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Lunch Near the VAG, Saturday

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Hey folks,

My sweetie and I are coming over from the island for the current VAG exhibit. We will be there this coming Saturday. We wanted to grab a quick, inexpensive bite near the VAG around 11:30-noonish. I always have trouble finding decent lunch spots right around that area. (a lot of cheap sh#t nearby).

Any suggestions? We will do anything from burgers to pizza to decent Asian to Indian to pub food, etc...

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  1. Don't laugh, but have you had lunch at the VAG Cafe? It's one of the better ones out there and they sell wine by the glass. Quality paninis (comes with tiny mixed green salad) and really good salade nicoise (with seared tuna, kalamata olives, etc). Sitting on their patio is rather enjoyable. I highly recommend it. I only recently rediscovered this cafe this summer. I had been there a long time ago and somehow passed it off as a cafeteria. Now it's one of my favourite lunch break destinations as I work nearby.

    Another idea is Cafe Artigiano located literally across the street from the main entrance on Hornby. Best coffee in Vancouver, and it's not too often where you can order a leg of lamb sandwich.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Florentine

      You guys really call it the VAG? That's all kinds of hilarious.

      Caffe (not Cafe!) Artigiano has perfectly amazing sandwiches- among the best I've ever had! 49th Parallel coffee, that amazing 5-group La Marzocco, and the first Clover in Canada- it's one of the most important coffeehouses in North America and it has, amazingly, brilliant food as well.

      1. re: John Manzo

        In typing I say "VAG" but when I speak it, I just call it the art gallery. But whether VAG rhymes with badge or bag is up to you. ;) I actually think the cafe's called the Gallery Cafe though. I love that place!

    2. The Art Gallery Cafe is one of the best cafes in the city - it's pretty and filled with light; the food is very good and nicely presented (may I suggest the nicoise salad?); you can have a light meal or something more substantial; it's set up cafeteria style so it's fast, and you can have wine or beer. However, it is a favourite lunch place for everyone in downtown core, so try to get there just before noon to avoid a line. Also, their outdoor patio is one of the lovliest in the city - if there weather's nice, make sure you get a spot for lunch there!

      1. I'd second those recommendations and if the weather is nice the patio at the VAG cafe is a beautiful spot. In addition to the wine, they also make nice martini's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pants

          Thanks for the ideas. I did not realize that Cafe Artigiano had a location right across the street! I have been to another location (in Kitsilano?) but not to the downtown location. I'd love to check that out. (if not the VAG cafe).

          1. re: anewton

            As far as I know, all Caffe Artigiano locations offer the same food. The location on Hornby is more generic than their other locations, but the food and coffee should be identical. My recommendation is to peek inside the Gallery cafe and then peek inside Caffe Artigiano, and go with whatever looks more appealing at that precise moment. Since the food at both sits on display, you can use that as your judgment. The Gallery cafe sits upstairs on the Howe and Robson corner. You can enter from within main lobby on the ground floor, or up the outside steps. On weekday evenings, I've noticed they've been staying open later with a live jazz ensemble performing on the patio. The patio is more like a Montreal terrasse - wide, spacious and covered in gardens. Look for all the white umbrellas!