Four nights in Vancouver alone. Your dream restuarant tour of the city...
whenever i'm in a city alone, I tend to like to stick close to my hotel (the westin, for the record), within walking distance, and I tend to like upscale but cozy places where I can read a book while eating without offending anyone, drink a few glasses of wine, and relax.
Lets throw that out of the water. Its Vancouver! What do you think I would be sorely mistaken to miss for my four nights there? Local delicacies? Regional flair? Just great spaces with atmosphere worth checking out?
The only thing I ask is that you don't suggest someplace that I'll feel like a real doof sitting in alone. Thanks guys!
Damn! That is EXACTLY what I was going to say.
http://www.bin941.com/ It's tapas, but I like to say it's "small plates" because it is not all Spanish. It is a VERY small place. You will have an easier time getting a seat because you are dining alone. It could be my favorite restaurant in Vancouver.
westin grand..... (should i switch the the bayshore? no car, so I thought robson street was best, i'm a vancouver virgin)
tell me more about bin 941.. where is it, what kinda food, etc?
No, I don't think you'd need to switch to the Bayshore. The Bayshore is more scenic, being on the water, but you're going to be doing more walking trying to get to all the good restaurants (with the exception of Parkside, which is close to the Bayshore).
Realistically speaking, you could walk from the Bayshore to the Grand in 30 minutes, so the distances in the grand scheme of things are trivial. All of downtown Vancouver (where the Bayshore and Grand are located) is walkable.
The Westin Grand is a relatively short walk away from dozens of restaurants that you describe. It's on the eastern end of Robson Street at the northern end of Yaletown - both restaurant hotspots.
Bin 941 is famous for its tapas, although the cuisine is French-influenced regional, and not Spanish. "Bin" (as it's known by its fans) can get really busy and loud, so if you're seeking out a quiet atmosphere, I would not recommend it for that. Yet, the food is fantastic and go there for its lively environment.
I'd say Vancouver's highlights are regional seafood (salmon) and Asian food. Izakaya is something rarely seen outside of Japan, or Vancouver for that matter. Kitanoya Guu, Hapa Izakaya, and Shiru Bay Chopstick Cafe are some examples. Izakaya, if you're unfamiliar, is like Japanese tapas. It's not sushi, but an assortment of creative Japanese small plates. Some familiar items, some not so familiar..
Speaking of which, sushi is definitely the Vancouver speciality. You will no doubt encounter hundreds of sushi bars going for a simple stroll through some neighbourhoods. Some are bad, some are good, and some are outstanding. What's the "best" sushi restaurant in Vancouver is a hugely debated topic.
If you haven't scanned http://www.dinehere.ca yet, it will give you some ideas on what restaurants are highly rated by the locals.
I don't think a visit to Van, especially a first timer, would be complete without a meal at West. They are on Granville around 13th Ave, part of the Toptable restaurant group. Spectacular, even for a solo diner. Very suitable dining alone spot, from personal experience. Sit at the bar, or request the chef's table, and have a tasting menu. Chinese offerings in Richmond are extraordinary, worth the cab ride, or make an afternoon of exploring. Here is a link to West with menus etc.