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The Only

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Every time I go to Vancouver, I stop in for a midday snack at "The Only Seafood Restaurant" on East Hastings. It has been open for something like 88 years in that location, is old and tired looking, not very clean, on the roughest part of the street, and happens to serve one of my favorite soups. They do a "Coney Island Clam Chowder" that is incredible. It is rich tomato broth with big chunks of clam, soft onions and celery, a hint of smokiness. They bring these soft mass produced white buns and pats of butter with it. I like to spread on the butter, which is always soft, and dip the bun in. The butter swirls into the soup and gives it a rich shine and a smoothness, like a sauce being "monter au beurre". Has anyone else discovered this? Please try it and see for yourself.

I can't vouch for anything else on the menu, and frankly, have no desire to either. FF

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  1. I've only heard about this famous soup for years. But because of the location, I've never gone and can't find people to go with me. Sigh.

    1. The Only is an outstanding restaurant. A few years back the New York Times rated it, I can't remember if it was the top seafood restaurant in North America or one of the top. It is in a sketchy location but very memorable. If you are looking for good comfort food for a place near the same area try the Ovaltine Cafe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: canucks1619

        umm, the "top seafood restaurant in NA", its well down the list of vancouver seafood places

        1. re: vandan

          That may be true and I don't dispute it. However, I still maintain it is well worth checking out for the reasons I mentioned above. Just might not advise going alone! The clam chowder, mmmmmm, I dream about it.

      2. Would you have and address, or at least approximate location on E. Hastings? Google comes up empty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PolarBear

          20 Hastings East when I Google it. Sounds right. I haven't been there since the 70s when I used to go for the fried oysters.

        2. I haven't been there since the early '80's, due to the seedy location, but you're tempting me to return...