Please review my list for a Vancouver visit

Hi, Los Angeles hound here. I’ll be visiting Vancouver for 8 days and 7 nights. Exploring the food scene will be one of my main goals. I’ll be staying downtown with no car. But I’m used to walking a lot, a 5-6 kilometer round trip walk would be fine as long as the route is relatively safe. Safe being as long as I’m aware of my surroundings, I will be okay. I’m also comfortable taking public transportation. I won’t have phone net access but plan on picking up maps and guides at the downtown tourist center.

I would appreciate feedback on the list I compiled. I’m a very adventurous diner with no allergies and only handicap a strong dislike for cilantro. I prefer casual places most of the time but don’t mind a couple of nicer meals. I’ve been told inexpensive good seafood is one of the highlights of Vancouver. I’m also looking at some Italian and French places. I plan to nosh a lot while walking around exploring neighbourhoods and attractions.

I threw in a few maybe’s. They are there due to distance or inconsistent reports…

Bella Gelateria
Hai Phong
Zakku Sushi
Miko Sushi
Kibune Sushi
Kyzock Sushi
Sushi Itoga
Dinesty Dumpling
Guu Original
Kingyo Izakaya
La Abbatoir
Le Crocodile
La Buca
Tuc Craft
Farmer’s Apprentice
Flying Pig

Pink Peppercorn
Rodney’s Oyster house

On Granville Island
Oyama Sausage
Benton Cheese
Johnny’s Pops
Afghan Horseman?

Thank you in advance.

Glaring omission: Vancouver metro area harbors the best Cantonese food scene on this side of the Pacific.

Get thee to the nearby cities of Richmond & Burnaby. Public transport is safe, efficient, and cheap. Fantastic dim sum and Canto-feasting awaits you.

I agree with hitting Japadog. (Yeah, we have it in L.A., but it’s better in BC).


Thanks. I probably should have mentioned I’m meeting a group for a dinner in Richmond and also doing a mini lunch crawl another day. But what would you recommend in the Richmond area?


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Thanks for that. Our dinner is going to be at Shanghai River

Huge +1 on Nook and Bella Gelateria.

Which Dinesty are you going to, and do the different locations varying in quality? I went to the one in Downtown/West End. It was good but nothing amazing.

I’m thinking either Nook or Tavola for Italian. Bella Gelateria does look great. Your trip report was one the resources I used. Dinesty downtown is what I have marked down. It’s more for a backup snack place. My M.O. is to have several options in an area. I wasn’t expecting amazing but in case I wanted a quick bite or some dumplings. Thanks!

I was thinking your list looked a little familiar. :wink: Didn’t try Tavola, so I can’t compare. Nook was totally charming. Ambiance is truck stop, though (which only adds to the charm, IMHO). Dinesty in the downtown area is def more than sufficient as a backup place. It was actually quite pleasant.

8 days sounds like a good amount of time. Partner and I did a fair amount of eating in 2.5 days, and he was sick for some of it (and thus not up for traveling much for food). Wish we had had time to go to Victoria, but apparently travel alone each way is like a half day!

Do you have T-Mobile? If so, I think your phone should have free roaming.

We felt very safe in the Downtown area. It’s only when you head just a little east of Gastown that things become dicey.

I think one of the threads on CH had recs for places in Richmond. Not sure how easy it will be to find them, though. I do recall reading good things about Kirin (as J.L. had mentioned), and I think the one in the suburbs is supposed to be the better one. Ipse may also have some additional recs…

I’m fortunate enough to know a food loving local that is organizing the Shanghai River dinner in Richmond. Then we are planning a mini crawl through the Richmond area. Hopefully that’ll give me a good sampling. She told me the Richmond places are scattered enough even with public transport and my willingness to walk, it would be easier if she just drove us around. Very generous of her to do so.

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Oh, right, you had already mentioned that. :slight_smile: Look forward to reading about the places you try in the area (if I ever return again!).

Tru’ dat.

Jase, if you’re speaking of the esteemed grayelf, you can’t ask for a better guide/companion/local food authority, but I’m sure you know that!!!

@Jase How did it all turn out?

I’m going to be in Vancouver in a week or so for a couple days, so any highlights from your list would be grand.

Are you staying downtown? That’s where I spent the bulk of my time. If so, I can list out some places later this weekend,

Believe so, yeah. Gracias!

In downtown, I’d go back for:

Zakkushi - I really liked the various skewers. Ended going there twice
Kingyo - Another good izakaya
Miko - Loved the sushi here.
Saj&Co - the flat bread sandwiches and various hummus was tasty
Bella Gelateria - lived up to their rep
Meat&Bread - The porchetta sandwich was good

If you can make it to Granville Island,
Oyama Sausage - loved all the pate’s and meats
Terra Bread - grab a demi loaf to go with some Oyama items and have a picnic
There’s a sake vendor in one of the side streets, get a flight for tasting

That’s probably the short hit list if I only had a couple of days in town.

Saj&Co sandwich

Meat&Bread Porchetta and the sandwich

Oyama Sausage selection of Pate’s

Have fun!


Oh, dang. You’re too kind. Really appreciate all of the suggestions and pictures.

I’ll do my best to make you proud.


Back from the Great White North. Since it was a work trip, I wasn’t able to have as many chances to roam and had to stay downtown, but I think I did pretty well. Would love to try some of the Cantonese outside of the city that I’ve heard so much about, but alas. Oh, also saw on the taxi to the airport that they have Nando’s! Really wish I could have stopped by. Next time.

Thanks again for the recommendations - really appreciate it.

  • Kingyo - Went right after landing. The Bento box was 86’d, so I got the lunch sashimi special. Overall, it was good, but I went right at the close of lunch, so I felt a bit rushed.
  • Blue Water Cafe - Had a great dinner here. The seafood tower was really good. The miso-glazed sable fish is such a good dish. Almost too sweet at the beginning but it tempers out and is very rich. Fish was cooked perfectly.
  • Prohibition Bar - The environment is enh to me, but I had an Inception Negroni, which is a negroni inside of a negroni!
  • L’Abattoir - Had a great dinner here, as well. Started with the sweet bread, which I thought was really, really good. I haven’t had much to compare it to, but every element of it was so tasty. Almost mesquite? The duck was solid too. Had a super thin layer of fat that made the dish really flavorful.
  • Troll’s Restaurant - Loved this place. It’s in a small bay town that is very picturesque. Had the halibut fish’n’chips and thought they were pretty perfect.
  • Hawksworth - Was in the hotel and had heard they had a good sable fish, so I gave it a go. Service was not great, and to me, the dish was bland. I was still hungry, so I ventured out to…
  • Miko - Yes! Loved the sushi here. Really reasonably priced, too, I’d say.
  • Bella Gelateria - Oh man their gelato was so freaking good. I don’t normally even like salted caramel, but their version was crazy. I was in awe of how good it was.

If I may revive this thread. We’re going back to Seattle soon and are thinking about doing four or say days in Vancouver. Likely to do AirBnB and am wondering, from a food standpoint, where would you recommend we stay. We won’t be doing any big $$$ dining. Oh, and we do have a car. All cuisines are great. TIA.

Finally something I can contribute to!!!

I’ve been in Vancouver for about 6 mos now. While I’m certainly am no expert, I can give it a try…

Like everything on the west coast, the ramen craze has hit Vancouver full force. There’s a ‘ramen district’ located off of Robson and Denham in the West End which has a number of good choices My personal current favorite is Marutama Ramen. It’s part of a japanese chain (ala’ Jinya). Noodles are made in house. The broth is a lighter chicken-based affair rather than pork, and it’s delicious and comforting without being heavy like tonkotsu can be.

I won’t even attempt to make a solid rec for Chinese, as you are utterly spoiled for choice and I don’t have even half the background necessary to make informed statements. I can say that I really liked the dan dan noodles at Peaceful Noodle (several locations). For beef noodle soup (brisket, green onions, chewey thick handmade noodles) try Lao Shan Dong over in Burnaby. These were amazing. They really took the time to braise the meat and get a whole lot of flavor. yummy.

I had a fantastic meal just last night out with friends at a spot only blocks from my apartment. PinPin on Fraser just south of 45th is a great Filipino place. Their pork tocino, sisig, and bicol (spicy pork in a coconut cream sauce) are outstanding. The whole tilapia in banana leaf was really good, too. A big group with lots of dishes is def. the way to go here. The only thing I’ve tried there I haven’t been totally crazy about is the chicken adobo, which seems kinda bland and shrug-worthy, especially compared to the rest of the menu. But then, it’s a ‘chicken and soy sauce’ dish, so how exciting could it be? They do give you little hardboiled quail eggs with it, though, so that’s fun.

Finally, a place I haven’t gone, but really want to try: Salmon and Bannock which deals with salmon (obv) and bannock, which is an indigenous people’s bread, like fry bread or tortillas. It’s a little more upscale than the other places I’ve listed, and I haven’t been myself but I’m really aching to try it out, if only for the fact it seems the most British-Columbia-centric place I’ve seen. You can get chinese and filipino and italian etc etc in almost any major city around the world. Salmon and Bannock is a local sort of thing. I don’t imagine on will be opening in the Americana any time soon.

Almost anyplace you stay will have yummy stuff within a stone’s throw. Downtown can get you all the hoity toity places in Yaletown and Gastown as well as the super grungy backpacker places. As @chandavkl will tell you far better than I could, the hot spot for Chinese food seems to have migrated from Chinatown to down along Commercial Drive. Richmond as a suburb is sorta like the SGV. As far as a car, yes it will help but parking downtown is near impossible without paying for a lot, and many neighborhoods are parking unfriendly (side street parking limited to permit holders, 1 hour meter restrictions). The transit system is excellent, though.

bonus rec: La Belle Patate a poutine joint in the West End. Get yourself a combo. steamy dog, small poutine and a coke. Friendly spot. Cute neighborhood.