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Several Specific Vancouver/Whistler Dining Questions

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We are planning our annual trip to go to somewhere nice and cool that has fantastic food. Interestingly enough this is our third return in three years to the Pacific Northwest/ British Columbia area. We are from New Orleans so we love great food, but are looking for some specific dining experiences that we really can not get in our area. We are willing to trek (walk/bike/tram/drive) great distances to find the "best" of what ever thing we are seeking. Our itinerary will include at least 5 days/4 nights in the Coal Harbour area of Vancouver and 4 days/3 nights in the Whistler area. I have done some extensive research on this board and have begin making my google map/detailed dining itinerary for the trip. My husband thinks I am completely loony to devote this much time and effort, but hey, I am a stay-at-home mom with 2 little ones, so I need something exciting to do : )

Here are the first of my questions:

1. Dim Sum- We have only had it one time and that was in Victoria. We did not love it, but I want to give it another try. I believe we need to go to the Richmond area if I am not mistaken, but I am lost as to which place would have the best dim sum and also be helpful to the novice diner.

2. Omakase- I, like many others, have watched the Tony Bourdain No Reservations Vancouver episode, so I have grand plans to dine omakase style at Tojo's. Is this a great plan? Is there a better option? How much to spend to get the full experience? We are looking for a lot of innovation. Although we get pretty good fresh sushi in our area, we are wanting to be blown away with both raw and cooked items, so we are wiling to not place limits on this one.

3. Tasting Menu- I am someone who loves a taste of everything on the menu. I usually accomplish trying many things by manipulating my husband to order things for himself that I really want to try : ) Therefore, I love a great tasting menu. Do you have any can not miss recommendations? West Restuarant? Here, there is no budget.

4. Afternoon Tea- I love the idea of sneaking in an additional snack/meal into the day : ) Do you have an idea for a traditional service?

5. Vij's- Is it imperative to eat here for dinner, or can you get a great experience by eating next door in the Vij's Rangoli Restaurant during lunch?

6. Cioppino's- I usually say money is no object for great food, so I want to make sure that it is worth the price to eat here, or is there a less expensive alternative? Maybe there is a tasting menu, although the website does not list one?

7. Banh Mi- I am looking for the best Banh Mi in the area. Maybe we could try several in a close proximity of each other.

Thanks for your help!!!!

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Vij's Restaurant
1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

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

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  1. Just my humble opine:

    1. I'll let the Chow experts answer. In Vancouver, I would recommend Kirin though.

    2. You will get varying opinions on Tojo's. To me it was one of the best meals I've ever had. I think $150 p/p Omakase would get a full experience.

    3. Lumière.

    4. Hotel Vancouver or Sutton Place for Traditional.

    5. Can't answer this from personal experience.

    6. Lupo is getting great reviews on here and is cheaper. Cioppino's is worth it most definitely, though.

    7. My fave banh mi is Tung HIng bakery on Kingsway. Ba Le is close on Kingsway also.

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    Hotel Vancouver
    , Vancouver, BC V5Y, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: ck1234

      1.) Kirin is a great choice for downtown. Richmond does have better dim sum overall and is quite easy to access by Skytrain (about 20 mins each way). It is very difficult to get lost there. Close to the Aberdeen station is Fisherman's Terrace, Sea Harbour, Hotpot One (where we had a Chowdown recently). At Lansdowne Station, is Gingeri (in the mall) and a bit further out on Alexandria Rd are The Jade Seafood, Empire Chinese, and Viva City. All very good.

      5.) Rangoli doesn't serve many of Vij's more famous signature dishes. The ambiance and service are higher-end and so are the prices. Vij's also has a winelist. I prefer Rangoli because I don't like standing in line (Vij's does not take res'ns).

    2. Thanks so much for the recs so far. Please keep them coming! I have an additional question.

      8. Izakaya Crawl- Should this be done as one of our dinner options, or can we do this as a late night excursion? Again, another way to squeeze in an additional meal : )