Fathers and father figures rarely seek praise for all they do, which makes it all the more important to celebrate them when Father's Day comes around. Rather than pushing the boat out on lavish festivities and expensive fineries our fathers will likely never use, though, the team at LIV Design Studio prefers a more considered approach.
When it comes to Father's Day gift-giving, practicality and longevity should be your guiding principles. There's certainly something to be said for handcrafted, personal gifts that speak to sentiments beyond the clutches of consumerism. Taking the time to select memorable presents that will long outlive the occasion is the most sincere form of gift-giving.
With that in mind, our inaugural Father's Day Gift Guide celebrates craftsmanship in all its forms – something we know our dads would agree with. To help simplify the always stressful task of finding the perfect present, we've curated a selection of handmade items and experiences to impress even the most stoic, self-effacing fathers on your list. We've also asked the dads on the LIV team about fatherhood and its impact on their design, and will be sharing their thoughts throughout the article as well.
No holiday is complete without sharing a delicious meal together, and a toast to the person of the hour. From the humble donut to a multi-course tasting menu at Canada's finest restaurant, the LIV Design team has collected our favourite food & beverage-related experiences for you to enjoy with dad this Father's Day.
7. 33 Acres Brewing
Most dads we know would be perfectly content spending their Father's Day with a cold beer on the porch. Elevate this experience with the award-winning beer and expertly designed branding & interiors at 33 Acres in Vancouver. The local-favourite craft brewery's minimalist vibes make it the perfect place to relax and catch up over one of their many brews and a snack, or stop by after your other adventures and grab a six-pack to go.
8. Cocktail Emporium
For the fathers who prefer their drinks on the stiffer side, help them take their mixology up a notch with the Big Smoke Old Fashioned Trio from Cocktail Emporium. This convenient kit comes with everything dad needs to prepare a truly special cocktail – including an infused maple syrup, small-batch tobacco bitters, and dehydrated orange wheels for garnish. Pair this with a bottle of dad's favourite whiskey or non-alcoholic alternative for an unforgettable gift.
9. Casamara Club
For the dads who aren't keen on partaking this Father's Day, Casamara Club makes delicious, non-alcoholic 'leisure sodas' that use real botanicals to mimic the flavours of classic Italian aperitivi. Refreshing, bold, and perfect for a picnic in the park, these beverages come in four varieties to suit any palette, and are available locally from Softer Drink.
10. Published on Main
For a truly remarkable dining experience in Vancouver, consider making a reservation for the family at Published on Main. Recently selected as Canada's best restaurant at the Canada's 100 Best awards, Published offers a one-of-a-kind tasting menu experience showcasing Chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson's unique blend of West Coast-Nordic-German cuisine. The elegant room is sure to be busy following their recent accolades, so be sure to make a reservation well in advance.
11. Is That French Wine Bar
Also in Vancouver, the newly-opened Is That French Wine Bar promises excellent Pacific Northwest small plates alongside a tidy list of natural wine. With both ceramics and much of the interiors designed by renowned local ceramicist Janaki Larsen, this new destination in the always trendy Blood Alley promises a refined experience in a minimalist space, with plenty of tasty bites to enjoy with the family this Father's Day.
12. NOX Restaurant
Brand-new to Vancouver's stellar dining scene is NOX Restaurant in Coal Harbour. Cleverly melding local Pacific Northwest ingredients with classic Italian flare, this new venture from the minds behind the always-popular El Santo in New Westminster offers a selection of pasta, ciccheti, prime, and secondi options that all sound outstanding, alongside an extensive cocktail list that also utilizes local spirits wherever possible.
For those in Toronto, look no further than DaiLo for an exciting, exuberant meal. Serving up creative takes on Chinese-Canadian classics, this lively space has been a staple of Toronto's Little Italy since 2018. The menu consists of a variety of New Asian classics, utilizing classic French techniques to create some truly special dishes – like truffle fried rice, crispy octopus tacos, and a decadent 90-day dry-aged butcher shoppe ribeye steak.
14. Prime Seafood Palace
Speaking of red meat, there's plenty to go around at the newly opened Prime Seafood Palace on Toronto's Queen Street West. Helmed by celebrity chef Matty Matheson, this buzz-worthy new establishment is a marvel to behold, with Japandi-style furnishings and opulent yet understated design courtesy of architect Omar Gandhi. While the interiors may be airy, the menu is much richer; steakhouse staples are there in full force, alongside an impressive menu of fresh seafood that's practically meant for dads.
15. Lee's Donuts
If that all sounds like too much for the more undemanding fathers out there, perhaps a box of donuts would be better suited. Look no further than Lee's Donuts if you're in Vancouver. The self-professed mom & pop shop has been making some of the city's best donuts since 1979 and has even had their jelly donut proclaimed the "perfect food" by Seth Rogen. Located within the Granville Island market, Lee's is perfect for accompanying a picnic or makes a great dessert to follow your Father's Day feast.
[Pictured here – top: beer from 33 Acres Brewing, middle: Steak dish at DaiLo Toronto, bottom: Lee's Donuts]