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Mar 28, 2014 03:32 PM

First time in Vancouver

Will be coming to Vancouver for the first time and staying at Sheraton Wall Centre on Burrard. We won't have a car but hoping to get around on transit. Coming from Northern CA. Can you point me in the direction of some good eats please?

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  1. You'll have a good time here, and you've chosen a good central location to stay, in a very walkable, transit-friendly neighborhood.

    Have you been to Vancouver before ? What cuisine(s) are you most interested ? How many in your party, and what's your general budget per meal per person ?

    2 Replies
    1. re: LotusRapper

      Okay, LR, time to get those bins checked -- OP headline is first time in Vancouver ;-).

      I like La Brasserie on Davie, either for dinner or, if you're feeling really naughty, breakfast poutine for weekend brunch. No resos, though, so best to go on the early side.

      Breka Bakery has an outpost on Davie now. Great bee sting or biesenstich cake, nothing else worthwhile. Or for an even more unusual sweet treat, try the kurtos kalacs from Transylvania Traditions

      You're also close-ish to several of the Guus, Guu Garden in particular, if you want to do the izakaya thing, which is best in the evening as you may know.

      The 22 bus northbound on Burrard will get you fairly close to Gastown (lotsa options), and it wouldn't break the bank to take a cab there either.

      1. re: grayelf

        My memory chips and CPU just ain't what they used to be ......

    2. Thanks to posts from my inquiry on the Seattle board, I decided to get a rental car. That will open up options for us in Vancouver as well. Expanding my post to look beyond the immediate downtown area! Thank you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dimsumgirl

        Bring a mitt full of money for parking that car you'll need it.

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          true enuf SS
          and bring some snacks for the possible border wait. Unless you have the pre-approved id required for the speedier lane - someone else here can help explain that, I am sure.

          have you checked out Amtrak Cascades service -

      2. Let me guess...are you looking for dim sum?

        20 Replies
        1. re: dennisthefoodie

          I do love dim sum; that used to be my favorite but now I'm open to a variety of food. I had heard that Vancouver specializes in Chinese food. We can get decent Chinese food here in Northern CA especially in the bay area but if that is what Vancouver is known for, I'd like to try it. I also hear that the izakaya circuit is good in Vancouver. I'm open to suggestions so if you have them, let us know.

          1. re: dimsumgirl

            Then definitely an izakaya crawl is in order! I'd recommend Guu with Garlic, Kingyo, Zakkushi (yakitori), Ramen Santouka and/or Marutama Ramen, if you can squeeze that into one hedonistic night. Robson and Denman is the epicenter of Japanese/izakaya food.

            The best Chinese food is not in downtown though...

            1. re: dennisthefoodie

              However Kirin (all locations) is well above average:


              And even w/o rental car, DSGirl, you can check out Dinesty on Robson:

              And Shanghai Xiao Long Bao on Richards:

              And with a car, well you may as well head down to Richmond for its renowned "as good as HK" Chinese foods, and which now boasts a plethora of good Shanghainese restos, as well as Asian malls food courts.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                hi LR - I wish you (and any other who want to input) would write one article to help us older Cdn with long-ago (ie pre Expo) Chinese ancestry figure out all this new Vancouver ; )

                in all seriousness - we grew up knowing Cdn food - ie grown here, cooked here. (Woodwards)

                this is starting to sound like a thesis topic, isn't it. Likely it has been. I think there is that book that is fairly recent.

                1. re: Georgia Strait

                  There's this thread in the General Topics section that really delved into the whole North Americanized Chinese food debate:


                  And a good read can be found in Dr. John Jung's book "Sweet & Sour - Life in Chinese Family Restaurants".


                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    The full write up. You can see the back of my big fat head in the first video .... good thing I'm not thinning back there:


                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Foo's Ho Ho is still a fun place to eat, and their lemon chicken is very good. We always go spur of the moment, so I still haven't tried their full sticky rice stuffed chicken which requires advance notice.

                      For dim sum, I usually stay in Vancouver. Kirin at City Square is good and takes (needed) resos. Ask for a table with a view. Don't order anything off the regular menu (too expensive). The dim sum menu will be about the same price as moderate ds in SF, IME.

                      Here's my "best of Van" list again:

                      L'abbatoir for higher end French-influenced modern food
                      Alvin Garden (Hunan, pork heart!)
                      Anatolia's Gate (Burnaby, Turkish, awesome baked lavash and cheese pides)
                      Good Choice (dimsum, certain items are very good, avoid steamed dumplings)
                      Kirin Citysquare, Dynasty (dimsum)
                      Pinpin (Filipino, just the sisig and the crispy pata)
                      Zakkushi (for Japanese things on sticks)
                      Argo Cafe (if they have the duck confit on the menu posted at 11 am each weekday)
                      a #2 or #7 banh mi from Ba Le on Kingsway
                      Hai Phong for Vietnamese hot pots, tamarind crab, bun, ban xheo, ban khot, chicken wings
                      Kalvin's (Sichuan/Taiwanese mashup, resos mandatory, get the fish with yellow chives, on Victoria Drive)
                      Bee Kim Heng (this is a store that sells very good Singapore-style beef and pork jerky on Fraser)
                      Green Lemon Grass (Vietnamese $5 breaky dishes before 11 am, bot chien is great)
                      My Chau (Vietnamese chicken pho, really excellent, closes early, no Sundays)
                      Lin's (only get the XLB and maybe the rice hot pot, but get the XLB!)
                      Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (a Japanese chain, yes, but they have toroniku, which you must have before you die, limited quantities and lines so go early for lunch)
                      Miko Sushi (expensive but topnotch old school sushi place on Robson, NOT Miku, casual, only order a la carte)
                      La Buca (muscular Italian food, reservations mandatory), Sweet Obsessions (just for the lemon dacquoise dessert), Ajisai (somewhat pricey, go early re no resos and sit at the bar)
                      Tokyo Thyme (casual sushi, traditional ingredients used in modern ways, avoid cooked food)
                      HK BBQ Masters (Richmond, the best Chinese BBQ I've tried yet, you can dine in on a very limited menu or take it to go, stick with the bbq or roasted pork/ribs, ask for "half/half" chasiu which will avoid you getting the less prized lean stuff)
                      Richmond Public Market/President's Plaza/Lansdowne etc (Asian food courts, do a day-time tour and pick the top items, need a car and extra bellies for this)

                    2. re: LotusRapper

                      Hi Lotus Rapper
                      If you ever get a chance to hear John Jung speak, grab at it. He's got a wealth of knowledge!

                      1. re: dimsumgirl

                        Thx, DSGirl. I actually did, in my above link to that Chowtimes post on Laundry Kids evening at Foo's Ho Ho. Not only did Ben got pics of me, but also in his video clip he panned by the back of my big fat head a few times, LOL !

                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Get out of VAN! ASAP! Come over to the 'Island'. This is the most perfect time of year to visit. Ferry ride is only a few hours. The ferry ride is worth doing just on it's own.
                          Don Mees in China town for Dim Sum. Visit the museum. IMO the Island is much more 'BC' than Vancouver.
                          Drive over to the West Coast. Tofino etc.

                  2. re: LotusRapper

                    I'd also recommend Dynasty Seafood at 777 West. Broadway for excellent dim sum in Vancouver proper. Only a few blocks from the City Hall Canada Line station.

                    1. re: islandgirl

                      I concur. We've had many a DS lunches at Dynasty. Consistent high quality, but it ain't cheap.

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        I've found Dynasty and Kirin to be about 20% more expensive than other moderately priced ds in town but they're both still cheaper than most comparable ds in the Bay Area, FWIW.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Good thing almost all dim sum lunches I go to are family occasions (ie: the older generations host, and pay for) :-D

                            1. re: LotusRapper

                              I'm imagining an 80 year old chinese grandpa handing over $140 for a family Dim Sum.
                              That has GOT to hurt the old devil.
                              Maybe more then he made in months when he first came to "Gold Mountain".

                              1. re: Puffin3

                                Nothing funnier than seeing two Chinese grannies fighting over the tug 'o war, back and forth...until the bill rips in half.

                                1. re: dennisthefoodie

                                  My Dad and I do that all the time ...... he wins 80% of the time :-(

                                2. re: Puffin3

                                  You try arguing with the older generation when they're paying ...... it's culturally (and generationally) an insult if gestures of generosity are refused or declined.

                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                    'Face' is a concept not understood by those not familiar with how some cultures work.
                                    I used to sell live rock cod to Chinese restaurants many many years ago. The owner/s where all Chinese immigrants originally and spoke very limited english so a translator was always necessary. (That we fishermen would always have to hire or no business was possible.
                                    Talk about walking on egg shells! One nod/smile/frown/hand moment/glance at the wrong time and the sale was impossible.
                                    It was so bad I once picked out a live rock cod and was going to show it to the restaurant owner. It flipped out of my hand and it apparently landed on it's 'wrong' side on the dock. The potential customer had three cooks with two five gallon pails each with him to take the fish up to the restaurant. He said something to the cooks and they all left.
                                    The translator was an interesting chap. Young second generation. He made spare money translating between us english speaking fishermen and the potential buyers. I did learn eventually he was not only translating he was in fact informing the buyers all about us 'gweilo' fishermen. "He's broke and will take any price today". "He's got the best fish in the second live well and he's not going to show anyone them until he's sold the 'lesser' quality' 'heemos' today. 'Heemos' being rock cod over 2 1/2 pounds and not suitable to be served whole. Tomorrow he'll offer the best fish for more money per pound". That sort of thing.