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Jul 16, 2006 09:27 PM

Vancouver picks [moved from Canada board]

I will be in Vancouver for the next five weeks and need some suggestions of where to eat. My husband will be visiting this weekend. We are flexible on price, so high end to budget is fine. We like Italian, seafood, steak, tapas, mediterranian, indian, not so wild about asian food, but like trying new things, so we are pretty open. I wouldn't mind a few vegan places either for myself. I went to Bin 942 last night and had a terrific time. The wine and the atmosphere are tremendous, the guy sitting next to me let me try his order of the duck with cranberry reduction and a potato, asperagus, goat cheese tower of bliss. It was terrific I can't wait to go and eat there myself.

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  1. You could try Vij's just of Granville. Great Indian. I'm sure there are lots of other places but that one sounds like one you're likely to love.

    1. There's a lovely restaurant at the VanDeusen Gardens. Can't remember the name but the food is very nice and the gardens are a lovely place to wander before or after lunch. You can't miss it — it's right at the entrance to the gardens opposite the gift shop.

      The public markets are fun — Granville Island, of course, but also Lonsdale Quay on the North Shore. I'm not sure Edgemont Village up in the Capilano Highlands is a dining destination, but if you're going to be in the area for a while it's a very sweet village where there's a terrific coffee shop (Delaney's), a quilt shop, a cooking shop (there are *lot's* of cookware shops in Vancouver and serious bargains to be had). There's also a tiny Greek lunch spot with a very friendly woman who will invite you to have some of her lemon roasted potatoes simply because she just took them from the oven. While you're over there in the vicinity I always recommend dinner at The Observatory at Grouse Mountain. Great view and food that's equal to it.

      Just in case quilting happens to be interesting to you, head east to Bear Threads in North Van. They not only have fantastic quilts on display but they usually have some inventory of fabulous wooden tools that are turned by an artist out on island. I have tiny thimble cases that look like acorns and have meticulously threaded closings. It's a must stop for me when I'm up there.

      1. I forgot to mention that on Granville (the street, not the public market) there is the Callebaut chocolate store. And just down the street there's the only gourmet grocery/deli I ever encountered up there.

        And over by the University there is a cheese shop called Les Amis du Fromage. They moved in the last few years so I can't be more specific about their addie but they'll be in the phone directory and they'll have an excellent selection of French and Canadian cheeses including artisan cheeses from dairies on Vancouver Island. They also have knowledgeable people to help you make selections.

        1. Les Amis du Fromage is located on West 2nd Ave, just half a block East of Burrard.
          The gourmet grocery/deli on Granville and West 14th Ave is called "Meinhardts" and they have a lovely lunchtime restaurant next door called "Picnic"

          2 Replies
          1. re: islandgirl

            Right! Meinhardts. I was going to try to describe the black awning but how helpful would that have been... @@ I didn't know about the restaurant. I was only aware of a small lunch counter inside the store.

            Is there a boulangerie near the new Les Amis du Fromage? I used to drive to their old location from the North Shore and I couldn't wait to sample the wares so I'd buy a demi baguette next door and slather it with runny cheese to munch all the way home. ; >

            God I miss Vancouver!

            1. re: rainey

              yes, there is an amazing bakery there. Pattiserie Lebeau. They make outstanding waffles on the weekend of the stuffed variety, both sweet and savory. Warning, as they are from France, they keep French hours ie) closed whenever they goddamn feel like it. They sell out early though.

          2. Oh! Another thing I forgot go to a Capers and get some of Contemporary Ocean Product's smoked sea salt flakes. These things are FANTASTIC. They have the light airy quality of Maldon or Australian Murray River flakes with a distinctly smokey flavor that is, nevertheless, light. It enhances fish and fresh veggies like you won't believe and never overwhelms them like other smoked salts do.

            Get three times as much as you think you really want because there's nothing else like it and you will NOT regret it. ...although I just checked their site and saw that they're distributing through some Whole Foods markets now (and that there's a Whole Foods location now in Park Royal. Quelle surprise! I just gotta get back to Vancouver!)

            They package other interesting salt flavors but it's the smoked salt that is really unique and standout.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rainey

              This is terrific! Thank you so much for all the ideas. This is exactly what I need as I have never been here and don't know anyone here. I did venture over to Granville Island and bought some fruit (amazing rasberries) but now I have some places to look out for. I definitly will be going to Longsdale market and Grouse Mtn. How did you know that cheese is my favorate food! I will definatly be stoping in there. Quilting is something I know nothing about so what a perfect opportunity to start learning. I will let you know how it all is. Thank you.

              1. re: pkpk

                So glad to help. I love that city! Wander down Robson where you can sample half a dozen kinds of rich chocolate - one piece from each shop and you can have your own walking degustation while you see downtown. Continue walking it off down (oops, memory's fading, is it Denby?) where there are a couple spots for gelato and a shop specializing in cupcakes. Also lots of funky little mom & pop restaurants you might want to come back and try. Your walk will end at the beach at English Bay. Or keep going straight at the end of Robson to make the loop around the lake. Another day, rent a bike and take the easy, delightful ride around Stanley Park and the Seawall.

                Stop at the Artigianos on Hornby by the museum for great coffee. If you do it at lunchtime they have nice panini but it will be busy so a little early or a little late might be a good idea.

                And then one of my personal favorite things to do is go to Trolls coffee shop in Horseshoe Bay on the North Shore and watch the ferries come in and go out while I have fried oysters. There's a proper restaurant in the bay (can't remember the name but you'll see it) and there's an oyster bar (also operated by the same family as Trolls). The variety of oysters will be much greater but the quality is the same at Trolls and I like the bustle and homeyness.

                Yaletown has all the glitz restos. Many are very good indeed but I'm a funkier sort of person myself so I can't help you much with those recs.

                1. re: rainey

                  just returned from Vancouver yesterday. Just FYI, Yaletown is under heavy construction as they are extending the skytrain down there. The restaurants are all still open but parking is a nightmare. I noticed a couple of new places that I didn't get to check out.