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Jun 30, 2014 12:40 AM

Would love some help on really beautiful settings and budget finds in Vancouver and Victoria? Breakfast, lunch, drinks and apps? Someplace with a special setting we won't see in Los Angeles? (Even if we have to put up with good, not great food?)

Visiting Vancouver and then renting a cabin on lake Shawnigan near Victoria. We eat really well in LA and were just hoping for some help on restaurants with beautiful settings (Crab shack, diner, not-so-expensive fine dining??) we could sample (Not rolling in the dough) for lunch, drinks? With our super adventurous 12 year old. Would love help with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and really happy to go out of the way for something special. (Also willing to spend for something great and highly recommended) ALL cuisines welcome, but especially things we don't have here. (Also great dim sum, and any help with fresh seafood!!!1)

Getting lots of help on the boards for great food. But we are willing to eat an ok lunch in a beautiful place we would never have back home.
Any help appreciated.And happy to give any tips about LA.
Thanks so much.

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  1. You can't beat the Galley at Vancouver's Jericho Sailing Centre for a decent bargain lunch with stunning view

    1. Tap and Barrel, at the Convention Centre/Coal Harbour, has lovely views of the North Shore mountains, etc. Not sure whether or not there is a section which can accommodate a 12 yr old (minor) child.
      Lonsdale Quay, a short passenger ferry ride from downtown Vancouver, offers views from "the opposite side" south towards the city; food court is inexpensive and ok, but not great.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KarenDW

        Tap and Barrel is definately kid-friendly.

      2. While in Shawnigan I would recommend driving down to Cowichan Bay. I haven't eaten here personally in years but the bay itself is lovely and quite a unique experience for this area. Looks like there are a couple of eating establishments right on the water. We used to buy live dungeness crab from the dock to cook up at home when I was a kid.

        Near Sooke, you might want to look at the restaurant at Point no Point Resort - lovely food, beautiful setting

        2 Replies
        1. re: islandgirl

          Thank you so much. We were planning on driving around Cowichan and hoping to visit winerys and the Merriman cidery. I was wondering if there were any decent restaurants or pubs we should visit in the area.

          1. re: elizabetheatsfood

            Merridale's cidery is great (they're expanding their product line all the time and have great food and baked goods there as well). Cowichan Bay hits - ice cream, cheese and True Grain Breads.
            For a great view (and regular food) the Lookout (formerly the Malahat Mtn Inn) at the top of the Malahat drive (close to Shawnigan) has fab views of the inlet and over to the Peninsula. You can see it from inside the resto and even more so off their deck. BLD.

        2. There's lots of beautiful views with mediocre food in Vancouver, some of the food is better than mediocre:
          - Cactus Club in English Bay and Coal Harbour
          - Anatolia Express
          - Cardero's
          - Lift
          - Miku
          - Observatory and other restaurants on Grouse Mountain (take the tram up)
          - Go Fish

          I would recommend making a picnic and going to the beach - Sunset Beach, English Bay, Kitsilano, Second Beach, etc.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Anne M

            Agree with Anne -- okay food might even be a stretch at most view places. Miku is probably the best bet of the ones she listed, and I thought it was overpriced in the old location. The aburi sushi is pretty tasty but about a third more than the same dish at Kishimoto on Commercial (which of course has no view at all), they're not much with the deep fryer (pass on the ebi mayo here) and their desserts are just weird.

            I believe the former chef at the Observatory did some good work but no idea about his replacement.

            Anatolia Express is decent though the original in Burnaby is much better. I don't think there is a view from the resto itself but I guess you could take your snacks to go and try to find a spot to sit along that part of the seawall??

            1. re: grayelf

              Thanks everyone, and I do get it. Views and good food rarely meet. If you ever want to know a true place for fresh sea food on the Chesapeake Bay, I am your girl. Appreciate all the help.

              1. re: grayelf

                yes, Anatolia Express (downtown) is small in square footage, but little tables all offer views thru the HUGE window overlooking the harbor (maybe not so much the mountains due to the coverage of the huge convention center roof) --- this is handy for winter weather. In the well-covered outside area there are a couple of tables usually and for sure some permanent benches with interesting history plaques and I think some sort of cell service where you can dial in to learn more info about the history etc. For those not familiar with the area, watch both ways before stepping in to the various "lanes" on the large sidewalk outside Anatolia Express - half is for cyclists/bladers, the other half for joggers/walkers and view gazers ; ) Some people are determined to make their max speed limit ; )

                and what about that great gelato ice cream at the Fairmont Pacific Rim (not Fairmont Waterfront) hotel building

            2. On Vancouver Island, west of Lake Shawnigan, is the small hamlet of Sooke. This is *very* scenic, but not budget (but worth it):


              Like they say "as seen on TV":


              Imagine dining on that with a front seat view of the Olympic Peninsula.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LotusRapper

                SHH is the real deal no doubt. I used to sell seafood I caught to them years ago.
                Tony wasn't told how 'Sooke' is actually pronounced but so what.
                Big bucks to stay there.
                There are two ways to travel if you want to leave Sooke......and you will want to. Go West to Jordan River then PR to enjoy nature or go back to Vic. to take in the 'city life'. Or just read a good book on your balcony.

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  Unfortunately, the you tube video "is not available in your country" down here in the lower 48. Who did we piss off NOW? ; >P

                    1. re: PolarBear

                      Maybe *your* Netflix has it ;-) (our Netflix sucks)