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Apr 26, 2010 04:35 PM

Visiting Vancouver Next Week

Mrs Scary and I will be in downtown Vancouver near W Georgia and Burrand for several days next week and hope to try some of the interesting downtown restaurants, food experiences, etc.

I've looked at the Van Board and have found Japadog and Kintaro and they seem to fit the interesting bill nicely. At present we don't plan on leasing a car, but will if the downtown list is a bit short. So, any suggestions for relatively inexpensive, interesting food in the downtown area would be appreciated.

Also, if the downtown area has any unique or highfalutin markets or kitchen stores, the recs would be much appreciated as well.


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  1. Down in Gastown are some interesting new restaurants that have opened recently. You might want to check out Pourhouse, Acme, Judas Goat, and a few others.

    Japadog is a "must" for tourists. Kintaro is one of the ramen-ya stalwarts, but check out the others too - Benkei, Motomachi Shokodu, Santuoka (recently opened, but a sprinkler failure damaged the might be open by next week? The ramen zone is in the midst of the izakaya zone too - Guu with Garlic, Hapa, Kingyo, Zakkushi (which is a good stop if the ramen didn't fill you up).

    For some truly interesting food...don't hesitate to hop on the Skytrain/Canada Line and head off to Richmond or Burnaby. It is very easy, will take about 20-30 mins and it is impossible to get lost.

    1. For highfalutin market, Urban Fare should do the job - 3 locations downtown. They've got bread flown in daily from France and coffee digested from jungle cats - among a broad selection of conventional, upscale groceries.

      6 Replies
      1. re: tangentdesign

        And Whole Foods - the highest-falutin of them all. (Three locations - Caper's Robson St and WF Cambie/Broadway being the most convenient). Granville Island, however, gets my vote - Oyama's cured meats alone makes it the trip worthwhile. Forget the fruits and veggies - you can get the same produce cheaper elsewhere.

        For kitchen gear, I don't think there is anything downtown that is any different from the stores in Calgary. Maybe Tinland in Chinatown - where you can get some interesting commercial grade Chinese restaurant supplies.

        1. re: fmed

          I always enjoy Ming Wo on Pender for kitchen ware. Great selection , neat store if you like old with narrow aisle, wood floor.


          1. re: Iona

            Entirely agree with the Ming Wo recommendation. Nothing in Calgary comes close to it (that I'm aware of) for the combination of selection, price and service.

            If you're interested in Japadog and Kintaro, I would also recommend, as fmed already has, the izakayas. Guu with Garlic alone is incredibly delicious.

            838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

            1. re: Iona

              Ah yes...I forgot about the Pender St Ming Wo. (They have stores in some malls now - and the selection is definitely not as great as there). Fun store for sure.

              1. re: fmed

                This Ming Wo is highly recommended by my niece. She is 21 months old :-). Her parents, aunt and uncle and grandparents like it very much too.

            2. re: fmed

              Since you're trying to avoid renting a car, be sure to check out the Aquabuses that go back and forth to Granville Island. They are a fun and cheap way to get out on the water. There is even the option to do a little tour around for a few bucks more.

          2. Thanks to all for the very good suggestions, we're looking forward to exploring the culinary attributes of Vancouver, as well as trading the Calgary snow for the Vancouver rain for a few days!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Scary Bill

              Have fun eating if you have questions. (I hate to say this, but it is sunny and warm with a slight breeze here right now.).

            2. Just occurred I should ask for a dim sum rec. Any suggestions?

              5 Replies
              1. re: Scary Bill

                In general, I'd say hop on the Canada Line and get out of downtown for decent dim sum. 20 minutes or so and you'll find yourself in Richmond, where there's more than a few places. Greyelf has a list of places that still do the pushcart (a map is avail at chowtimes:


                All that said, I seem to recall that Calgary actually has pretty decent dim sum, so you might as well try all the other regional Chinese fare that doesn't find its way to Calgary. There's a million posts on this board on that very topic, but for starters you may want to take the train to the Broadway station and check out Peaceful Restaurant, or one stop further and check out Shanghai Village.

                Shanghai Village
                3250 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W4, CA

                1. re: clutterer

                  Peaceful (2 blocks) and Shanghai Village (7 blocks or Cambie bus north) would both be best accessed from the Broadway and Cambie stop I think. Some people really like Kirin for dim sum which is also only a block or two from this stop.

                  What kind of dim sum are you looking for, scary? Do you want high end or low end? Canto or Shanghai? In town (fewer options but there are some; see Kirin or Sun Sui Wah, which both have other outposts) If you did look at the map clutterer pointed out you'll see there's not much left in the way of carts.

                  Shanghai Village
                  3250 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W4, CA

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Agreeing with clutterer on the Canada Line dim sum excursion. Sea Harbour is just down the street from Aberdeen Station. Walk a bit further to Alexandra Rd ("Eat Street") and you have Empire Chinese Cuisine, Viva City and The Jade Seafood. In Lansdowne Mall is Gingeri....and a bit further down is Shanghai River. For a Shanghai "dim sum" hole-in-the-wall - you have Chen's (Brighouse Station)

                    And of course, there are literally dozens of other spots along that line in Richmond.

                    Chen's Shanghai Kitchen
                    8095 Park Rd, Richmond, BC V6Y, CA

                    Shanghai River Restaurant
                    7831 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X1A4, CA

                    The Jade Seafood Restaurant
                    8511 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X1C3, CA

                    Gingeri Chinese Cuisine
                    5300 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X3T6, CA

                    Empire Chinese Cuisine
                    8251 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, BC V6X, CA

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Grey, thanks to you and others for the dim sum recs. It seems like Vancouver and area is the dim sum capital of North America. We're really just looking for good dim sum, hopefully discovering something different from what we have to date experienced, and not haute cuisine dim sum. Have to admit I did not know there was a regional aspect to dim sum, but of course there has to be. We lived in Toronto until a couple of years ago and probably went to every dim sum spot in Toronto and west to Oakville, holes in the wall to Lai Wa Heen, and thought rather simply that the more you spent, the better (but not always) it was.

                      1. re: Scary Bill

                        I think Chen's might be fun if you haven't tried Shanghai dim sum before. I have a real soft spot for it, though -- I love the ladies who work there, and of course the value and taste of the food, but it's definitely utilitarian (and cash only IIRC).They serve their dim sum items all day/evening if that makes any difference.

                2. Dine Out Vancouver is still happening until May 6th, great value and some fun spots to check out. I guess this all depends on your favorite foods?...