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Oct 10, 2008 02:35 PM

two nights in vancouver

hi everyone,

first time posting to chow!

i'll be visiting vancouver in a couple of weeks for 2 nights three days [fri-sun]. i / we love sushi & seafood in general, thai, indian, french bistro, chinese, and just good food in general. i'm planning to try vij's one night and would like a recommendation for the other night. the last time we were in van we ate at sanafir and had a nice meal. was thinking about chambar, goldfish pacific kitchen, gastropod or fuel as options and would appreciate thoughts and recs? i'm also interested in good spots for casual lunch. i saw a rec for Go Fish on Granville Island. any other ideas in that neck of the woods?

could you also help out with rec's for good brunch spots for sat, sun morning? i love dim sum, but the wife doesn't, so that's probably out and i don't have any other ideas.

all responses are much appreciated and you're thanked in advance!

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  1. Welcome to Chow gg! Vij's is great but as you have probably read they don't take reservations so on a weekend you will probably have a long wait... which isn't a bad thing...we always take a walk or go over to Chapters. For your other night...I'd say yes to Chambar , Gastropod and Fuel but suggest Blue Water Cafe rather than Goldfish if you want to check out Yaletown really good sushi there as well as great seafood. Aurora Bistro is great too and Boneta if you find yourselves in Gastown. For French Bistro try Pied a Terre. Check them all out on Go Fish is wonderful but you eat outside or take it away so the weather will be a factor. might try lunch at Trattoria Italian Kitchen on Fourth Ave which is not too far away. Cafe Medina could be fun for Brunch/Lunch and Provence Marinaside but I'll let someone else make other non Dim Sum Brunch suggestions.

    10 Replies
    1. re: balini

      For brunch on one of those days, a trip to Granville Island is in order. Just pick up a coffee at JJ Bean then wander around picking up various goodies...then if the weather is good, you can eat with the seagulls outside.

      1. re: fmed

        And further to Balini's post, if you can't make it to Aurora for dinner, why not check out their delightful brunch menu instead? I'm going to try to link for you...

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

        1. re: grayelf

          I would absolutely go for Aurora's Brunch I somehow didn't know they did one...I was lucky to get there for Lunch over the summer during the short lived time they were serving it and it was lovely ... and I completely agree with fmed suggestion to spend one of your mornings at Granville Island having a progressive Brunch...go to Terra Breads directly after getting your coffee at JJ Beans the grape focaccia is amazing as are the rustic fruit tarts and oh just about everything else....

          1. re: balini

            I remember the cinnamon rolls at Terra they still make them? So good!!!!

            1. re: balini

              Hey Balini, the Aurora brunch was there and then it wasn't. I believe it only came back recently. Two words: duck bacon. Okay, three more words: truffle scrambled eggs. 'Nuff said.

              Here's the brunch menu if that didn't get you all drooling:

              And for the OP: the menu looks a bit on the fancy schmancy side but don't be fooled. Aurora is a great neighbourhood restaurant, a warm slightly funky room, not snooty at all, with delicious locally sourced grub.

              1. re: grayelf

                When was brunch not on??

                Oh and Balini a couple other words to add to Grayelf's: Five spice doughnuts

                1. re: starlady

                  Maybe I got it wrong but I could have sworn they stopped doing brunch and then started up again. I remember reading reviews of the doughnuts only to discover they were not available (no brunch) and then they were (brunch). Or possibly I'm having a pre-senior moment :->.

          2. re: fmed

            or at granville island pick up a tiffin and lunch at curry 2 go. love that place. the bombay beach mix is delish although occasionally a bit dry. get it with something stewy.

            i can't decide which i love more, curry 2 go or go fish. depends on my mood.
            get tacos at go fish. the scallop if they have them, and ask for it spicy.

            as for vij's, grab a drink at cafe barney or at bin 941 while youre waiting.

            youre from seattle? so am i. i'd skip trattoria and go for something more vancouver.

            if you have time, kintaro at robson and denman (west end) has the best ramen in the city.
            i get the miso with kimchi on top. my absolute vancouver favourite besides vij's.
            plus theyre open until 11p and also for lunch.

            also on denman is kingyo. my favourite izakaya. if you were looking to go that route.

            chambar is lovely. medina is high on my list.

            boneta is good. especially their carpaccio. but i don't adore it. prefer chambar.

            fuel is fantastic.

            bishop's is true vancouver fine dining. seasonal, local, ethical. i'm down. john bishop is lovely. his latest cookbook fresh is out alongside all of michael pollan's in bookstores across the states.


            1. re: sophie.

              Second sophie's Bishop's rec for a true Vancouver food experience with the godfather of BC localvore cooking. Full disclosure: I have a mad Chow crush on courtly and self-effacing Chef Bishop :-).

              1. re: grayelf

                how could you not have a mad chow crush on john? hes a sweetheart.

                my full disclosure: my parents used to come up from seattle in the eighties for dinner dates at bishop's.

                john still remembers my father although he died thirteen years ago. my family is in the industry. food is in my blood.

                john bishop is so straight northwest-- meaning he's got true progressive values. i really admire him. i've been using his cookbook 'simply bishop's'. love it. beautiful beautiful food.

        2. Pass on Goldfish. There are much better fish options. Within two blocks of GF you have Blue Water (outstanding) and Coast (solid).

          Both Fuel and Gastropod kick serious ass. Chambar is also awesome, as is Boneta just a couple of minutes away. I would go Boneta > Chambar simply for the neighbourhood. You can incorporate a drink at Salt or Chill Winston or Cobre... etc etc.

          Medina for brunch is a great call. Get there early though. It's a small space.

          La Quercia at Alma and 4th is superb regional Italian. Make reservations.

          1. If you like chambar there is two other options the Bin restaraunts or stella's on commercial drive. For and alterantive to vij's if too ful in two blocks west on broadway call Maurya's but vij's naan is way better. you can always go to rangoli's next to vij's a lite menu from vijs no wine but same kitchen and you can get sealed meals for later use.

            for greasy spoon breakfast with great bacon try the tomahawk
   in north van
            great before an all day hike into the watershed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ikko

              thanks for everyone's excellent recommendations!

              aurora bistro sounds pretty awesome as do boneta and a progressive brunch at the market. more recommendations are always welcome and i'll report back and let you know how things went.

              1. re: greatgrub

                Aurora is great and Boneta is good as well but if I could only go to one place right now in Vancouver it would be
                Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Moda Hotel, 900 Seymour St., Vancouver, 604-632-9560,
                I have been to the Wine Bar many times and recently went for dinner in the restaurant and it is amazing. Run by a guy who used to work at Lumiere and the chef is from the River Cafe in London. Best meal I have had in years.

            2. Hey, I'm doing the same thing in mid November with a group of 8 people. We do this every year. We hop on a plane to Vancouver and eat for 3 days! Seafood is, of course, the mainstay of the meals as "why else would you go to the coast"? If you are staying downtown and and are a fan of sushi, I would recommend a place called "Kamei Royal." Very good sushi. The menu's often offers specialty items flown directly from Japan. Doesn't open until 5:00pm (normal) for dinner sittings. Last year we tried the 5 fresh fish special sashimi (imported Japanese fish) and the live sea urchin (very strong and a definite picture/video opportunity)
              ----The FoodKid--->

              4 Replies
              1. re: Food_Kid

                If sushi is a must then you have to go to Tojo' isn't cheap but it will be the best sushi you can get in Vancouver

                1. re: pgj98m3

                  Another frequent board rec for sushi is the omakase at Octopus' Garden. Do a search if you're interested.

                  1. re: pgj98m3

                    Oh yes, go to Tojo. If you got the bucks, go there because Tojo will whip it up nice for you. mmmmm

                  2. re: Food_Kid

                    Kamei Royale is ordinary at best. They got a bit of extra publicity when they were briefly closed earlier this year (links below have details) for major health code violations. Their kitchen is largely staffed by underpaid Japanese students whose cooking skills are about as good as their English. You can do much better at just about any other place recommended on these boards.