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Would love some help fine-tuning our Vancouver dinner picks

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  • DKS1 Jul 28, 2010 01:20 PM
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Hi all,

We are TX hounds coming to your beautiful city next week for five days. I've been doing some major lurking on your boards for a couple of months and I *think* I have close to a finalized list that we're happy with. BUT... I really would like your feedback before making reservations or other plans.

We arrive Sunday afternoon and I'm desperately hoping that we might catch the tail-end of the pride parade. Otherwise, we're thinking about heading out to Richmond that evening for the night market (on the subway - is that a decent means of transportation out there?). Obviously dinner will be settled by the vendors, but we may want to plan on dining in a restaurant out there, too.

The next four nights are up in the air, but this is what we're considering:

-Market vs. DB Moderne (I realize they're not similar, but I feel the genre is, so probably just want to choose one. I've heard great things from some of you about DB, but also read something recently about the chocolate cake at Market and admittedly, that is swaying me!)

-Cioppino's (any other Italian favorites that we should consider? Lupo?)

-Vij's - definitely not sold on this (or any Indian cuisine for that matter, just heard so much about it, figure we must try it...)

-some kind of sushi, have no idea where - have read SO many conflicting reports/suggestions, etc... But we really want to have sushi at least one night (and maybe for lunch as well)

-Chinese - will depend on whether we attend the night market Sun. night... debating b/w Chen's, Long's, Lin's, Shanghai River, Suhang (based on what I've read here - how to decide??!)

Okay, that pretty much covers our thoughts about dinners. Any breakfast and lunch ideas would be great, too (Japadog and Cafe Medina are already on the list)!
Also, we just cancelled our car rental after speaking with the hotel concierge, so we will be getting around via subway, tax, bus, and, hopefully mostly by foot. We're staying downtown - Howe and Georgia I believe...

Thanks in advance! We are so very excited for our visit...

ETA: we are open to any other feeback/suggestions as well. Definitely not married to the places on my list. Would like a couple of upscale(ish) dinners as well as casual, informal ones - just amazing, local food is what we're after. Thanks!

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

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  1. Vij's is very good Indian especially if you're not sold, as it sounds, on that cuisine. You must wait as they don't take reservations. It's worth it.

    Octopus' Garden or Tojo's for sushi.

    La Cuercia is a must. Small so make a res. now! The name is Italian but the food runs the gamut.

    I am not fond of the ambience of DB Bistro Moderne. Market is significantly more pleasing to me.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: midmit

      I would suggest trying Rangoli for a lunch rather than Vij for dinner if you're not sure about the cuisine.

      Market also does a nice lunch which is a pretty good deal compared to their dinner menu. I think you get a choice of starter and main and dessert for $28 pp?
      I loved Lupo for Italian and seems a little less formal that Cioppino's. The pasta choices are fantastic.

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

      1. re: islandgirl

        I agree with islandgirl regarding Rangoli over Vij's, especially if your not sure. I may be alone here but I actually prefer Rangoli over Vij's with regards to the food but the setting is quite small and casual so going for lunch instead of dinner makes good sense.
        I also like Market more than DB for food quality, and setting. The warm chocolate cake is to die for....
        I like Lupo and Cioppino's....I prefer the food at Lupo (and their desserts) and think there is more value for what you order and islandgirl is right about the pastas. I also really enjoy when they have halibut on special or when they do seafood stuffed pasta dishes which are also usually specials. At Cioppino's, I like their risotto's, soups, and salads.
        I would also suggest GO Fish for lunch one day at Granville Island. There are lineups but the tacones and fish and chips are just so good.

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

      2. re: midmit

        I agree with all of these. La Quercia is awesome but will be tough with no car. You could cab it.

        You really cannot go wrong with Octopus Garden, Vij's, Rangoli, Go Fish, and Market.

        You may also want to consider Chambar which I feel is one of the best restos in the city.

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

        La Quercia
        3689 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6R1P2, CA

      3. Thanks for all of your replies. Sounds like Lupo might be the way to go re: our Italian fix... And though we likely will stick with Market for a dinner, the lunch "special" sure is tempting! I can't tell you how excited I am about this chocolate cake (and the hubby even more so). Will consider Rangoli for lunch as well and will likely skip Vij's altogether.

        Is it worth it to do a high tea one day if we've never done it before? Currently have resos at the Empress for the afternoon we're in Victoria, but we will cancel those momentarily. But love the idea!

        Still trying to figure out where to go for Chinese - seems like quite a toss-up. Same goes for a good sushi meal or two... I guess we'll just end up where the wind takes us!

        Thanks again for all of your help - it makes it so much easier to plan our vacation!

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: DKS1

          I love tea at the empress. It is quite special and the room it is held in is beautiful. I would def do this if it is something you are interested in. Be sure to report back on your experience:).

        2. "Otherwise, we're thinking about heading out to Richmond that evening for the night market (on the subway - is that a decent means of transportation out there?). "

          Plenty of folks here to give you restaurant ideas. I'll just give you the transportation info :-)

          http://www.translink.ca/en/Rider-Info...

          http://www.translink.ca/~/media/image...

          http://www.translink.ca/~/media/docum...

          Take the Canada Line southbound train (doesn't matter if it's airport-bound train or Richmond-bound train) to Bridgeport Station. Get off at Bridgeport and catch the #407 EB bus that travels along Bridgeport Road. Get off at Sweden Way (when you see IKEA on the right side). From there it's about a 15-min walk to Nightmarket if you go through the parking lots of Future Shop and Home Depot (north of IKEA). But on the return WB trip from Nightmarket at the opposite stop at Sweden/Bridgeport, service becomes every 1/2 hr after 10:18pm (10:18p, 10:48p) and hourly (11:48p) until the last trip at 1:45am.

          5 Replies
          1. re: LotusRapper

            Wow, LR - thank you for such great travel advice! It seems a bit daunting, though, and perhaps not entirely worth it... I'm completely regretting canceling our car rental reservation now!! :) But really, thank you - I will follow your directions precisely if we make the trek...

            1. re: DKS1

              You can reach me at <saabken@yahoo.ca> for more.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Thank you for that... Would you say, all told, that the night market is worth the trip? And if we do that, are we eating primarily at vendors, or should we make separate arrangements for a restaurant meal?

                If we don't make it out to Richmond, then Lin's (or is it Long's?!) is on the list for a must-try for Vancouver proper. Thanks again!

                1. re: DKS1

                  It could be worth a lookie-loo if you've never been to a night market before. The foods aren't stellar in my books, but you're also there for the sights and sounds too. The venue is a wee bit odd, stuck behind a large warehouse, and bordered by the river and all the industrial goodness they offer [wink].

                  http://www.google.ca/images?q=richmon...

                  This year the Roaming Dragon is there, so it could be a bit of culinary consolation:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7220...

                  The Chinatown night market is also running, but has long made a parody of itself. But at least it's not way out there in Richmond, and Chinatown ain't far from Lin's and quite close to Long's (also on Main).

                  I think both Lin's (Broadway at Granville) *and* Long's (Main Street at King Edward Ave) are worth checking out, IMHO.

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    FWIW, Roaming Dragon parks on Arbutus just off across from Kits Beach from 5-9 weeknights now

          2. FWIW we had a super good meal and very fun time at Vij's a month ago. Its a place we had been off and on for the past decade, but had taken a break from due to young kids (line-ups are not always compatible with babysitting fees) and were delighted to find it better than ever. I don't where that leaves you if you have hesitations about Indian food, but it is deserving of its reputation.
            I'm sure there's plenty of sound advice on this board for sushi. Have you considered izakaya as well? In that case a good downtown choice (of many) might be KIngyo.

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