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Vancouver-- several specific questions for a visit

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My family is coming to Vancouver for five days and I'm looking for some recommendations and info. I've been reading the past posts, so as to ask more specific questions and not just another general what to eat. We'll be staying in the West End, our favorite restaurants at home (Chicago) are ethnic storefronts, though of course we are looking in Vancouver for local specialities. But any place with seafood needs to have enough options to keep one non-seafood family member happy. And we might spend $50 a person one night, but generally our budget is lower (and we're not really the white tablecloth and crystal sorts anyway).

Here's what I'm thinking so far--

Vij's: we love Indian, though we get a lot of it in Chicago. But it sounds like Vij's is something special and we should go there. Yes? (and how do you pronounce the name?)

Go Fish: for sure we will get to the Granville Island market, and we ate ourselves silly on fish and chips in Victoria a couple of years ago. This seems to be the place that is mentioned the most.

Guu with Garlic: the rest of my family thinks they don't like Japanese because they can't get used to the idea of raw fish. Can I take them to Guu and they will find something good to eat, or is it mainly sushi? To me it sounds fabulous!

Salmon: The one seafood we can all agree on. Where to eat it?

Fresh cooked crabs: bought these at Pike Place Market in Seattle and took it back to the hotel room, incredibly memorable meal. Can we do this in Vancouver, and where to get the crabs?

Green Lettuce: this was mentioned as Indian Chinese, sounds interesting, has anyone been there?

Chinatown, dim sum would be great, where, and/or anything else? The Chinatown Market, is there good street food there, or a resto?

Anywhere to get the best fresh baguettes in the West End? When we were in Montreal, our breakfast everyday was cheese and baguettes, and if we could repeat this, we'd be very pleased. (Sadly, no truly great baguettes anywhere near our house in Chicago. Why, god, why?) I saw the posts about the great cheese store (on the north shore? I bookmarked the post) we have a fridge in our room, so we can buy cheese, just need the bread...

And lastly, I hesitate to ask, but for a son who went to McGill and is pining for poutine, is there any good poutine in Vancouver? Or do they ban it west of Quebec?

Many thanks for any thoughts and insights on any part of this! (and don't hesitate to suggest ideas I haven't thought of) We're really looking forward to the city!

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  1. Guu = NO SUSHI.

    They normally have a raw fish daily special, but the menu has many options:

    -Great Salads
    -Deep Fired Chicken (karage)
    -Grilled Fish
    -Pan Fried Noodles
    -Potato Balls

    This is a must try when in Vancouver and any type of eater can find something on the menu
    -Stew (oden)

    1. Vij's is a must. It's India flavours,but with a twist. Every major city has a great French/Italian/regional cuisine restaurant,but Vij's is one of those unique gems that you rarely see outside of New York or London. I can't say enough about this place.

      Go Fish has jaw droppingly good fish and chips,and is right next door to the Granville Island Public Market where you can purchase fresh dungeness crabs.

      Floata in Chinatown has excellent Dim Sum,but if you travel a little south on Main street to 23rd ave,you can dine at Sun Sui Wha. Hands down the best Dim Sum in the city

      Salmon is everywhere,and is very much a part of our history. So I recomend the Lilliget feast house on Davie st. in the west end. One of the few First Nation restaurants in the city.

      Lastly,on the subject of poutine. It is a hot item recently here on the left coast. A few sugestions are:Feenies on West Broadway;Roosters Quarters on Denman;Salad De Fruits on west 7th;Zackos Deli on West Broadway.

      Enjoy

      1. Vij's: Pronounced Veej

        Salmon: Where to eat it? Earls restaurants (they are a local chain) does amazing salmon at a very reasonable price.

        For baguettes, the French bakery at Granville Island (a small shop outside the main Market entrance) has lovely bread. And there is a fabulous cheese shop called Les Ami du Fromage on West 2nd Ave, 1/2 a block east of Burrard (about a 5 min walk from Granville Island).

        1. Just back from a Vancouver trip, and Go Fish was one of my favourites. It is closed Monday though, and was extremely busy other days. I also had a very nicely prepared piece of mahi mahi at Fish Cafe on W 4th Ave in the Kitsilano neighborhood. (Kitsilano is pretty lose to Granville and above mentioned cheese shop, and has beaches and shopping as well. One of my favourite areas when visiting.)

          Also in Kits, stop at Chocolate Arts on West 4th Avenue www.chocolatearts.com for chocolates. The flavour combinations are amazingly well done, and I thought very reasonably priced when compared to other places of similar quality. (I did love the drinks at Chocolatl www.chocoatl.com in Yaletown. Coconut and lavendar white chocolate iced drink was fantastic!

          )

          (Also enjoyed nuba http://nubaenergy.com/, perhpas not a destination place but close to the architectural institute where I was going on a walking tour. Good vibe and food is healthy, attractive and very good quality for the price - a nice interlude after a few days' indulgent vacation eating. Art gallery is also great right now if you like architecture, with an exhibition on Arthur Erickson and one on prefab houses, but I disgress... am definitely envious of both the local food and architecture scenes in Chicago!)

          For Indian, did not make it to Vij's or Green Lettuce, but managed to sample two other Indian Chinese places - Asian Spice restaurant and Chili Pepper House, both in Surrey (Chili Pepper house has another location closer to Vancouver). Both were run by Chinese from Kolkata and had large menus with many of the same dishes I enjoyed in India. Asian Spice is billed as Sichuan Chinese. Chili Pepper house is definitely more an Indian restaurant, with a Bollywood remix soundtrack, but both had really good food; the Chili Pepper House special chicken was a lot like something I loved in India called Chicken 65 ,minus the fresh curry leaves, - would love to know where that name came from. Both had menus I would be back to explore more if I lived in the area, but would probably return to Chili Pepper House first. Should be a chili head or at least tolerate very spicy food to appreciate these places. Also, if based in Vancouver proper I probably would not have driven all the way to Surrey unless really pining for Indian Chinese.

          Richmond night market was one of the most interesting places to go for food, but a bit crowded and overwhelming - if your family includes distractable, wandering kids might be a challenge to keep the group together.

          Eat lots of BC fruit to go with that bread and cheese - the best thing was picking all the ripe blackberries that grow everywhere right off the bushes.

          1. Go Fish a must, be prepared to wait if you go right at lunch time.

            Guu, go.

            Stepho's is fun greek. On Davie st. A lot of great food for good price.

            Phom Penh, Cambodian, Vietamese, not for the ambience.
            244 E Georgia St, Vancouver
            Tel: 604 682-5777

            Monsoon on Main St. just went last night. Fusion Asian.Gonna right a little review soon. Good feel to the place.
            2526 Main, Vancouver
            Tel: (604) 879-4001
            Just down the Street is Five points Bar, layed back and fun. Mon, is open mike music. A Blast. Suprisingly good Musicans.
            3124 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

            Sala Thai food is wonderful. Burrard St. and Cambie St.

            Definatly go to Vij's.

            Seafood is amazing in this city. Blue Water Grill in Yaletown is prices but terrifc.

            So many great markets all over to pick up fruit for a picnic lunch or what not.

            On Davie near Stepho's there is a great independent Gelato shop that also has a fresh sald bar and smothies and sanwiches.

            1. Thank you so much for all the suggestions! This is wonderful. I'm looking forward to a great (and chowish) trip.