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Oct 7, 2009 12:42 PM

Vancouver restaurant recos for a first time visitor

I'm going to Vancouver on October 10 for 4 days and looking for recommendations for dinners and lunches. We're staying at the Renaissance Harbourside but intend to travel all over the city sightseeing etc. Looking for a mix of high end and fun/casual.

Thanks so much!

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  1. Hi Scotgirl, before the rest chime in, how about you help us out so we can narrow it down for you? We have an incredibly diverse dining scene in this city with a lot of quality spots. What sort of food do you like the best? Where are you from?

    This will help us choose some top notch spots for you.

    However, I'll start off with a few spots I like:

    Go Fish - lunch at Fisherman's Wharf just off of Granville Island. Tour the island before/after.
    Japadog - fun Japanese hot dog cart - downtown
    Fuel - local/seasonal food done very well
    Campagnolo - Piedmont/Emilia-Romagna regional Italian, some misses, but one of my favorite spots for wine
    La Taqueria - may not be a big deal depending on where you're coming from, but finally some good tacos
    The Diamond - excellently prepared cocktails
    Alibi Room - essential if you enjoy beer - best selection of craft beer in Western Canada by far
    Au Petit Chavignol - wine, cheese, charcuterie

    Anyways, more folks will chime in I'm sure with more details from you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: peter.v

      Thanks Peter.v - these are great suggestions. We are from the UK. We like almost everything - but are interested particularly in Seafood as well as pub type places (with local beer and good food) for lunch. Have heard about Vij's (spelling?) - but also that they don't take reservations, so not sure if we want to line up for dinner.

    2. A couple good places to try are

      Salt- In Gastown, Blood Alley, Great tasting menu and wine list is really good
      "C" is very good choice for seafood
      Boneta is a good choice as well
      Vijs is so worth the wait...if you have it in you!
      That's just a few of many very good places, but those are some of my top faves

      1 Reply
      1. re: evec

        You can get a quasi-Vij's experience at his more casual restaurant Rangoli which is also open for lunch and might work better for you.

        In addition to the useful recs above (note that C also has a view, a rare thing here), a good bet for fresh seafood in Vancouver is to go to a Japanese restaurant. Let us know if that is of interest and we can expound :-). Also a good option would be a Chinese seafood restaurant such as Sea Harbour in Richmond, though it is sometimes a bit challenging to order for just two people.

        Speaking of Chinese, unless you really don't love it, may I suggest a dimsum brunch while you are here? It is another thing Vancouver/Richmond is known for.

        Here's a link to another great post from fmed about a worthy 'Hounding destination in Burnaby that is on the Skytrain transit line:
        (I can't believe how long it took me to find this; I ended up having to go back through fmed's posts in his myChow list because it didn't come up at all -- really not loving the new search function


        Also in the Japanese vein, Vancouver is getting known for its izakaya scene which is unusual and fun. Again, please advise if that appeals and more info will be forthcoming! In the meantime, here is fmed's izakaya map:

        Another cuisine worth checking out here is Vietnamese, if that interests you. Requires a bit of travel outside downtown but you seem up for it!

        You've got some good Gastown recs already but just to add another: Cobre for pan-Latin tasties.

        For lunch nearish you, try Finch's for tasty sandwiches or Scuie. A bit further afield, I've been hearing good things about the sandwiches at Cardero Bottega in the West End 1016 Cardero, 604-689-0450,

        We are not known for our Mexican but then again, you are coming from the UK, right? So if you're looking for more of a sitdown meal, we really enjoyed Don Guacamole on Robson, though they don't take resos.

        I hesitate to make pub recommendations to you, but if you're in Gastown you might want to poke your noses into the Greedy Pig 307 Cordova Street West. Quite a nice comfort food-centric menu and a decent beer and bar program in a fun little nouveau-pubby space; also open for lunch I believe and located on a great block for browsing in funky little boutiques....

        A fun thing to read: Vancouver Magazines Top 101 Things to Eat and Drink (here's a link to the .PDF version ) There's lots of good stuff in here though some of it doesn't hit the local mark hard enough for me, but definitely worth perusing.

        Finally if you feel like pushing the boat out, here's a link that rounds up some of the best in the West from last year (I just bumped it with a roundup list):

        PS I've added links to what used to be called Places where I could but there appear to be rather a lot of gaps, hence the typed in addresses...

        Cobre Restaurants
        52 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E7, CA

        Finch's Tea & Coffee House
        353 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B, CA

        Don Guacamole Restaurant
        1333 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E, CA