When you’re killing time on Whyte Ave before a show — and you’re hungry, but not in the mood for something specific — you can end up wandering around aimlessly, especially if you’re undecisive even on a full stomach, like me and my friend.
“I want something, but I feel like I’ve been to all my usual places lately,” he says.
“Let’s just walk a couple blocks and see if anything tickles our fancy.”
“Ok, but please don’t talk about tickling my fancy ever again.”
The best way to tickle your fancy is to try someplace new, because it’s never tickled you before. So after walking one block we circled back to where started: under a vertical sign that says “Community” on the corner of Gateway and 83 Avenue.
After years of working Whyte Ave bars, Manager Tyler Olson was tasked with opening Community Taps + Pizza this spring, after the first one opened in Vancouver in 2021. The brick walls and hanging Edison bulbs make a relaxed atmosphere.
With locally made wine and beer on the tables, and locally made artwork lit by Edison bulbs on the brick walls, Community’s a cool and comfy place to hang. And it has the typical bar food menu items like chicken wings, mozza sticks and onion rings — “Everything is pretty much scratch-made in house, from the ranches to the pizza sauces,” Olson says — but looking around at other people’s plates, these items looked…better than we expected.
Then we saw the garlic puffs, which I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere before.
Before biting into a puff — which are made from the pizza dough — they looked heavy, and liable to make too big a big dent in our appetites, especially since we ordered pizza, too. Turns out they’re addictively light and fluffy, with the right amount of garlic, some chili flakes and parsley, and spicy Arrabbiata dip on the side — overall, one of the most savoury appetizers I’ve had in a while.
Then there’s the pizza — or rather, pizzas, because Community may be the only pizza- slinging joint in town that makes two different styles: 14 kinds of New York pies and nine kinds of Detroit. “For our New York style dough, it’s a 24-hour proof. For our Detroit, it’s a three-to-five day proofing, period. It kind of builds up the bubbles in the crust, so it’s kind of airy. You bite into something crispy and there’s a little bit of fluffiness in it,” Olson says.
And they don’t have your typical pizza toppings. There’s the Margherita, Prawn + Aruglua, Jerk Chicken and two kinds of truffle pies — we went with the Detroit-style Bacon Mushroom Truffle, because I couldn’t decide and truffles really tickle my friend’s fancy. The cheese crust is perfectly marbleized, and the bacon and truffles sat deliciously in the perfect amount of melted cheese.
With an above-average menu and easy-going vibe, the bar-restaurant is a great addition to the Whyte Ave and surrounding community. “We try to keep as everything as in-the-community as we can. We work with a local butcher to get a lot of our meats. We work with the farmers’ market right next door to get herbs and tomatoes — whatever we can get local, we do our best to do that.”
Community Taps + Pizza
Old Strathcona | 8232 Gateway Blvd NW
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