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Jun 2, 2011 12:16 PM

Colorado Family in Vancouver for 3 nights and Victoria for 3 nights. We want to eat like locals...guidance please!

We are a family of five, teenagers and adults with a wide range of culinary cravings. Everyone is adventurous, except Dad but he'll roll with the group. We would like to eat local cuisine when possible and avoid chains. That said, we are seeking several inexpensive suggestions and a few splurges for special dinners or experiences. We may just pick up coffee and baked items most mornings but then we'll be on the town. We are staying at the Sylvia Hotel in the English Bay area and we do have transportation available. Thanks for your ideas!

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  1. I just started this board which will help:

    We particularly liked Guu for izakaya, a Japanese style tapas usually served with copious amounts of alcohol. The quality was high and the prices were very reasonable in a city more expensive than we are used to in NYC! When you enter the restaurant, the whole staff yells greetings from where ever they are. Food comes out really fast and the service is attentive. Some of our favorites were the seared tuna steak, salad with duck breast and sashimi sampler. They also have beef ribs and chicken wings for the less adventurous.

    A fun fast food experience can be found at Japadog on Robeson or any of their food carts around town. Its really just a hot dog, a good and large all-beef one, with very interesting topping choices. The fries were just ok.

    We also liked the food at the Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown on the south side of Pender near Main. Wish I could remember the name.

    Don't bother with the food at Steamworks Brewery. The beer however is quite good.

    Go Fish on Granville Island was closed as we visited the island on a Monday. Tony's proved a good alternative for fish and chips. Spend the extra couple of dollars to upgrade from the cod to the halibut. We did a taste test and all liked the halibut better.

    Hope this helps. We leave Vancouver tomorrow after 6 days here. It is a wonderful city. If I may, I'd like to offer some non-chow related suggestions: if you are lucky enough to have a clear day, go snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain; and, renting bikes to ride through Stanley Park provides beautiful views of the city, mountains, the ocean, hydro-prop planes and large ocean freights. Enjoy.

    838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

    12 Replies
    1. re: Dingod

      Eat like locals?

      Head up to Fraser St & 41st to Dhaka Fish & Biryani

      Or Nuba on 3rd @ Main St in a decidedly non touristy 'hood.

      Laziza has great reviews haven't been yet though.

      Hitoe if you like Sushi and want to be the only non-locals in the place.

      1. re: Sam Salmon

        Thanks Sam Salmon! I printed out your local eats ideas....Nuba and Laziza look absolutely fantastic!

      2. re: Dingod

        Thanks for reporting back and glad you had a good time. Could the Vietnamese restaurant be Golden Garden? It is on Main just south of Pender. When you go in there is a banh mi (sandwich) counter on your right, and the dining room is behind a pony wall straight ahead. I can't think of another Viet resto on Pender near Main and Google street view isn't showing anything.

        Next time you go, try the Kurobota pork dog at Japadog!

        Golden Garden Restaurant
        509 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A2V1, CA

        1. re: grayelf

          Perhaps Phnom Penh (which is on E Georgia)?

          1. re: fmed

            Ah, that must be it! I never think of it as being that close to Main, or Vietnamese, though of course it is both.

            1. re: grayelf

              Phnom Penh also claims a stake under the Cambodian cuisine tent. But IIRC they are Vietnamese who hailed from southern China. My mom used to work a stone's throw away from PP and she knew the whole family pretty well, they all speak Cantonese (and Vietnamese).

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Yeah, I just tend to go elsewhere for Vietnamese as it's so plentiful here, Cambodian/Lao less so.

          2. re: grayelf

            Golden Dragon rings a bell. It was not amazing but we found it fresh and cheap.

          3. re: Dingod

            Fabulous the Japadog idea! Food carts are so fun.

            1. re: mommy3esq

              We splurged at two places, both of which I would recommend. La Brasserie had some wonderful lamb chops and great fries. While our meal at Goldfish in Yaletown was not perfect, the service was. My wife and I had the seafood tower. Everything, especially the oysters and salmon sashimi, was great except the lobster, which in my opinion should have been the star of the show. Goldfish is the kind of place I'd like to try again and order some of their prepared fish. I should have gone with my gut and ordered the halibut cheeks. Both places have a relaxed atmosphere, Goldfish being more trendy and Brasserie more like a pub.

              La Brasserie
              1091 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E1M5, CA

            2. re: Dingod

              Outdoor fish stall. Halibut was great - wish we could have ordered everyone of the daily specials. Price so reasonable.

              1. re: leilani327

                The photos are Go Fish at Granville Island. Line ups are really really long during "proper" lunch hours, going during off hours is much quicker.

            3. As you walk your neighbourood, particularly down Denman (between Davie and Georgia) you'll find lots of little independent restaurants - Thai, Japanese, Greek, etc. All within a 5-15 minute walk from the Sylvia. And some good gelato on Denman Street as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: robinsegg

                On Denman towards Georgia St, turn right at Robson St and you'll find yourself in "Little Korea" for a couple of blocks. But keep heading east along Robson to Burrard and you'll also come across a plethora of restos, although by this time they're geared more for tourists.

              2. hi there, hope i'm not too late for your trip. i live in victoria and am a wee bit of foodie so want you guys to hit the right spots.
                brasserie l'ecole as someone said is one of my faves for sure, no reservations but can stop in at open at 5:30 and put name on list and pick time to eat. kitch is open til 11pm, and my preference is to eat at bar, Jason is great bartender talk and will give you lowdown on city.
                also downtown on yates street near wharf is ferris' upstairs (dont confuse with downstairs, diff menu, diff cook) if you're up for it braised beef is unparalleled. also open late, great lounge tables if don't feel like sit at their standard dining tables.
                best italian hands down is zambris in brand new location yates and blanshard in Atrium building LEED gold building. outsranding food, staff/service there too.
                redfishbluefish for lunch is great down on wharf (see pciture above of outdoor shipping container).
                also great is cafe brio on fort st. be in for dinner by 9pm, not as late night as ones above
                all of above are top cooks, downtown locations, great ambience, service and all local food/100mile or less.
                one of my other favourites is in fernwood, hip little neighbourhood adjacent to downtown, and is called Stage - it's a wine bar and small plates, also brilliant., open late, and open sun/mon which many other good restos arent'
                lastly, the superior cafe on superior in james bay is good fun, great room, not so great service, tend to be a little inexperienced. also small plates, nowhere near as good or as good value as all those listed above, but they do have live music every night. check their website, and if the flamenco/cabaret is on, GO, it is one of the best cabaret shows i've ever seen, forget just in the PNW, but just about anywhere, written, choreographed by local dancer/singer/actor who stars in it, and is brilliantly fun.
                let me know if you're looking for any particular cuisine or brunch, or slightly out of town.

                1. Phomn Penh - a must is the deep fried chicken wings and the butter beef. For Korean food try Jang Mo Jib.