My fiancé and I will be honeymooning in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland and are looking for food recommendations. We will be in Vancouver for a week and four days in both Seattle & Portland in mid August. We are open to pretty much all food types, and prefer casual atmosphere (we are in our mid 20s). We are very into food to table, and are intrigued to try a few tasting menu's in each place. Price range preferably in the mid range with a few higher for good measure being our honeymoon! Also any other food tips, we will be checking out as many farmers markets as we can and are going on a food tour in Portland but whatever else you've got pass it on! I have been doing lots of looking around but would like to hear from locals. Anything you have would be greatly appreciated!
Vancouver has some excellent restaurants that offer what you are looking for. Most of the newer restaurants try to offer local ingredients when available.
Smart casual dress/mid-range pricing:
-Boneta (in gastown) has great food, atmosphere, and the cocktails and service is amazing. In an up and coming area of town so you will encounter people asking for money but don't let it deter you from checking it out. If you google boneta it will come up right away.
-Market (in the shangri la hotel) is a Jean Georges resto that gets good reviews for food but not so much for service because it is so busy. It is very trendy right now so book well ahead.
-DB Bistro Moderne is a Daniel Boloud restaurant (located in Kitsilano) like the one in NYC and is excellent in terms of food, service, and atmosphere.
-Salt tasting room in gastown is charcuterie and wine and thats it but it is soooo good. They have specials on a chalkboard menu every day and that is how you order. It is a good place to start your meal and then maybe head to Boneta?
-Lumiere also by Daniel Boloud similar to Daniels in NYC. Very high end but worth the quality and service. They offer 3 tasting menus and a la carte.
-Cioppino's in yaletown is fine dining Italian. I think it is the best Italian restaurant in Vancouver and have never had a bad meal there.
-Bishops on West 4th everything is organic or local here and the owner was the firs to bring this type of dining to Vancouver long before it was fashionable.
-Vij's on South Granville is high end Indian and is very good and Vij also has a casual cheaper bistro next door called Rangoli and the food is excellent (I am Indian and the food at the bistro is as good as what my parents would make except more inventive).
Cheaper but excellent/casual
-Go Fish on Granville Island where you can actually see the boats bringing the fish in. Small shack like place right on the water where all the fishing boats come in and they are the best fish and chips and tacos (called tacones) you will ever have.
-the izakaya's are really good here. I know some people will say portland is better for those (based on a previous post where I recommended Guu but I have never been to Portland and can only recommend what I have experienced), Not really organic here but the food is excellent for what it is: Japanese pub food and the atmosphere is really fun and casual. I would go to the Guu in gastown over the others.
-Scuie-Roman style pizzeria that offers more than pizza is excellent and the closest you will get to Roman style pizza in the Northwest.
Speaking of pizza, if you end up in Victoria do not miss Primostrada Pizzeria it is less known that Serious pie in Seattle because its not owned by a celebrity chef but it is MUCH better and the service is really friendly as it is family run.
In terms of markets: you must go to Granville Island-so many yummy places to snack. My faves are Lee's Donuts, Oyama Sausage company, and La baguette l'echalote. A beautiful setting and a really fun place to spend the day (we go every weekend:).
Vancouver is well known for having very good Chinese food. Not my thing but I have heard that Sun Sui Wah is very good and there is another place on Burrard and West Cordova that is good but I don't remember the name.
For farmers markets, you can't go wrong with the Ballard Farmers Market on Sundays or the University District Farmers Market on Saturdays. (Seattle). If you're in Seattle Mid-week, check out the Wallingford Farmers Market on Wednesday from 3-7 and then walk over to Joule (also in Wallingford) for excellent food. The owners are Korean and Tunisian (I am only reasonably certain about Seif's nationality) and their food is full of flavor and great combinations. When you look at the menu, the prices will seem a bit expensive, but we ate there last Wednesday and for one entree, one heavy appetizer, two glasses of wine and one dessert it was $53. Not bad considering we had wine and dessert. If you're here on a weekend, they are doing a great Urban BBQ series every Sunday with small plates, all under $10.
Tilth (also in Wallingford) is higher end, but is certified organic and their chef, Maria Hines, just won a Beard Award for her cooking. The food is excellent, and it is mostly small plates, so you can definitely order a few things and share.
Agua Verde, in the University District, does a lot of local produce. Portage Bay Cafe, with two locations (University District and South Lake Union) does organic/local/sustainable and their brunches are amazing. Be prepared for a wait at the University District location, but if the weather is nice, just hang out outside. The food is truly worth it and you will absolutely not leave hungry. Their motto is "eat like you give a d@mn". It is true, they really care about their food.
Seattle is a great place for farm to table. We have lots of information on farmers markets on our website as well, but really, just go experience them. In the summer, you can hit a farmers market in Seattle every day of the week except Mondays. Pike Place Market is open every day, and while they do have a lot of local farmers, they aren't quite the farmers market that some of the others are.
Enjoy your honeymoon!