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Coming up from Seattle in October: mind reviewing my food itinerary?

Hi folks,

We’re Seattleites celebrating my bday/our anniversary in Vancouver this upcoming late October. I’m planning ahead a. because I have not visited BC since a “spring break” trip in college and b. my work schedule ramps up in a couple weeks and I won’t have the time to pore over menus.

We plan to walk/cab when needed and are staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Only touristy/excursion thing we’re planning on is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. (Looks like the shuttle doesn’t run after 9/30. Any idea what that bike ride might be like from downtown?)

Ideally, we’d like one nice meal on Saturday night and the rest, we’re fine with delicious & cheap eats- please let me know what we might be missing!

Rough plan...

Friday dinner: Grab some Japanese on a walk back from Stanley Park: Kingyo, Gyoza King or Hapa Izakaya? Or would one of the Guus be better?

Sat. Breakfast: Joe’s Grill or Rosie’s on Robson?

Sat. Lunch: Food at the Bridge looks like a miss; any rec’s for some takeout or sandwiches that we could bring with us?

Sat. Dinner: Fancy meal: Le Crocodile or Boneta? Boneta seems more our style but I’m a sucker for authentic French (spent a year in Toulouse).

Post Dinner bar: Chill Winston? Other Gastown spots?

Sunday breakfast: Walk to Granville Island: Bagels at Siegels? (Currently living in the Seattle bagel vacuum.) Other snacks we should grab for the Bolt Bus ride home?

Sunday late lunch: Would be good to stick near Pacific Central station. Kirin on 12th? Sadly Bao Bei is only open for dinner and looks like it would've been perfect.

Also, I’m bummed to miss the Chinese Night Market - any Fall attractions that should be on our list?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Zakkushi is my izakaya of choice downtown. Kingyo is a little more upscale, Gyoza King is good for ebi mayo and Hapa is not really in the race IMO. Guu with Garlic can be fun but very loud/crowded. Make a reso wherever you decide to go on a Friday night for sure.

    Haven't been to Rosie's. Joe's is okay.

    Have you considered checking out the Lynn Canyon park/suspension bridge instead? Saves you about $50 and is much nicer and more natural, though both will be a bit miserable in heavy rain. There are buses to both (check out translink.bc.ca for routes and times).

    Drawing a blank about takeout near your hotel, sorry.

    Boneta would give you more of the Vancouver current higher end dining vibe but Le Crocodile is deffo "old school" French. If you are younger Hounds, I'd say prolly Boneta. And definitely would work in better with after-dinner drinks in Gastown, which is a more happening area than where Le C is.

    Try the Diamond, Pourhouse or even Boneta itself in Gastown for good cocktails before subjecting yourself to CW : -).

    I like Siegel's Bagels the best out of the bagel places in Vancouver. If they have rock salt and rosemary, get some. Oyama has lovely charcuterie and some cheeses worth investigating. Terra Breads might do the trick for a baguette or a multigrain loaf if you have a knife on you. Also check out Edible Canada just west of the market proper, which though pricey has a good selection of Cdn artisanal food products.

    Walking to Granville Island from your hotel is quite an undertaking (Google maps walking beta version says approx. 30 mins but I fear it lies), involving either walking 25 blocks and then crossing a long bridge (not fun in the rain, trust me) and walking some more or walking the 25 blocks and thentaking a small ferry called an Aquabus (okay in the rain but there is a charge). I'd prolly just grab a #50 bus south along Granville Street which will get you within a few blocks of the Island. The Writers Festival is on from Oct 22-27 at the Island if you are here then: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/

    I had to check to see where Pacific Central Station was (I only pass it four or five times a week and never knew it was called that, duh) and found this article from last year with some handy tips about getting there: http://www.straight.com/life/new-bolt...

    Not a lot of great options for lunch that are really near there. Kirin is a schlep of two buses and two walks, though could be doable without luggage -- make sure you have a reservation! Maybe take a look at the Campagnolo menu http://www.campagnolorestaurant.ca/ -- this is less than a block from the station and is pretty tasty for dinner, though I've never been for lunch.

    Coming from Seattle you will know to pack your Gore-Tex and umbrellas. Use the money you saved on the Cap Susp bridge to go to the aquarium or Science World if the weather fails you. The Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens are lovely even in the rain and you can go to New Town on Pender for apple tarts and a hot milk tea afterward. Or head out to UBC and visit the Museum of Anthropology.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      Thanks a million - this is beyond helpful!

      I think Boneta is def. our Sat. night spot and Diamond looks more our speed (their "under construction" site is better than most bar sites I've seen, which seems to be a Vancouver trend...).

      Zakkushi is even closer to the park, so that's perfect too.

      Lynn Canyon is equally jaw-dropping & gorgeous...is it actually free?

      Yup, we're Bolt bussing!

      Thanks again - truly appreciate it.

    2. For you review & adding onto Grayelf's suggestions:

      Friday Dinner: 1 + on Zakkushi, Kingyo and either Guu with Garlic or Guu Kobachi

      Saturday's Breakfast: If you are willing to walk to Rosie's on Robson, I would keep on walking just a few more blocks to either:
      -Provence Marina Side
      -Cafe Medina
      -Yolks Breakfast Street Cart (If they are still open in Oct.)

      sat. Lunch Take-out: I would walk to either Urban Fare at the Shangri-La hotel (3 blocks) or Giovane at the Fairmont Pacific Rim (5 Blocks)

      Post Dinner Sat Drinks: Skip Chill Winston. If you were interested in Bao Bei, why not go there for drinks or Gastown's Bambuddha or Alibi Room.

      Here are some suggestions for you Sunday Late lunch near the Bus depot
      -Harvest Community Foods (Udon & ramen)
      -Caffe Brixton or London's Pub (I've not been yet but menus looks nice)

      3 Replies
      1. re: moyenchow

        Lynn Canyon is indeed free. To be fair, one is a regional park and the other is a commercial venture, privately owned, so there is no canopy or cliff walk at Lynn Canyon but there are also no cute signage or wishing wells or what have you. Just massive evergreens, crazy-ass river action and cool trails you can traverse with relative ease (note I don't say hike as that is a four-letter word in my book!). Assuming you make it over the suspension bridge, of course. I've taken visitors who've demurred -- neither bridge is for those with vertigo or fear of wobbly things.

        There's a nifty swimming hole there too but I doubt you will be wanting to indulge as it is glacier runoff and ice cold even in the dead of summer but it sure is beautiful.

        Great thoughts for Sat after dinner, moyen! Just a quick question: has Alibi Room gotten better with their cocktails? No argument they have great beer there but I was pretty disappointed the one time we opted for mixed drinks. Food also mediocre but I can forgive that in light of the beer offerings (love that they do "bat" samplers!) and the OP doesn't want to eat there anyway.

        Breakfast downtown is really a conundrum, isn't it? We don't have many outstanding options anywhere in town, really. Sigh. Maybe the OP should do the downtown Kirin for dimsum on Sat, if it's any good -- I've only been to the one near city hall. Seems a shame to come to Vancouver and not do at least one dim sum...though the later in the day you go, the less likely you are to get the best offerings.

        1. re: grayelf

          Actually to be honest regarding Alibi Room:
          1) Always have eaten else where before going there
          2) Can't remember the last time I got something other than beer. Beer seems to be the thing to order.
          SO I can't really answer your question, GE.

          I just added it in case the significant other wants good beer. No harm in going to Bao Bei and then Alibi Room.

          1. re: moyenchow

            And hitting Bambuddah on the way from Bao Bei to Alibi!

      2. Keeping the handy distance in mind from moyenchow, nearby the Fairmont Pacific Rim is an outpost of Anatolia's Gate for Turkish takeout, and if you want gelato there's Bella Gellateria beside Giovane.

        As well, if you walk about 5 blocks east towards Chinatown, you could also get take out sandwiches at Finch's or at Meat and Bread.

        Could also go to Phnom Penh in Chinatown for your late lunch by the bus depot. Timing could be good to avoid the inevitable dinner queues.

        Gastown drinks--rum and rum-based cocktails at Calabash Bistro, which has a decent menu too and great music.

        Great rainy recco from grayelf about the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Gardens. You're completely covered but you get to hear the different sounds as the rain hits different elements within the garden.

        5 Replies
        1. re: el_lobo_solo

          Bella is a great idea! Wonderful if pricey gelato from an obsessional owner.

          The newer Meat and Bread at 1033 West Pender is just around the corner from the Hyatt and had MUCH better takeout boxes than at the original, though they may have sorted that glitch out at the Gastown store. They do almost entirely takeout as well so tend to be a bit more efficient. Not sure how well the porchetta would hold out over time but they have daily specials too.

          1. re: grayelf

            was about to suggest the closer M&B to the OP's hotel, then checked out the hours: Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, which doesn't mesh with the original idea of Sat lunch take-out

            1. re: el_lobo_solo

              Oops, right you are! Makes sense they wouldn't be open on weekends...

              1. re: el_lobo_solo

                Thanks for checking those hours and @grayelf for the original suggestion. Next time for sure!

                We're rather obsessed with Rumba: new'ish rum spot in between downtown and the Cap Hill neighborhood, so might pass on Calabash Bistro.

                Finch's looks perfect though for some sammies to bring to Lynn Canyon for a break after trekking around.

            2. re: el_lobo_solo

              we are big fans of Anatolia Express - i think closed on Sundays - don't have URL but they do have website

            3. Cafe Medina for breakfast would be good and is about a 10-15 minute walk but allow a few minutes for waiting. Thierry has nice sandwiches and lots of treats for take out and is close by. If you are into city walking, walk to one of the little ferry posts at the foot of Howe/Hornby as it is a lovely way to go to Granville Island.

              1. My $0.25: Friday night after (actually on way) walk back from Stanley Park, grab dinner at Cardero's:


                Ok it's a bit "chain-y" (part of a "fine dining" chain of restaurants in town) but the waterfront view is second-to-none, even in the Fall (crossing fingers we'll get a beautiful, rainless Fall this year !) and the food decent enough.


                Or Zakkushi, or some of the K (Korean) places down in Lower Robson. I went to Sura Korean BBQ for lunch yesterday after a Stanley Park seawall bike ride and I 'stoofed' myself silly with the amount of food I ate:


                1. Biking from downtown Vancouver to Capilano Suspension Bridge? That wouldn't be my idea of fun, unless the idea of riding uphill up a mountain appeals.

                  Have you looked into Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge? Nearly identical suspension bridge, but free to cross. Capilano has the additional touristy things (Cliffwalk, coffee shops, gift shops) but if you're doing things on a budget, Lynn Canyon is where the locals go. Capilano is where the tourists go. Regardless, you can access both Capilano and Lynn Canyon via regular public transit, super easy from your hotel. Take the Skytrain (Burrard Station is out front) one stop to Waterfront Station, then transfer onto the SeaBus over to Lonsdale Quay. From Lonsdale Quay take bus 228 or 229 (both go to Lynn Canyon). Using public transit, this takes about one hour each direction.

                  Joe's Grill and Rosie's = meh. These places aren't destinations, they're merely places you settle for because they happen to be nearby. You're from Seattle. You guys do diner food. Vancouver doesn't do diner food. It's more expensive here, portions are tinier. But if you're seeking a greasy spoon, Deacon's Corner may appeal: http://www.deaconscorner.ca/ Again, for greasy spoon brunch, set your expectations lower.

                  1. Thank you Chowhounds for your dining suggestions and the Lynn Canyon mention - fingers crossed for some nice weather!

                    Below is my updated itinerary. I'm having trouble nailing down Friday late lunch in Richmond and dinner downtown. I know the options mentioned are probably quite different, but we're flexible on cuisine, so any deciding factors would be appreciated!

                    Also, Richmond eats on the Board are overwhelming, so I based my choices off of a Seattle Times article. Steer me in the right direction if I'm off!

                    Friday: Bolt Bus arrives at 2pm, drop stuff off at hotel and Zipcar to Richmond
                    Friday Lunch: Richmond: Cattle Cafe for hot pot or Wang Shun Ge?
                    Head back to hotel to freshen up
                    Friday Dinner: Guu or Zakkushi?

                    Saturday Breakfast: Deacon’s Corner
                    Saturday Lunch: Get takeout sammies from Finchs, Stanley Park, then Lynn Canyon Park
                    Saturday Pre-Dinner Drinks: Bao Bei or Bambuddah
                    Saturday Dinner: Boneta and drinks at Calabash Bistro afterwards

                    Sunday Breakfast: Rosemary & Rock Salt bagels at Siegels
                    Sunday lunch before 2pm bus: Lunch?, then Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Gardens

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mcmullek

                      Hi Mcmullek, I'll just comment on your Sat breakfast plan of Deacon's Corner. IMHO, that place is not worth your (or any CH-ers) time. They were "ok" when they first opened, but over time they've changed owners and now it's a very meh place (and not even cheap for what you get).

                      If you're already at that part of town (east end of Gastown/north end of Chinatown), you could possibly venture south into Chinatown and brekkie it at New Town Bakery Cafe or Jade Dynasty Restaurant (both on E. Pender between Main St and Columbia St) for some cheap hot dim sum (Jade Dynasty) or steamed buns, Chinese pastries etc (New Town). Bit of a trip back in time type places.



                      Also a nice time to stroll in Chinatown first thing in the morning while the businesses are just opening up.

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        Other similar Chinese bakery/cafes in the area include:

                        - Maxim
                        - The Boss
                        - Gold Stone

                        But New Town is an institution in itself and their assortment of steamed buns is legendary.

                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Yeah, skip Deacon's. What Lotus said. I don't know how early you need breaky on Sat but if you can hold out till 10, check out Tuc: http://tucrestaurant.com/brunch I've only had dinner there but it was outstanding both in quality and value.

                          I'd also consider Big Lou's for lunch sandos to go in that area-ish WAY over Finch's.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Thanks all - we're set on getting ourselves around in terms of transpo. The bike plan was from my first post awhile ago.

                            My husband is somewhat food adventurous, but I fear without some eggs and breakfast meat spot on Saturday, I'll lose him.

                            Luc sounds perfect, albeit a bit of a hike from the Hyatt. Or just saving ourselves for Big Lou's- thanks @grayelf!

                            Any thoughts re: Guu or Zakkushi?

                            1. re: mcmullek

                              Getting to Tuc from your hotel on foot would take btwn 15 and 20 mins depending on your pace. You might also consider Skytrain part of the way since you are right by the station??

                              As I mentioned above, I'm a Zakkushi fan for the food, though Guu with Garlic on Robson can be quite fun.

                      2. that's quite a bike ride on a relatively narrow 4 lane fast road. - and that is after you leave downtown ---- then ride over the lions gate bridge - then exit and turn left (north) on Capilano Rd - and start huffing it up the long slow hill to suspension brige.

                        check the transit - i would go over the sea bus and get on the transit that serves "grouse mountain"

                        i don't know the url for transit but it should be easy to find

                        1 Reply
                        1. Hello all,

                          We had a great time, ate like kings and I wanted to report back.

                          Rushing to Richmond right after the bus didn't seem like the best idea, so we checked in to our hotel and then meandered out to find a liquor store. Google Maps didn't mention it would be underground in a T station, so by the time we found it, we were quite hungry and the Dinky Dogs across from the liquor store did the job.

                          Friday dinner at Guu with Garlic was both delicious and fun. We had a short wait for counter seats and my somewhat adventurous husband did OK with the cabbage & octopus pancake and hard-boiled egg in squash. Fortunately there was a fried pork tenderloin to keep him happy too and some tuna sashimi that I remember every bite of. Sapporo pitchers at $18 apiece were a great deal too.

                          Saturday breakfast we checked out The Templeton. They only had one waitress so service was spotty, but we wanted a non-hotel breakfast and we got it. My mangled eggs were yummy and it held us over until late-lunch at The Fish House.

                          The Sea-Bus to regular bus to Lynn Canyon Park was a wonderful rec - thanks! We bused & trained the whole weekend and didn't hop in a cab once. The park was beautiful and it was nice to get some hiking in to offset our meals.

                          Connecting to a dif. bus on the way back I spotted a Siegel's bagels for Sunday breakfast in our hotel room - score!

                          We overshot The Fishhouse on our walk into Stanley Park, but eventually found it.* It looks like it's not too positively received on this Board, but they had a decent Fish and Chips lunch special and it was quite convenient being in the Park. However, my clam chowder, albeit good, had a microwave skin on top when it came out of the kitchen. For their "fine dining" vibe, I was pretty surprised.

                          Saturday night dinner we switched our Boneta reservation to L'Abbatoir because I wanted birthday scallops. It was quite an operation, really delicious and quick! We didn't order any starters, so we were in and out in an hour. No Anniversary treatment (although we noted it in our Open Table reservation) so you win some, lose some.

                          We finished dinner so early, we decided to bar-hop. Bambudda's cocktails were a real highlight. I was surprised to read afterward that it was so new. The Charlie Chaplain and New Fitzgerald (I think) were really refreshing and not too sweet like many apricot/rose-infused cocktails can be.

                          Bartender recommended dessert at Salt, which I had been hoping to do before dinner and was perfect. We did a sherry and cheese flight and we're beyond stuffed.

                          Overall, we had a great time but were a bit bummed the fog was so thick despite the sunny forecast. At least in Seattle, when the forecast says it'll be sunny it is. ;)

                          *With no cell phones, I'm surprised that was the only real "lost" moment.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mcmullek

                            Glad you had a great time at Bambuddha, Guu with Garlic and in Vancouver overall.

                            Kinda of curious where that liquor store was you were looking for?

                            The fog is a new-ish phenomenon, only in the last few years has it gotten foggy for an extended period. Although, a few elders I've spoken to said Vancouver use to be foggy all the time in the distant past.

                            1. re: moyenchow

                              St. Regis Fine Wine & Spirits. We thought it would've been next to the St. Regis hotel, but it was more like right under it!