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Apr 7, 2012 09:08 AM

Florida Hound Looking for Dinner for 8 in Downtown Vancouver

We'll be staying in downtown Vancouver and are willing to walk or take a cab within downtown. We have a group of 8 some of whom will require a vegetarian option.

I've attempted to look through past postings, but the choices are overwhelming. The Cactus Club was one I thought would work for the group because others have recommended it for large groups and the price range is where some in the group are comfortable with. Unfortunately, Cactus Club does not take recommendations. When I spoke with them they said it will be especially busy because of the possible Canucks home playoff game. This dinner is for Friday 4/13.

If you can suggest something within this criteria, this hound will be grateful.

Additionally, if you can recommend dinners and lunch for two that must not be missed while in Vancouver, this too will be appreciated. No limits on price or location for these recommendations. Things unique to Vancouver will be preferred.

Thank you,

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  1. I was going to suggest L'abbatoir but they don't appear to take reservations for 8 people per Open Table. Might be worth a call though as apps and mains are similarly priced to Cactus Club and much, much better.

    5 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Thanks for the suggestion grayelf. I checked it out and it looks like it might be intimidating for some of the people that will be attending; plus I didn't see any vegetarian options.

      What do you think of Milestones? I know it's a chain, but it seems to have a lot of choice and with this group we'll need it.

      1. re: cagrino

        Milestones is fine - I've had good experiences in their Yaletown location. Also in Yaletown I'd consider the Hamilton Street Grill or the Flying Pig, although there doesn't seem to be as many vegetarian options.

        For Japanese, Sakana Bistro in Yaletown is good:

        In Gastown I'd visit Kitanoya Guu for Japanase izakaya - a quintessential Vancouver experience and vegetarian options:

        Another idea is a dinner at Nuba - delicious Lebanese cuisine with many vegetarian options. I'd opt for their Hastings Street location:

        Just across the Burrard Street Bridge from downtown in Kitsilano is Maenam - fabulous Thai food. Vegetarian friendly. Excellent service:

        1. re: Florentine

          Thanks for the great recommendations, Florentine. I don't think these would work for the group, but Bistro Sakana and Nuba sound great for me and the SO to try.

      2. re: grayelf

        Sorry about that, I could have sworn L'ab had a veg main but I've been looking at so many menus lately prepping for our SF trip I musta got confused!

        I used to like Milestones until they redid their menu a few years ago. The last time I went everything tasted sorta canned. But it would work for a wide range of appetites if they take reservations. I couldn't tell from the website. Also didn't realize they are in Alberta and Ontario now too so a national chain.

        Let me try to redeem myself a bit by offering a couple of ideas: Shuraku on Granville would be fun with a group that size, the prices should be okay and there would be lots of veg friendly choices.

        Another thought would be Campagnolo. It is very close to downtown and is fun with a group that size (I've done it several times). Slight downside could be the nabe is a little rough, not scary though. If you cab there and back you will be golden. And you could walk together to the Union or Bao Bei for a cocktail after if you are into mixed bevvies.

        Agree with florentine re Nuba though I am not personally a fan. People can usually find something they like on the menu and it is a festive atmosphere. Service can be a little wonky and they sometimes lose the plot in the kitchen. Get the Najib's cauliflower and avoid the storebought-tasting pita. To avoid confusion, they have two locations on Hastings -- the other is in the Waldorf Hotel farther east.

        I'd opt for Guu over any of these per florentine's suggestion if you think your group would go for it. I haven't been to the Gastown one yet but all the others are fun and tasty, and strangely Vancouver though they are obviously Japanese.

        1. re: grayelf

          You're giving me great suggestions; unfortunately, not everyone will appreciate the ethnic fare. That being said, these suggestions will be great for me during the rest of our stay.

      3. Maybe try Cardero's, Fish House in Stanley Park or Yew at the Four Seasons (although the price point might be a bit higher)?

        9 Replies
        1. re: islandgirl

          Did you mean The Teahouse in Stanley Park? I've eaten here on a previous trip and I remember it was good. I did find a Cardero's in Coal Harbor.

          I'd guess Yew, being in the Four Seasons, would be out of the price constraints for this dinner.

          1. re: cagrino

            I think Fish House (it is in Stanley Park too) would be too expensive. Cardero's would be okay if the prices work -- again, the food is chainy but at least you are in a lovely setting that is very Vancouver.

            With your budget and dietary restraints, it looks like the dreaded CFD, so called casual fine dining, chains are the way to go. That being said, no reason for you to suffer on your meals a deux. Was there anything you and your DC were looking for in particular? Maybe we can assist further once the other meal is sorted out...

            1. re: grayelf

              I went ahead and made a reservation at Milestones for the group dinner. Now on to the fun meals. We don't have great Asian here, so if you have good recommendations on that front, it's most welcome. Also, anything you'd consider a must for Vancouver visitors or somewhere you frequent. It can be upscale or a whole-in-the-wall, I'll go as long as the food is great.

              We are taking one day to visit the Capilano Bridge. Is there a place there or along the way that you would recommend?

              1. re: cagrino

                1- as mentioned

                2-You can see that tourist trap in 40 minutes-what are you doing with the rest of your day?

                1. re: Sam Salmon

                  Thanks on Guu, it looks like it's a consensus.

                  Still planning, do you have a recommendation for things to do?

                2. re: cagrino

                  I'd prolly wait till you're back on this side of the pond to chow. North Van has a few decent even good spots but not great IME. Also consider hitting Lynn Canyon suspension bridge instead if you are looking for a real rain forest experience (and it's free). Neither will be pleasant in the rain so I'll make a sacrifice to the sun gods for both of us as I'll be in SF hoping for good weather :-).

                  This might be a good day to hit Ramen Santouka on Robson for toroniku (go early for lunch if you can to be sure to get it and without lining up). Another option is Miko on Robson for very fresh, very good sushi. They have the bento boxes and set lunches but ask for the dinner menu and splurge a bit to get the good stuff. They will give you recommendations. Don't try to order any "crazy" rolls -- they don't do 'em. This is old school sushi in the best possible way.

                  If it's dinner you're after you could do an izakaya crawl on Robson and Denman. I like Guu with Garlic and Zakkushi but there are several others.

                  Oh if you like deep fried sweets, Honey Doughnuts in Deep Cove is worth the detour when you are on the North Shore.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Yes, SF can be brutal. In my case, I guess it'll be Karma intervening to balance out all of the good sun I've been hogging here in FL. :-)
                    I'll look into Lynn Canyon and Honey Doughnuts.
                    Are you going to make it to the wine country while in SF?

                  2. re: cagrino

                    For super-casual Japanese, I liked Gyoza King on Robson (west end). Interesting variety of dishes, fascinating (to me) people watching. Open late :)

                    1. re: KarenDW

                      Thanks Karen. Robson does make for good people watching. Haven't tried doing that late night, but that should up the fascination factor.