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Apr 23, 2014 09:08 PM

Vancouver Rec, few questions about Richmond and Alaskan King Crab

Hey Vancouver 'hounders! What a great board you have here - much better than my home board.

I'm coming from Dallas, Texas and will be in your beautiful city for 4 days next week (Fri-Monday) for a conference.

I will be staying in downtown, near the convention center and already have dinner plans for one night at West. Was also planning on hitting Chambar and Vij's for the other nights. For lunch, I was thinking Meat and Bread, and perhaps a sushi place close to the convention center.

I have a couple of questions for you all:

1. Do I need a reservation at Chambar? I plan on a 930 (or so) dinner on Friday night. What is the vibe, are jeans ok? Is it a nice walk from the convention center area hotels?

2. I've been reading about the live Alaskan King Crab and salivating. It seems like a very cool Vancouver thing and I LOVE crab. I know the season is over, but can I still get it? How expensive is it?

3. (Related to above) For the chinese places, is there a big quality drop from the downtown outposts vs the Richmond places (specifically for (Dinesty and Sun Sui Wah)? Interested in the XLB and Crab specifically.

4. Any other great lunch places close to the convention center that could get me a quick lunch (Sat/Sun/Mon) within 1 hour?)

5. Any sort of preference for Vij's on Sat or Sunday?

Thanks and looking forward to enjoying your beautiful city.


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  1. Meat and Bread's porchetta is worthy but try to time your visit for well before noon or you'll be in a giant lineup. The Cambie location is nicer than the one off Burrard, which is targeted for a to-go crowd.

    I can't think of a good sushi bar within walking distance of the convention centre, alas.

    1. I'd get a reso -- it can be pretty bumping on a Friday night, even at 9:30; nice jeans are fine pretty much anywhere in Vancouver (maybe not at West, but I wouldn't pick it for a splurge anyway)

    2. King crab is pretty prohibitively priced out of season, and might not even be from Alaska: You can still get it but caveat emptor. Also kings are pretty big for one person

    3. I've never had a worthwhile XLB downtown (haven't tried the downtown outpost of Dinesty yet, to be fair -- the Richmond one has solid XLBs). If you want great XLB, go to Lin's just over the Granville Street Bridge. But don't order anything else. There isn't a Sun Sui Wah downtown, only on Main near 25th. I've never eaten dinner there, only dim sum many times before the quality fell off.

    4. I've been trapped at the Convention Centre. You have to walk pretty briskly to get anything halfway decent. I've legged it to the original La Taqueria on Hastings in desperation.

    5. If you mean which night will be busier, prolly Sat but both will be slammed. Go at 4:30/4:45 to ensure you get first seating or be prepared to wait... and wait...

    1. For sushi, maybe check out Miku Waterfront -- it does get the corporate crowd so lunch is busy, but moves fast. For a more casual atmosphere, Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour may fit the bill, but also gets crowded. Both are very close to the convention centre.

      I like the Meat and Bread off Burrard which is also very close to the convention centre but, as grayelf said, its better to get your sandwich to go. There are big line-ups, but the line usually moves pretty fast. If the weather is good, I like to sit by the water and enjoy my porchetta.

      1 Reply
      1. re: À la carte

        Dungeness Crab is a Vancouver thing the other stuff not so much.

      2. Have a dungeness crab at a reputable chinese restaurant (maybe some of the others can chime in). Many people, including me, prefer dungeness over AKC. Your tastebuds and wallet with thank you.

        If you like ice cream take a quick walk up to the best ice cream in the city, Bella Gelateria.

        1. - I would make a reservation for Chambar. Nice Jeans are acceptable at Chambar and in general at most places. West would be one of the few exceptions for jeans.

          - Note on Vij's, they doesn't take reservations, so unless you get there when they open, prepare to wait.

          -The hoopla around Alaskan King Crabs is usually based on the Cantonese preparations, whole crab done in 2 - 3 ways, so you will need a crew of people to really appreciate this crustacean.

          -As mentioned by other posters, Dungeness crab maybe a better way to go. Try Yew (westcoast cuisine) or for Cantonese prep skytrain to Richmond.

          -Yes there is a drop in quality in terms of Chinese between Richmond and downtown. If you have the time I would skytrain to Richmond.

          -I found the Robson Dinesty XLB's good on execution, ok in taste but they were really small (1 - 2 bites) versus ones I have had else where that were better in taste, similar in execution but larger (2 - 3 bites)

          -Here are some suggestions for lunch:
          -Anatolia Express for Turkish Food
          -Miku for aburi sushi only
          -Mangal Kiss (street cart) for their wraps (not open Weekends)
          -Mogu (street cart) for their Chicken Karaage (not open Weekends)
          -2.85 Burger (street cart) for their Cheese burger for $3.25
          -Sushi zero one for their Chirashi Don

          1. Thanks for all the replies.

            I've unexpectedly had Sunday night open for dinner alone. I'm willing to travel, but would prefer someplace that is very "typical Vancouver" and still a good place for solo dining.

            Any suggestions?

            3 Replies
              1. re: veeral

                My fave for a solo bite is the bar at Pourhouse (solid bistro and other comfort food, including a great burger, superb cocktails, good beer on tap (not a long list but a choice one)).

                Bar dining at Chambar is a gooder too - admire their bartender's Restaurant Rumble victory belt while tucking into some excellent mussels

                1. re: kinnickinnik

                  Burdock and Co. is great for a single diner. You sit at the bar in front of the open kitchen. The most "Vancouver" place in Vancouver right now, for my money.