Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Western Canada Archives >
May 18, 2008 06:57 PM

Breakfast and "No B.S." seafood, Vancouver, Bayshore

OK, here's what I need, and why I need it. I'm in Vancouver, end of the month, with the Chowspouse, from Los Angeles, for a multi-day conference at the Westin Bayshore. Never been to Vancouver before. I've scouted out the dim sum and Chinses dinners available, and I may be saddled with going to several other group dinners, but I need two things:

1) breakfast: I hate hotel breakfasts, (and have hated them for decades, with only one exception) I'd really like a place with sit-down "eggs-and" breakfast favored by locals, near (5-6 block walk?) where I will be, and open EARLY . Doesn't need to be fancy; I don't need to know the name of the guy who raised the pig for the bacon, or the pedigree of the oats in the oatmeal. Should be consistentltasty, and less expensive than a hotel breakfast (which ain't tough)

2. Good seafood/fish place: I'd like a dinner place which has fresh local seafood, well-prepared, again, with a minimum of fuss. Think Jake's in Portland, McCormick's before they got chain-y and touristy, Tadich's in San Francisco, or Shaw's in Chicago. While Cardero's is literally around the corner from the hotel, and their menu looks OK, judging from a quick look at this board, it's got more view, tourists, and hype than snappy food.

Any help?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1.) Near that area is (wearing asbestos flamesuit...) the Whitespot. They do a decent eggs breakfast. Not too far away is Cafe Artigiano for coffee and more of a continental breakfast. They have decent sandwiches too.

    2.) I'm a broken record with this recommendation - Blue Water in Yaletown for the best seafood....un-fussy and exemplary Vancouver-style seafood. If you are looking more for the Jake's/Tadich experience - perhaps Joe Fortes at Thurlow and Robson. Don't dismiss Cardero's - they do a good job with the food - it is always fresh and very well's just not "chowish" enough for many on this board, including me.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      I'm going to go for the broken-record here too and suggest the Fish House. as it has fresh local seafood, well prepared with a minimum of fuss. And it's in Stanley Park which you are going to be very close to. And it's beautifully situated, especially now that the sun is setting later. Ask for a table on the deck if it's a clear night and bask in the slanting rays of the sun as you look out into the park. Soak up the old time, clubhousey feel, the gracious service, maybe a couple of cocktails and an oyster or three, if that's your thing. Don't order anything that couldn't breathe underwater. I say get the sablefish (sticky or non). Relax. Enjoy. Meander up to Denman for coffee afterwards if the weather is fine. Ogle the view of English Bay. That's a Vancouver night.

      Breakfast is more problematic from the Bayshore (and you are especially right to eschew their corporate breakfasts). I've never eaten anything at Whitespot except their burgers -- born and bred in Van, what can I say? -- and the only other place I can think of is La Bretagne Creperie at 795 Jervis St. This is a great spot for brekky but may not meet your criteria as it is rather further than 6 blocks (maybe 8 or 9) and doesn't really do the standard eggs-and-bacon, but it certainly qualifies on locally loved and on value. Note that it opens at 9 and is closed on Mondays.

      1. re: grayelf

        Adding links...

        Fish House In Stanley Park
        8901 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, CA

        La Bretagne The Original Creperie Ltd
        795 Jervis St, Vancouver, BC V6E2B1, CA

        1. re: grayelf

          The Fish House serves sustainably caught fish, its a geat place and an ethical choice.

          Here is a good link for sustainable seafood...

      2. I'm a part-time Vancouverite at best, but can recommend a few options:

        1) I second the WhiteSpot recommendation. Not because the food's so wonderful (it's decent), but because it's so...well, let me explain it this way. Last time I ate there, my wife and I sat down to breakfast. Coffee and menus appeared instantly. I asked about a menu item, the "BC Eggburger" or something like that. "It's great," the friendly waitress enthused. "It's got bacon, ham, eggs, cheese and special sauce on a bun. It's good for ya, eh?" That was worth the price of admission right there.

        Other options: people speak well of Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, although I haven't been there and it's a little out of your way—but many locals like to hit up one of Vancouver's ubiquitous coffeehouses for breakfast. There are hundreds of Starbuckses, but for a more local experience, try Delaney's on Denman; the Blenz chain which generally offers more food options; or on a budget, Tim Horton's.

        2) C and Bluewater Grill are generally considered to be the best fish places in Van, but the truth is it's hard to get BAD seafood in a place with so much ocean bounty nearby. Although not limited to seafood, Raincity Grill offers great fish dishes and a terrific view of English Bay. Enjoy...

        3 Replies
        1. re: BobtheBigPig

          BTBP, love the White Spot story (big grin) but gotta say NO to Sophie's, not just 'cause it's out of the way for the OP but it's really not good, huge lineups why we know not -- check out this recent thread

          1. re: BobtheBigPig

            OK, I have been told by a friend that we've got reserves at "Bluewater Grill", and the post above refers to "Bluewater Grill", but all I can find in Vancouver is the "Bluewater Cafe". Is this the same place?

            Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
            1095 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, CA

            1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

              He probably means "Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar".
              No such thing as as "Bluewater Grill" in Vancouver.

              FYI, you should know that the "Raw Bar" is a cresent shaped sushi bar presided over by one of Vancouver's top sushi chefs (Yoshihiro Tabo).

          2. For breakfast, maybe Joe's Grill on Denman? It's a greasy spoon type place. Not sure what time they open, though. White Spot has better ambiance, though.

            fmed an grayelf have suggested Blue Water or Fish House. Both are good. Blue Water has a better cocktail menu, is slightly pricier, has contemporary decor and younger clientele. I think service at the Fish House is better and clientele is mixed between locals and tourists (but not overrun by tourists).

            3 Replies
            1. re: im_hungry

              That particular White Spot is the best that I have been to in the last few years. Since they started their expansion, I have noticed a severe drop in quality generally. (I believe that the White Spot now has both "corporate" and "franchise" locations - which probably explains the variance in quality.) There are certain franchise locations that are just nasty. But this one by Stanley Park always seems to deliver the goods. I had a Prime Rib dinner there once that was excellent.

              1. re: fmed

                This is totally off topic, but my friend and I had breakfast at the White Spot on Marine/Byrne Rd in Burnaby, where they have their "prototype kitchen". One of the "prototypes" is home fries, instead of the usual hash browns! The home fries are potato chunks that seem to be flash fried and then reheated in the oven (?). I guess cooking shredded potatoes on the grill is more labour intensive and costly than shoving a tray of home fries in the oven. I wasn't a fan of the home fries and neither was my friend or the table next to us. According to our (very nice) waitress, all White Spots will eventually switch to home fries! My friend's comment: "I betcha the senior citizens are gonna freak."

                1. re: im_hungry

                  If it's a nice sunny day, I suggest Mill Marine Bistro. If you start walking on the waterfront head towards east and it's right by the water fountains. It's not a fine dining but it's nice to sit and enjoy breakfast/brunch. Their dinner's aren't great, it's sort of like pub food but I don't mind their brunches (omlettes are pretty fluffly) and the awesome view. It's not expensive either. There's Caderos as well before you see Mills but I prefer Mills as it's more relaxed.