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Vancouver recommendations for Seattleites

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I'll be visiting Vancouver with my husband next weekend. We'll have a car and are willing to drive out of Vancouver proper for good food.

We're looking for places that offer things that we can't get in Seattle. We've heard Vij's is good. I've heard over and over and over again how much better dim sum is in Vancouver, so I'm looking for recommendations for specific places (carts are a plus, but not a necessity.)

Also looking for the best bakeries, chocolatiers (a local chocolatier said that there's someplace that makes a lilac or violet cream chocolate that's really good), and gelato.

We'll be hanging out with someone who likes foie gras and other really rich foods, so if there are places that do those particularly well, we'd appreciate recommendations.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Vij's is good, or you could try Rangoli next door. Not sure which place the chocolatier was referring to, but Thomas Haas in North Van is worth checking out for chocolate and pastries. As for gelato, I think the best place in Vancouver is Dolce Amore on Commercial Drive. I just went there tonight! Can't think of any good foie gras places, but if you're looking for good, hearty French fare, try La Regalade in West Van or Bistrot Bistro in Kits. Great daube beouf at both places.

    I'll let fmed comment on dim sum and XLBs :o)

    -----
    Vij's Restaurant
    1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

    Dolce Amore
    1590 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L3Y2, CA

    Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie
    998 Harbourside Dr, North Vancouver, BC V7P, CA

    Bistrot Bistro Ltd
    1961 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M7, CA

    La Regalade
    2232 Marine Dr, West Vancouver, BC V7V1K4, CA

    1. Foie gras central is W4th at Fuel and Gastropod - I highly recommend both. Be prepared for anti-foie protestors waving placards. West also serves foie as does Chambar. For other places with rich food - Chow, Pied-a-Terre, Chambar, Bistro Bistrot....

      For dim sum - Richmond is the place to go. Sea Harbour, Kirin, Sun Sui Wah, Shanghai River, Shiang Garden, Northern Delicacy. I know that Seattle seems to be lacking in the XLB department - I recommend Lin Chinese Cuisine and Chen's Shanghai in Richmond.

      I believe that your chocolatier was talking about Thomas Haas (im_hungry recommended him already).

      I second Dolce Amore for gelato.im_hungry -- I was there tonight as well. I had the green apple gelato.

      -----
      Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
      4940 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X3A5, CA

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

      Aberdeen Centre
      4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X4J7, CA

      Chambar Restaurant
      562 Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3, CA

      Fuel Restaurant
      1944 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5, CA

      Chen's Shanghai Kitchen
      8095 Park Rd, Richmond, BC V6Y, CA

      Shanghai River Restaurant
      7831 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X1A4, CA

      Maenam
      1938 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5, CA

      Pieda' Terre
      3369 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z2W6, CA

      Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant Ltd
      3711 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X2B8, CA

      Kirin Seafood Restaurant
      7900 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X1A5, CA

      Shiang Garden Restaurant
      4540 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X2C2, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        I had panna cotta and nociolla. Not as good as what I've had in Italy, but the best I've tried in Vancouver. Mmmm!

        1. re: im_hungry

          That panna cotta flavour is really something...

          1. re: grayelf

            I'll have to try the panna cotta next time I'm there... but I always end up ordering pistachio. They make the richest pistachio I've tried thus far.

      2. i've dined widely and happily in both cities (Lark is my fav in Seattle)

        I'd say Boneta is a must: amazing wines by the glass (obscure delicious Cru-Beaujolais, Chateauneuf du Pape, tasty BC stuff, and they change it almost daily) plus stellar food...menu sometimes features foie gras (as well as bone marrow, morrels, escargot, strong cheeses, and other such pleasures)...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Simon

          I forgot to add (along with the Boneta recc): Chow. They have foie and a really well valued prix fixe ($38).

        2. Vij is not "good" ... Vij is freakin INCREDIBLE! I had the lamb and it was so good it made me cry!! This place is a must!
          For gelato, I really truly believe Mondo Gelato (Robson or Denman) is by far the best. (I tried almost all the gelato places in Vancouver and Mundo Gelato keeps me coming back every time. Sooo Good!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: boisenewbie

            I prefer Amore on Commercial... but Mundo is also good.

            Vij's is outstanding.

            1. re: boisenewbie

              Mondo was, for years, the main reason I visited Vancouver.

            2. Bakery reccs:
              Patisserie Lebeau - best Belgian waffles, liege and stuffed (sweet and savory)
              Sweet E's in Kerrisdale - great to pick up a cake with lots of "mini" options
              Butter in Dunbar - homestyle treats, mostly bars and such. killer stuffed peanut butter cookies and homemade "oreos"
              Terra Breads - excellent breads and bread-based treats
              Sweet Obsessions - nice sit-down option with a wide variety of treats. just avoid the brownies.

              To avoid IMO:
              COBS bread - don't get pulled in by its popularity ie many locations
              tartine - heavy pastry and bland filling
              Meinhardt and Picnic baked goods - except for the sable cookies, everything else is institutional tasting
              Urban Fare - the baked goods are below institutional-tasting, lapsing into hospital-grade level

              4 Replies
              1. re: toutefrite

                For something "different" - check out some of the Asian bakeries and sweets places as well. There a few convenient places in Chinatown (New Town, Boss, etc.) Also around the Punjabi market area on Main St (around 49th ave.) are a few Indian sweets places.

                1. re: fmed

                  Yes! New Town for the barbq pork steamed buns. I must have them when I am in town. Is the Cambie Street one affiliated with the Chinatown one, or not? The signage touts itself as being the "original", but I don't know what that means. A friend said that their stuff is nothing like the CT location. Do you know?

                  1. re: toutefrite

                    Toutefrite, your bakery pros and cons are spot on IMO too. And fmed's idea of grabbing some Chinese or Indian sweets is a great one (if the coconut buns are freshly baked at New Town in CT they are hard to beat).

                    1. re: toutefrite

                      I think the original is the Chinatown location. The CT location has more traffic, thus everything is fresher.

                2. In my trips to Seattle, I have not noticed a lot of Korean food. Consider checking out Blue Sea Seafood in Coquitlam - it's quite the drive, but very worthwhile. Check out Shokutsu's latest experience there.

                  http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/2008/...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: foodosopher

                    Time for me to make a trip out to Coquitlam.

                    1. re: fmed

                      I agree with you 100%. It looks amazing.