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Yaletown family options?

b
billbarilko Aug 15, 2011 10:25 AM

Hey All!

I am heading w/ family to Van for a few weeks from Aug 22nd to Sept 20 and am curious if there are any decent food options for the family and I...we have young children and dine early but really like good food.

Staying at a corporate condo in Yaletown on the Seawall (Beach and Strathmore mews near George Wainborn park) and am interested in best:

pizza place
close cafe
bakery (croissants)
best burger
perhaps a couple nice sit down options with nice scenery and food yet family friendly (a lot to ask yes...)

We are also heading to Whistler for a weekend and any recomendations there would be great...

Any thoughts from fellow chowhounders and very much appreciated...I will certainly report back on all experiences.

  1. f
    Florentine Aug 18, 2011 12:24 PM

    Yaletown lacks a good pizza place and a good bakery that sells croissants.

    In fact, Vancouver typically has uninspired croissants. Just come with really low expectations in the croissant department (especially if you're used to croissants that you'd find in Montreal or Paris).

    Muffins, on the other hand, seem to be a better bet (if you're just looking for breakfast nibbles at a cafe).

    On the same tangent, I can't think of one good bakery in downtown Vancouver - Yaletown, the West End, or anywhere. Come with low expectations. My favourite bakeries are outside of downtown (Fratelli's on Commercial Drive, Diplomat Bakery in Richmond, Notte's Bon Ton Bakery on Broadway in Kitsilano), but as for a traditional bakery in Yaletown or immediately around that area? Nada. Best bet would be to take the water taxi across False Creek to Granville Island to La Baguette Bakery).

    Ganache in Yaletown is the exception, except they really only have exotic gourmet cakes - nothing savory, nothing bread-y... just really delicious, mousse-y cakes.

    Urban Fare (gourmet overpriced grocery store) actually has an okay bakery if you're seeking fresh bread, and they do have a decent cafe (great for picking up sandwiches). It's really the only traditional bakery in Yaletown.

    For cafes, JJ Bean does an alright espresso. The Agro Cafe and Bean Around The World are more preferable in my opinion. Not a fan of Bojangles on the Yaletown waterfront - avoid.

    The best burger I've had recently was at the Stackhouse on the 1200 block of Granville Street - just a 5 minute walk away from Yaletown. At lunch on weekdays they have a Stackhouse Burger special for $10 (between 11am-3pm).

    Milestones also does a decent burger and it's a nice sit down option, especially for families. The Hamilton Street Grill is another option - apparently their burger's been rated one of the best in Vancouver.

    For pizza, I'd recommend Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Gastown. It's not the nicest block of Gastown, but the pizza's arguably some of the best in the city. You're not going to find anything even close to it in Yaletown, so it's worth venturing to Gastown (a half hour walk via the False Creek seawall via Carrall Street) - or just hop in a cab for a 5 minute ride. Well worth the detour for this pizza - it's Neapolitan pizza, by the way. Another pizza shop in Gastown is Incendio, which is more of a traditional Italian wood fire oven pizza/pasta joint.

    There is pizza by the inch in Yaletown at Sciue - the Italian cafe at the Roundhouse plaza, but I've only found it to be just okay - in the past I've found that the crust is tough and it's really all that unremarkable, as it just sits around all day and isn't that fresh.

    If you're looking for sushi in Yaletown, I am a fan of Bistro Sakana (dinner, only - lunch is way too slow and uninspired), and Kaide on Richards/Pacific (across from George Wainborn) is fantastic, despite that it's a very casual joint. The food I've had there is very fresh and high quality. I often order take-out here - the best sushi in Yaletown (without splurging at Blue Water Cafe), in my opinion.

    For cheesecake? Tree's Organic Cafe on Richards/Pacific is good. They do good coffee as well. And who knows - you may find a croissant there on a lucky day. ;)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Florentine
      d
      dafonz Aug 19, 2011 05:37 PM

      As an alternative to Nicli - there's also Verace in Tinseltown.

      Faubourg (kerrisdale) for the croissants

      Agreed on stackhouse.

      1. re: Florentine
        b
        billbarilko Sep 10, 2011 02:01 PM

        Thanks for the insight (to all).

        I have really been enjoying Van and the family was with me for quite a while and now I am on my own for another week.

        We did Earl's with the family and had a decent time...par for the course with three wee ones :)

        We also did Blue Water Cafe on Monday the 29th and sat on the patio and had a decent dinner. two of our kids were sleeping and my eldest daughter (who is 5) enjoyed the experience - they even cooked her a special pasta. I love scallops but did not like how they were done at BWC. We did enjoy the cod and the halibut though.

        Rodneys was great and will always enjoy dining there.

        Nuba was a pleasant surprise for me for takeout and I will go back.

        I put Artegiano's in the lead for best pull of espresso - I understand they are now using Intelligentsia beans and have always loved that spot in Chicago and I use that bean at home (Black cat).

        Urban Fare is a great grocer but yes, the prices are over the top...i guess par for the course.

        We went to Whistler and could not find a good coffee but had a surprisinly nice dinner at the Hilton Restaurant (Cinnamon Bear, I believe). We also went to Araxi (sp?) and that was also quite nice. Whistler is Stunningly beautiful by the way.

        I also reallyu enjoy Meat Bread in Gastown and have been a couple times - both times going for the porchetta sandwich...

        I also went solo to Umberto's on Hornby and had a really nice meal there - a salad with cold duck for a starter was decent but the spaggehtini with scampi was REALLY good.

        I also had a nice meal at a little bistro in Gastown called Jules...the mussels were underwhelming but they redeemed with their salmon.

        Anywho, thanks again to all of the recomendations and I hope to try a couple more this weekend and week...

        then I head to Vegas and will be dining at N9ne and Nobu which are both awesome - but that is for a different board.

        I am now off to Stackhouse :)

        Ciao! E

        -----
        The Nuba Cafe
        1206 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B3N9, CA

      2. fmed Aug 15, 2011 11:08 AM

        Some quickies

        Sciue (Roman "pizza by the inch")
        JJ Bean
        Ganache
        Hamilton St Grill
        Provence Marinaside

        3 Replies
        1. re: fmed
          l
          lunchslut Aug 15, 2011 08:00 PM

          Fmed pretty well hit it on the nail.

          1. re: lunchslut
            grayelf Aug 15, 2011 10:57 PM

            Not quite Yaletown but close: Peaceful on Davie (read up on what to order though, casual Chinese) and Nuba on Seymour (very casual Lebanese, just a few tables, love the garden falafel in pita with avocado and the Najib's special cauliflower). Both are cheap and family friendly.

            -----
            The Nuba Cafe
            1206 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B3N9, CA

            1. re: grayelf
              c
              cuddystalker Aug 17, 2011 07:45 AM

              Hi there- while in Vancouver with kids try to find time to go to Little Nest on Charles St off Commercial Drive. They serve breakfast and lunch. Easily the most delicious, TOTALLY kid friendly place I have ever been. It's run by moms, it has a play area, yet the food is phenomenal. Fresh, organic, etc. I highly recommend you take a cab to and from, though. :) The neighborhood takes a little getting used to.

              I have 3 kids and if my hubby and I want a grownup dinner with the kids in tow we go the Keg on Thurlow at Robson. They have a kids menu, unlike many other decent restaurants in Vancouver, the staff are equally nice to the kids as the adults, and we enjoy decent steaks and great cocktails.

              We have also had great times with our kids at Hamburger Mary's on Davie at Bute. Their burgers are excellent.

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