Vancouver Vacation Plan
I'm working on a dining plan for my upcoming vacation, and could use some input on our plans.
We will be in town from Aug 10 - 16th. We will be staying on Robson towards the Stadium, and without a car.
We like all foods, and live in NYC, so we are looking for stuff that we wouldn't typically eat at home. Really good indian and japanese is something we would like, as well as fresh seafood in a low key setting, (think dock on the bay in Rhode Island). Looking for one or two meals with paired wines and 5-7 courses, other than that we're open to anything, Offal, sushi, izakaya, etc.
We are planning on doing one night at one of the night markets, but not sure which one (Richmond or Van.).
As for specific places we are looking at (comments/other recs?)
-Salt Tasting Room
Looking for good diner/breakfast places as well. Any street food recommendations would be great as well for snacks, or quick lunches when we are out and about.
Thanks in advance.
I was looking for more information on Fuel today for a friend, and realized I never came back around on all these recommendations.
We did Japadog, Go Fish, Fuel, Parkside, Salt Tasting Room, Chambar, Lime, a few ramen places, the Halal wrap across from Future Shop, and a number of bars in Gastown.
The highlight was definitely Fuel. Here it is, over a year removed, and I still think of the meal every once and a while. We ate at the bar, and wound up having an 8 or 10 course meal. Highlights include the largest bowl of foie gras I've ever ate, accompanied by what must of been an entire loaf of brioche. A pork tenderloin and braised belly with a berry reduction sauce was also great. The highlight might have been the sous vided duck that was finished in the deep fryer. That dish was amazing, it was one of the final savory courses, and I wished I wasn't so full at that point, because I would have loved to finish the whole bird. Everything was fantastic, and service was excellent. Sitting at the pass we had good interaction with the cooks and chef. Wine pairings were great, with local BC wines featured prominently. It's a shame this restaurant will be revamping in the coming months, as I had looked forward to revisiting when I visit on business in the near future.
If you want Italian, good Italain, then the only choice is CIOPPINO'S in Yaletown. My wife and had a seven-course "tasting" menu. I eat a lot, and am usually still hungry, but after enjoying Pino's creations I was stuffed. The portions were quite generous. And for me, at $150 (food only) per person it was a steal. If you choose to go, book ahead, and request Mick to serve you if you wish someone to expand upon the regional info about each dish, wine pairings and the such. DINNERS only. Lunches available at ENOTECA next door.
We also always love DIVA at the Metropolitan Hotel.
First time visit to PARKSIDE was very memorable, and will return the next time that we are in Vancouver. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
For a more casual ambiance serving great food and stellar drinks then head over to BONETA. Closed Mondays.
For the "nicer" meal paired with wine, I would highly recommend you go to Fuel. You also mentioned Gastropod, which is right next door. Both are very, very good (I personally prefer Fuel, but you can't really go wrong with either). You'll also get to see Kitsilano, which is a great 'hood. Other options for your, "nice meal" are:
West (haven't been since new Chef took over)
I think Lime for Sushi would be an excellent choice. Very fresh. House made buckwheat soba noodles are outstanding... actually, everything at Lime is outstanding. Great restaurant. It's also on Commercial drive which would allow you to see one of the best neighbourhood in the city.
For "very low key setting" fish go to Go Fish just west of Grandville Island. Try and go off hours (after lunch) as it's outrageously busy and it's just a little shack on the walkway. NOt really a dinner place.. actually, I doubt their even open in those hours. Either way, you should go there when you go to Grandville Island (assuming you do).
Chambar is good but I prefer Boneta just a couple blocks farther into Gastown. Both are easily walkable from your area. Both are fun, hip, and delicious. I just like the food and room (and neighbourhood) at Boneta better.
I would pass on the Cannery. Nice views and all... but, the food isn't anything to write home about. I would just go to Fuel/Gastropod once again.
Indian: a new restaurant, Salam Bombay just opened downtown that is absolutely delicious. Fusion India is the only way to describe it... but it's not 'bad fusion'. Good fusion. Anyway, I think they're only open for Lunch still.. but maybe by the time you come. Of course, no talk on Vancouver Indian food could be said without mentioning Vij's. Most people love it, some people don't. Either way, you should go. I personally think it's one of the best restaurants in the city. As do most others and many international newspapers/magazines.
Salt Tasting room is good, although I don't think it would be quite as cool as you're all from NYC and have heaps of wine bars (our laws are very draconian up here). But, after Boneta (or before) you could go around the corner to Salt for a nightcap. It's a really cool room and if you want to taste a bunch of BC wines, this would be the place to do it.
You can get all logistics from this site, www.dinehere.ca.
I second Go Fish on Granville Island. It's a short walk along the water and is wonderful. My fiancee and I went there while we were in Vancouver in April. We were on a budget, but I had to sample some seafood offerings we don't always get in Texas (my home) or Calgary (her home). This is a funky little shack that is not overpriced and not real touristy. Great view and amazing food. I think my lunch was swimming earlier in the morning; that's how fresh it was. Fish and Chips were good, but check their daily specials for the good stuff
Now if only I could find breakfast tacos in Calgary....
I second Blue Water cafe for seafood which also has excellent sushi ( it also has a patio like Aquagrill but less crowded ); Vij's for Indian ( after 8 -8:30 pm the wait can be shorter or none) If you want to get a sense of the food at Vij's you can get a taste at Rangoli next door; Go Fish for fish and chips, fish tacos, mixed grill , etc. by the marina (be aware this kiosk is not in the Grandville Island complex, but close to first avenue and Fir) and West for "regional". A good option for regional is Bishop's
A visit to Steveston usually includes a visit to Pajo's which in a good day can be as good as Go Fish when it comes to fish and chips.
I think Tojo's Omakase at the counter is a Vancouver "must" for sushi , and La Buca if you want to see what Battali's Lupa would be like if it lived up to its potential.
Vancouver has also some of the best Chinese restaurants in North America, something you might want to consider and a topic amply covered in other threads.
Lastly, the best coffee (lattes, cappuccinos etc.) and panini's which we found downtown Vancouver were at a place called Sciue on W. Pender and Howe, a cafe serving "Roman street food" . Good place for breakfast , a quick lunch or take out.
Chambar is very loud but the food is good. Surprisingly, their mussels aren't as fresh as they could be considering it's one of their signature dishes.
Kintaro, the line ups are long. Btwn the 3 ramen places on that block, I prefer Bentei. It's not as oily as Kintaro and prefer the texture of Bentei's ramen.
The Cannery, check out the Entertainment Coupon book before you go, you can get an entree for free.
Pajo's, personally I think it's over rated but to be fair, often it's students working there and it's not very consistent. I prefer Sockeye City Grill's Fish'n Chips. However, if you're in Kits Beach area, Fish Cafe on Yew is a good choice for Fish'n Chips. Their original location is in Kerrisdale.
If you're heading to the night market, the one in Chinatown is walkable from your hotel. The one in Richmond is preferred (not sure if it still is this year) but you will need to bus it. They previously have shuttles in the past, not sure if they still do with the new owners.
One of my new fav tapas place is Tequila Kitchen in Yaletown. Great margaritas too. Yuji's on 4th is tasty too for japanese tapas/sushi but it is expensive and they don't have AC.
Phnom Penh in China is world known for their food. It's not a pretty place but the food is quite tasty especially their fried chicken wings. You can probably walk from your hotel as well. Their menu is huge and what they do well, is done very well so stick with the recommendations from reviewers and bring mints with you.
If you go to Lime on Commercial be sure to stop by Dolce Amore for their gelatos. It's just up 3 blocks approx, and it's the best gelato in town.
Don't forget Japa Dog on Burrard by the Sutton Hotel. Very unique hotdogs and they're the only hot dog stand that makes them.
There's a gyro place on Robson across from Sears. Can't remember the name but I'm sure someone can point that out. There are constant line ups every day. Since you mentioned street food, this is one not to be missed.
A great pasterie place is Ganache in Yaletown, I think they're open late on Saturdays only till 9pm. Give them a try, it's worth going and also walkable from your hotel. Thomas Haas in North Van is good too but I prefer Ganache.
Vancouver has many great places to eat and so many choices. Have a great visit and happy eating !
1262 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B, CA