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Feb 16, 2012 07:44 AM

Anatolia Express at Canada Place

This recently opened downtown “outpost” of the much loved Turkish restaurant Anatolia’s Gate in Burnaby has a comparatively pared-down menu, but a number of the favourites are here including their stuffed pide. Sadly missing is their lavash which, at the Burnaby location, comes out of their pizza oven puffed up to the size of a baleen whale. Also, the flavours of the dishes here are subdued compared to those at the mothership. The eggplant salad, for example, lacks the lovely smokiness of its fire broiled sibling in Burnaby.

This location is run by the friendly owners – former New Yorkers Hakki and wife Jannan who ran a Turkish restaurant in Albany for ten years prior to moving here to open Anatolia’s Gate. Interestingly, Hakki found his passion for cooking late in life having spent much of his early adulthood as an Applied Mathematician.

Anatolia’s Express is tiny (two 2-tops and two 4-tops) since it is primarily a takeout joint. And it’s cheap. As a bonus – I can now recommend a place that has both good food and a good view.


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  1. Good to know, as that can be a tricky area foodwise. How are the prices?

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      I think it works out to about the same compared to Burnaby...but portion sizes are tweaked for the takeout market. For example: the Cheese Pide is slightly smaller (75%? - about 10" long) and is $6.99. In Burnaby they are larger (14"?) and $9.95.

    2. we went, we tasted ... and would probably go back again.
      while we have asian origin and do the required vancouver asian - we actually liked this better - a great change from family fare.

      hard to find - but worth the search - it's around the very NORTH side of the NEW (grass roof) convention center - not the old sails place Pan Pacific Hotel structure)

      FANTASTIC fresh air and view.

      the price is right

      the food was more than acceptable for six bucks pp

      we saw the man make the pita breads - those are worth an order alone. With hummous

      the family (it seemed that an offspring came in and rolled dough for proofing prior to using lots of windex to clean the kitchen area) -- the man and woman are very informative and polite.

      i would say it's fast food from another culture and easy for anyone to enjoy.

      the view is - again - spectacular.

      the public washrooms nearby (the only place to wash hands) are more better than one finds at most restaurants

      i would take friends from other cities LA, YYZ, etc to this place - friendly, good value, good food, amazing view. Only in vancouver.

      there are no outdoor tables at this time but he says he plans in summer

      there are benches nearby
      and there is also an interesting "self tour" where one phones in and the architect describes the ideas behind this new expensive convention center. This added to our experience downtown.

      also the hours on urban spoon say close at 9pm but right now (at this time of year feb winter - they really close at EIGHT.

      it's well worth the walk from skytrain / seabus / Burrard transit.

      will try it again.
      ps the hummos is delicious (and i know how to make greek hommous from people who are greek taverna people here -- and i think it compares. if you don't cook but do enjoy good hummous, i would go by this place while at work and pick some up to go home for party or just plain dinner -- i wonder how well their pita bread would transport (if you don't eat it first)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Georgia Strait

        The original Anatolia's serves a Turkish version of tzatziki that for me has no equal and it comes complimentarily with your order. Is it here too?

        1. re: grayelf

          well - i am not an expert but the gentleman said he was putting yogurt on the "wrap" and it was very good. It certainly added to the flavours.

          i should clarify that the menu on the wall (pinned to the wall) is slightly diff in terminology than the "take out menu" that is printed on paper and that you might find at your office downtown or in the ph book. they say "sandwiches" on the take out menu -- but on the premises they say "pide" --- it's fine - no problem - but for those of us who are unsure and want to get things right - this might be confusing. The people are very nice and i'll say that place is clean. (it's an "open kitchen" for the most part. You can see everything.

          1. re: Georgia Strait

            They did have the tzatziki and it is thick and tangy.

            Here is a pic of one of the dishes I have had there with the tzatziki in the middle (the chicken pide): http://www.wisemonkeysblog.com/archiv...

            Their cheese and meat pide are their signature dishes and are almost as good as at the ones served at the Burnaby location. A must order.

            1. re: fmed

              i'm glad you have posted --- i must say, the "menu" says "cheese steak" (i think in either chicken or beef) and i asked the gentleman about cheese in mid-east (aside from what i know of - ie feta) and he explained that it is (his words) "aged mozzarella" --- but the cheesesteak term / name put me off only because it seems popular at Subway et al (which BTW is possibly frighteningly nearby to the anatolia express) - for some reason I have never really equated mid east cooking with melted cheese - but will try it - thx for the input.

              1. re: fmed

                I do jones for the cheese pides, good to know a worthy version is closer than the wilds of Bby!

          2. re: Georgia Strait

            ps i would like to add to my own post and say that it seems very accessible (in terms of those who have mobility concerns) and that the gentleman took the time (certainly it was a quiet rainy afternoon time) to explain all about the term "halal" which we don't know in our family - so again, this was part of the experience - a great value for 8 or so dollars per person incl tax and tip.

            the outdoor area is under cover. but watch out, some of that area is designated officially as bike path and run/walk path. which adds to the location, for sure.

          3. The owner mentioned that he won't be offering the borek (already listed on the menu) until business picks up. We can all agree to visit them more so that I can get my borek fix, right?

            3 Replies
            1. re: clutterer

              Hear hear! (or as the kids say: +1! ).

              1. re: fmed

                Managed lunch here two weeks in a row-the cruise ship crowds have gone and the area is much quieter-the views are undiminished and the food is outstanding-well worth a visit.