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The weather was nice and warm, so I went downtown for a quick lunch. I had a hankering for a JapaDog. JapaDog has become a bit of a chowhound icon in downtown Vancouver.

I had the Oroshi (with Daikon Relish). It hit the spot.

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    1. re: fmed

      To round out the experience -- some Japanese KitKats. Off to Konbiniya (a popular Japanese food store on Robson St frequented by the multitude of Japanese International Students here in Vancouver).

      1. re: fmed

        This stuff looks amazing! I can't wait until my next trip to Vancouver.
        Where downtown would this place be?

        1. re: whackamole

          Corner of Burrard and Smithe right downtown. It's across the street from the movie theaters on Burrard. (It's also right next to the Sutton Place Hotel wine store.)

          1. re: whackamole

            And for KitKats -- Konbinya (Japa-English for "Convenient Store") is on the Robson Street strip (around 1200 block?). You can get these at other places too (H-Mart, Fujiya, etc.)

          2. re: fmed

            those japanese kitkats are crazy! which one is your favorite? and could you explain what oroshi is?

            1. re: alex8alot

              >> those japanese kitkats are crazy! which one is your favorite?
              Chestnut. I find the white chocolate ones too sweet (I bought those for my daughters). They have lots of other flavours - I like the adzuki red bean flavour too.

              >> and could you explain what oroshi is?
              In this case, it is the short form of oroshidaikon or grated radish (daikon). The dog itself is a plain bratwurst.

            2. re: fmed

              DH is in Vancouver this weekend. I just emailed him the link to this thread :)

          3. I saw the JapaDogs on the Vancouver episode of A. Bourdain show, I can't wait till my next trip to Vancouver, I really have to try them. I passed by their cart when we were there last year, and I can't believe we didn't buy one.

            The KitKats look good too!

            1. Oh, I am so jealous! I had read all about Japadog on the boards (and had seen on fmed's maps). I was in Vancouver at the end of January and wanted to try one for myself. Unfortunately he was closed. My next trip to Vancouver will be primarily to try a japadog! (and now maybe one of those japanese kit-kats).

              1. I just had a look at the japadog website and noticed they have a new item:

                Kurobuta(black hog) is the most highly prized pork in all of Japan.
                Kurobuta is 100% pure all-natural Berkshire pork.That exists today for Kurobuta- the "Kobe beef" of pork.

                Has anyone tried it?

                5 Replies
                1. re: llkerr

                  I finally tracked down the cart as well, and was well pleased with my terimayo dog. THe Kurobuta, was not something I would order again. Very "juicy", think mini-geysers of grease and pork jus, not necessarily a bad thing, but I found the texture very coarse, something I don't like in a weiner. Not chunky, but coarse. The flavor was quite strong as well.

                  1. re: toutefrite

                    Just had some today. Very juicy and more porky than regular dogs. I like the texture...not chunky...more raggy, if you know what I mean.

                  2. re: llkerr

                    I've been meaning to try the kurobuta, but every time I go to japadog, I opt for the oroshi (my fave). I keep telling myself that I'll try the kurobuta next time, since I'm a fan (though I've never had it in sausage form).

                    I will definitely have it next time...

                    1. re: aburitoro

                      I tried the kurobuta a few days ago. It was good, though I had two gristly bits in mine, which were definitely chunky. I didn't mind though, since these bits weren't too tough to chew (I'm the guy who cleans off the bones when eating kalbi). Definitely juicy and good, though a pit plain compared to the three other dogs with japa-toppings.

                      Next time, I will ask them to make me a kurobuta oroshi, as I imagine the daikon should offset the fatty weiner quite nicely.

                      1. re: aburitoro

                        A couple of things: first, Japadog has opened its second, amazing stand at the corner of Burrard & Pender. Just outside 510 Burrard St (convenient and delicously where I work!). They're only out when it's not raining and seem to be there about 11am until 6pm ish. They also offer slightly different dogs to the one at Burrard and Smithe - you can have the Terimayo (teriyaki, onions, seaweed flakes, mayo) with all types of meat, including turkey, fish, kurobuta, bratwurst etc.

                        Secondly, to your point about wanting the kurobuta but ordering the oroshi, at the Burrard and Pender one I ordered the oroshi but with kurobuta pork and they said no problem! I always have the kurobuta - it's sooo delish!

                    2. I try to go here every time I visit Vancouver. My favorite one is the one with the mushroom thingies on it... I forget the name. >_>;

                      1. hi...can you tell me where Japadog is located?...thanks!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Simon

                          The cart is located in front of the Wine Merchant at the Sutton Place Hotel - 845 Burrard Street right downtown.

                          1. re: fmed

                            Location link

                            845 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z2K7, CA

                            1. re: fmed

                              What are the hours they are there?

                              1. re: Pollo

                                noon - 7:30 Mon to Thu
                                noon - 8:00 Fri and Sat
                                12:30 - 7:00 Sun

                                ...according to their website.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  thanks...maybe i'll check them out tomorrow!

                        2. Japadog in the news...they are said to be opening a 'sit-down' restaurant in the near future:

                          22 Replies
                          1. re: fmed

                            I have been try to get to Japadog for the last two trips. Next time I get up do not let me leave without having one.

                            I will be back sooner than later.

                            How could I forget. It was high on my list and I drove within a mile of it.

                            Will back to eating my own food for a while.

                            1. re: yimster

                              Can I get you to smuggle a couple back home for me? It's looking like our July trip may fall apart due to my wife's work situation, gonna be one sad hound.

                              1. re: PolarBear

                                Too bad about that PB. I hope things go well and you still make it up here.

                                JapaDog's owner is thinking big...maybe soon you'll see a JapaDog down in your neck of the woods. It's a shoe-in considering all the successful food trucks you have down there.

                                1. re: PolarBear

                                  Yes, I can buy a couple for you but I am not sure if I would not eat them on the way home. I will not be going again until next year at the soonest.

                                  Maybe we California hounds sure road trip up to Vancouver and fill up.

                                  But then again I not sure if I can cross the border with meat.

                                  Just do not saying anything to dsg otherwise she will on my back again.

                              2. re: fmed

                                Thanks for the linky to the Sun article, fmed -- I'd forgotten about the new stand and just emailed the coordinates to a friend who works nearby.

                                Also intrigued by this: "Newer, non-dog items are okonomi, a grilled pancake of Berkshire pork sausage, cabbage, bonito flakes; korokke is like a deep-fried croquette of mashed potato, cabbage and special sauces."

                                I knew they had an okonomi dog (yum!) but not the actual Japa-pizza that I love so well. And korokke is worth eating when it's executed properly -- do they actually have a deep fryer at one or both of the stands now? The last time I visited neither of these items (nor a fryer) was in evidence at the Sutton Place stand, and that was only three weeks ago. Must return soon!

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  The two stands have different menus so we can probably only get the okonomi and korokke at the Pender stand. I haven't tried the new one yet... must make a trip soon.

                                  1. re: twinkienic

                                    I got the okonomi at the Smithe st. stand today. Yep...all my life living in Vancouver & today was the FIRST time I went to Japa Dog! My lunch partners teased me about this. We had to drive downtown via Cambie st, park, eat & be back in an hour...they really razzed me about doing this for a hot dog! We arrived about 10 minutes before noon and there were only about 5 people in line, but they were open, and about another 5 were waiting for their dogs.

                                    My friends ordered the TeriMayo & I ordered the Okonomi. I guess I have built Japa Dog far too high in my head. When I anxiously took my first bite, no bells rang, no music played...but, it was pretty good. Well, except for the bonito flakes, the smell serverely grossed me out. So, I positioned myself on the cement stairs to where a breeze was blowing, and watched my bonito flakes fly into the wind! Nice. The cabbage & sauces were fine.

                                    Anyway, the 3 of us all agreed, for hot dogs, they were really good, but it just didn't bring us under the "spell" everyone else is under to want to hurry back! BUT - our lunch escapade did take one hour exactly!

                                  2. re: grayelf

                                    OH sorry, non-dog! My okonomi was a dog, my apologies to grayelf & nic talking about the pancake okonomi! I'll try to take more care when posting!

                                    1. re: ck1234

                                      No worries, ck. I'm pretty sure I posted somewhere that I order the oko dog sans bonito flakes. I really don't like bonito flakes on any other food so I surmised I would not like them on a hot dog :-). You are not alone!

                                  3. re: fmed

                                    I follow Japadog on twitter and every time they post, my mouth waters. Must get to Japadog soon. Working at the university doesn't help matters.

                                    1. re: peter.v

                                      Thanks, twinkie, I didn't realize. I'll stay on the bus for two extra stops next time (we got off the MacDonald, had a J-dog and then got on the next one to our final destination last time -- worked well). Has anyone actually tried the non-dog items?

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        I finally made it down to the second stand and had an okra dog (they were out of the korokke :-). After the usual longish wait despite being the second in line, I was very happy with my green relishy covered tube steak :-). The finished product doesn't look much like the pix on the stand but it was interesting and refreshing, something I've never said about a hot dog. Here's a pic, along with descriptions of some of the other dogs available here. No sign of non-dog food action here though. The korokke is the one with mashed spuds (!) which I'll be back for.

                                        1. re: grayelf

                                          Looking forward to trying the okra dog.

                                          1. re: fmed

                                            You Northern hounds are making me want to come up again. I was hoping to wait until next year, but all this food talk is making me rethink my plans.

                                            Just a side question when is King Crab season?

                                            1. re: yimster

                                              I think it's almost over Yimster, sorry. But it is Spot prawn season for another month!

                                              1. re: starlady

                                                Yes, I know it's over, but we had some in April. I am look forward to next year already. I was hoping to mix King Crab and Night market on one trip. Looks like that it is not going to work. Oh well. Lots of other thing to eat and do.

                                          2. re: grayelf

                                            Bagged the elusive korokke dog last week. It is now vying with the okonomi dog for my fave J-dog. Think dog'n'fries without the oil and with seaweed :-). Highly recommended.

                                            1. re: grayelf

                                              It's on my list of must-try along with the okra-dog!

                                              1. re: twinkienic

                                                I've been drooling on my keyboard ever since hearing about the okra dog.

                                                1. re: PolarBear

                                                  A quick update: Japadog on a chilly Saturday night before an early movie rocks! Go, okonomi dog, go. New taste variant: a bit of classic yellow mustard counters the sweetness of the okonomi sauce.

                                                  Minor irk factor: you are politely asked not to sit on the concrete retainers in front of the Sutton Place wine store because of "private property" concerns. Yeesh. So I sat on the bench at the bus stop :-).

                                                  Now on the menu: ume dog (special plum sauce) and edamame dog (the green stuff in a brat, apparently).

                                                  Coming mid-January: the bricks and mortar J-dog at 530 Robson. I am so there.

                                                  PS the info on their website is contradictory but the stand across from the Scotiabank Theatre was going strong tonight.

                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                    This time I will try this dog. Have been think about for a couple of years but never had time. But very soon I will finally get to try it. Will be in your lovely city soon.

                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                      I had the edamame dog about a month ago on mistake... I don't eat pork and I mistakenly thought that because it was marketed as an edamame dog that it was veggie:) Anyhow, I had one bite before I realized and stopped; however, the texture and taste of the edamame in the dog is incredible. If I ate pork-it would be my favourite one:). Now if they put the edamame in a veggie dog: delicious!

                                      2. I tried JapaDog while in Vancouver last February, and I LOVED it!! Their combination of ingredients was very tasty.

                                        1. I finally tried Japadog this past summer, specifically the Waterfront Station Japadog cart.

                                          I was with friends, and we shared Kurobuta Terimayo (pork hotdog with strips of nori, japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce, and onions) and Goku Dare (pork hot dog with sauce, japanese mayo, seaweed flakes, and sauerkraut). This location also offered fishy "sausages" such as the Ebi Chili (spicy shrimp) and Salmon Dog -- but I can't quite wrap my head around the idea of fish in a sausage casing. Of the two types of Japadog I tried, I prefered the Kurobuta Terimayo, whereas I found the Goku Dare a bit sweet (which wasn't quite to my taste).

                                          Who would've thought that seaweed and hotdogs would compliment each other so well? But Japadog succeeded in winning me over -- I'm a fan! Nom! :)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: curlygirl13

                                            I finally made it into the bricks-and-mortar J-dog on Robson this past Thursday. I had 20 mins for dinner btwn VIFF screenings and lo and behold, no line. I got a tonkatsu "dog" -- it's actually a breaded piece of pork deep fried in a bun. Tasty but it is quite sweet too because of the tonkatsu sauce. I might ask for a bit less if I got it again. I also had the "shaked" fries with butter and shoyu. They're served in a waxed paper bag and mine were screaming hot, just how I like them. A couple were a bit soft but overall very satisfying. I'll be back for the Love Meat dog :-).