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Dim sum near Stanley park

  • m

I am traveling to Vancouver with my husband and five year old from Austin TX, for a few days before our Alaskan cruise. We are staying at the pan pacific hotel and will not have a car. I would love any foodie suggestions on our itinerary. We are ok with any budget, but with a young child we tend to avoid hole in the wall places with minimal seating, slow service, or too quiet fine dining places. We don't need a kids menu. We are looking forward to great seafood

Here's a preliminary itinerary
Saturday -Granville market. Where should we eat here for early lunch? Are there must eat treats at the market (like the hot donuts at pike place in Seattle?). We are going to fairmont for tea, then vij for dinner. What time do we need to be in line to make the first seatIng on Saturday? Is the rangoli cafe next door almost as good as vij?

Sunday- aquarium and Stanley park. Is there any dim sum or sushi nearby within walking distance? Or a japadog stand? Then we are going to Blue water cafe for dinner

Thanks in advance for all your help!

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  1. As far as I know, there are only three Chinese restaurants that does Cantonese dim sum in downtown:

    - HON's (Robson St)
    - Victoria Seafood Restaurant (basement of Hyatt Hotel, Burrard & Georgia)
    - Kirin Seafood (Alberni St)

    There are a small handful of Shanghainese restaurants that offer Northern Chinese dim sum, 'tho, if that's what you're after:

    - Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant (Richards St)
    - Dinesty (Robson St)
    - New Peace (Davie St)

    1. Granville Island has some good places to buy fixings for a picnic but I can't really recommend any of the dine-in (or even takeaway) options. If you have a fridge in your hotel room I'd strongly recommend you purchase the makings of same for your trip to Stanley Park/Aquarium. There is nothing within reasonable walking distance with a five year old, and you don't want to be eating anything they are selling in the park.

      Just outside Granville Market is Go Fish, which always goes over well with my niece. Be warned the lineup will be stupidly long on a sunny Saturday (probably in excess of an hour) at lunch. So either go right at opening or wait till after 2, and even then you will likely still have to wait.

      I'd make sure to be at Vij's a minimum of 1/2 hour before opening on a Saturday in hopes of getting in the first seating -- I'd prolly go for 45 minutes to be on the safe side. Dunno if my 5 yo niece would be happy with that scenario
      : -). Rangoli is not IMO a substitute.

      Sorry to further rain on your parade but I can't imagine a child that age being happy at Blue Water. The ambiance, the food, the white table cloths, all not really kiddie appropriate, even if you went right at opening...

      5 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        In regards to Blue Water & kids, I would definitely request a booth. My boss has been bringing his little one since they were 2 (now 7) for our staff dinners and it has always worked out.

        With the booths, my boss has always sat the little on the inside with him in the outer seat in case of meltdown and they can fidget all they want.

        The staff and kitchen are very accommodating. They don't have crayons or anything but the staff does their best. The kitchen has made french fries, simple chicken & cheese pasta & special ice cream sundaes for our honorary staff member.

        1. re: grayelf

          For Vij's, maybe one of you could head down, about 30-45 min prior to opening, and then the rest of the family could arrive separately later?
          Rangoli is not a substitute at all. The concept is completely different, although the food is also good.

          1. re: KarenDW

            If someone is waiting in the line up at Vij's, there is a Chapters Indigo store at Broadway and Granville with a large children's section that could make for a good place to while away the time with a 5 year old.

            1. re: KarenDW

              Paul's Omelettery on Granville/6 Ave is very family-friendly.

            2. re: grayelf

              If you like the idea of Go Fish, you can order ahead by phone That way you can still sit outdoors and beat the line ups. We have done this numerous times and they give you pretty accurate pick up times. Here is the menu http://www.urbanspoon.com/cities/14/r...

            3. Some sushi options at or near the corner of Denman & W. Georgia streets, about as close as you can get to Stanley Park/aquarium:


              But I have not visited any of them so I've no opinions on them, but Urbanspoon may provide some insights:


              1. I have been reading about food trucks being allowed in the Vancouver parks. Would this be an option at Stanley park?

                2 Replies
                1. re: mlin1

                  Info I found in a quick search is from March 2012 and the one year licences for the three park carts (two in Stanley Park) may have already expired: http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/06...

                  If you've never been to Stanley Park, be aware that it is HUGE and if you are at one end of it and a cart is at the other, it may be too far to walk reasonably for snacks.

                  FWIW there are now two Feastro trucks and I saw the one near the Olympic cauldron on Friday.

                  The City of Vancouver website is no help either, last updated in April 2013: "Vancouver's popular food cart program has expanded to parks. More information will be available in the coming months" http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-...

                  This site can be useful: http://streetfoodapp.com/vancouver but I'd still call first and be prepared for a particular cart NOT to be where it usually is.

                  There are no park food carts listed for today, but you may want to look on a Sunday before you arrive to see who is where.

                  1. re: mlin1

                    I don't think there are any food carts in Stanley Park this year. Not enough people in any one place to make it viable it seems.

                    It is a long walk to sushi or Japadog from the Aquarium - more like a bus ride. The park is big.

                    My recommendation is bring your own food or plan to eat at the Aquarium. I don't have kids but my young niece comes to visit and I find that it is hard on a kid to be dragged around looking for food. You child may be more adaptable though.

                  2. Food items at Granville Island: check out Oyama for wonderful charcuterie and cheese selections, the Rosemary & Rock Salt bagels at Siegels, the foccaccia bread at Duso's Italian Deli, and the frites (cooked in duck fat and served with bacon aioli at Edible Canada kittycorner from the market, by the bank machines- they used to hae a take-away counter and will still do the frites as take-away if you ask; the shop in the back is also a great source for local edible gift items). For a sit-down restaurant the only ones on the Island that I would recommend would be the Dockside restaurant in the Granville Island Hotel. The Sandbar is also reasonable and has a large seafood listing.

                    As mentioned before, Stanely Park is very large and the Aquarium could easily take the better part of a day. I would think about packing a picnic with you rather than relying on the food available in the park. The two nice restaurants in Stanley Park (The Fish House and The Tea House) are okay foodwise (nothing amazing but reasonable quality) and very good options for nicer dining with children. The Tea House has an amazing view FWIW. Both are about a 45min walk (YMMV, literally) away from each other and from the Aquarium.

                    1. FWIW, the aquarium's food service is more than serviceable and has come a long ways from the crap concession offerings it used to dole out:


                      Prices are high(-er) as can be expected at any touristy places, but all the hot foods are made-to-order.

                      For mlin1's consideration if other suggestions aren't that feasible.

                      1. I wonder if your schedule for Saturday is realistic. You are going to Granville Island, having lunch, then back downtown for tea at the Fairmont and then back across the bridge for Vij's which will require showing up early f you want the first seating. That seems like a lot of travel for one day.

                        For lunch on Granville Island, I'm going to suggest the Edible Canada Bistro.

                        I know many will suggest Go Fish but it is not a restaurant where you can go inside and sit down. There are long line ups, not much place to sit except on the seawall and no shade. Not sure about the washroom facilities either. Personally I would not subject a 5 year old to that, but again, you know your child.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Anne M

                          On Granville Isld, we've had success with our son (now 7) over the years at Whet Kitchen/Wet Bar and Cats Social House:



                          And even Bridges:


                          Neither are necessarily recs by Chowhounders, but they're far better than food courts and fast foods. On days when you can sit outside (Whet has covered patio) it's great for the little people as they don't get so fussy when there are things to look at. Cats has a nice lofty spacious interior which makes it less stuffy. All these restaurants (incl. Anne's rec of Edible Canada Bistro) offer adjacent "escape" space when little people do get fussy, and are used to families eating there so their staff know how to treat them right.

                          1. re: LotusRapper

                            I've been to Whet with my niece and I agree it is a good option. The food was fine too. Haven't been to Cats or Bridges lately. Here's a link to the Edible Canada site so you can compare menus: http://www.ediblecanada.com/bistro/

                          2. re: Anne M

                            Good call on mentioning the lack of seating at Go Fish. We only go when there is seating ie. off hours, or we call ahead and get takeout, which opens up the seawall ledges by the ponds!

                          3. Thanks for all the great feedback. Perhaps we will snack thru the granville market, split a fish and chips at go fish, then go to tea. If i call in advance i assume i go straight to the food pickup window?

                            Turns out our blue water dinner is another evening (for when we return from our cruise), so that frees up a dinner for Sunday. Any suggestions? Is c restaurant a good choice? I lnow the reviews are mixed and service spotty but the view sounds amazing and hawkshaw salmon sounds interesting as well. Then again maybe it's overblown (IMO, like copper river salmon in seattle)? I'm wondering if there are similar maybe better, noisier/casual seafood places with an outdoor deck or at least a water view?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mlin1

                              "I'm wondering if there are similar maybe better, noisier/casual seafood places with an outdoor deck or at least a water view?"

                              Hmmm, I like your parenting style :-)

                              Not a seafood place per se, but water views definitely, and they're a hop skip and jump from Pan Pacific:


                              It's noisy, casual and has outdoor deck :-)

                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                Yup. I'd second cardero's. Food is pretty decent as well and they usually have BC-ish items.

                            2. So today we had a great day at Granville market. We checked out cats social but the menu looked more interesting at edible Canada and we enjoyed the duck confit poutine, and waffles with some sort of crazy delicious sugary crust. Then had tea at the fairmont which was sweet (bubble gum tea for my daughter). The food was pretty standard but did include some delicious scones and pistachio petit fours. We had a great dinner at blue water cafe- they were able to make tempura shrimp
                              and sushi rice for my daughter off the menu. The service was terrific and the restaurant was loud and lively. We had scallops, hamachi appetizer, ceviche which were all delicious. We requested a booth as was suggested on this board and it was perfect. We had a chance to enjoy some great BC wines. Looking forward to Stanley park tomorrow

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mlin1

                                Thanks for the update, so glad you are having a good time. Those waffles sound worthy!

                                1. re: mlin1

                                  Cool :-)

                                  And ya got another sunny day (up to 25C/77F) tomorrow !

                                2. Today we spent the morning in Stanley park which as you all warned me is HUGE. We did not have a car so took a can to the totem poles and walked to the aquarium. Two Hours later we took the train ride and then taxi back to the pier for lunch at Miku. This was my first time having aburi style sushi which was nigiri pressed, topped with a purée and seared lightly with a blowtorch to give it an amazing smokey taste - amazing. Plus it was inside the fairmont hotel so they were very accommodating to my daughter who had udon and more tempura shrimp. We stopped in Bella gelateria for a snack, then had dinner at Vij. We were there about 50 mins before opening and there were about 8 people ahead of us. The lamb Popsicles were taste and perfectly cooked, but maybe a bit under seasoned. The samosa came with a delicious coconut chutney and the pork belly spoon with fruit compote was delicious. We also had the braised short rib with jelly beans and currants- this was tender and delicious. We leave for Alaska tomorrow, where I am anticipating mediocre food. Well be back next week for japadog and Guu. Many many thanks to all of you for your advice. I love your city!

                                  1 Reply