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May 1, 2013 06:23 PM

Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino family trip - suggestions please

We will be in these places this summer.

Vancouver: Staying in downtown Vancouver without a car but willing to cab and use public transport to get around. I have been reading many posts and have a list of places that we may want to try. Kids are teens and like most food (one is a bit limited in that she will only eat chicken/turkey and......bacon - I know!). Would love to try excellent Cantonese, sushi, maybe Italian as it is a family favourite. Have Miko, maybe one of the Guus on the list, and am interested in trying the new Wolfe place in Yaletown when it opens. What's good for Italian around downtown? La Quercia looks great but is it family friendly (both for atmosphere and pocketbook?!). Kids enjoy dining out and really like to try new things for the most part. (Also, we will spend 2 nights with family and old friends so they might have their favourites to share as well.)

Whistler: We won't have a kitchen and don't want high end places so thinking good diners perhaps. Have Mongolie Grill on the list as our friends loved it. Any suggestions would be so welcome as I know little about dining here.

Tofino: Will stop on the way from Nanaimo to shop as we have a kitchen in our unit. So far the list is : Tacofino, Sobo, and Shelter. If we make it to Ucluelet at night will try Cyn.

Any comments would be great. Thanks in advance!

Really looking forward to our visit.

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    1. re: Georgia Strait

      Yes I have, thanks. That is how I found the recommendation for Cyn at Night.

    2. I dunno that I'd pick La Quercia for your purposes. It's a fair way from downtown, it's not terribly cheap and I find the room a bit oppressive. For that type of dining, I prefer La Buca but it is also a bit of a schlep from downtown. You will need reservations for either. Alas, Vancouver is not a hotbed of good Italian. Campagnolo (the original, not Roma) is pretty close to downtown and could be worth a look.

      Not near downtown but excellent for pizza is Via Tevere. Go before they open or prepare to wait (no reservations). Don't order anything else but pizza -- actually the arugula salad is big and nice to share but otherwise stick to the pies.

      With younger folk, I'd choose Guu with Garlic for the atmosphere. Miko is solid -- order a la carte for best results. Both take reservations and I'd recommend that as they are smallish and popular.

      You said you are willing to take transit. Would that include Skytrain to Richmond? That is where you're going to find the best Cantonese options. I really like Big Chef for dinner, and a recent dim sum at Golden Paramount was solid but there are lots of others if you are open to Richmond.

      5 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        Re: Via Tevere - Other than the excellent pizza...try his nonna's meatballs. Light and airy with a fresh tasting sauce.

        1. re: fmed

          Why someone would go all the way to Ukee to eat anything but seafood is beyond me.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            Do you have any suggestions for seafood places in Ukee that you have enjoyed?

            1. re: elasticwaistband

              The Floathouse-quite a mixed crowd-Hey is is Ukee- but the food is delicious.

        2. re: grayelf

          I agree about La Quercia. How about Adesso instead? Its downtown, has nice outdoor space and prix fixe menu. We like it.

        3. Thanks so much everyone for the suggestions.

          I guess that I really need to nail down Vancouver as there are the most terrific options there. For lunches I have Japadog (my son would love it), Fresh Local Wild , Meat + Bread. Any others that we should consider if we come across them in our travels? I never "plan" lunch too much - just take a list of good places and pray it we end up at one of them around lunchtime. Dinner is more planned usually, and I think Guu Garlic, either Adesso or a pizza place (Tevere?) and a sushi place are in order - maybe Miko or another place I read about called Minami that sounded promising. Re: pizza, how does via Tevere compare to Novo or the Nook which I have read about on this board + look to be closer to where we are staying?

          As for travelling to Richmond for Cantonese, I would prather stay closer to downtown for our dinners.

          Thanks again everyone. La Quercia is out - this is the type of direction I need!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: elasticwaistband

            I happen to love Japadog -- make sure you get the Kurobata beef one though, whatever topping you choose. There is a bricks and mortar shop on Robson should you find yourself seeking a J-dog on a rainy day (which alas is a probability even in summer). I like their "shaked" fries which are only available at that location too.

            Haven't tried Fresh Local Wild yet (though I think I just read they are opening a bricks and mortar soonish). If you hit Meat and Bread, be sure to go to the one on Cambie. Much nicer, with places to sit as well. Lines will be crazy at both so try to go early or later.

            Haven't tried Nook but the Novo pies aren't a patch on Tevere. They're not terrible but not really worth travelling for (Novo is right by my office so do work lunches there). Both are equally pricey but VT is worth the extra dosh IMO.

            I haven't eaten Cantonese downtown in so long that any reccs from me would be sadly outdated. The places I hear mentioned are all a bit more upscale and higher priced than I would go for with family eg. Kirin (though I do like Kirin at City Square for dim sum).

            This thread is a bit dated but might be a place to start re Whistler...

          2. Vanc west end italian - Tavola? Adesso Bistro?

            any recent visits to either, anyone?

            *(Edit - oops, now i see Waver has mentioned Adesso already - it was on a thread last summer, i'm sure)

            i think Adesso was on here for outdoor patio dining last summer topic
            ps - in Nanaimo, i like the Thrifty Foods supermarket - was locally owned chain, now part of mega Sobeys i think - and en route to the west coast, you may pass by some farm stands. Actually, I'd skip shopping in Nanaimo, and save it for a break a bit along your journey - like in Parksville (if you need a spot for fresh air and picnic, Rathtrevor Provincial Park is beautiful)



            be sure to save calories for a nanaimo bar somewhere along your route (or a butter tart




            1. I am back. Made up some dinner lists for comments:


              Adesso on the patio

              Novo for pizza with old friends that like it there

              Miko or Juno

              Would also like to try Forage or Homer Street Cafe (just written up in the Globe and Mail) so may swap a night for one of these 2.


              Mongolie Grill


              Four Seasons Bar Room? - not Sidecut



              (Have a kitchen here so probably will do some take out, cooking, etc.)


              Saw in another thread something about Stage wine bar that sounded good

              Any ideas for breakfasts around the Vancouver Art Gallery?

              Thanks so much.

              1 Reply
              1. re: elasticwaistband

                Dunno if it's close enough to the VAG, but I'm keen to try this place out for Filipino breaky:

                If you don't need a sitdown, check out Yolks: but be sure to confirm where they are on twitter as they are not always downtown.