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Seattle Chowhounds in Vancouver--where should we go next? (Also, recommendations for Victoria)

A few years ago I posted a question asking for recommendations for Vancouver, and got a lot of terrific responses that have steered me and my husband to some great food on multiple visits. Now we're looking for suggestions for places that we've missed for some reason or another. We're especially interested in places that serve different and/or better food than we can get in Seattle.

Here are some of the places we've been, and how we've liked them:

Vij/Rangoli: I know they're not universally loved on this board, but there's nothing remotely close to this (assertive spicing, high quality ingredients) where I live.

Xiao Long Bao at the Crystal Mall: Tasty, but not mind-blowing. The soup within the dumpling is kind of interesting, but the overall taste experience didn't wow us.

Huaxi Noodle specialist at the Crystal Mall: fantastic chewy noodles with pork belly.

Peaceful Restaurant: Really liked the Xi'an white lamb stew.

Guu with Garlic: Had a few small plates there, but it was too noisy for us (lots of people yelling, too loud for us to carry on a conversation at a normal volume) to really enjoy it. We'd be open to trying other izakayas, if there are any that are quieter.

Octopus Garden: we had a lovely meal there, and particularly liked the gindara.

Mondo Gelato: loved the black sesame gelato.

Cocoanymph, Schokolade, and Thomas Haas: I really love good chocolates.

Also, we are going to be in Victoria for a day or two. We'll have dinner at Sooke Harbour House. Any suggestions for good but not gut-busting meals in Victoria would be appreciated as well.

Edited to add: We have a car and are willing to drive fairly far for really good food.

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  1. Some quick ideas:

    -Try the street carts/trucks. I like La Brasserie's chicken sandwich.
    -Quieter isakaya - Kingyo
    -Gelato - Bella Gelateria. James, the talkative gelato master there, makes really good gelato. Easily the best in this city.
    -Richmond - dimsum at Jade, or Red Star.
    -Thierry - Chocolates (he has some mixed reviews about the pastries on this board. I don't recall reading complaints about his chocolates though).

    Victoria - Ulla.

    1. You might like pattersie le beau http://www.grababetterwaffle.com/reta... for great belgian waffles, lemon tarts, sandwiches and quiche - open for lunch and breakfast. Hawksworth is a new restaurant producing quality food at decent but not cheap prices. http://www.hawksworthrestaurant.com/

      Le Crocodike and Bishops are Vancouver standards http://lecrocodilerestaurant.com/ http://www.bishopsonline.com/

      Ensemble is new and gets some good and not so good reviews http://www.ensemblerestaurant.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: Philx

        Agree with this posters picks! If you are doing lunch you could also do Market at the Shangri-la for 3 courses.

      2. I was also going to recommend Kingyo - my favorite izakaya. I am also a fan of nearby Zakkushi.

        The best gelato in Vancouver- Bella Gelataria in Coal Harbour.

        Hawksworth is new and has a big buzz. Market, is a divisive place but has a cool patio and is reasonably priced fine dining.

        I don't know much about Victoria, but Schooners is often cited by Victorians as a nice brewpub. It's a bit of a faux-Brit place but afternoon tea at the Empress is a regular tourist stop, although for my money I'd just as soon go to the White Heather for that.

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        Kingyo
        871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L9, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: J_Bone

          Schooners? I live in Victoria and have never heard of that. I think there is a Schooners in Tofino (5 hour drive from Victoria).

          There is a Spinnaker's, but the food there is generally lousy.

          Are you going to the Sooke Harbour House because you are staying out there? Just asking because apparently their wine list is a shadow of its former self.

          If I had only one or two nights in Victoria, I'd be tempted to eat at Stage Small Plates and Wine Bar. Consistent food, plus you can try a lot of different items (fun for sharing). I'd also be tempted to go to Restaurant Matisse. Though definitely "old school" French, the service is always lovely as is the food. For lunch I'd want to head to Daidoco (if you are there on a weekday) or Relish (again only open on weekdays).

          1. re: anewton

            Erm... yeah. I meant Spinnaker's. Had a brain fart there I guess. The food's bad? Noted.

        2. I'm from Seattle and have been to both Guu with Garlic and Kingyo, and I FAR prefer Kingyo. Highly recommended.

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          Guu
          838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

          Kingyo
          871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L9, CA

          1. The new Guu, Kobachi, is my new favourite izakaya in town. They change the menu nightly and have a killer sake tasting menu. Much quieter than other Guus, and all the dishes I tried were fantastic.

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            Guu
            838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA