Best Chinese in Vancouver?
I keep reading that Vancouver has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, yet all the "best Chinese" posts I read recommend restaurants in other parts of Vancouver. Do we even need to go to Vancouver's Chinatown to find great food? Or do we go with Lin's Restaurant and Tea House or another of the posted recs? And by the way, any Korean restaurants?
Chinatown is an interesting tourist destination for those who don't have an old turn-of-the-century Chinatown in their city. Vancouver's Chinatown has been on a steady decline for decades now and it is a mere shell of what it used to be. It is in a real mess right now due to its proximity to the drug-addled Downtown Eastside. For restaurant eating, there is at least one truly worthy place there in Chinatown - Phnom Phen (Cambodian/Vietnamese).
If you want really good Chinese food: Richmond and Burnaby (for a couple of spots) are really the places to go. Richmond looks very much like any American suburb (stripmalls, megamalls, Gap, Starbucks, etc.) but a large swath of it is very Chinese. Burnaby is relatively close and the food there is accessible by Skytrain.
I would say that Lin's is good for one thing: the XLB...there rest of the food is merely OK...and the service can be downright atrocious. If you would like to stay within the downtown and vicinity: my recs are Peaceful Restaurant, Shanghai Chinese Bistro, Kirin. If you would like some good 'hole-in-the-wall' Chinese...one of my favourites is Long's Noodle House on Main St (still within a 15min drive from downtown.) I'll post a mini-review of it in another thread.
If you wouldn't mind driving a bit...Alvin Garden is an excellent and really authentic Hunan place (not like the typical "Hunan" places I have been to in the States...Alvin is the real deal). Crystal Mall's food court (right close to Metrotown Skytrain Station) is a bit if a hidden treasure trove of Chinese food. Some of the food there is miles above most full-service Chinese restaurants in town. My recs there are Wang's for XLB (Xiao Long Bao), and the Huaxi Noodles stall for some authentic tasting Sichuan noodles, etc. There's also a Beard Papa's if you would like to try Japanese creampuffs.
And of course...Richmond. The recs for Richmond alone will have at least a couple of dozen of worthy spots. Here's my abbreviated list for RIchmond: Golden Spring (Sichuan), Chen's (Shanghainese), Shanghai River (high-end Shanghainese...with a bit of an HK tinge), Sea Harbour (modern Cantonese, excellent seafood.), Gingeri (dim sum), Sun Sui Wah (dim sum and seafood).
Post again if you want to narrow it down a bit.
If you want good Chinese food, generally it's Richmond but usually outside of Chinatown. Sun Sui Wah on Main or Kirin, the one on Cambie is good.
I agree with fmed's rec of the Crystal Mall food court.
For Korean food, there's a lot downtown, a bunch on Kingsway or Coquitlam. The best one is on North Road in the Burnaby/Coquitlam called Insadong.
For Korean, try Jang Mo Jib on Robson St near Denman. It's known for it's Pork Bone Soup. The seafood pancake and dumplings are also pretty good.
Hon's on Robson isn't particularly stellar but great for cheap rice and noodles.
Victoria under the Hyatt hotel has pretty good dim sum and Kirin on Alberni is worth checking out as well. Might be a bit pricey for dinner. You might want to consider some other asian food if you're downtown. Gyoza King, Guu, Tropika, Simply Thai are all worth going to.