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TO chowhound researching Vancouver chow during Vancouver 2010

I'll be visiting Vancouver during the Olympics and am looking for recommendations during my stay.

So far, I know that I would like to do a coffee tour that includes Cafe Artigiano and 49th Parallel. Any other must hit coffee shops?

I am also thinking of dining at Salt Tasting Room for some wine, cheese, and charcuterie.

Any recommendations for sushi or brunch?

I'm also looking for some great bars, pubs, or lounges to watch some of the olympic events?


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  1. Coffee Tour:
    Artigiano, 49th, Elysian Room, JJBean, Bump n Grind, Prado, ReEntry (they use Vivace from Seattle). Most of these places use 49th (except for JJ and ReEntry)

    Octopus' Garden, Lime, Blue Water, and a number of others.

    The new Red Card looks good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Any brunch recommendations? Mon Bella looks intriguing with the Benny options.

      1. re: pamplemoose78

        Mon Bella is no more. I'm not a brunch person, but I here is a relevant thread:

        1. re: fmed

          For brunch some of my favorite places are:

          2 Chefs and a Table - Railtown - good simple benny

          The Alibi Room - gastown, good benny, great ceasars.

          Cafe Medina - Interesting breakfast selection with good coffee and waffles - Crosstown

          Pink Pearl - East Hastings for Dim Sum

          Roundel Cafe - East hastings Sunrise

          The Naam - Kitsilano, good vegetarian

    2. I'm also planning to hit Thomas Haas. The originator of the "sparkle cookie"...we have the "nookie cookie" at Le Gourmand in TO (which is a knock off of the sparkle).

      I am looking into one of the Guu restaurants. The owner is opening on in TO. But I would like to try Guu in Vancouver.

      7 Replies
      1. re: pamplemoose78

        Guu with Garlic on Robson St would be my choice....but the original Guu is within walking distance so you can hit both. Guu TO isn't open yet? (The target was Sept 09....)

        Thomas Haas has a second location now in Kits. The sparkle cookie is also available at various gourmet shops around town. Can you still get them at Sen5es in TO?

        1. re: fmed

          I've never tried to get it at Sen5es?! Humph...perhaps, I must go there this holiday season?!

          Any places with Pierre Herme/Laudree equivalent macarons in Vancouver?

          1. re: pamplemoose78

            Here's recent thread on macaron: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662733
            You can also get it at the "Baker's Market" http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669889

            The macaron craze didn't really hit Vancouver like in other cities.

            1. re: fmed

              There was a Macaron craze?

              Brunch: Medina.

              Medina Cafe
              556 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B2L3, CA

              1. re: Cancuk

                Ack..yes Medina for sure.

                Apparently there was a Macaron craze. That meme didn't gain any traction here.

                1. re: fmed

                  It still seems to be happening in San Francisco. And Medina is a good call, just beware the lines even on weekdays. I really think they are doing the best things with 49th Parallel there for my taste anyway.

        2. For sushi, I would suggest Honjin House in Yaletown, Shiro on Cambie, and fmed's suggestions to head to Lime and Blue Water are great too for slightly more expensive options. (I've never been to Octopus' Garden). If you're looking for something cheap, hole in the wall - Anthony Sedlak (from The Main and Corner Suite Bistro de Luxe - which has yet to open) says he goes to Yamato on Davie St.

          Vancouver has so many great spots for brunch! Over at the NileGuide, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite local spots http://tinyurl.com/ygrn3ue.

          8 Replies
              1. re: fmed

                Thanks -- no revelations here but some decent choices (and some not so IMNSHO). The intro is confusing though -- there are NO eggs benedict at Medina. And just to be crochety, while I agree that Vancouverites like to go out for brunch (late, I might add, so go before 10 to avoid many lines), I have yet to find any really outstanding places to eat same.

            1. re: ArugulaNuts

              I have to disagree with you. Although brunch is popular, Vancouver's brunch scene is sorely lacking IMO.

              How many crappy versions of Eggs Benedict do we need?

              1. re: Cancuk

                Yeah, that was the gist of my crochety remark above. I suppose we should start another topic about great brunch in Vancouver but I kinda feel it doesn't exist... would love to be persuaded otherwise.

                1. re: grayelf

                  How is deDutch for breakfast? Is it your run of the mill franchise kind of place?

                  1. re: pamplemoose78

                    I'm not a fan. My kids love it though fwiw.

                    1. re: pamplemoose78

                      The only good breakfast/brunch place I can recommend is a total pain to get to. Can't remember its name, but it is in the marina directly under the north side of the Second Narrows Bridge. As far as deDutch goes, I have a massive hate-on for that place. My kids really like going, but as far as I am concerned it has to be one of the biggest ripoff joints in the city. There isn't a dollar's worth of raw ingredients in your $10-$12 plate.

              2. Coffee Tour? You have never had as great a cup of coffee as what Arte can make at Viva Java in Richmond. He roasts organic beans daily to perfection. They never give you any stomach irritation because they are fresh and he hates to have day old beans in his shop. You can order them in any strength and in any proportion of varietal. Arte is a unique and passionate guy. For fun he made some Youtubes under the name "Coffee Nazi" but they don't reflect his true pussycat nature! He hates to sell me any more than 1/2 pound at a time because he thinks coffee gets old fast! What a perfectionist. You will want to make the trip just for the coffee.

                5 Replies
                1. re: drdavidmallory

                  Viva Java looks intriguing. Is it close to any of the Olympic venues in Richmond?

                  Any coffee places in Burnaby by SFU. Cuz that's where I'm staying for the duration of my trip.

                  1. re: pamplemoose78

                    There are some cafes along Hastings ( let's say between Boundary and Willingdon, a long stretch) in N. Burnaby in the area called "The Heights". Can't recall any names though. But Commerical Drive isn't very far from there, and there's a lot more options on the Drive.

                    1. re: pamplemoose78

                      Cafe Artgiano has a location in North Burnaby on Hastings.

                      1. re: pamplemoose78

                        I have been to viva java. It's fine. Not the best this city has to offer.

                        An interesting and different take on coffee is La Cuisson in Richmond bearish the speedskating oval. Vacpot coffee in an Asian coffee shop.

                      2. re: drdavidmallory

                        Yep, that's Arte, "No coffee for you! Out of my store!"

                      3. I agree with the earlier recommendation of Red Card for watching some of the events on TV. I've been a couple times since they opened and the food is good, beer list is extensive, though the service could use some work. Also, while it's not flashy, I like the Kingston on Richards St. for my sports fill. The staff often act like you are one of the people in Cheers and usually it feels like home.

                        Friends recently went to Shuraku on Granville and raved about the sushi. It's central to all the downtown hubbub and takes reservations on Opentable so this might be a fall back. I looked at their menu and am looking forward to trying some of the noodle dishes too.

                        Medina is good for brunch but tends to be ridiculously busy. I like 2 Chefs and a Table and am going to try La Brasserie for brunch this weekend. Artigiano also does decent breakfast if you are at one that has a kitchen (Hastings between Granville and Howe definitely does). Finally, Social in Gastown was always a good brunch bet though I haven't been there since the newest chef took over; the menu still looks yummy though.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bumblebree

                          I didn't know La Brasserie did brunch on w'ends -- please to file a report, bumble!!

                        2. The Eatery on Broadway for sushi. Excellent food, funky decor

                          1. For Sushi Ajisai is still the absolute best as far as I'm concerned.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TheHungerStruck

                              I like Ajisai very much also but a couple of caveats for the OP: it is very small and the table seating is not super comfy, so be sure to go early and get a seat at the bar if dining in. Also they do not have a deep fryer so no tempura or other deep-fried dishes/rolls -- they use Japanese corn flakes to provide the crunch in dynamite-style rolls, which may or may not float your boat.

                            2. I'm not sure if you've been to Vancouver before. If not, a nice place for brunch would be Seasons in the Park at Queen Elizabeth Park. The view is great and their brunch isn't too bad, not diner food but tasty enough. It's a great way to enjoy the city. Even if it's wet outside, it's still very bright inside with all the windows and skylights. It's a nice place to relax and I quite enjoy it every so often.

                              1. Aside from the vegetarian place mentioned above, can anyone recommend good options in the south Kitsilano area? We are staying around Larch and Broadway, near Connaught Park.

                                Also, are there any recommendations near the Pacific Coliseum? We will be attending some skating events there.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Jwsel

                                  There are a number of Asian spots that are worthy and fairly close by: Song Huong, Le Do, Bing Sheng (Rustic Cantonese), Italia Bakery (Right near the Coliseum at Renfrew and 1st area- not a sit down place - great cannoli).

                                  Going a bit further east - Bombay Bhel, Burgers Etc, Valley Bakery.

                                  (Sorry not all the above is in the CH database, and I can't seem to add new entries for some reason).

                                  Song Huong
                                  2408 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5N, CA

                                  Le DO Vietnamese Restaurant
                                  2292E Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V5L1V4, CA

                                  Burgers Etc
                                  4091 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C2J1, CA

                                  1. re: Jwsel

                                    Near Broadway and Larch are The Banana Leaf (Singapore/Malaysian) and Moderne Burger.

                                    Moderne Burger
                                    2507W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

                                    Banana Leaf
                                    3005W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K2G9, CA

                                    1. re: Jwsel

                                      Welcome to the 135 SFU bus (eastbound heading into Burnaby) eating tour. It maybe easier for you to hop onto the 135 SFU bus on the southside of Hastings at Renfrew and travel into the Heights area (Burnaby) for a meal and travel back to the Pacific Coliseum on the 135 Burrard Station bus and get off at Renfrew & Hastings. Here are my recommendations & directions.

                                      -10 Minutes from Renfrew - Ingleton Bus Stop:
                                      El Mariachi - Mexican (on the Second Floor)
                                      L'Artista - Italian (Get the Chef's special that night)

                                      -11 Minutes from Renfrew - MacDonald/ Gilmour Bus Stops:
                                      Burger Etc
                                      Valley Bakery
                                      Pear Tree (More Expensive)
                                      Thai Cafe
                                      Yummy Yummy Sushi

                                      -12 Minutes from Renfrew - Rosser Bus Stop
                                      Cafe Artigiano
                                      Bomby Behl - Indian (Back one Block west at Madison)

                                      -14 Minutes from Renfrew - Willingdon Bus Stop
                                      Cristos - Greek (one Block East from the Stop)

                                      1. re: moyenchow

                                        Nice detailing moyenchow...let me see if I can map it using the CH database:

                                        (edit...I couldn't add all of it...)

                                        L'artista Italian Restaurant
                                        3891 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C2H7, CA

                                        Thai Cafe
                                        4160 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C2J4, CA

                                        Yummy Yummy Sushi
                                        4152 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C2J4, CA

                                        Cristos Greek Taverna
                                        4624 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C2K5, CA