I realize that my last two posts on this blog have been about my ‘baby journey’ (My Gift of Infertility and My Greatest Adventure) and while I appreciate the great reception they have received (thank you SO MUCH for all the sweet comments and messages of encouragement), I figured it might be nice to write about something lighter this time around.
And since I haven’t done a travel post in a while, this would probably be a good time. I mean, I’ve been away for a year – you’d think I’d have some experiences worth sharing, right? 😀
Well, I’m happy to say that I do! And today it’s all about my favorite places to eat in Vancouver. Truth be told, my ‘favorites’ list is much longer than 12. There’s at least 30. But I can’t write about them all in one post so I whittled it down to 12 (I tried 10 but that didn’t work :P).
One thing is certain: You’ll never run out of great choices. In fact, there are still so many places I have yet to try and I’ve been here for a while! But you know how it is when you think you have time – all of a sudden, time runs out! Well, It just gives me something to look forward to for next time.
Here they are in no particular order:
Fine dining, award winning and tasteful interiors. It has wonderful ambience for dinner, but it’s absolutely perfect for brunch. If the weather is good, ask to be seated outdoors for the full effect.
My top pick: You probably should order the waffles, but if you like to keep it fairly healthy like me, then have the Bon Matin. It’s light, can be shared and it’s just kind of nice to pick on a smorgasbord while enjoying a lazy morning chatting with friends or on a date with your significant other.
A wonderful farm-to-table spot, perfectly located along the hippie and trendy Kits area. The menu changes depending on the season and availability of ingredients, and I remember I really enjoyed their zucchini bolognese which I had around spring time. Now that it’s summer, it’s no longer on the menu, but I did see that they have a duck meatball tagliatelle with mushrooms instead, and that sounds amazing.
My top pick: The Best “Canned Tuna”. And you can find out for yourself why they call it that 😉
Probably top of mind for most Vancouverites for Italian cuisine. Unassuming from the outside, but oozing so much charm inside that you forget the annoyance you felt while waiting in line (warning: no reservations and usually a very long wait list). Famous for their fresh, hand made pasta and hefty portions. Bring only your favorite people because they will only seat up to a maximum of six pax per table 😉
My top pick: The ricotta & herb ravioli with butter and sage. I don’t have a photo because we were starving and we ate too fast. BUT, the best thing to do is order a bunch of things and share!
I love this place! It’s Italian cuisine as well, but more traditionally presented. Also, a little more on the fine dining end of the spectrum. They have a beautiful garden (hence the name) which is the best spot to enjoy a delicious meal in the summer.My top pick: I have two. The Bison Carpaccio (Bison meat is so much tastier) and the Carbonara – because there’s no place for diets here 😀
I just love the rustic ambience in Tavola. Still Italian, but I couldn’t NOT include it. Such a feel good place with delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere. Don’t be surprised if the chef comes out for a chat and a laugh. It’s also located along trendy Robson street so try to eat early and walk off your meal afterwards while checking out the neighborhood.
My top pick: Impossible to narrow it down to one. The Burratta with La Quercia Prosciutto, the Bucattini all’Amatriciana and the juiciest ‘Brick Chicken” with roasted garlic jus. So, so, good.
My friends and I ate a couple of really good things in this place. Scotch Eggs, Roasted Bone Marrow, Foie Gras & Chicken Liver Terrine, The Pourhouse Burger, Steak and Frites…the kind of place to put a smile on your man’s face.
My top pick: Everything I just mentioned but match it with a good bottle of wine or a crisp beer.
French fancy-schmancy and one of the city’s most acclaimed and visited restaurants. A lovely choice for a special occasion.
My top pick: Hands down, the sablefish.
For 60 years they’ve been serving Canada’s most perfectly cooked steaks. You can never go wrong with Hy’s and this is my family’s go-to place to celebrate meaningful life milestones.
My top pick: The Bone-In Rib Steak with a side of Atlantic Lobster Tail. And the mussels!
It’s pretty hard to choose between Gotham and Hy’s, because they both serve excellent beef and seafoood, have impeccable service and great ambiance. Gotham however, is housed in one of Vancouver’s few remaining art deco buildings (built in 1933 and designed by Max Downing), so it’s both a visual and gastronomic delight. A bit pricier too.
My top pick: Just like Hy’s, the Steak and Lobster, of course. And the mash!!! Although I had the lamb once and I thoroughly enjoyed that as well.
A five-time winner of Best Upscale Restaurant in Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Awards, they are known not only for excellent food but also for their warm and attentive service. In fact, I experienced this first hand when my friends and I did a private tasting menu. Not only did the server remember that I was avoiding gluten and was allergic to squid (they prepared some of my dishes in a different way to accommodate this), she thoughtfully replaced certain dishes she deemed “too risky” (and explained why) for someone pregnant like me, and made sure that I enjoyed every dish I ate despite the changes.
My top pick: Go hungry and have the tasting menu. $118 per guest / $186 with pairing
While normally the best Chinese food can be found in the city of Richmond, the best dim-sum in my opinion is in Kirin, particularly their location in downtown Vancouver along Albany St. It’s been said that Vancouver’s Chinese food is even better than Hong Kong’s because the ingredients found here are fresher. Personally, I think it’s true. Then again, maybe I’m biased 🙂
My top pick:
Dim-sum is the ultimate comfort food and it’s easy to just keep ordering the same old things. I always order the steamed pork spareribs in XO spicy sauce and the shrimp har gau for example. But one thing I’ve also learned to do is to order at least one dish that’s not my usual, that way I can discover something new that just might turn out to be another favorite.
While a lot of people say that Miku is the best Japanese restaurant in the city, personally I think Raisu rocks. A little hidden (the entrance is right by a grocery store), it’s easy to miss this urban, tapas style izakaya if you’re not careful. But just like any hidden treasure, it is a gem of a find. Seriously, Vancouver’s Japanese food is only second to…well, Japan’s 😀 – they do get a lot of their fish from Canada after all 😉
Thanks for reading this extra long post 😀 And I hope you find it helpful the next time you find yourself hungry in Vancouver.