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Sep 9, 2011 09:18 PM

3 day visit to Vancouver (1st time)

Want to eat myself silly : need best Izakaya, sushi, and XLB
Don't want Tojo's (too $ and seems like paying for fame)
Any interesting cheap eats places would be great too.
Thanks. Oh staying at the Sylvia Hotel without car but am comfortable with mass transit/ long walks.

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  1. David Hawksworth's eponymous place in the Hotel Georgia is #1 on my list when I next visit Van.

    Enjoyed his cooking on a couple of occasions when he was at West. Amazing seasonal/regional/artisan fare. Easily one of my Top 5 chefs of all time. Definitely a splurge, but definitely worth it.

    And good on you for eschewing Tojo's. Site of possibly the single worst (non)dining experience in my entire life. Apparently tojo is Japanese for douchebag.

    1. Hi DFF, you can try Peaceful Restaurant for XLB and other Shanghainese/Northern dishes on Davie, not far from The Sylvia Hotel:

      Just a few blocks from you, on Denman, and on Robson, you can find:

      Hapa Izakaya
      Gyoza King

      And the venerable (and growing) Guu chain:

      Guu Kitanoya Original
      Guu With Garlic
      Guu Kobachi
      Guu Garden (on Nelson St


      Miku Sushi (1055 W. Hastings) is these days quite well-received. I've not been to them:

      1. I like Zakkushi for things on sticks in the izakaya vein, and there is an outlet close-ish to you on Denman, though not my favourite one.

        Miko on Robson is the best sushi I've had downtown (and possibly anywhere in town) recently. Their robata items are also excellent. Bring money, but not as much as Tojo's. If you want an omakase, schlep out to Kimura. For ramen, give Santouka a whirl but try to go early to get their toroniku, one of the best pork items I've ever eaten.

        Top xiao long bao for me are at Lin's on Broadway and Granville, The rest of the menu is very uneven so maybe just hit them up for a snack, though I had an order of xlb there for a light lunch yesterday that was perfect. I haven't had much luck with the xlb at the original Peaceful on Broadway -- maybe they are better at the Davie store?

        Speaking of Davie, Thai Basil is worth stopping in for an order of pad grapow. Get it with beef or pork. Really tasty and around $10. I also like the steamies from La Belle Patate a lot, their choucroute is quite good. Less keen on their poutine. And you might consider La Brasserie for a casual French meal. It's one of the few places in town you can get a burger to order.

        Down on Denman is Acacia Fillo Bar and Cardero Bottega for lunch fare. Dinners are more problematic along there with nothing really standing out for me.

        Food courts in Richmond/Burnaby may be worth considering though your stay is a short one.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: grayelf

          And lower Robson close to Denman intersection is hailed as "Little Korea" with lots of funky and interesting venues and foods:

        2. Wow, thank you all for a great list. Vancouver seems to be a food paradise. Seafood, great Asian restos, fresh local ingredients, international variety, all in what looks like a beautiful city (in photos, as yet to visit).

          Forgot to ask if Richmond Night Mkt is worth one of my evenings? (friday)

          4 Replies
          1. re: deepfatfried

            I would say no to RNM on a three-day visit with no car. Transit out to there is a bit of a nightmare.

            1. re: deepfatfried

              I say go for it (RNM) if not just to for the sights and sounds. But the smells are pretty dang good too :-)

              Allow a bit more time to get there, tho'. If you take the Canada Line rapid transit to Richmond, you'll need to get off at Bridgeport Station (first one in Richmond), and transfer to the #407 or the #430 buses:


              1. re: LotusRapper

                Haven't been to the Summer Night Market in 2 years now, but it's like a midway carnival food fair with Asian street food/fast food. I'd see how you're feeling and play it by ear. It closes next weekend, but it stays open until midnight on Friday/Saturday and until 11pm on Sunday.

                Here's a recent blog post going over the pros and the cons:


                1. re: Florentine

                  Bring along some Tums or Pepto Bismol ;-)

            2. I'm sorry, I haven't read the rest of the thread fully but I'll give some suggestions.

              There are several good izakayas in Vancouver. I'm partial to Kingyo and Zakkushi (OK not technically an izakaya but similar atmosphere). But there are other good ones, the Guus are good (Guu w/ Garlic is probably my favourite of them).

              I don't go for sushi all that much but I hear Miku is great, although it might be out of your price range. When I lived in the area and was looking for a cheap meal I'd sometimes hit Samurai Sushi or Kadoya although the chowhounds on this board will probably admonish me for that.

              I don't know of any good XLB downtown, but there are several decent Shanghainese places in Richmond. I think Dinesty would be a good choice since it has a good English menu and reasonable prices although truth be told it's not the absolute top XLB I've tried. But it's still good.

              Otherwise, I would recommend trying Santouka. It's a high end ramen joint not far from your house that's got really good soup. Or if it's a hot night there's a dynamite gelato place called Bella Gelateria, and you can have a nice walk around the convention center afterwards and enjoy the nice views of the mountains.

              838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

              871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2L9, CA

              Miku Restaurant
              1055 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC V6E 2E9, CA

              Samurai Sushi
              2011 Innsbruck Dr, Whistler, BC V0N1B2, CA

              Bella Gelateria
              1001 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G6, CA