Vancouver Favourites

I’m often asked what my favourite restaurants are in Vancouver and recently found myself typing out the same list of spots for a friend. So this time, I’m going to record the list here where it belongs for future reference. As you read this list, you may notice a tendancy to dine at ethnic restaurants. Damned straight I do! Vancouver has some of the best ethnic cuisine I’ve ever tried – and trust me, I travel with my stomach.

Of course Vancouver is very well known for some of the best Chinese and Japanese cuisine on the continent. Dim Sum at Sun Sui Wah on Main never disappoints. Ever. And the lamb noodle soup down the street at the slightly sketchy mom & pop run Legendary Noodle House is heaven. Now that I think of it, there are a number of terrific restaurants along Main Street worth eating at, such as Aurora Bistro and Monsoon. Both very tasty and hip.

For an authentic Asian treat you could always stick your head into a hot, steaming bowl of congee at Congee Noodle House on Broadway (don’t forget to add a century egg!). Or if Asian fusion is more your style, the offerings at Wild Rice on Pender near Chinatown is always fun with a young, hip crowd and funky music.

Vancouver has a large Japanese population and is a sought after destination for Japanese tourists. For an authentic Japanese bistro experience, there’s Hapa Izakaya on Robson for some primo casual Japanese bistro fare. Or equally memorable would be a visit to the famous Tojo’s for some of the most innovative and freshest sushi done omakase style. For something a little less pricey or formal, there’s always a walk down Denman to sample Vancouver’s best tonkatsu ramen noodle soup at Kintaro. Don’t be fooled by the small room or humble interior design, this is the real deal.

If Vancouver’s myriad of authentic pho or banh mi sandwiches (with iced coffee of course) isn’t providing enough of a Vietnamese fix, try the dizzying variety of Vietnamese-Cambodian flavours at Phnom Penh in Chinatown (one of my very favourite spots) or the amazing Malaysian food at Banana Leaf on Broadway. Oh yum. The cutting, pulling and dragging noodles at Sha Lin Noodle House are also amazing – you must try the curry lamb cutting noodles and cold beef tripe with spice sauce. I eat here at least once a month.

Alternatively, Vancouver’s Indian fusion cuisine is quite famous and I’m always up for a visit with my old friend (and former cooking teacher) Vikram over at Vij’s at 11th and Granville. For less fancy, two other favourites are Chutney Villa and House of Dosas (both on Broadway).

If you find yourself down at Granville Island, make sure to check out Gord Martin’s Go Fish shack down there. Or the just opened Salt in Gastown for cured meats and artisan cheese with wine pairings. A great European-style chartuterie unlike anything else in Vancouver.

If you have some suggestions you’d like to add to this list, please submit a comment and tell us!


4 Responses to “Vancouver Favourites”

  1. Posted on August 9th, 2006

    I’ll add a few to your list:

    Cafe de Paris on Demman, for some good old-fashioned french artery-killing.

    Rinconcito Salvadoreno on Commercial Drive, for the puposas.

    Chi, on Nanaimo & 1st, for asian-influenced tapas and an ultra-swank room.

  2. Posted on August 9th, 2006

    Hate to break it to you but it appears that Chi is closed. After reading your comment and following the link, I tried to make a reservation for tomorrow night only to be informed that the number was no longer in service. A Google search revealed the following unfortunate news:
    Chi closed

  3. Posted on August 10th, 2006

    Too bad, but hardly a surprise. It was a pretty tricky location.

    Hopefully those responsible for it will open up again somewhere a bit more convenient.

  4. Posted on November 15th, 2008

    Our faves in no particular order….

    Au Petit Cafe on Main off 33rd has the yummiest Vietnamese subs (order “the special” for the works) and their pho is consistently delicious and hot.

    Sandwiches it’s SoCial in Gastown right at Cordova & Homer, east of Brioche. They’re known for lineups for their huge addictive sandwiches (fresh focaccia) and homemade potato chips. Their prices have skyrocketed from when they first opened to due food costs but if you split a full sandwich with a friend, still a bargain. My other fave is Patisserie Lebeau off Burrard beside Barbara-Jo’s. Fresh bread, tasty fresh ingredients and a variety of waffles to kill for (thank you Mr. Healey!)

    For sushi, our fave is Ajisai in Kerrisdale (and thank you Mrs. Nakamura-Healey!) even though it will never hold a candle to several places we’ve been to in Japan…but it’s a close second! Their “special chirashi” is my addiction. For sushi with cooked stuff, our new haunt is…wait, why should I tell you? Moving along….

    Best Sunday Brunch I’ve had is at Aphrodite’s Cafe on West 4th at Dunbar. I had their special chorizo frittata on my first visit but everything looked and smelled so good. It was busy and their menu is primarily organic local fare. Oh, and they bake homemade fruit pies next door; my son hoovered a raspberry-rhubarb one.

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