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Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino family trip - suggestions please

elasticwaistband May 1, 2013 06:23 PM

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. g
    Georgia Strait RE: elasticwaistband May 1, 2013 07:18 PM

    you've seen this detailed report i presume?
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842016

    1 Reply
    1. re: Georgia Strait
      elasticwaistband RE: Georgia Strait May 2, 2013 07:57 AM

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

    2. grayelf RE: elasticwaistband May 2, 2013 08:28 AM

      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
        fmed RE: grayelf May 2, 2013 09:29 AM

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

        1. re: fmed
          Sam Salmon RE: fmed May 2, 2013 09:52 AM

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

          1. re: Sam Salmon
            elasticwaistband RE: Sam Salmon May 3, 2013 08:17 AM

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

            1. re: elasticwaistband
              Sam Salmon RE: elasticwaistband May 3, 2013 08:55 PM

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

        2. re: grayelf
          waver RE: grayelf May 2, 2013 08:44 PM

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

        3. elasticwaistband RE: elasticwaistband May 3, 2013 08:15 AM

          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
            grayelf RE: elasticwaistband May 3, 2013 01:53 PM

            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 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832402 but might be a place to start re Whistler...

          2. g
            Georgia Strait RE: elasticwaistband May 4, 2013 08:59 AM

            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)

            http://www.thriftyfoods.com/EN/main/l...

            http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/expl...

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

            )

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tart

            1. elasticwaistband RE: elasticwaistband Jul 19, 2013 02:18 PM

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

              Vancouver:

              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.

              Whistler:

              Mongolie Grill

              Elements

              Four Seasons Bar Room? - not Sidecut

              Tofino:

              Sobo

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

              Victoria:

              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
                grayelf RE: elasticwaistband Jul 19, 2013 11:42 PM

                Dunno if it's close enough to the VAG, but I'm keen to try this place out for Filipino breaky: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/symphonie-rest...

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

              2. elasticwaistband RE: elasticwaistband Aug 23, 2013 11:30 AM

                Hello CH,

                We are back from our trip and I thought that I would post some highlights (and some lowlights!).

                Vancouver:

                Kingyo on Denman - good service, fun but very small place. Fresh dishes. Loved the yellowtail carpaccio.

                Fresh Local Wild - food truck at West Hastings and Burrard. Had the BC Shawarma and it was delicious. Yummy bits of halibut, steelhead and ling cod. My son had the poutine and said it was delicious. A little sloppy to eat for an "on the go" food truck meal but we lucked out by getting the small table attached to the truck to sit.

                Adesso - nice location off the beaten path and a lovely patio. Food was good - nothing extraordinary to report but good basic straighforward Italian fare. Nice service.

                Novo - again, pretty basic, but good Italian fare. The meatballs with pine nuts were the highlight here.

                Loved the coffee at Caffe Artigiano - such a nice change from Starbucks in the morning - we had some decent breakfast food too including a delicious Tuscan breakfast wrap.

                Next time I want to try Yew. The menu looked fantasic and the room was beautiful.

                Whistler:

                Fifty Two 80 - Highlight was the Thursday evening bbq at Fifty Two 80 at the Four Seasons. Think that it was $26 a person with kids 12 and under paying their age. Good value for my 12 year old son that eats like a teenager already:) They served delicious smoked baby back ribs, wild salmon, Miami ribs, chicken and brisket. Also had a great salad of arugula, goat cheese and Pemberton beets. The only beef I had was with the beef! The brisket was dry and tough. Everything else was great though and they served a nice (albeit a lttle watery) white sangria by the pitcher. Ate outside and enjoyed the scenery and live music.

                Mongolie Grill - give this one a complete miss. The concept is good enough - pick all of your fresh veg, meats, seafood and sauces and watch it being cooked in front of you. Problem is that the line-ups to wait for a table, and then to pick your food and have it cooked in front of you are not worth the final product. Plus they charge by weight (17.95 a pound I think) and it adds up way too quickly. We had a great server though.

                Ciao Thyme Bistro - delicious place to have breakfast. Come hungry. The fruit bowl was beautiful.

                Tofino:

                Shelter- yummy food, nice patio, great service . Had the wild salmon Tofino bowl and it was great. Everyone enjoyed his/her meal. This was a winner.

                Tacofino - outstanding post-surfing tacos. We had the fish, tuna and beef tacos. My fav by far was the fish - perfectly battered, crispy, moist ling cod with superbly fresh toppings. What a place. Wish I had one in Toronto. We went on the Sunday afternoon and discovered a hige mob waiting, eating, etc. so went on the Monday around 4 pm and it was perfect with just a short wait.

                Victoria:

                Wanted to try Devour for lunch but not much appealed to my tired and cranky son. It looked awesome though - small place and very busy.

                Ferris - sort of an "everything" place with a terrific patio and decent fresh food. The house salad was delicious with chickpeas and mixed veg + lettuces with a great lemon feta dressing.

                For those of you that are lucky enought to live in BC I wanted to say just how warm and gracious everyone was. We enjoyed our visit tremendously.

                Edit - forgot to mention that in Horseshoe Bay we stopped at Olive + Anchor for a takeout. The cod po'boy was terrific but did not enjoy the oyster burger at all. Maybe it was overfried or something but it tasted almost tinny to me. Yuck. Nice menu though for eating in the dining room.

                1 Reply
                1. re: elasticwaistband
                  elasticwaistband RE: elasticwaistband Aug 28, 2013 07:41 AM

                  Also forgot to mention that on the way to Whistler we stopped here in Squamish for brunch. Great place!!
                  http://www.thewatershedgrill.com/

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