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Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Canadian Version)

My boyfriend and I have spent the entire summer working so we can travel around Canada from mid Sept - December. We're huge fans of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so we really want to do our own version. We're from Toronto so we want to get out of the city and venture around northern Ontario. We're also going to PEI, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. In case you haven't seen DDD, we are looking for places with huge portions of homecooked/fresh food. We want to chow down with the locals so no chains and no shmancy gourmet food!

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Argo Cafe for gourmet AND regular diner food in Vancouver. M-f breakfast and lunch

    Argo Cafe
    1836 Ontario St, Vancouver, BC V5T2W6, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      Took the words right out of my mouth! Sunshine Diner for Eggs Benny and they don't charge extra if you want half of one kind and the other half different. Do you want us to list places to avoid too??

      Sunshine Diner
      2649W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K2G2, CA

    2. Bob's Submarine Shop in Richmond (No.3 Rd by the Staples, across the street from Richmond Centre) is definately DDD approved!

      Old school steak sandwiches prepared fresh on a flattop for really good prices. They even have a Fieri sized "super sub" that adds double steak, double cheese, capicolla, peppers and onions! I think the 6" (which is more than enough, trust me) is $5.90??? They also have fried chicken, but haven't tried that...

      Crazy little place, weird old 70's decor and round windows.

      1. I'm wondering if La Charcuterie in Surrey qualifies ? I used to be a loyal patron of their Burnaby store before they packed it up there.


        Lecanadianfoodie: to add to your list, what would you say are the vendor/restaurant's key criteria:

        - portion size
        - quality/homemade
        - price

        1 Reply
        1. re: LotusRapper

          Key criteria is definitely quality/homemade. Of course I want great portions and a nice price, but if I get a huge plate of fish that's cheap and made from frozen, it's not going to taste good even though it may seem like a steal.

        2. I suppose there is Deacon's Corner, Tomahawk Diner (N.Van), Jethro's Fine Grub, Bon's Off Broadway (for cheap eats) and Rick's on Main. I am not sure any of them bring together huge servings, tasty food and cheap prices like the best of TV show - often cheap prices is the missing feature. Sorry I do not have contact info at hand but google is your friend.

          Bon's Off Broadway
          2451 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5N5E5, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: Philx

            I agree (re: "I am not sure any of them bring together huge servings, tasty food and cheap prices like the best of TV show").

            I watch Triple D almost every night (talk about armchair triple by-pass !). Also, the places we see on Triple D almost always make a lot of their basic ingredients in-house painstakingly from scratch, whether it's salsas, moles, BBQ'd meats, etc etc), which I definitely *don't* get a sense of from similar-priced diners and eateries here in town.

            My $0.25

            1. re: LotusRapper

              What about La Belle Patate? Locations in Victoria and Vancouver. One could nickname that place "the poutine variations." Love the smoked meat poutine.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                LR, your middle paragraph to me describes the "gourmet" lunch specials at Argo...

                1. re: grayelf

                  Ah, the elusive Argo that's never open when I'm able to go !!!

            2. try a falafel (think that's how you spell it) place in Vancouer. Just walk downtown, and you'll see atleast one or two. They're like these wraps stuffed with a meat or your choice, veggies and a special sauce. They're soooo good and so yummy :)
              also, try a crepe place in Vancouver. They have a couple locations in Downtown Vancouver. Their shops are like little windows, and you line up outside and get them. They're painted black, and have a sign sticking out that says cafe crepe with a picture of the eifle tower. They're also pretty good. and one other place I love, isn't like a diner, drive-in or dive. (I love that show, by the way :D )
              But they have huge serving portions, Their address is: Anducci’s Italian Kitchen
              9604 Cameron Street
              Burnaby, BC
              V3J 1M2

              mm, mmm, good!
              Also, if you don't know what bubble tea is, I'd say add that in. It's SO good. Just get the right flavour. Pretty much all of them are good, but I like bubble world, which has a few locations, and then there's a place on Kingsway, right by a chinese smorg, and before the high rise (Luna). They're great, but most of the employees don't speak much english....
              sorry this was so long!
              hope I helped :)

              Italian Kitchen
              , Vernon, BC V1T, CA

              5 Replies
              1. re: AZNINVASION

                Traditionally falafels are meatless, made with fried balls of ground up chickpeas (garbanzo beans). The sauce is called Tahini, usually yogurt based, iirc.

                1. re: PolarBear

                  With you halfway, PB -- tahini is sesame seed based. Maybe you are thinking of tzatsiki?

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Yes, thanks for straightening that out. BTW, have seen it served with both sauces, not sure if one's more authentic or not.

                    1. re: PolarBear

                      Given that falafel, tzatsiki and tahini are all Middle Eastern in origin (but with invasions, migrations and trade) became staples of pan-Middle Eastern/Western Asia and eastern portions of the Mediterranean (Greece, Cyprus, Crete) and North African, I don't think serving either tzatsiki, tahini or both with falafel is wrong, just a preference more likely based on the person serving it.

                      I like both on falafels at the same time :-)

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        Totally, LR -- in fact I nearly posted that I prefer my falafel with just tzatsiki :-).

              2. Ok, I think I know what you're after. I've spent many years 'on the 'road' as they say. I've made it my mission to find these joints along the way. A great way to meet locals and not die of food poisoning. Here's a few to start - more to come (if you want).

                Deluxe Diner - Calgary AB - they've got mac & cheese... and pie!
                Mary's Diner - Sault Ste. Marie - Good coffee and good food since 1948 - and pie!
                Ted's Range Road Diner - (outside of) Meaford, ON - wild game, live music, breaky and, you guessed it - pie! All in a quonset hut in the middle of nowhere.
                Mary's Blue Moon Cafe - Sydney, Vancouver Island - crazy Newfoundlander runs it, food is homemade and they have pie! (sensing a pattern here?)
                Trellis Cafe - Hubbards, NS - great fish, steaks, homemade bread, fresh (as in theirs) eggs, live music, and a certain wedge shaped, fruit filled desert concoction you might like.

                Blue Moon Cafe
                1724 W 4th, Vancouver, BC V6J1M1, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: spitjr

                  these are great! more please! driving from BC to North Bay next week and would love some ideas.

                2. ps - ignore the Blue Moon link above - not the joint I'm talking about.

                  1. It just occurred to me that there are many "dives" locally that serve great food. Where ? Food vendors at Asian mall food courts:

                    Richmond Public Market (Richmond)
                    President Plaza (Richmond)
                    Crystal Mall (Burnaby - Metrotown area)
                    Yaohan Centre (Richmond)

                    Cheap .... yes.
                    Quantity ....... depends.
                    Quality ........ absolutely.

                    Search this BC forum and you'll find a wealth of recommendations.

                    1. In my family, the J&L Drive-in in Port Alberni is a required stop on the way to and from Tofino. If you make it out that way while you're in BC check it out.

                      There also used to be a place called Dot's Diner (now Dot's Cafe it seems) in Nanaimo on the Old Island Hwy . We don't stop there anymore as the new highway by-passes that stretch but they were an old-school diner (formica booths, counter service with red vinyl and chrome stools) famous for their mile-high lemon meringue pie. No idea what the quality is like anymore or if it's undergone a renovation.

                      Dot's Diner
                      8921 Grainger, Canal Flats, BC V0B1B0, CA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: islandgirl

                        I don't think Dots is still in existence - not the way it used to be anyway. Would love to know if anyone knows of other diner stye spots on the island. As a fellow triple D addict, I have often thought there would be a huge market for that sort of thing here and would love to know of spots I might be missing.