four days in Vancouver 8/29-9/1 from NYC
Hi. Very excited that my 15-year-old daughter and I get to spend four days in Vancouver! We hear the food is fabulous, and I've been reading the board. We would like dim sum, sushi, indian, the night market, and great food trucks are always of interest. There seem to be many, many choices, so we're looking for advice. We can't do very pricey, and we won't have a car. We're staying near Stanley Park. Thank you!!
my fav for easy on the budget and formality scale is Anatolia Express -- it is downtown on the NORTH (scenic, harbourview side) of the NEW convention centre - where the grass is growing on the roof. If your daughter is particular (ie no meat, no this, no that) -- then perhaps she'd for sure eat the hummous and made-to-order peda bread (white or brown flour)
also - put "Denman" in the search for the Vanc BC board and you'll find lots of things
i also like a little Italian restaurant that is not often mentioned on here Chow - but it's decent and you can check the prices on the menu online before you make your choice - i think they might have some outdoor seats if you're here during summer season
there is a Sushi place that is popular, down on Robson near Denman --- Sushi Mart http://www.sushimart.com/
if you like fish - currently it is salmon season in BC -- so if you're here soon, ask about that when you buy (thesalmon runs start at the rivers in alaska in approx June and gradually move south, to put it in very basic terms)
for a fun outing on a budget - take SeaBus over to Lonsdale (North Van) -- Sea Bus is part of transit - it's safe enuf --- lots of places to eat over there - it has a small public market (booths in a market building) --- and also it has a considerable Persian population in recent years therefore you'll find restaurants and grocery for that culture.
and - heaven forbid - if it's rainy out - and you just want to take in the view and stay warm - go to the Sylvia Hotel (somewhat venerable) and have some tea or breakfast etc. It's at the south end of Denman, to the west.
we could go on and on for you here ; )
one day i hope to go back to NYC - all those interesting shops (Gracious Home and the Tender Buttons, Pearl Soho etc etc)
it was fun for us to go to the oyster bar in Grand Central Terminal and see up on the board - oysters from a couple of locales in British Columbia ; )
when you order seafood here, look for the "Oceanwise" symbol / designation. We have salmon farms here that grow non-native fish (a couple have recently been quarantined (and maybe ordered to destroy?) all the farm fish cuz they have disease) -- so ask for wild fish -- halibut is fairly sustainable as well as wild pacific salmon.
hopefully you can find something that features blackberries cuz the time you are visiting is the beginning of when we all becomed cloaked in secrecy about our local picking spot (the wild ones, again, is what i'm speaking of)
ps - the NEW convention center is supposed to be very eco - hence the grass roof and i think they save rainwater to use in the restrooms etc etc --- there is an interesting interpretive route that one dials up on cell phone - there is one right outside of Anatolia Express mentioned above - and you also get to see the float planes *(very typical of coastal BC) taking off and landing) --- then go further along the seawall back toward denman st and there is the recent world champion gelato place --- http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/153226...
A great time of year to be here.
For dim sum jump on the Skytrain to Richmond - you can go to Fisherman's Terrace in Aberdeen Centre, for high quality and a different view of Vancouver from what you'll get staying around downtown.
Coming from NYC I don't think you'll be impressed with the Indian options, unless you go to Vij's (which is pricey), and are probably better off focussing on Japanese and the myriad of Chinese options. Have some ramen, and go to an izakaya (Guu or Hapa are both great and have several locations around the city).
Food trucks - Street Meet does great pork belly and lamb burger, and hang out on Burrard & Pender at lunchtime. Mom's Grilled Cheese does a killer sandwich. Guanaco's papusas are also awesome. Check out twitter for their locations downtown
Enjoy your trip!
Oh no, don't go to Vij's food truck, it's just woeful. $17 for a plate of poorly seasoned chickpeas, you're better off going to the proper restaurant.
As for whether Vij's itself is worth it - it's good. I especially enjoyed the jackfruit curry (mostly because it was quite unusual). But, as greyelf says below, Vancouver's strength isn't Indian. If you were going to splurge one night I'd probably opt for a really nice sushi or a seafood dinner at YEW.
One other rec - go to Bella Gelateria downtown for gelato. Best gelato I've had just about anywhere (Italy included). If the Maple Pecan is still on offer, don't miss it - it won top marks at a recent competition in Italy and truly sings of pecans.
I must have gone on a different day, because I don't think I've ever seen anything at Vij's food truck around the $17 price point. I did have a bison curry and a halibut curry that were both good, probably closer to the $10 range if memory serves. But yes: the restaurant is more worthwhile than the truck.
Re dimsum, downtown there is a Kirin which you could try. We had a lovely dimsum feast at the Kirin on Cambie near 12th (also on the Canada Line) and it was very reasonable ($15 all in) but we had six people.
Not much really good budget sushi in town -- I find you have to spend a few $$ for the good stuff. Miko on Robson and Juno on Davie are both within striking distance of Stanley Park. At the former, order a la carte (not the lunch specials or combos) and enjoy some of their grilled stuff too (same menu) all of which is quite traditional; at the latter, avoid the cooked food and go for some of the more innovative rolls etc -- Juno is "modern" compared to Miko.
I haven't found an Indian place in town that I feel comfortable recommending. I don't think it is a strength here.
There are several recent threads on the Night Markets in Richmond (there are two, one which is about 8 blocks walk from the Bridgeport Station on the Canada Line and the other which has a shuttle bus to it). I went to the latter last year and the former this year. There are many more food booths at the former, and we had a wonderful pork hock from the German food stand. It was also (marginally) less crowded because it is better laid out. Go early in the evening to avoid the worst crowding.
I haven't had anything at any of the food trucks still extant yet that I'd go out of my way for though I haven't tried them all yet. The Guanaco pupusa is perhaps the closest to worthy but it comes only as a platter, with disappointing sides.
If your daughter is indeed adventurous, consider making a reservation at the Zakkushi on Denman. She might enjoy the atmosphere there, and eating tasty morsels off bamboo skewers is a good thing. It is a yakitori-ya (a type of izakaya) which will have some sushi items on the menu but I'd focus on the grilled items.
For not pricey nearish your hotel, check out the banitza at Acacia Fillo Bar. A nice generous portion that you could prolly split with a side salad. There are many fairly meh restos along Denman though so do your homework before committing :-)
Guu with garlic is another Japanese izakaya to check out. It's very close to Stanley park.
I would also recommend either Bella Gelateria or Chicco for dessert.
Chicco serves Japanese parfaits - guaranteed to be liked by a teenager.
The owner at Bella recently won a gelato competition in Italy.
YOu might want to try the Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen; here are some reviews and the URL for the website.
I have not eaten there but a friend did and said the food was good and he had not anything similar elsewhere in Vancouver. THe Nook is another possiblity http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/145176...
However, I am not sure if someone from NY would be looking for Italian food; useful for a quick tasty affordable snack though. Have a great visit.
I live in NYC also and just came back from Vancouver where I grew up. Excited for you as you'll see the city at it's most stunning best. I go back 2x/year and here are things I love when in town (and echo suggestions from others):
- Kirin at Cambie for stunning view and great dim sum. Went to Sun Sui Wah last week for dim sum and was surprised that this long time favorite is still consistently one of the best dim around.
- Must try sushi as it'll be great value and fresh that you can't get comparable to unless premium in NYC. I love Shiro on Cambie. Guu and Hapa for Izakaya as mentioned by others.
- Two years in a row now, we've rented bikes on Denman and Robson for a full day and you can get around Stanley Park, English Bay, Yaletown, Olympic Village, False Creek, Granville Island for both scenic and food stops. The ride is flat and a highlight of our trip.
- La Taqueria - was a fun stop yummy taco stop if you're around Gastown. Worth it.
- We stopped at Granville Island hotel for drinks; it's a beautiful outdoor spot
- I'm not used to west coast pizza anymore so if you are a choosey italian/pizza lover i'd skip pizza
- I saw long lines at Kintaro Ramen on Denman but unfortunately didn't make it in
Vancouver is a foodie town, you won't be disappointed!