The Best Eats in Vancouver
Our culinary adventures in Vancouver started off with a lavender infused latte, paired with the city’s best Belgian waffles made by esteemed Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu from Medina Café.
This was the first tasting on our tour, and the first task was to choose which of the twenty sauces we’d dip our waffles. The four winners were salted caramel, chocolate lavender, white chocolate pistachio rose water and raspberry caramel sauces.
In just two days, WestCoast Food introduced us to over a dozen restaurants and cafes in the Lower Mainland area from Vancouver to Fraser Valley, where foodies can find a diverse culinary scene, from gourmet cuisines to comfort food dishes, and world-winning desserts.
We traveled to Vancouver’s outer communities Richmond, Steveston, Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver, to the heart of Vancouver and experienced a food extravaganza like no other!
Our foodie tour continues below…
RICHMOND & STEVESTON
Richmond & Steveston
Next up? A drive to Richmond, where there are 800 restaurants and 25% of them are on 3 city blocks! This city is known to have more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in North America, and about 50% of them are Asian.
So if you are a sushi fan, or if you want to find the best steamed dumplings, you could go to try at least 100 restaurants in this area, and find your favorite.
Best eats not to miss!
Alexandra Road, known as “Food Street” where there are nearly 200 Asian eateries.
Our guide Lesley Chang, Communications Manager for Tourism Richmond, joined us as we visited several eating spots from Richmond to Steveston, a 100-year old fishing village. We visited Rocanini Café , an artisan coffee shop, to learn more about the essence of the bean. We learned about the processes and extraction methods used for pourings. After sipping samples of Sumatra, Kenya, Guatemala coffees, we walked the town to our next stop.
We couldn’t pass up some bites of sushi at a local favorite Mega Sushi, voted Best Sushi by Richmond Review Readers, and discovered some unique rolls – Sunset Roll, Godzilla Roll, Mega Roll, Crazy Boy Roll, and our new favorite, the Romance Roll with filled with avocado, cucumber, crab and radish sprout in a roll with red tuna and deep fried lotus root on top.
In between tastings, we walked to the fishermen’s wharf and strolled along the pier where fishing boats dock,and sell freshly caught fish off the back of their boats. This is a charming little town with small boutique stores, and a several miles long dike where you can rent a bike and cycle along the waterfront.
This was our next tasting for a “second” lunch. We watched the chef make dim sum and dumplings, while sampling several platters – sautéed garlic pea shoots, steamed dumplings, sesame pockets with seasoned ground beef, and more! Good to note: several Chinese restaurants in Richmond have menus in English, just ask!
LONSDALE QUAY & NORTH VANCOUVER
Just a short ferry ride from Downtown Vancouver, you can visit the Lonsdale Quay where there’s an indoor Market. Click here for an introduction on Lonsdale Quay and find out what there is to do.
Pastries and Coffee
Visit the neighborhood favorite for coffee and pastries, Temper Café. Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef & Owner Steven Hodge creates pastry masterpieces and chocolates, and keeps customers coming back for more. Click here to read more about this famous pastry shop on the North Shore.
Located along the waterfront of North Vancouver, guests dine on fresh seafood, sushi rolls, and look out to amazing views of downtown Vancouver.
Photo courtesy of Vancouver North Shore Tourism
Vancouver has the second most restaurants in North America, next to San Francisco. After visiting a handful of eateries, we can’t wait to come back and try more on the list below.
Dining you Don’t want to Miss!
This top restaurant some of the best croissants are at this bakery in downtown Vancouver located on the high-end shopping street, Alberni and just a block from Robson St.
Breakfast at Shangri-La Hotel, Market: Be sure to order the signature dish, Stacked French Brioche Toast, with toppings of Bacon & Apples at Chef Jean-Georges restaurant, Market.
This is the only First Nations restaurant in Vancouver featuring gourmet food using traditional ingredients. We met one of the owners, Inez Cook, who shared her incredible story of discovering her family roots with the Nuxalk (Bella Coola) tribe, and receiving her native name of ‘Snitsmana’ meaning ‘protector of the sacred dance’ and ‘lively.’
She introduced the menu to us…Indian Candy (smoked wild salmon candied with maple syrup), the Game sampler of cured elk, rosemary infused boar salami, and smoked bison, with bannock crackers, berry preserve, and cedar jelly. Some favorite entrees were the braised free range bison back ribs and wild sockeye salmon dinner.
Inez shared that “The First Nations people have always lived on the 100-mile diet! Foraging and hunting are a part of their culture and they are reminding us to listen and learn.” Click here to read the NY Times article about Inez and her “must dine at” restaurant. WestCoast Food highlights Salmon n’ Bannock in this article as well, click here.
And for dessert….Bella Gelateria, where the #1 gelato maker in the world, James Coleridge, creates one-of-a-kind flavors! Known as the “Willy Wonka” of gelato, we met James and he presented an array of flavors for us to sample – Lemon Macha, Creamsicle, Burnt Caramel, Whisky Fudge, Saffron Rose Water, Green Maha, Banana Bread, Black Sesame, and another surprise flavor he will be announcing this week! Located in Yaletown and Downtown.
A final toast for the evening? Swing by CinCin Ristorante for Vancouver’s famous cocktails stirred, shaken by David Wolowidnyk, #1 mixologist in Vancouver and one of Canada’s most acclaimed bartenders. He handcrafts creative cures for each customer from mocktails, cocktails, to non-alcoholic drinks.
Photo Credit: Jerrol Golden
David has won world competitions including the “Most Imaginative Bartender” …visit CinCin and find out why!
Settlement Building: The new hangout for breakfast, lunch or drinks! There’s a hip vibe in this spacious renovated warehouse located on Dunlevy near Gastown. The tall front door is worth a visit!
Megan’s List….there are 50 restaurants in Gastown alone (shared by Megan Halkett of WestCoast Food).
Where to eat in Gastown
ABOUT WESTCOAST FOOD
About WestCoast Food
WestCoast Food is your one-stop fresh guide to the best local and insider stories of all there is to experience and taste in British Columbia’s epicurean region of Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the culinary communities in between.
Learn about the diverse, vibrant people, places and, of course, fare, that make up the culinary scene in 9 communities with 12 cities and towns,
WestCoast Food offers a diverse culinary scene to please any palate, from haute cuisine to home-style dishes.
The fertile land of Vancouver’s Lower Mainland makes the area the perfect place to grow or make a variety of food & drink, including berries & produce, cheese, meat, honey and much more!
The multicultural diversity of the area creates a variety of culinary options, with spices, vegetables, fruit, meats and flavors from all over the world present in a rich fusion food culture.
Huge thanks to WestCoast Food for planning our food tour and hosting our stay. We’d like to also thank Tourism Richmond, and Tourism Vancouver for our tours and hosting us.
Thank you to Rocanini for the fascinating coffee pourings, Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen for the delicious steamed dumplings, Bella Gelateria for the velvety smooth gelato tastings, Temper Pastry for the wicked pastries, Beach House for the lovely fresh seafood meal, and Salmon n’Bannock for a memorable First Nations gourmet cuisine dinner experience, and David for an evening toast at CinCin Restaurant.
Finally, we appreciated the luxury accommodations and hospitality from Shangri-La Vancouver, and comfortable, smooth travels on Amtrak.