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Toddler/Baby friendly restaurant suggestions near these attractions?

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skim99 Mar 16, 2012 12:12 AM

Hello!
We are planning a visit to Vancouver with our two children (2 year old and a 2 month old) so sadly, our restaurant choices are somewhat limited. We are visiting from the Bay Area and are big foodies.

We are looking for good food that is friendly towards children (doesn't mind a crying infant, somewhat loud, minimal wait times) that are near our hotel and near the attractions we plan to visit.

Our hotel is in the West End Neighborhood (our hotel is near Davie and Burrard).

We plan on going to the miniature train in Stanley Park, Aquarium, tram to Grousse Mtn, Science Museum and a trip to Granville Island.

Lastly, if it's not too much to ask for recommendations for restaurants at Whistler. Our rental house is near the upper village.

Many, many thanks in advance!

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  1. g
    Georgia Strait RE: skim99 Mar 16, 2012 08:21 AM

    you'll be here in summer months? (i assume - because you say miniature train which is open only during summer - plus hallowe'en and xmas) - sounds like fun attractions for family.

    picnics and take-out?

    there is a recent thread about best hummos - and one recommendation is near your hotel, i think.

    maybe other readers can suggest Asian for you in that area -

    on granville island, Le Baguette et L'echalotte is good bakery - it's mentioned on here i think

    if sunny, some people enjoy the take-out / outdoor tables at a place near Granville Island (walk to it) ... Go Fish - here's a photo - watch out for the seagulls diving to share your food! http://www.urbanspoon.com/rph/14/1807...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Georgia Strait
      fmed RE: Georgia Strait Mar 18, 2012 10:33 AM

      Granville Island would be my top rec for parents with toddlers. Grab a bunch of stuff at Oyama, Le Baguette, some fruit, some pastries....then head on over to the playground area for a picnic.

    2. g
      Georgia Strait RE: skim99 Mar 16, 2012 08:30 AM

      ps - this is a useful thread - tho some of the suggestions may not be too young-people friendly
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832402

      1. LotusRapper RE: skim99 Mar 16, 2012 09:21 AM

        Try this filter (set to kid-friendly) on Urbanspoon:

        http://www.urbanspoon.com/t/14/4/Vanc...

        You can set a 2nd filter to the geography and a 3rd for cuisine type.

        1. f
          Florentine RE: skim99 Mar 16, 2012 04:20 PM

          I immediately thought of Little Nest which is in East Van on Commercial Drive: http://www.littlenest.ca/

          It's not really in the areas you plan to visit, but it's easy enough and close enough to get to, and ticks off both "foodie establishment" and "toddler friendly" to a T! And in reality, it's only one Skytrain stop east of Science World if you do feel like making a detour to Commercial Drive. The only issue is that it closes early, so might be a good brunch option before Science World. On top of that, Commercial Drive is cool neighbourhood in any case - quite different than where you'll be spending your time. A tad more bohemian with some great markets. Actually, San Francisco's Polk Street reminds me of Commercial Drive. Others say it reminds them of the Haight Ashbury of yesteryear. I digress.

          Bandidas Taqueria (also on Commercial Drive) would also be a good choice.

          http://bandidastaqueria.com/

          1. a
            Anne M RE: skim99 Mar 17, 2012 12:15 PM

            I don't have kids, but here's a few ideas.

            Miniature Train and Aquarium are in Stanley Park so you are pretty much stuck with the Park concession food. You are better off to pack a picnic. The Park is lovely so picnicing is not a bad thing. Since you are staying near Dave and Burrard you can walk to the West End Farmers' Market on Saturday (on Comox between Thurlow and Bute and right beside a nice park with a kids playground) to buy some ingredients. You can also walk down to the Aquatic Centre Howe and take the ferry over to Granville Island to choose from the many excellent picnic ingredient choices in th e Public Market. Granville Island as a whole has lots of good kids activities. For non-picnic food you are probably best off going to the Edible Canada Bistro or taking a short walk along the seawall to Go Fish (lines can be long though). There's lots of restaurants/food fair stuff on GI but none of it is exactly a foodie's pick.

            The Grouse Mountain venue is all owned by one company so you have the choice of their various restaurants. It is very tourist oriented so they cater to everyone, kids will be fine. It has been a while since I was last there but I don't remember anything particularly worth eating. Again I'd bring a picnic.

            In your neighbourhood - it is pretty well all small neighbourhood restaurants so kids are not going to be a big problem. You will probably be eating early anyway. There's the Banana Leaf on Davie just west of Burrard for Malaysian (also a good wine store, Marquis Wine Cellars, accross the street but beware alcohol is very expensive here relative to the US), there's a Thai place on Thurlow just south of Davie (I'll post the name when I remember it), the Zaatar Hummus Bar on Davie and Howe (previously mentioned by someone here).

            If you have kitchen facilities, or even if not, there's grocery stores near you - Super Value on Davie, IGA on Burrard and, as previously mentioned, the Farmers' Market on Saturday and Granville Island is a pleasant excursion if you don't take a car.

            I can't help with Whistler.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Anne M
              grayelf RE: Anne M Mar 17, 2012 06:35 PM

              The Thai place is Thai Basil, good for takeout (very small dine in area) with a few standouts on the menu but still Vancouver Thai, nowhere near up to SF Bay Area standards.

              For Chinese you could try the newer Peaceful on Davie just before Seymour. Large menu so order with care and you should find some good stuff.

              There was a recent thread on Whistler.... ah, here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832402

              Not necessarily kid friendly but up to date and a place to start!

              1. re: grayelf
                a
                Anne M RE: grayelf Mar 17, 2012 07:51 PM

                Thanks Grayelf. And, yes, my recs are the best I can come up with in your area, not necessarily restaurants that will wow you.

                1. re: Anne M
                  grayelf RE: Anne M Mar 18, 2012 10:38 AM

                  Totally agree, Anne M, that's a tough area for reccs in general. I wonder if an opening time visit to La Brasserie might work for the OP. Some of their stuff is pretty good. I quite like the burger. Or for weekend brunch their crazy over the top poutine.

                  1. re: grayelf
                    a
                    Anne M RE: grayelf Mar 18, 2012 12:10 PM

                    Yes La Brasserie is an excellent suggestion. I was there last night at opening (5:00 pm) and there was lots of rooms. Starts filling up at 6:30. There was a couple with a toddler beside us and they were doing fine.

                2. re: grayelf
                  Sam Salmon RE: grayelf Mar 17, 2012 08:02 PM

                  Whistler is alive with kids no problem there-I suggest Ear's-always choices for smalls and calm understanding Staff.

                  Since you have a place to cook I strongly suggest doing your victualling in the city-grocery prices in Whistler can be breathtaking.

                  A large bottle of Thai Sweet Chile Sauce for instance-which can be had for less than $3 in Vancouver-is $6 in Whistler-other prices are commensurate.

                  If they're open when you're there try to head down to Pure Bread @ Function Junction for some of the tastiest bread products produced in this province.

                  http://www.purebread.ca/

              2. LotusRapper RE: skim99 Mar 18, 2012 12:01 AM

                Hi Skim99, a few places come to mind (may or may not be near your destinations). Not 5-stars by any means of the imagination. And in no particular cuisines listed, just familiarity based on personal experience as parent in past 6 years:

                - Griffins inside Fairmont Vancouver (Burrard @ Georgia)
                http://www.fairmont.com/hotelvancouve...

                https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=ht...

                - Nuba (Seymour, just south of Davie
                )http://www.nuba.ca/nubaseymour.html

                - Oishii Sushi (Denman just north of Robson
                )http://www.oishiisushibc.com/gallery....

                - Simba's Grill (Denman @ Haro
                )http://www.simbasgrill.com/

                - Benkei Ramen (Robson btwn Denman & Bidwell
                )http://www.benkeiramen.com/home.html

                - Tangthai Food of Thailand (Robson @ Denman

                )

                - Tony's Fish & Oyster Cafe (Granv. Isld)
                http://www.tonysfish-granvilleisland....

                - Afghan Horsemen Restaurant (Lameys Mill Rd, outside Granv. Isld
                )http://www.afghanhorsemen.com/

                - Paul's Place Omelettery (Granville @ 6 Ave

                )

                - Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company (W. 1st Ave @ Cypress)
                http://www.rockymountainflatbread.ca/

                - The Noodle Box (W. 4th Ave @ Cypress
                )http://thenoodlebox.net/

                - Romer's Burger Bar (W. 4th Ave, next to The Noodle Box
                )http://romersburgerbar.com/who-we-are/

                2 Replies
                1. re: LotusRapper
                  g
                  Georgia Strait RE: LotusRapper Mar 18, 2012 12:24 AM

                  i agree with above post re: Fairmont venues (remember there are three Fairmont.com hotels in downtown Vanc) ... the children might esp enjoy seeing the resident (or daytime) dogs working at the concierge at the Hotel Vanc at 900 Georgia (Burrard and Georiga, it is the classic hotel and is where you'll find Griffins) --- i have seen griffins mentioned in other threads about child-friendly eating. that poster made some really good points about an out-of-the-weather escape. Maybe it was LotusRapper on that other thread. (search "toddler" in the BC board - here it is http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738661

                  )

                  we always rely on Fairmont across Canada for our family of all ages.

                  =====

                  interesting - i didn't know afghan horseman still existed - it used to be on Broadway near Yukon, wasn't it? -- we used to go there til our habits changed, circa 1990

                  1. re: Georgia Strait
                    LotusRapper RE: Georgia Strait Mar 18, 2012 09:25 AM

                    Thanks for the clarification re: which Fairmont !

                    Yeah it was me in the other threads about Griffins. Prolly doesn't fly with most CH-ers here, it's no foodie destination in that sense, but certainly much better than White Spot or any of the chains like Earls/MIlestones/Cactus Club/Joey and priced about the same too.

                    I recall in the lobby of Griffins is a Thomas The Train ride-on, hope it's still there. Didn't know about the concierge dog, lol. We only went in the evenings.

                    Afghan Horsemen moved to outside Granville Island about oh, 5-6 years ago IIRC, around the time of the Canada Line construction. Last time I was there was with a local foodie as part of a group "chowdown" ......

                    http://chowtimes.com/2009/06/21/chowt...

                    I doubt the OP's 2-yr-old and 2-mth-old would mind the um, belly dancer :-)

                2. waylman RE: skim99 Mar 19, 2012 03:19 PM

                  I've got a 3 yr old and a 4 month old so I feel your pain when it comes to finding places to eat. For us, the most toddler/baby friendly restaurants are the Rocky Mountain Pizza chain, and Little Nest. We took them into Cafe Gloucester recently and that was fine. The food was nothing spectacular. Also take them to Shiro quite frequently with no problems. Great sushi at Shiro.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: waylman
                    LotusRapper RE: waylman Mar 19, 2012 03:39 PM

                    Wow you're brave. I find Shiro a tight squeeze as-is. When Jr. was < 2 yrs old we never took him to Shiro.

                    BTW, you're near Mt. Pleasant/Cambie Village, IIRC ? You been to the new Trilussa ? Pretty kid/toddler-friendly. And for some reason, Dream Sushi is popular with families with young 'uns, but food is ok not great. The new Ogenki Sushi's space is also good for little 'uns, as is Mui Garden and Helen's Grill by King Edward.

                    If anything, Simply Delicious Sushi & Galleria is quite kids-friendly (huge open space) when there are no late-night parties or other major sports games happening.

                    http://sdgalleria.wordpress.com/

                    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/181655...

                    .

                    1. re: LotusRapper
                      waylman RE: LotusRapper Mar 24, 2012 09:31 PM

                      Thanks for the recs! I'm at Quebec/16th so I'll check out your suggestions. I have been to Trilussa and enjoyed it very much. Took the kids to Pizzeria Barbarella recently and that was not the best atmosphere for kids! Amazing pizza though!

                    2. re: waylman
                      p
                      piwakawaka RE: waylman Mar 20, 2012 10:00 PM

                      great idea on Rocky Mtn - there are two of them, one at Main and 28th-ish and the other near Kits Beach.
                      http://www.rockymountainflatbread.ca/

                    3. darthshoppingmaul RE: skim99 Mar 24, 2012 10:29 AM

                      I thought I'd chime in about Whistler.

                      Basically, any place that is loud is OK, since it will mask any crying or screaming. I have a 4 year old and have eaten at the following places while at Whistler. Wait times vary but it is advisable to go when everyone is still up on the mountain. It gets busy after 4pm

                      1-The Old Spaghetti Factory (underground at Crystal Lodge)
                      2-Earls
                      3-White Spot
                      4-The Keg
                      5-McDonalds
                      6-Opa (greek)
                      7-Spitz Grill (hamburgers) - also one in Vancouver on Main St
                      8-Subway
                      9-Various pizza places: Fat Tony's, Avalanche Pizza, Misty Mountain, etc
                      10-Sushi Village
                      11-Fuji Market (japanese groccery store with attached restaurant, by Royal Bank)

                      There is also a place where kids eat free. I'm not sure if it is the case during ski season, but we saw the signs when we walked by.

                      BBQ Bobs is a BBQ joint at Creekside about 10 minutes south of Whistler that is also good. If you are coming down from Whistler, turn right at the Husky gas station. I think there is also a Boston Pizza in this area as well.

                      Since you have a rental home with a kitchen, take out is always a good bet if you want to avoid the crowds.

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