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Feb 19, 2014 10:13 AM

Chinese food in Vancouver metro

My husband and I are driving up from Seattle for a weekend. We are staying in downtown Vancouver, but have a car and are willing to drive to Richmond or other areas. Not looking for dim sum or dumplings as we have Din Tai Fung here.

Any suggestions for a tasty, perhaps Shanghai style Chinese for two people? I looked at some older posts and it appears Shanghai Village on Cambie is closed. And Shanghai River sounds like too much food for two.

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  1. I really like Ningbo for your situation. SO and I hit it up recently, ordering some of the smaller plates and had a lovely meal without quarts of leftovers. It is also a slightly smaller room so while not cozy by any means it feels a bit more welcoming than some of the other options. Plus the presentation and service are quite good, and the ingredients are high quality.

    12 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Long's is cozy too, like DEFINITELY cozy ! Servings are modest in size, good for two.

      Dinesty on Robson is cozy too.

      I forgot to mention Peaceful (now an expanding empire of 3) with one in Kitsilano and two in Mt. Pleasant:

      *not to be confused with one on Davie St. called New Peace (don't recommend) which has a weird locational history with Peaceful.

      1. re: grayelf

        Here's a few pix from Ningbo. That's the ma lan (tofu and green stuff), salt and pepper beans, shrimp skin parsley, crab Shanghai dumplings and green beans. The beans were a larger order with leftovers but everything else was "dim sum" size.

        1. re: grayelf

          How does Lin Tea House on Broadway at Granville compare to the places recommended here ? They were known for ther XLB at one time but I have not been back to Lin (or Vancouver) for a while

          1. re: felix the hound

            Lin has been on the decline for awhile now.

            1. re: LotusRapper

              Still worth going to Lin's but ONLY for an order of XLB. They will look at you funny but they will bring it.

              1. re: grayelf

                Thank you Lotus Rapper and Grayelf.
                Might drop by for some XLB for old times sake.
                Should I try Ningbo or Long's instead?i

                1. re: felix the hound

                  I still like Long's XLB the best of the ones I've tried here but the rest of the menu is definitely meh to bad, so it depends what you want.

                  Ningbo and Long's are pretty different. I've never been a huge fan of Long's XLB (skin is too thick for me) but I go at least monthly for other tasties. Be sure to get a reso even if you go at an off time. Ningbo is much fancier and more seafood centric though we rarely order seafood there for some reason. I like their crab XLBs a bunch.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    "I still like Long's XLB the best of the ones I've tried here but the rest of the menu is definitely meh to bad, so it depends what you want ........... I've never been a huge fan of Long's XLB (skin is too thick for me) but I go at least monthly for other tasties."

                    Ya lost me there GE :-)

                    Long's chicken in wine is good.

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Drat, the first sentence was referring to Lin's not Long's. Thanks for pointing that mental hiccup out :-).

                      Their chicken in wine is my fave prep of that dish. I love the petite green ceramic ware Sandy uses. Their thick fish soup is also excellent.


                      1. re: grayelf

                        As is Long's beef rolls, yellow fish wrapped in seaweed (then fried), tofu skin and bamboo shoot soup, and deepfried crispy rice with salty duck egg yolk, mmmmm:


                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          I must demur on the yellow fish, way too much batter for me...

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Shanghai Wonderful (Cooney/Lansdowne) has good fish in seaweed. My Mom (Shanghai-born) says they're good:


                            I ate it but don't remember it.

      2. Try:

        Dinesty (three locations now, including one on Lower Robson)

        The Place (hole-in-wall with good cheap honest food) on Granville/64 Ave:

        Long's Noodle House on Main St @ 33 Ave:

        Sherman has a good coverage of Shanghainese restos, this list is filtered for Shanghai cuisine:

        1. I'll second Long's, which is great. Get the crispy rice with salted duck egg.

          All the other suggestions are great too.

          Even though you have Din Tai Fung, don't rule out having at least one order of XLB dumplings at these places. I was disappointed last time I went to DTF - the dumplings were flat and nearly devoid of soup! - and thought that the XLB offerings in Vancouver were better. I may have hit a bad day though?

          Don't get the XLB at Peaceful, though...

          1 Reply
          1. re: twinkienic

            Just came back from lunch at the new-ish Jin Jiang Shanghai Restaurant on Kingsway in Burnaby (in same building as the Best Western Motel). This is the second time I've been there in the past few weeks. V. decent quality dishes. The XLBs won't disappoint.


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