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May 4, 2010 12:33 AM

SF to Vancouver...need recommendations

Hello, my girlfriend and i are taking a small vacation (4 days, 3 nights) to Vancouver soon and were looking for great dining. With that being said, "dining" could be a 4 star destination or a food cart, we want it all. I work in restaurants and really know good food (not a snob, just appreciate well done and creative food) as does my girlfriend so we want to see what Vancouver has to offer. Truth be told, i really don't know much about the city or its restaurants. Any help would be much appreciated. Also as a side note, we have yet to lock down a neighborhood to stay so any recs on a good restaurant neighborhood would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: betterthanbourdain

      Love your home city for gastrotourism and visiting! Like SF, I think you will do better here if you focus on less high-end fare, but if that is your wish we do have a few offerings that would be similar to the ones you named in your other post. Cambie and Broadway is a decent area to stay as it puts you near Skytrain (downtown, Richmond, connectors to Bby) and the BLine bus, plus there is some interesting food within walking distance (Peaceful, Shanghai Village, Tojo's, Saravana, Elysian for coffee). Vij's is not far either on the aforementioned B Line or quick cab, if you want to try out a resto that gets a lot of press. The West End is also not a bad place to stay foodwise, with stuff along Denman and up Robson (maybe try an izakaya crawl?). I don't usually recommend staying right downtown as it can be so dead at night depending where you end up.

      Tojo's Restaurant
      1133W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6H1G1, CA

      Peaceful Restaurant
      532 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z1E9, CA

      Hapa Izakaya
      1479 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C1, CA

      Saravanaa Bhavan
      955W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K3, CA

      793 Jervis St, Vancouver, BC V6E, CA

      Elysian Coffee Broadway
      590 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z, CA

      Vij's Rangoli
      1488 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

      Kitanoya Guu With Garlic
      1698 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C7, CA

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

      1. re: grayelf

        Some of my findings, any thoughts? Definitely want to check out Daniels spot and west for our more upscale meals, 941 and 942 seem really cool and we love Izakayas.

        Judas goat
        bin 941, 942
        db bistro moderne
        japadog (i know)

        1. re: mycatcaneatawholewatermelon

          my 2 cents
          i'd pass on Cincin and wonder what others feel about West.
          fuel is now re fuel
          kakurenbo over hapa...
          judas goat has no kitchen per se... good p;ace to drink and snack...
          chambar is always popular

          1. re: mycatcaneatawholewatermelon

            I personally like db bistro very much! Good choice. Good drinks, good food, good service.

            1. re: mycatcaneatawholewatermelon

              My deux centimes:

              The SO had a stellar special at db bistro end of March with foie gras and venison. Boulud of course has restos elsewhere so I wouldn't really say this is Vancouver-centric if that is a goal.

              The Bins are fun but wee, packed, loud and can be long waits unless you go embarassingly early (Bin 942 is by my work so I tend to go right when they open).

              Japadog is worth doing, despite the hype. Try a kurobota if you can, you decide the topping.

              Re-fuel is no longer "high end" but has some good stuff on the menu -- seems to suffer from inconsistency just like its predecessor but when it's on it's on.

              Chambar is such a cool space, and the food is pretty solid (the odd furbelow I could do without). Great poutine too. Maybe ask for the "belly" of the room if you're at all concerned about noise. It also has a bit of local cachet for the owners' cutting edge choice of neighbourhood.

              Hapa would not be my number one pick for izakaya (not that I've been to all of them, I wish) but it does have style and is a bit more sceney that the others I've tried. I'm a Kitanoya Guu with Garlic fan.

              Haven't been to CinCin in a thousand years, and Judas Goat just doesn't appeal enough for me to essay it (I think I have given up on trying to find Spanish tapas in .Vancouver).

              It might be interesting to see what the new chef (former sous I think) at West is doing. I haven't been though.

              Other thoughts: Go Fish near Granville Island -- this is pretty BC coast to me and the closest thing to a fish shack we have, I'd say
              If you like it at all, consider a Chinese dinner or dimsum. It seems a shame to come to Vancouver/Richmond and not...

              1. re: grayelf

                Yeah but the OP is from SF. I find the Chinese in SF to be pretty decent and comparable to Vancouver. Maybe the northern Chinese and more regional cuisine from China may be better represented here but overall, I'd say dim sum and Cantonese styles are nothing too different from back home.

                Izakaya crawl would definitely be good and fun. Go to the link that btb posted and check out the izakaya scene topic.

                1. re: grayelf

                  well said grayelf... agree with you and add:

                  db is a good choice. next door lumiere is also worth considering despite the higher price tag. $115 for a 5 course ++. it was the best service I received in long, long time. very classy and they make you feel comfortable. there is also a bus person that looks a uelot like bobby lee from mad TV .. :-D

                  certainly do the japadog prob worth the line up coming from SF...

                  Re-Fuel is inconsistent.

                  Chambar's service is a notch above your casual fine dining chain with some attitude. Used to be better .... Still good value and food is solid but no 'wow' factor.

                  Hapa is prob more a place to be seen(scenery!) than a destination to eat. There is a new one where Shiru-Bay used to be in Yaletown. An izakaya crawl would be interesting. Kakuranbou, Guu Garlic, Toratatsu, Kingyo, Hapa are all walking distance on robson and denman.

                  Cincin food looks better than it taste. Although their pastry chef worked at a michelin star restaurant. i havent been impressed with his desserts.

                  here is a chinese restaurant award, check the dishes category and see if there is a particular dish that catches your attention.

                  if ur adventurous a trip to the food courts in Richmond might be interesting. see other post on here by dylan and fmed...

                  For italian consider: Cioppino's, La Buca and Lupo(see selena's post).

                  For French consider Le Crocodile, Pied e Terre, Le faux Beougois

                  La Buca Restaurant
                  4025 MacDonald St, Vancouver, BC V6L2N8, CA

                  838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

                  871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L9, CA

                  Le Crocodile Restaurant
                  909 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z2N2, CA

                  735 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L6, CA

                  735 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L6, CA

                  1. re: betterthanbourdain

                    yeah, as far as chinese, we get quite a bit of that here at home and are looking for something a little more Vancouver ( i know Daniel isn't Van. but i don't make it to NYC often so its kind of novety, haha). I worked at Delfina for a number of years along with other great SF institutions and would love to find that style of restaurants in Vancouver....Cool, interesting neighborhood places serving great food. I hit up taco trucks often but like the michelin starred as well. Anything goes as long as it's delicious. My second ( and maybe more important) goal right now is to get a hotel in a neighborhood that would be interesting and very food centric (but don't mind catching public trans.) and somewhat affordable. I know when people come to SF, i never tell them to stay downtown and go to Michael Mina and all that kind of thing. I hope someone can lead me in the same direction. Thanks again.