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FOOD Ideas Needed for a Vancouver Trip over a Week

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We are two adventurous New Yorkers traveling to the Pacific NW region in July and were wondering if anybody had any food-related suggestions for my trip. We will have a car, appetites, and willing to travel for the memorable meal. CREATIVE and LOCALLY SOURCED meals are always preferred.

Our current itinerary includes:

Mini road trip to Vancouver from Seattle - any stops in between?

Few nights in downtown Vancouver

At least a night in Whistler

Recommendations we've heard so far (let us know if you feel strongly against any):

Breakfast/Brunch - Cafe Artigiano, Templeton, Sun Sui Wah (dim sum)

Lunch/Dinner - Flying Pig Yaletown, Vijs, Save on Meats, Go Fish Ocean Emporium, Guu Izakaya

In Between/Late Night - Chinatown night market, JapaDog, Fritz Fry House, Slough Foods (in WA)

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  1. If you have a car, I'd sub out the Chinatown night mkt for one of the Richmond ones. I've never been to NYC more's the pity but I can't imagine the fries at Fritz being worth your while. Neither Flying Pig nor Save On are worth the candle IMO. Artigiano has fallen WAY off since becoming a chain, neither coffee nor food at all worthy. There is one dish at the Templeton I enjoy, the mangled eggs, but the home fries are meh. It is a cute place though.

    Since I've blown off a bunch of the places you had been recommended, let's see if I can offer some constructive suggestions/hints. The first is that I have yet to find a place in Vancouver that has both great coffee and food. Medina used to but no more for me at least. So get your java at one of the independents such as Kafka's, 49th Parallel or Elysian and then go elsewhere to eat. I really like the pulled pork/pork belly breakfasts at Red Wagon, just don't go on the weekend. If you want to stay downtown but still decadent, catch the breakfast poutine at La Brasserie (weekends only), which might take care of your fries jones as well.

    1. Adding to the wise Grayelf's constructive comments, seeing that you're from NYC, I'm not sure if Save On Meats and Templeton are worth your diversions. Same goes for Fritz (which GE already suggested).

      If you want a truly Pacific NW experience that's pretty unique to Vancouver and surrounds, a few of these may be worth considering:

      - Bishop's
      - Sooke Harbour House (in town of Sooke, on Vancouver Island, about 1 hr west of Victoria the BC capital city)
      - Tojo's (ok, there's differing opinions about them)
      - any of the izakayas in downtown West End along and around Robson St & Davie St.
      - The Galley Patio & Grill (@ Jericho Sailing Centre) just for the view, the view: http://www.thegalley.ca/

      2 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        Tojo has gone for the tourist buck and is no longer worth the bother-or expense.

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          Good thing the original poster is a ........ tourist :-)

      2. here is some recent info about the drive betw/ SEA and V-BC ---

        make sure you go to the end of this thread cuz there is another link to a similar thread ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842760

        Chuckanut Drive (during daylight) is a lovely side-road between Skagit Valley (Mt Vernon/La Connor) and Bellingham. Here is the famous oyster restaurant http://www.theoysterbar.net/index.php

        http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/88/816472...

        if you have time, the bridge at Deception Pass is amazing (if you have no fear of heights
        )http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?select...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Georgia Strait

          And IF you (ewl217) head down to Deception Pass, WA area, check out Sweet D's Shrimp Shack off of SR20. Beautiful clam strips and fried oysters !!!

          http://www.shrimpshack.us/

        2. here's another fairly recent thread that you might find useful - SEA, VAN BC and Richmond
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/834533

          1 Reply
          1. re: Georgia Strait

            Good stuff, GS !

            And a few more:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837846

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833108

          2. My friends and I had an amazing feast at Sushi Kimura. The food was delicious and the value for money made the taxi fare out to the location easily worthwhile.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ette

              Too bad Kimura closed a couple of weeks ago.

            2. 3 days ago a coworker and I trampled around town.
              I made him go to Vera's Burgers with me for my Doug's Special burger and bowl of poutine.
              he had another specialty burger with normal fries and we felt fat and sassy when we left. such good burgers.when we walked past Fritz Fries I warned him to try hard not to go by there because the tiny store front sucks you in-their fries are stupid good!
              Sun Sui Wah one of the worst meals I have ever had and I went due to recommdenations also.
              JapaDog was mediocre at best couple of months ago when we grabbed the specialty dog of the day. to us it's all hype. cafe Artigiano is located at The Marriott West Pender & Burrard (or Thurlow, can't remember as they're right next to each other). Bob Bloomer helped put it in the map for artisan fancy coffee with great cream designs. it has good pastries and the coffee is good but now there's usually a line.
              have fun terrific city!

              1. Given you have a car, I think one of the best and most innovative restaurants in Vancouver is Fraiche in West Van. Definitely fits in your creative, locally sourced requirements (more than most places that claim to do as much) - though it is on the pricier side of the Vancouver restaurant scene.
                http://fraicherestaurant.ca/
                Great view of the city as well.

                I think Cibo in Yaletown is excellent value for money and am continually puzzled by why it doesn't come up in recommendations more often. The dining room is Yaletown pretension but the kitchen staff seriously know what they're doing when it comes to Italian food. If you want something more nibbly with a pre/post dinner drink, the kitchen also cooks for the cocktail bar next door, Uva.

                In addition to Greyelf's excellent coffee recommendations I'll add Revolver on Cambie & Hastings, which is closer to downtown and very 3rd wave.

                Don't miss the Alibi Room for the best beer list in Vancouver.

                1. Thanks everyone for your help. Much appreciated.

                  After reading through some of the comments, I've revised the list to the following:

                  Slough Foods, Breadfarm, Kafka's, Miku, Vij's, Pasta Lupino, Jade Restaurant, Chuckanut Oyster Bar, Revolver Coffee

                  On a related note, has anyone ever been to Go Fish Ocean Emporium? Is this a worthwhile stop? Also, what is the best way to navigate through Granville Island?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ewl217

                    We go to Go FIsh a couple of times a year. Beware of the line ups on a nice day. (There is a trick that grayelf posted here that I haven't tried - preorder by phone then pick it up to bypass the line-up).

                    My favourite way to get to GI is by parking across the way in Yaletown or even at the Science World then take the little ferries (which are re-purposed old tugboats). You can get some pretty nice photos of Vancouver that way.

                    Once you land on GI, just go into the closest exit then just wander around. It isn't all that big. Pick up some salumi at Oyama, cheese, bread etc from the other stalls, then head outside to the seawall or the park and picnic. Then check out the other places outside the market - namely, the Artisan Sake Maker - the only sake maker in Canada. Pick up a bottle or two.

                    1. re: fmed

                      Edible Canada Bistro is across from the Granv. Isld public market :-)

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        Try the frites at Edible Canada. They're cooked in duck fat and come with a bacon aioli. Need I say more?

                    2. re: ewl217

                      I don't have too much to add as far as resto;s, but some ideas on your travel plans.

                      Since you are planning on hitting Chuckanut oyster bar, you could back track about 30mins and check out Anacortes, an awesome but quaint old fishing town/village with a lot of cool history. From there you can catch the ferry to Victoria and clear customs there. (here is the Washington state ferries visitors site http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/visit...

                      )

                      Once in Victoria there are also very cool things to do and see, but Sooke harbor house in the summer is a must with the fresh ingredients they will have.

                      Then from there you can take another ferry from Victoria to either Tsawassen (just south of Richmond) or Horseshoe bay (about 5 mins from West Vancouver mentioned above). You could also hit Whistler from the Horseshoe bay ferry then head back down to Van. Or do all of these in reverse hitting Chuckanut last.

                      Regardless I do recommend taking the ferry from or too Anacortes as seeing the inside passage and all the islands and straights is pretty amazing.

                      Hope you have a great time and let us know how it all went.

                      1. re: Jzone

                        Great post, Jzone. Yes, the Pacific NW ferries experience is tough to beat:

                        http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/...

                        http://bislandtom.files.wordpress.com...

                        http://www.resg.info/wp-content/uploa...

                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Except for the food :-). Really. Don't eat the food on the ferry.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Agreed, Ferry food universally bad.

                            However if you are coming from Chuckanut, and hitting anacortes for a while, there are many places there with quite good food.

                            Last time I was there in the fall, there was a Pirate/Sea Festival slash antique car show which was cool. The best thing though was we got there just in time for the local clam chowder contest. 8 chowders and 6 of them were really good, the other 2 were absolutely amazing. Just look around, it's not that big :)

                    3. walk around granville island, pick and eat as you go. oyama's meat shop is very very famous.

                      walk around chinatown. kam gok yuen might be the most historic restaurant, so stop by there for roast duck noodles and bbq.

                      walk around gastown. lots of more forward restaurants like boneta. great bars too. get drunk.

                      don't leave without eating poutine
                      whitespot for classic local burger food
                      vij's i agree with
                      i'm not sure where you'll end up, but what you really want is called 'pacific northwest cuisine'

                      1. Let me preface this suggestion with the caveat that I'm not a local (I live in Victoria), but one of the BEST meals I ever had was at The Salmon House in Vancouver. The food was amazing and the view of the Vancouver skyline was quite pretty. It's pricey, though, so it's best saved for a special occasion/romantic/fancy dinner. According to their website, their "uniquely BC menu" sources ingredients locally from all six growing regions of the province.