neighbourhood. There’s a spirit to these places, a meshing of the lives and loves and laughter and losses of all of those who took root there at one time or another. It’s places to eat that would never succeed anywhere else. It’s local grocers whose produce is only outweighed by their personalities. It’s the lives of the people who truly bring the bricks and mortar to life. And that’s worth buying into.