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Jan 9, 2012 09:06 AM

Looking for advice on this list of Vancouver possibilities

Party of four, two 20 somethings and 2 middle-agers, heading up to Vancouver next weekend. Looking for 2 lunches and 2 dinner meals. Will stop at Vij’s Rangoli on our way out Monday. Two eaters are pescatarians (no shellfish/but love sushi) and one is not too unadventurous, and then there is me who will eat almost anything …..

We are staying at Carman Plaza at 1128 Alberni Street. I am interested in good places radiating out from this center for 1500 meters or so. Also hope to hike around False Creek on Sunday starting at Yaletown and ending at Granville Is. Any good lunch places recs are appreciated.

From my limited research I have the following places on a maybe list. Please let me know what you recommend and sounds like it will work for this group. Thanks!

La Quercia
Blue Water Café
La Buca
Stack House
Go Fish
Hapa Iakeya
Gyozo King
Bo Laksa
Seri Malaysia
Hamilton Street Grill

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  1. Within 1500 metres, check out Miko Sushi on Robson. Order off the dinner menu, even at lunch, to get the really good stuff. Bring money ($30 for lunch) but prepare to be happy. Don't expect cream cheese or mango in your rolls.

    A few metres further west, Santouka Ramen. This might be tricky for your pescatarians but you shouldn't miss the toroniku. And the ramen is pretty awesome too.

    Going the other way, check if the blue Tacofino truck is out on Burrard and Dunsmuir (the orange truck at Robson and Howe is CLOSED for the season) -- they tweet and update their facebook page fairly responsibly. Get the fish taco. They are not cheap at $4.50 each but they are worthy. Also in that general direction is the Osa takoyaki truck. Another hound says it hasn't been out recently but it is worth the candle to wander by. South side of 800 West Pender...

    Lunch reccs near GIsle are tricky. Lots of great stuff to buy in the market if you want to make up your own lunch but nothing stellar in terms of restos. Newish and possibly worthy is Edible Canada. The fries are tiptop, other items can be good or just okay so far. Nice setting for sure. Both the Go Fish places are walking distance from the island. I prefer the original but it is all outdoor seating. Neither I daresay are going to reset your foodie meter but the original one is a bit of an institution here.

    Your other ideas look pretty solid overall. Personally, I'd plump for Peaceful (I like the Broadway location best), Kimura (fair schlep from downtown but can be done in one long busride, we were there yesterday!), Nuba (the small one on Seymour is my fave), La Buca (twenty minute busride going south on Burrard, focus on the specials), Gyoza King (for the gyoza - duh - but also for v. good ebi mayo, very close to your hotel), Bo Laksa and Seri Malaysia are both good but quite a schlep though again one bus if you toddle down to Hastings. Stick to things listed as salads or the spicy squid at BLK, and be prepared for owly behaviour at SM if you go.

    I'd pass on HSG since the main draw there for me is the inconsistently good burger which won't be a good choice for some of your crew.

    Have fun!

    4 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Thanks for this-we are headed to Vancouver in two weeks and I'm working on my own list as well. We're staying at the Four Seasons downtown, and we're already committing to a meal at Vij's. Wouldn't mind suggestions on super fresh seafood/sushi or a good spot for a light fuel up after a yoga class.
      Any inside info on Chinatown would be greatly appreciated too, we're big fans of noodles and Sichuan cuisine.
      Lastly, is Market by Jean Georges worth going to? The mains are pretty pricey but I could be very happy having a glass of wine at the bar and eating from the bar menu. The food doesn't look revelatory, but it is JG.....

      Thanks in advance!

      1. re: Ecgravatt

        Chinatown is not the place to find the best Chinese in Vancouver, sadly. I still like Foo's Ho Ho but mainly for the nostalgia. Nowhere else really worth mentioning. The good stuff is mostly in Richmond, with some Sichuan and Hunan in Burnaby that is worth the candle. Wouldn't be too hard to get to on the Canada Line from 4 Seasons...

        Closer to you, Peaceful on Davie might do, if you order carefully. It has Sichuan dishes but they are not the standouts IMO.

        As I said above, I like Miko on Robson for downtown sushi. Order a la carte off the dinner menu, ask what is fresh (we were directed to the aji and geoduck last time) and bring money. If you just wanted one dish, you could get the salmon aburi at Miku (different resto) whilst sitting at the bar but I wouldn't bother with the rest of the menu.

        There aren't any places in town I really love for seafood and I haven't been to Market so no help there.

        1. re: grayelf

          Thanks for all the help and recommendations. I think we'll have plenty to choose from! I realise too I forgot to ask about restaurants that emphasize locally sourced products.....

          1. re: Ecgravatt

            For locally-sourced, you could check out Edible Canada Bistro, on Granville Island, opposite the public market building:



    2. I can only speak for a few but:

      La Quercia is excellent (but hard to get a reservation).
      Blue Water is also great

      Izakaya wise I'd hit Suika on Broadway over those you've mentioned (owned by Kingyo I think, but my meal at Suika was better than Kingyo). Gyoza King a bit passe though you really cannot fail going to a Gyu rather than any of the other recommended.

      Hamilton Street Grill is a steakhouse without the ambiance. The food is quite good, but personally, I prefer the steak house vibe (somewhere like Gotham).

      2 Replies
      1. re: brokentelephone

        Good point about the Guus, and the OP will be between Guu Garden, Guu on Thurlow and Guu with Garlic, plus there's the new one on Denman. I also quite like Zakkushi, and there is the original Hapa right there as well so perhaps an izakaya crawl... another Japanese option besides sushi, and since dishes are small, meaty items could be had by the two non-pescatarians :-).

        1. re: grayelf

          IIRC there's two new-ish izakayas down there: Hidiki On Robson near Cardero (still there ?), and Wanoma on Denman just beside Kingyo.

          BTW, from the OP's hotel to Kingyo is 1.3km according to Google Maps

      2. Had a great time in Vancouver! Loved walking around False Creek. Saturday evening the four of us ate at Blue Water Café. The setting and food was great but the service was painfully slow. From when we were seated to when we left two and a half hours had passed. During the time we ordered a bottle of wine – it arrived, ordered two appetizers and four entrees. Then we waited and waited for the appetizers and after they were served, eaten and the plates removed, we waited and waited for our entrees. Didn’t dare order dessert for fear we would be there another 45 minutes. As for the food the Arctic Char and Ahi Tuna were the stand outs. Will not return due to the slow service.

        What a contrast Sunday evening was . We went to Hapa Izakaya on Robson. Great space, great service and great food! The fish and chips roll, tuna avocado salsa dip and salmon sashimi were outstanding. Also loved the cheesecake! We were in and out in a little over an hour and spent about a third of what we did at Blue Water. Will definitely return
        here even thought my husband and I were probably 20 years older then the other patrons!

        Had lunch Sunday at the busy Granville Island Market. The food was not bad for a food court. Looked for and found a sign saying that Edible Canada had relocated, can’t remember where to. On Monday had lunch at Vij’s Rangoli it was good not great, the menu doesn’t seem to change much even though we only eat there every couple years. Next time in Vancouver I want to try Peaceful on our way back to the states.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bethwick

          Thanks for reporting back. I recall the service at BWC being pretty glacial too. And re Edible Canada, it relocated less than a block away, still on Granville Island.