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Visiting Vancouver restaurant recommendations

T Raveret

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Looking for a couple of suggestions for good choices for two dinners and two lunches in Vancouver.    We are spending a couple of days there next week before taking the train to Montreal and then Quebec.   We love Indian cuisine also enjoy seafood and really are open to all cuisines.  Doesn't need to be fancy but if its something special we should try we are open .





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Are you looking for suggestions in the downtown area? There are lots of choices and I wish I visited Vancouver as often as I used to, so I can only suggest places I used to go to or that I would like to try. Weather will make a difference also. Views and outdoor/rooftop patios aren't quite as appealing in the rain and there is some rain in the forecast. I hope you have some nice weather because Vancouver can be a great walking city. 


Granville Island Public Market is well worth a visit and it's a great place to find picnic fare or lunch or snacks. Taking a little harbour ferry to or from Granville Island can be fun. We used to like the rooftop patio at Sandbar Restaurant. It's not thrilling food, but it was usually good. 


I also used to like Cardero's at the marina by the Westin. It's a nice place to go after a walk along the seawall. 


The other side of the seawall is in the West End (another ferry dock there also) and several restaurants there also. Not sure what I would recommend though, my fave place has closed. 


Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House is quite popular and I enjoyed it, but it's been years since I've been. Reviews still look good. 


I'd love to visit Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Seafood Market for their Happy Hour, though it's a little ways away from the downtown core. Fanny Bay (not the restaurant, but the actual Bay where some of their oysters come from) is just south of where we live, so we know and enjoy those oysters. 


Vij's Restaurant seems to get consistently good reviews and several awards. I kept meaning to go, but still haven't. I suspect the menu doesn't really do the food justice. It doesn't have the usual list of biryanis, tikkas and vindaloos. But Spicy 6 does and I think I would definitely check it out if I were hanging out along Robson Street. Speaking of Robson, lots of shopping and several other restaurant choices also! 


There are many other places to eat in the downtown - and also in other areas like Commercial Drive (Little Italy) or the Punjabi Market, if you are willing/able to travel a bit further. 


And of course, Vancouver has a sizeable Chinatown


Not sure I am being of any help here, though! It would be nice if you could hear from someone who has recently spent time dining in the city. 🙂




Edited by FauxPas
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Well, we are not from Vancouver but have eaten there more than few times.

Our  favourites

The Italian Kitchen…marvellous if you like Italian.  Reservations for sure.  It is busy.

Cioppino’s was also very good.  Excellent.  Restaurant has a nice vibe about it.  Well prepared food.

Sandbar is nice.  Nicely cooked food.  At one of our visits we had the whole crab….very fresh since they are located in Granville Island.

Jo Forties,….nice bar with some good nibbles.  We ate there once.  It was ok but the tables are so close together you may as well be sitting on your neighbours’ lap.  The food was nothing special.



i will email my friend who was just there this Sept and ask if they have a few favourites.  Stay tuned.

Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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I second Granville Island:

Tap & Barrel Bridges is casual gastropub food, and while it's not the most exciting food, the location is great and gorgeous view if the weather cooperates. Good local craft beer selection. 

Dockside at the GI Hotel is fine dining and also has their own craft beer. Haven't been there in a long while, so I can't speak for the food. Great views.

Granville Island Brewery and Liberty Distillery are also on GI. (Local craft beer is a big thing here and there are tons of small local breweries everywhere in the city and almost every restaurant carries a selection. If you're into beer, that is!)


Also highly recommend checking out the Asian cuisine scenery here, especially Chinese and Japanese. 

If you like dimsum - Victoria Chinese Restaurant is in downtown right by Burrard Station. Also Kirin Mandarin is in the same area.

If you're willing to travel further away from the downtown area and go to East Van, Pelican Seafood Restaurant has very good dimsum and dinner. Pink Pearl Chinese Seafood is close by. I was here for dimsum recently and it was excellent, so delicious. Haven't had their dinner in a long while though.


For Japanese food - Minami (Yaletown) and Miku (downtown) are both highly rated for Japanese fine dining. I haven't been to either. 

Robson Street, the part that's closer to Denman St/West End, is loaded with casual Japanese (ramen, izakaya) and Korean eats (KBBQ, sweet treats). Very lively, younger crowd. Expect line ups at peak hours.


If you're in Chinatown, Phnom Penh Restaurant has incredible Cambodian & Vietnamese food. The fried chicken wings, butter beef, Cambodian dry noodles are my favourites! Very busy, expect line ups.

Newtown Bakery - Chinese baked goods. The steamed buns with meat fillings are so good.


Lots of choices in this city! Let us know how where you end up - enjoy your visit here!


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Third'd Granville Island.  We stayed at the hotel on the island in the brewery when we were there a number of years ago.  Makes for some great walking excursions.  Highly recommend Vij's if you can get in.  Hopefully their quality has not change since I was there about 10 years back.


There are a number of awesome sushi spots around Vancouver if you are into that.  Blue water cafe I think was one that we enjoyed a lot.  There was another that I cannot recall the name of, which was at the base of a office building and had an unreal omakase. 


Oh, and test your climbing skills while you are out that way and attempt the Grouse Grind! ;)



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1 hour ago, TdeV said:

My niece recommended fancy vegetarian The Acorn Restaurant


Their tasting menu was fantastic! I'm not vegetarian, but very impressed with how creative they were with non-meat ingredients.


The area where Acorn is (Mount Pleasant) is very vibrant and has tons of interesting eating/drinking options, boutiques and specialty stores. 

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I live about 45 minutes outside Vancouver, but don't actually venture in that often but when we do we almost always have a meal. You've been given some great suggestions. Vij's is definitely a very popular spot for Indian food. Granville Island is an amazing adventure, easy to spend a few hours there. I have been to the Fanny Bay Oyster Bar - their happy hour is great. My favourite special occaision spot has always been Le Crocodile, dependably stellar food and impeccable service. Sushi and all manor of Asian restaurants abound.


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Awesome recommendations, Thank you!! ( and I'll keep checking back) 


We are looking downtown but would travel if reasonably accessible using public transportation or a cab.  There is an "atmospheric river" hitting Vancouver this week and we will be ready for rain but try not to let that prevent us from checking out some cool places.


Choppinos was on my radar already so that looks like a likely dinner  I love a good Chopipino and OssoBucco as well!!


For Indian some of the recent reviews for Vij's on tripadvisor were a bit concerning (but the lamb lolipop sounds amazing).  Someone had suggested Tasty Indian Bistro in Yaletown.  The Spicy 6 recommendation looks really good as well ( thank you Faux Pas for all the links!!).   


The Acorn sounds really interesting and amazingly creative but I'm not sure i will be able to convince my wife but if I can we may give that a try.


So many choices here !!!!  thanks again!



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I 4th Granville Island especially if you are in the downtown area - so much to do there and you can spend hours just wandering around the shops and market.  Take the little ferry for a tour if the weather is ok.  i have never had a bad meal at Blue Hat Bistro there - It is run by the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and the students run the restaurant overseen by the instructors - decent prices and great food with a focus on newer techniques and pacific northwest cuisine.  Great spot for a nice lunch and right next to Granville Island for a stroll.  Lots of good places on Denman St and also Davie St  Robson St is good for a stroll but kind of touristy.  Gastown and Chinatown are also worth a visit.  good food options there as well.


Hawksworth is also one of my favorites - https://hawksworthrestaurant.com/    - spendy but worth it for a treat.


Lots of good ethnic cuisines from around the world - Choppinos and Vij' are both good as you have noted


Definetly have an umbrella with you and good footwear cause yeah it is going to rain but not too bad - this Sunday 75-100mm so I hope you miss that - mid week looks ok.  I live a bit north of Vancouver and it was ugly today.  Hope you have a great visit!

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8 restaurants get coveted star in 1st Michelin Guide


Not sure that this list is the be-all and end-all, but interesting to see which restaurants were chosen.  🙂


The famed but sometimes controversial dining guide revealed the names of eight establishments deemed worthy of one star out of a possible three.

They are:

  • AnnaLena 
  • Barbara
  • Burdock & Co.
  • iDen & QuanJuDe Beijing Duck House
  • Kissa Tanto
  • Masayoshi
  • Published on Main
  • St. Lawrence

Here is a complete list of the Vancouver Michelin Guide selections for the Bib Gourmand, along with the 40 other restaurants it recommends:

Bib Gourmand

  • Anh and Chi
  • Chupito
  • Fable Kitchen
  • Fiorino, Italian Street Food
  • Kin Kao Song
  • Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer
  • Lunch Lady
  • Nightshade
  • Oca Pastificio
  • Phnom Penh
  • Say Mercy!
  • Vij's


  • ¿CóMO? Taperia
  • Acquafarina
  • Arike
  • Ask for Luigi
  • Bacaro
  • Bacchus
  • Bar Gobo
  • Bar Susu
  • Bonjour Vietnam Bistro
  • Botanist
  • Café Medina
  • Carlino
  • Chang'An
  • Chef's Choice Chinese Cuisine
  • Cioppino's
  • Delara
  • Dynasty Seafood
  • Elephant
  • Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
  • Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Homer St. Cafe
  • L'Abattoir
  • Lobby Lounge & RawBar
  • Maenam
  • Miku
  • Nammos Estiatorio
  • Neptune Palace Seafood Restaurant
  • New Mandarin Seafood Restaurant
  • Nightingale
  • Ophelía
  • Osteria Savio Volpe
  • per se Social Corner
  • PiDGiN
  • Riley's Fish & Steak
  • Sushi Bar Maumi
  • The Acorn
  • The Mackenzie Room
  • Torafuku
  • Ubuntu Canteen
  • Yuwa



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FauxPas - Thanks for posting this list - I heard the Michelin list was out but hadn't had time to look at it yet - Im going to the city Thursday and am going to check one restaurant out of the 3 lists out.  Looking forward to it. 



Edited by Chocoguyin Pemby
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Wanted to add Breka https://www.breka.ca/#a-vancouver-favourite

for breakfast or coffee and pastries or late night dessert. Or soup or sandwiches or donuts! There are 7 locations, open 24/7 - seriously excellent food for unbelievably low prices. 

Every time we go, I keep expecting the prices to have gone up. Grilled sandwiches for under 10.00, fabulous pastries in the 5-7 dollar range. Just unheard of in downtown Vancouver.

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