48 hours in Vancouver
We're coming in to Vancouver, with a car (so don't mind driving) over a weekend and Monday. We want: sushi (high-end and lower-end), market, one modern Canadian resto, other Asian (e.g. Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese), and whatever else people would recommend. We don't mind spending money, but we also love exploring any level of cuisine/ethnicity.
Sushi high end:
Blue Water Cafe (this is not a sushi restaurant but they have very high quality sushi on the menu.)
Tojo's (if you go here please know you will be dropping upwards of $100/person.)
Suika (more of an izakaya but excellent sushi also. Good ambiance. Loud at dinner time.)
Kishimoto (fantastic sushi on "The Drive." Good lunch spot.)
Shiro (very traditional/no frills. Great sushi. Good lunch spot.)
Another sushi option: Miko on Robson. This place is casual but they take their fish seriously. Order a la carte and ask for recommendations. Bring money.
Also re Kishimoto, agree they have great sushi (particularly enjoy their salmon aburi, as good or better than the more expensive one at Miku IMO) but 'ware anything deep fried, decidedly unsalutary.
I've had two very nice dinners at L'abbatoir in Gastown over the past month. Not change-your-life, but solid. The atrium is lovely indeed there, especially now that it is light out later. Don't miss the steelhead salad if you go. I think they do better with appetizers than with mains (the steak Diane is a bit pedestrian, and the milk-fed pork has a rather strange texture for example) so I went with two apps last time and that was just right. Cocktails are also better elsewhere and there are several good options nearby if that interests you.
I still haven't had really good Thai anywhere in Vancouver, but you can find some mighty tasty and top value Vietnamese if you are willing to venture out Kingsway. I'm currently working my way through the giganto-menu at Hai Phong and it is a happy task.
Is there a type of Chinese food you were looking for? Options galore but it kinda depends what you are after...
For Vietnamese on Kingsway (most worthy ones are all between Fraser and Knight streets), I recommend a very very small mom & pop hole-in-wall called Pho Thuan An. Service can be challenging as the language proficiency isn't quite there, but you're there for the food ..... damned good food.
Another place worth checking out is Cambodian/Viet called Phnom Penh in Chinatown, they've been an institution for more than three decades now:
re: The Gourmet Pig
Lots of dim sum choices, depending on how far you want to go. The two Kirin Restaurants downtown (Albernie and Cambie) both do solid dim sum. A bit farther afield is the Sun Sui Wah on Main. I have had some very good dim sum recently at the Good Choice in East Vancouver on Fraser Street (and 46th Avenue, I believe). In Richmond, Seafood Harbour and Jade are both good.
I don't always eat pho, in fact at least 50% of the time I go for bun (vermicelli) bowls. My fave is grilled pork with cha gio (fried spring rolls) and generally I like Thai Son's the best, followed closely by Thuan An and Pho Tan.
Regardless, I always ask for little or no shredded lettuce and no sprouts in the bowl, just julienned cucumber and carrots (if supplied) with extra vermicelli and chopped peanuts :-D
Never been to Hai Phong ...... I suspect I'll be there soon. That shakes looks delish.