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Questions re Vancouver dining

Greetings from a Washington DC hound. We'll be in your fair city in a few weeks, and I'm of course using the board to do some research. I have some reservations based on what I've read so far, and now I'm trying to decide if I change what I have, etc.

1. We'll almost certainly head to Vij's. If the wait is just too long for us, is there any place nearby (as in not getting back in the car, and I suppose not needing a rezzie) you'd recommend (we are adventurous eaters; the most important criteria is food with flavor, period).

2. We're staying in Yaletown at the Opus. Rec's for healthy breakfast spots within walking distance of the hotel?

3. We'll be in town from a Wednesday to Sunday. Sunday we have to get to the airport by approximately 11:00, maybe a little later. In your experience, any decent dimsum either on the way or out by the airport that would open by 10:00 on a Sunday?

Thanks for your thoughts. Vancouver has so many great options that 4 and a half days just isn't long enough!

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  1. 2. Up the hill one block is Choices, a natural food store with offerings ranging from super colon cleansing healthy, or more standard baked fare. This is self-serve and just a little counter at which to perch if you are looking for something quick. The Elbow Room is also nearby, a famous breakfast place known for its ambience (ranging from quirky to hostile), and it has some dishes tailored to the more puritan west coast palate. Down one block is Urban FAre, another grocery store but with a larger, more serviceable deli and they do hot breakfasts as well. Self-serve again. You can always just pick up some nice stuff and eat on the water. Almost adjacent to Urban Fare is Provence Marinaside, which is only good for breakfast. A nicer restaurant with a nice view, if outmoded decor.
    3. Mmost dim sum places don't seem to open until 10:30 at the earliest. You would probably have more luck eating in Richmond, and that is where the airport is located.

    1. Golden Phoenix at Nanaimo and Broadway is open at 9:00 for dim sum. Other places will be open as well...but this is one place I have actually had dim sum at around 9 or 10 am.

      Golden Phoenix Seafood Restaurant
      2425 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5N5E5, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        Another thought -- Red Star at South Granville (about Granville and 67th?) minutes to YVR) is serving dim sum at 10:00. They have excellent and creative dim sum IMO.

        1. re: fmed

          Is this the one that used to be called South Granville Seafood Restaurant or something? We used to go there a few yeares ago under this name, and enjoyed it.

          1. re: toutefrite

            Yes that's the one. Close to it is The Place Restaurant which is known for s Xiao Long Bao....but I don't think it is open till 11am.

            Red Star Seafood Restaurant
            8298 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6P4Z4, CA

        2. re: fmed

          I just confirmed that the oddly named, but very good Come Along Seafood starts to serve dim sum at 9am everyday (dim sum 9am-3pm). All Cantonese style dim sum, no carts, and unfortunately no xiao long bao.

          Come Along Restaurant
          2550 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R5H2, CA

        3. Re: 1 - his little cafe, Rangoli, in the same building is worth eating at. Very inexpensive, much more casual, but still good food.

          Re: 2 - not sure how far it is, but there's a diner on Granville & Helmcken called Templeton that has great organic/free range/etc breakfast items. I was just in Van for 9 days, and had breakfast there 6 of them! Loved it. Probably only a 20 minute walk from what I remember

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dan G

            Templeton is at Granville and Helmcken - 20 minutes if you walk reallly slow :)
            I'm not sure when they open though, I think 9ish, so if you are an early riser you may have to wait a bit.

            1. re: starlady

              It's like 5 or 6 blocks from the Opus to the Templeton. 20 minutes if you're crawling -- less than 10 minutes for most on foot :-)


          2. 1. Vij's as you know doesn't take reservations so go Wednesday rather than Sat for example (earlier in the week) and earlier in the evening. Vij's and Rangoli, while affiliated, are very different dining experiences; Vij's is worth the wait and while you're waiting they usually serve complimentary Chai and spice biscuits. Try their custom micro brew too. Sable Fish (Black Cod) is one of my favs.

            3. Nanaimo might be too far East to make an early flight Sunday. Chongqing Seafood restaurant has great Dim Sum. #205 - 1668 W. Broadway, 604-734-1668. Call to double-check but I think they open at 9am.

            In Yaletown I love Rodney's Oyster Bar for the amazing Caesars (Canadian Bloody Mary). They grate fresh horseradish into them. The oysters are great too,

            1. Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions. And for others just reading this thread for the first time this week, I'd of course love to hear any additional ideas.

              Midmit, I'm right there with you. Our plan right now is to visit Vij's for a relatively early dinner (or at least we'll arrive early!) on Wednesday, when we'll still be very much on East Coast time).

              Cheers all, and I'll report back on our experiences next month.

              1. So on this same topic....how "fancy" is Fuel in terms of dress? Everything I see about it looks great. Is it like a high-end California place, i.e. high end food but casual atmosphere ?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Geoff

                  I ate at Fuel about 3 weeks ago while visting Vcvr, and it was completely a range of clothing. There were suits and there were people in jeans, and none were out of place.

                  1. re: Dan G

                    I don't own dress pants and wear only jeans. I have eaten at the highest-end restaurants here in Vancouver without a problem at all.

                2. Hey Geoff,

                  2. I agree with Elbow room, good food and fun experience, as long as you have a sense of humour!

                  3. A fairly new place along the Yaletown strip called Tequila Kitchen just opened. i haven't been yet, but hear the breakfast is good, its not Dim Sum though.

                  Other: You should try Elixir (the Opus hotel's restaurant) The executive chef (Don Letendre) is great and they just released the new menu which i started tasting las night and was impressed.

                  1. Bumping this back up and of course more questions! Thanks so much for the responses already!

                    The last time we were in town we had truly memorable experiences at Vij's and Tojo's, and we've decided to go back to both. That leaves me with two more dinner opportunities, and four lunches. Not nearly enough!

                    I love how things sound at Fuel, Boneta, and Aurora. And then there's the whole Asian focus that I actually wish I had much, much more time to explore. Izakaya at any of the Guu's, perhaps Sun Sui Wah stand out as two favorites - any opinions on whether it makes more sense to hit any of these for lunch rather than dinner? We're not going to make any rezzie's for lunch, that's just too structured.

                    Thanks again!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Geoff

                      The izakayas are a dinner-only option (with a few exceptions). Boneta and Aurora are open for lunch and are worth it for lunch or dinner. Dim sum is a lunch thing - so Sun Sui Wah for dim sum is definitely a lunch. (Is Fuel open for lunch? - they are open Fridays for lunch, for sure). Pied-a-Terre is open for lunch and is very good.

                      1. re: fmed

                        If you wanted to squeeze in a Chinese-centric lunch, perhaps Peaceful Restaurant? The prices, selection and quality are great here, day or evening, and it's quite central.

                        I think you'll be okay most places without lunch resos, although you might want to call ahead on the Friday, but 'ware lineups for dimsum on the Saturday if you decide to make that your dimsum day.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          1. Vij's IMO is very overrated. Expensive for not very good fusion indian food. If you want good authentic indian food, you should go to Tandoori King on Fraser Street. It is a drive from Downtown though. If you want a good inidian buffet, Saffron in Burnaby is good. I think the buffet is at lunch and only at dinner from sunday to wed or thurs.

                          2. Hmm. Not sure about healthy. You can pick up breakfast from Urban Fare (an urban supermarket with a deli style place to get food and hot meals) and go sit by the water and eat breakfast there. It is on Davie street past Pacific. The water is right by there.

                          3. If you are in Yaletown, Chinatown is right by there. There is Floata in Chinatown, but if you want the push carts, you can try Pink Pearl as that is a dim sum place most tourists go to. Also Sun Sui Wah on Main street which is sort of on the way to the airport. There isn't many downtown unless you go to Victoria Garden (Royal Centre) or Imperial (By Waterfront Skytrain station on Burrard street). Not sure when they start serving, but most places start at 9 or 10.

                          If you want a good steak. go to Gotham on seymour. best steaks in town. As for lunch, you can always take the water taxi from yaletown to granville island and they have some good places there like bridges and sand bar. Memphis Blues is great for southern BBQ. If you want good quick chinese food, there is Hon's on robson or in chinatown. Japanese food, Temaki sushi on west broadway and arbutus is good, but if you want more quick sushi, Samuari on davie is good and cheap. Sip Resto Lounge is a good place to eat on have drinks, right on Granville Street where all the clubs and bars are.

                          Hope this helps.

                      2. re: Geoff

                        lunches: Boneta, Dim Sum (Sun Sui Wah would be good, as you can then stroll Main St)... after that, i'm not really sure. I love Phnom Penh in Chinatown for stunning Cambodian, but I don't know if you want that.

                        dinners: Must go to Fuel, then it really matters what you want: absolutely outstanding Italian (Cioppinos), Classic French (Le Crocodile), West Coast (Aurora, Bishops), or expense account (West, C), just really good (Chow).