Vancouver BC Restaurant Reccomendations

I will be in Vancouver BC for a long weekend in May. I’d appreciate any restaurant suggestions - the kind of places you just don’t want to miss. I’d particularly like a dim sum restaurant.

I’ll be staying in the downtown area on Robson street. Thanks


Oh Dopers, please help us out. I too will be in Vancouver soon, I will be there from Mar 27-31 to celebrate my 21’st birthday, adn any restaurant rec’s would be great! Don’t let us down oh Teeming Millions!

I get to travel to Vancouver fairly regularly. It is a wonderful town for eating [and a look at my waist will confirm that :slight_smile: ]
Here are some recomondations in no particular order.

Earls, several locations semi upscale full service restaurant $$$

Cactus Club, More casual than Earls full service again several locations $$

Death By Chocolate, 2 locations I think. The name says it all, zerts and coffee $ +1/2

On Broadway there is one of the best barbeue restaurants I have ever eaten at. Very low brow with great food. About the 1300 block (west?) on the north side of the street. Very small place next to a Chinese restaurant $

If you really want an experience, make reservations at the restaurant at the top of Grouse mountain. The last time I did this the ride up the tram to the ski hill is free if you have a restaurant reservation . Check the local what to see in Vanocouver that should be in your hotel room for the phone number. The restaurant has a view that is unbelieveable all of Vancouver and on a clear night you can see all the way to Victoria. Great food also. $$$ +1/2

If you drive all the way out to West Vancouver there is a place that specializes in Fish and Chips. Doesn’t sound like much except they use Salmon and it is to die for. Great drive and good stop for lunch. I think the name is Trolls, faces the water, across from the park on the corner. $$

In Gastown there are numerous international type restaurants [Ethiopian anyone?] varies
Just south of Gastown is a very heavy concentration of Chinese restaurants. varies
Words of warning here. Gastown is right next to skid row. The main drags are probably safe, but be careful.

In the town of Richmond [south of the airport 5 minutes or so] are many wonderful Chinese restaurants (and in a better neighborhood) again varies
One more word of warning If you are a round eye, you may not get the best service in some of the Chinese restaurants.

Oh yeah if you want pizza you gotta go to Flying Wedge several locations I think This stuff is wonderful and available by the piece. If all else fails they have a location at the airport. $

There is a local chain of restaurants called White Spot. several locations Opens early and is fairly reliable for Breakfast or lunch. They are open for dinner, but with all these other choices why bother? $

There is a hotel downtown that has a rotating restaurant on top. Can think of the name check one of those what to see in Vancouver books. $$$+1/2

Anyway this is what comes to mind off the top of my head. I hoe these suggestions help.

A few more suggestions.

Raincity grill on denman street is almost a can’t miss for tourists. Probably the best value (including the lowest markups on wine i have seen) in the city for fine dining. Though it doesn’t really have much atmosphere the food is consistently outstanding.

Mescalaro’s, just off robson, is a bit more of a fun spot plus a friend owns it so I am compelled to recomend it.

Yaletown is close by and has a wide range of good spots.

There are so many that it is hard to recomend any in particular without a good idea of what you want. We have a huge chinese community so there are a huge number of dim sum restaurants. The pink pearl on hastings is particularly good though a bit out of the way. The floata in chinatown is the place to go for culture shock, huge, noisy and few of the waiters speak english.

Another on the can’t miss list is the Salmon House across the pond in West Vancouver. The food is really good, they specialize in an alderwood plank grilled salmon, but the real draw is the decor and incredible view of the city.

Depends on your tastes. If you want a classic diner type experience, there’s a place called Mary’s downtown (I can’t recall the street, been awhile since I passed through Van) that makes a fine, fine burger.

Out on Commercial Drive, there’re a couple hippie variations on the diner called Cafe de Soleil, and Cafe deux Soleil. I think I’m remembering that correctly…

Two restaurants I recommend if you are looking for the “Culinary Adventurist’s Experience” are Lumière and Ouest. Rob Feennie, Chef at Lumière, worked under Charlie Trotter at some time and it shows. In fact I sat there (quite impressed) and this is no dis, but I kept thinking, “Worship at the feet of Trotter Much?” and then saw Charlie’s imprimatur in a letter by the front door. Feenie does three tasting menus only, basically you have a choice of vegetarian, flesh, and price is no object. Choose the third, it would be pointless to go there and miss anything, and if you tell them you’re open for anything, they will invent a couple bonus courses on the spot.

David Hawksworth, Chef at Ouest worked under Marco Pierre White and likewise that’s pretty obvious. Hawksworth does a regular menu as well as a tasting menu and again I can’t see any reason to order anything other than the tasting menu. If you are a better Chef than he is, you might pick and choose from the regular menu, but you’re not, your just not, but that’s why you’re there–for his expertise.

In either place, if you’re super picky or have major food issues, don’t go, you just won’t enjoy it. If you have some alergies or a couple of minor “I won’t eat that” issues, just tell them, they will be happy to work around them. Both restaurants have kick ass wine lists, and if you ask them to just pick wines by the glass to go with each course, they’ll probably open something special.

Funny I can’t recommend an Asian restaurant, considering the fact that I’m Chef of a Fusion Pan-Asian restaurant. I’ve heard they do a noodle pulling show at the Shanghai Bistro, which everyone should see once, but I’ve never been there. There is a place that I think is called Zen, in or sort of in the Pacific Palisades Hotel on Robson where I usually stay, that does some twisted fusion breakfasts (in a good way).

Rick: both Cloud Nine, at the top of the Landmark, and the Top of Vancouver at the Harbor Centre revolve. They may well both be amazingly great, but I’ve been to neither, it just seems so gimicky.

Have fun, eat well, and don’t shake the Lava Lamps.

The ‘Top of Vancouver’ at the Harbour Center is probably the revolving restaurant Rick is thinking of, as it is the best known one. I think this is sort of a fun tourist thing to do - sure a little gimicky, but you get to see the city. Most Vancouverites refer to it as simply “the revolving restaurant”.

Out of the other suggestions that have been made, I second the Raincity Grill on Denman Street, the Cafe De Soliel on Commercial, and the place in West Van, if it is the same place I am thinking of (I think it is called The Troller, and is near the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal - if this is the same one, it is a great drive and a nice location)

I would also probably second Lumiere, but my understanding is that it is prohibitively expensive, thus I have never been there.

Other than that I would recommend Stepho’s Taverna on Davie Street, as much for the interesting location in Vancouver’s Pride Village and proximity to the beautiful Sunset Beach as for the amazing greek food, and also Tsunami on Robson street near Thurlow, if you are into sushi. Be sure to ask to sit at the bar, where they have little boats that float in a moat, and you can pick off what looks good to you - lots of fun! Both of these places are near where you would be staying.

As for dim sum, I don’t know of any particular restaurant, but I would highly recommend going for the authentic stuff served in Chinatown, located on Hastings street and surrounding area (Pender, Keefer, and Gore streets mostly), also fairly close to Robson. Chinatown is a great place and filled with sights, sounds, and languages I had only imagined before moving here. It really is a must see, but as Rick mentioned, it is in a part of town that is sadly plagued with drug problems, poverty, and crime. I would suggest that you make that a daytime trip - lunch perhaps? - try hard not to look like tourists (no cameras!), and whatever you do, DO NOT GO INTO THE PUBLIC WASHROOMS UNDERGROUND AT HASTINGS AND MAIN. Just trust me on that one.

Alright, I have said enough. Enjoy your time in my adopted hometown, and report back to us!

Top of Vancouver Yes! I only went there once when a friend was along for the trip. Gimicy yes. food was very good however, better than I expected. And it was fun to watch the world go around.
Raincity Grill DOH! how could I forget that.

Death by Chocolate is not far from where you will be staying (as I recall)

Thank you for all of your replies, It’s always good to have recommendations.

Thank you also for your safety tips. I live in a place where my chances of getting mugged are nonexistant, so it’s a good reminder. I hate having to even think about that stuff.

I suggest Mulvaney’s on Granville Island. They have excellent fresh seafood.

Tomato on Cambie near 18th is a great little diner/cafe place with a really creative menu.

If you want a good sports bar/pub, try Fogg and Sudds on Broadway at Cambie. They have a delicious fake-meat veggie burger.

The best truffles can be found at Chocolate Arts on 4th near Granville. There’s also a great Greek place in that area but I can’t remember the name.

I miss Vancouver. Almost every restaurant had vegetarian food. I don’t think I ever went to a bad restaurant there.

Might that be Memphis Blues Barbeque, 1465 West Broadway? (I think that’s near Granville St) I haven’t been there yet but may go this weekend. Will advise.

For Chinese food, look for Hon’s Wuntun Houses. There is one on Robson, across the road from the Sheraton Landmark (the big hotel with the spinning restaurant on top.) Very good grub, and very not Canadianized. There is some-shall we say, adventuresome? menu items but plenty of not scary but good stuff too. Dim sum can be ordered off the menu rather than from a trolley, and only during the daytime though. Order from the specials on the wall instead of from the menu. Cheap, cheap-like $7 for a big honk’n plate of special. That plus a big bowl of rice will feed 2.

Also have a gander around for my personal fave of the Vancouver cuisine scene, the all you can eat sushi joints. Usually $10 at lunch and $18 at dinner, it’s all the sushi and Japanese food you can stuff down your gullet in 90 minutes. It’s made fresh to order-no nasty buffet stuff. A decent one is Sui-sha-ya. They have a location on W.Broadway at either Oak or Heather streets. Don’t remember which. The branch I go to is in Metrotown mall in Burnaby(on the Skytrain line if so inclined). You can sit at the sushi bar and pull rolls off the conveyor belt and stuff your face until the real food comes. (don’t know if this piggy feature is offered at the Vancouver location).

Get a copy of the Georgia Straight when you get here for more ideas. Its the local free entertainment rag.

I lived their for 5 years and still visit regularly. The two that I will mention are not downtown but I consider worth the short drive.

East Hasting in Burnaby (just off of Beta I believe) there is a small place called Romona’s. Specialize in Greek and Italian. The place is a small family run outfit that is more or less a hole in the wall but the food is absolutely top notch. Priced quite reasonable too… especially compared to “trendy” Robsin St.

Japanese food, there is a small resturant at the corner of Lougheed and North Road on the south west corner (Burnaby again)… same complex as Fitness World. I believe it is called the “Kokyo” or something like that. Absolutely amazing Japanese food. The teryaki was great! They sit you in those little rooms and have the paper wall/doors around you. Priced quite reasonably as well.

Off to IMHO.

Wow, thanks everyone, those are great suggestions. I am going to print this thread out and take it with me. This will make it a lot more fun. Plus, I have to go to the sushi place with the boats, it sounds too cool :slight_smile:

Annie, you would be right on. I couldn’t remember the name.

I can’t second the recomondation for Fogg and Suds, I got the worse case of food poisoning I have ever had from a chicken ceasar salad there. Spent the entire night in hotel bathroom driving the porcelain bus.

I just returned from Vancouver and I snagged the what to see in BC book from the hotel, if anyone wants it send me an e-mail

Thanks again to all the Dopers who gave advice. I didn’t use any of it, but it was nice to have.

We ate four meals a day. Our eating was somewhat hampered by finding out that our hotel was directly across the street from a Hooters. It was no big thrill, but as guys, we had to go there daily.

We basically tried to do a different nationality for each meal, so it was grab whatever we could as we walked around. It was real nice to have so many choices.

Thanks again,


I’m wondering how on earth I missed this thread the first time around…

I would have pointed out Baru Latino, Asia, and Montri’s, all at 10th and Alma.

Vancouver has lousy nightlife, but awesome restaurants!