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Visiting from Toronto - Where to Eat?

detritus Jun 25, 2008 03:56 PM

We're going to be in Vancouver for a week in July - where should we eat? Any kind of recommendations are welcome, though we'll probably only do one or two higher-end places, so some cheaper recs would be appreciated too.

We'd like to try to eat stuff we don't have a lot of access to in Toronto. I think this includes seafood/fish, sushi (especially great low/mid-priced sushi) and other Japanese, various other Asian cuisines, etc., but we're up for anything really.


  1. j
    julies1949 Jun 25, 2008 06:41 PM

    might I suggest you type "Vancouver" in the search box on the top right corner of the page and read the pages and pages of recent entries?

    1 Reply
    1. re: julies1949
      detritus Jun 25, 2008 07:14 PM

      Yeah, it told me "4,037 results for vancouver". I figured maybe if I asked nicely somebody would help me narrow it down.

    2. grayelf Jun 25, 2008 06:43 PM

      Hi Detritus:

      You've left it kinda wide open so I'm going to point you to a recent similar request thread:

      and paste it my thoughts from it. If any of these sound interesting, click on the link and scroll down for a list of places links for these and others in the thread.

      Salt for a late afternoon ploughman's moderne snack
      Cobre for a pan-Latin dinner
      Peaceful for great noodles and dim summy stuff (lunch or dinner
      )Patisserie Lebeau for sweet and savoury brekky waffles (go early)
      Nuba for healthy but v. tasty Lebanese in a funky setting (two locations)
      One of Andrey Durbach's restos (Parkside, La Buca) for muscular Italian
      Aurora for locally sourced creative dishes without blowing the bank (great weekend brunch)
      Go Fish for super fresh "fish shack" offerings with a twist in a supernatural BC setting (one word: tacones, especially if the cod version is on the specials menu; ask for extra hot sauce on the side instead of the cole slaw)
      Green Lettuce for Indian-Chinese food
      Rangoli for a taste of Vij's minus the wait (don't know if they'll have crickets on that menu though)
      Argo Cafe for a post-modern take on the diner (breakfast and lunch only -- be sure to check out the lunch specials like duck confit or seared tuna for like $12!?)
      49th Parallel for coffee (either at their flagship store on 4th Avenue, or at the Edge Cafe with a great breakfast or lunch, or at Cafe Medina with yet another waffle)

      Adding: Kibune Sushi in Kits for great mid-range sushi, sashimi and cooked dishes in a setting steps from the water.

      If you can give some more parameters, I'm sure you will get more and better recs.

      Have fun on your vacation and be sure to let us know where you go and what you eat!

      Kibune Sushi Restaurant
      1508 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6K3E4, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: grayelf
        detritus Jun 25, 2008 07:12 PM

        Thanks. Those are very helpful.

        Hard to narrow it down - I don't really know what I'm looking for. :-) Trying to find some places that'll offer something uniquely Vancouver-ish, or at least something I can't get in Toronto. I know that includes good Japanese, but not sure what else - was hoping that someone with both Toronto and Vancouver knowledge might help me out.

        If I had to narrow it down, I'd want to know where to find good:
        - high-end/splurge sushi
        - high-quality but mid/low-priced sushi (we don't have this in Toronto)
        - other Japanese (izakaya, etc.)
        - dim sum (we have great dim sum in Toronto, but one can never have enough dim sum)
        - seafood-focused Chinese
        - good places for a quick bite/lunch/snack/etc.

        ... but I didn't really want to narrow it down, in case I miss something. :-)

        1. re: detritus
          grayelf Jun 25, 2008 08:04 PM

          Okay, here's a bit more (based on reccos from the board as well as my own chowing), all in Vancouver proper -- we are not very good about venturing into the burbs :-):

          izakaya crawl on Robson and Denman (Kitanoya Guu with Garlic, Hapa, Kingyo, Zakkushi) -- this I think is a must do and will be really different for you

          dimsum -- I really enjoy Golden Ocean. They do all the "regular" stuff really well, it's always fresh, the staff are friendly, and FWIW it's very popular with Chinese clientele (usually 95% plus). And I always get to try at least two things I've never seen before -- this happened again when we went last Sunday. They also take resos and if you come by 11 am you get 20% off an already very reasonable tab. BTW the best dimsum I've ever had was in Toronto (Taipan on Eglinton West, sadly closed) which was a fave haunt when we lived there

          splurgy sushi -- the obvious answer would be Tojo's but it's getting many thumbs down lately for service and 'tude and you really do need to bring $$$$; if that is not in the cards, how about Octopus' Garden or Zest?

          less splurgy sushi -- the above mentioned Kibune, or Ajisai in Kerrisdale (they really specialize in sushi and don't really cook much at all; I've heard great things about the omakase there but have yet to try it)

          ramen: there is now a bit of a locus for Japanese noodles circa the izakayas (Kintaro, Benkei, Motomachi Shokudo) that might be worth checking out.

          Chinese snacks: besides the abovementioned Peaceful, try Lin's or The Place for small bites, and I'm hearing good things about the Sichuan dishes at the latter from fmed on this board.

          a great 'hood: Main and anywhere from 8th to 33rd for a sort of Queen and Roncesvalles type experience (funky boutiques, antiques, local designers etc plus of course great food of virtually every description) -- Aurora, Cascade Room, Rekados, Splitz, Sawasdee, Legendary, Hawker's Delight, Long's, Au Petit, and more I've missed...

          Kintaro Ramen Noodle
          788 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L5, CA

          Aurora Bistro
          2420 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T3E2, CA

          Lin Chinese Cuisine and Tea House
          1537W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6J1W6, CA

          Sawasdee Thai Restaurant
          4250 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3P9, CA

          4063 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3P5, CA

          Octopus's Garden Restaurant
          1995 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J1C9, CA

          Legendary Noodle
          4191 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3P6, CA

          Splitz Grill Main Street Ltd
          4242 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3P9, CA

          Benke Ramen Restaurant
          1741 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C9, CA

          Motomachi Shokudo
          740 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G, CA

          Zest Japanese Cuisine
          2775 W. 16th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6k 3C3, CA

          Kitanoya Guu with Garlic
          1698 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C7, CA

          871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L9, CA

          Zakkushi Japanese Restaurant
          823 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L7, CA

          Hapa Izakaya
          1479 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C1, CA

          Ajisai HD Ltd
          2081 42nd Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6M2B4, CA

          Cascade Room
          2616 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T3E6, CA

          Hawkers Delight Deli
          4127 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3P6, CA

          Long's Noodle House
          4853 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3R9, CA

          Au Petite Cafe (2005) Ltd
          4851 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3R9, CA

      2. g
        gourmet wife Jun 26, 2008 09:52 AM

        Adding to the list.

        Higher end
        Pear Tree on Hastings in Burnaby, West Coast
        Pearl on the Rock in White Rock, perfectly situated by the Pier, West Coast
        Le Crocodile, classic French
        Cafe Medici, Italian
        Villa del Lupo, Italian

        Medium price
        Okra Asian Bistro, North Van, Malaysian/Singaporian
        Sockeye City Grill, Steveston, great seafood selection
        Tsukiji, Richmond Japanese, fresh fish and good small plates selection
        Pied a Terre, on Cambie, Bisto type food
        Mad Greek, Richmond, belly dancing on weekends
        Crave, Vancouver on Main
        Vita Bella, Burnaby on Hastings, Italian

        Ellies, Richmond, Malaysian/Singaporian
        Chen's, Richmond, Shanghai
        Ninkazu, Richmond, surprisingly good all you can eat japanese/sushi
        Posh, Vancouver on Broadway, all you can eat sukiyaki, not a lot of meat but great veggie selection

        1 Reply
        1. re: gourmet wife
          fmed Jun 26, 2008 10:05 AM

          Great list, gourmet_wife!

        2. fmed Jun 26, 2008 11:07 AM

          grayelf already alluded to the izakaya crawl. As far as I know, Toronto still doesn't have one single true izakaya (please correct me if my information is outdated). So if you are looking for a dining experience you cannot get there, that would be it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fmed
            detritus Jun 27, 2008 02:29 PM

            As far as I know, there isn't, so that'll for sure be something we do while we're there.

          2. d
            detritus Jun 27, 2008 02:28 PM

            Thanks a lot! These are very helpful lists - will print them all out to bring with me.

            1. h
              homebaker Jul 5, 2008 05:44 PM

              Hope this catches you before you leave; I was also prepping for our own trip to Vancouver (yes, also from Toronto) in mid-July. I hope you don't mind a couple of less-refined suggestions to add to all of the excellent ones already listed.

              As a born-and-bred Vancouverite who has been living in Toronto for the last 10 years (except for the biennial trips back to visit family), here are three things that I miss because I can't find a suitable equivalent in Toronto: (in no particular order)

              1. eating fish and chips--or any other takeout/picnic meal, for that matter--by the water and SALT breeze. e.g. Pajo's on the dock in Steveston; Go Fish by Granville Island. ...Don't know about you, but that Lake Ontario funk just ain't the same!

              2. White Spot (yes, it's a chain/franchise, but...) not only for their "Triple-O" sauced burgers but specifically for the drive-in experience. There aren't any drive-ins where we live in Toronto, and even if there were we'd probably have to eat with the windows up and A/C on! (kidding!)

              3. Griffins, the less-expensive sibling to 900 West at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, is a nice date option for those who are on a budget for whatever reason (student, young family, travelling, etc.) because ordering any of their dinner entrees also includes their great dessert buffet! To this day, I have not heard of this in any restaurant in our "great" city of Toronto. (Just imagine, you can place your order and sneak in a dessert before your food comes!) Their menu is fairly "standard" but I usually ask them for the catch of the day. Take a look at their menus:


              In any case, enjoy your trip and let us know what you tried!

              1 Reply
              1. re: homebaker
                detritus Jul 6, 2008 05:14 PM

                Thanks! We just got in to Vancouver yesterday and we're here for a while, so hopefully we'll be able to check out a few of those. The fish and chips idea is great!

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