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Honeymoon Vancouver / Victoria - am I on the right track?

When my fiancee and I met in 2011, she took me to Vancouver for my birthday. We're getting married this weekend and going back for a short honeymoon, including a couple of nights in Victoria.

We'd definitely like to return to Vij. I'm trying to figure out two other dinners and lunches. I'm largely working off of VanMag here, I hope it's a good starting point.

We'd like a nice seafood dinner. What would you recommend between Blue Water Cafe, Yew, and C Restaurant (or others)?

I'm not sure what we'd like for the other meal - I'm thinking West or Hawksworth, but am open to similar suggestions. Would you recommend doing one of those for lunch instead of dinner?

Also, whould you recommend Kingyo for lunch? We'd like to do an Izakaya but had very disappointing food at Guu last time we went.

I'm not sure if we'll try any Chinese this trip (we tend to prefer Szechuan/Hunan to Cantonese and have had a harder time finding that close to where we're staying), but I am curious about Kirin. Is that what you'd recommend for Chinese close to West End/downtown? Any dishes that are highlights on the expansive menu?

In Victoria we'll have one sit down dinner, debating between: Ulla, Zambris (I'm not a big noodle guy; how are the pizza and secondi?) and Brasserie L'Ecole

We also need something we can take on the 5.55 ferry to Anacortes with us. Any take out sugestions?

Thanks for all your help!

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  1. I definitely wouldn't do C; they have gone very downhill in the last few years, as have all restaurants by the same owner. I think some of the best seafood in Vancouver for the last few years has come from Boneta, a fun and sexy restaurant in Gastown. They have a seasonal menu and a great hand with fish.

    I also strongly recommend Chambar over everything on your list as your other Van dinner. It can do casual or dressy in a warm, exciting setting and the food and drinks are phenomenal. Check any review site--you will not be disappointed.

    Couldn't agree more about Vij's...I've lived here my whole life and I still want to applaud every time I eat there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mendicity

      Thanks for mentioning Boneta as a fish place -- I have whinged enough about the dearth of good options for finny food that won't break the bank here.

      1. re: mendicity

        I agree about C, unfortunately on my latest visit at Brunch the service was horrible. The food was still good but I think your $ is better spent elsewhere.

        Bluewater is always a favourite, it's fun to sit at the raw bar and enjoy some sushi and oysters. I love Boneta as well as L'Abbatoir, both have nice fish options.

        Hapa Izakaya is always at the top of my list as far as Izakayas go, I've never had a disappointing experience there.

      2. Oh and forgot to say, definitely the Brasserie in Victoria. It has the perfect ambience for a romantic honeymoon meal. Take-out on the ferry; I'd recommend Red Fish Blue Fish or Rebar (killer desserts).

        1. You haven't mentioned where you're coming from but I would recommend the Hapa Izakaya in Coal Harbour if you're trying to do this style of food at lunch. They seem to be one of the only options that offers their full regular menu at lunch time. You can also make reservations which is nice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: islandgirl

            Coming from Oregon - thanks for the tip!

          2. Zambri's is great for secondi - cured pork chop, fabulous steak, probably a fish dish on the menu as well. Appetizers are always a great selection too - octopus especially if they have it. It's open 7 days a week. Brasserie is really fabulous (steak frites, trout, mussels, skate, fresh sheet daily). No reservations though, close Sun/Mon. If you get there and can't get a seat, leave your name/phone # and stroll to Veneto's for a cocktail (incredible selection).

            1. It looks like we might like to do a couple of picnics on the ferries - is there a good carryout in Vancouver or on the way to Tsawwassen for sandwiches/cold salads, etc, in the evening? How about Victoria?

              5 Replies
              1. re: blkery

                Great idea to take your own food on the ferry -- there used to be a sign on the highway on the Victoria side that said "Caution: Ferry food ahead" and it was spot on : -).

                We usually take sushi when we are going to Victoria. Where will you be coming from on the Vancouver side?

                1. re: grayelf

                  Sushi's a great idea (Fujiya is good for stocking up, Shelbourne Ave) - keep in mind you/your car might be sitting at ferry terminal for a bit. Sandwiches from Red Barn (individually made per your specs, West Saanich Rd location is nearer to ferry) are great as are grilled ones from Italian Imports (downtown on Blanshard). Or make your own charcuterie/cheese picnic - Choux Choux on Fort St is a great one-stop (depends on day, closed Sun).

                  1. re: cassie

                    LOL, we often hit up the Fujiya on Clarke Dr in Vancouver when we're heading to the ferry. Cheap and cheerful!

                    Speaking of ferry waits, the OP's sushi (or whatever) will fare much better if he gets reservations for both sailings. Best $17 ever spent! Anacortes ferry I don't think charges for resos which is good.

                    1. re: grayelf

                      I hit your Fujiya a couple weeks ago - the selection almost made my head explode. Ours is good, but an "island" version. BCFerries:Reserve as early as you can (1 week out & it's cheaper than deciding a day before). Yeah, Anacortes just credits you the reserve fee against your regular fare - but you sit in their compound... for a good amount of time... so stay food safe ;-)

                2. re: blkery

                  In Sidney (near the ferries) there is Fish on Fifth. I really like the place, but I would eat there rather than doing take out as fish dishes really don't "age well."

                  I think a better option would be to pick up some excellent charcuterie, cheese, bread, and condiments from a place like Choux Choux Charcuterie in downtown Victoria. You could do a "wine and cheese" on the ferry sans wine (sadly, and probably wisely, there is no alcohol allowed on the BC Ferries. Having said that, "I have a friend" who may have tweeked that rule from time to time, wink wink, nudge, nudge.)

                3. Thanks for your help, everybody - we're staying in Vancouver an extra night and are looking for a healthyish affordable dinner option - I'm thinking something Asian/Chinese - near or an easy trip from Davie. Any recommendations on that front? We've already tried Banana Leaf and enjoyed that.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: blkery

                    A few on or near Davie:

                    - India Bistro
                    - New Peace Chinese
                    - Thai Basil (Thurlow St)
                    - Dinesty (Robson St, at Denman end)

                    Of these, I highly recommend Thai Basil and Dinesty. Look up their reviews on Urbanspoon Vancouver.

                    1. re: blkery

                      Some more options near Davie Street:
                      -Bao Qi (modern-ish Vietnamese) Davie & Seymour
                      -Guu Garden (Brighter, Izakaya with addition of Sashimi) Nelson & Hornby

                      Not Asian but healthy & affordable
                      -Cazba (Persian Cuisine) Davie & Thurlow