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Restaurant recommendations in Vancouver, B.C.

Restaurant recommendations in Vancouver, B.C.

Apr 24th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 114
Restaurant recommendations in Vancouver, B.C.

Hello Vancouver B.C. experts!

Hubby and I will be visiting Vancouver B.C. for the first time in July (we're staying 2 nights pre-cruise to Alaska).

We'll be staying downtown at the Sheraton Wall Centre and would be interested in obtaining some restaurant recommendations. We are fine paying high prices (e.g. $100-$150 U.S./meal including cocktails or wine) if the quality of the food warrants it. We like all kinds of food - ethnic and local - my only aversions are olives and eggplant, while hubby eats anything except raspberries (I know, but I married him anyway ).

We are from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) and we will not have a car during our stay in Vancouver, thus will either be walking, taking cabs, or public transportation - I share this information just in case it helps to make a recommendation.

BTW, I have done a search on Vancouver restaurants in this forum, but not a lot of recommendations over the past 6 months.

Thanks for your tips!

thornphoenix is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 61

Believe it or not, the locals really like the restaurants in the major hotels! They tend to stay away from the really trendy spots that get all of the press. The Pan Pacific Hotel has a couple of restaurants and I love sitting at the casual cafe on their main level - it is an 2-3 story atrium with floor to ceiling windows or outside patio seating and the dining areas overlook the coast mountains, Stanley Park, the cruise ships, English Bay, Burrard Inlet and the rain clouds dance on the hillsides. It is spectacular! Any of the major hotels will be wonderful - such as the Hotel Vancouver, the Fairmont Waterfront, the Pan Pacific.
Don't go east of the cruise ship terminal, though, you get into the really low end of Vancouver and it isn't safe. Gastown is over-rated! Kitsilano, Shaughnessy, Point Grey are all great districts to visit.

Have a wonderful trip!
j_elzie is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 187
Dear T.P.,
Although it has been awhile, about 4 years, since our trip to Van B.C., we really enjoyed great meals at these three restaurants: Fish House in Stanley Park, Diva at the Met, Metro. Hotel and Cin-Cin in the heart of trendy Robson district.
Best, Francie
Francie is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My favourite restaurant in Vancouver, and in fact one of my favourite restaurants anywhere, is Raincity Grill, right near English Bay. The same owner has also opened a seafood restaurant called "C" - I haven't been there but it's been highly recommended and we will probably be trying it this summer. The food is wonderful and they use local product wherever possible.
Meesthare is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 226
Hi there...we live here and are always happy to recommend the city's best..there are so many great choices here.

One night, why not choose between the two restaurants that always win restaurant of the year?

West or Lumiere. Lumiere is strictly tasting menus and will be minimum 100 dollars per person, while West is a la carte and won't be as steep as Lumiere price wise. But both restaurants are incredible.

For your second night, choose one of these downtown choices.

C--certainly the best seafood in town with a nice view of False Creek and Granville Island. Be sure to request a downstairs table

Cioppino's-fine Italian/Mediterranean food with a great bustling atmosphere. Located in Yaletown. Always great.

Chambar--one of Vancouver's newest restaurants...Belgian food with a great atmosphere..and fine dining food without fine dining prices. Also, a great selection of Belgian beers in addition to their original cocktail list and fine wine list.

All these restaurants have websites if you wish to preview their menus.

CaptCanuck is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 253
We go to Vancouver often for short visits and some of my favourite restaurants are Vij's (contemporary Indian - no reservations here - worth the wait!), Feenie's (chef Rob Feenie's new bistro - great option for lunch or appetizers at the bar), Bin 942 or Bin 941(sister tapas restaurants - both are wonderful), Umberto's on Hornsby for good Italian, Cassis (one of my favourite French restaurants). I second the above poster's recos for CinCin and Diva.
Vancouver has so many great restaurants, spend some time on Granville Island and have lunch from the stands in the market. Enjoy your visit!
Hana is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 114
Wow, you all are the best. Thanks so much for all your great recommendations - I really appreciate it. This really helps narrow it down given there are so many restaurants in Vancouver. As CaptCanuck recommended I'm going to review the websites for these places and see if that'll help us narrow it down a bit.

If anybody else has other recommendations please feel free to share - I'm still open for all suggestions.

I can't wait to visit Vancouver, although I suspect once I visit it I'll want to keep coming back (not a bad thing, just that there are so many places I want to visit)...but given that we're only down in Oregon it should be a relatively easy weekend trip for the future.

Thanks again!

thornphoenix is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 90
I've eaten at both numerous times and would pick West over Lumiere any day.

Lumiere is excellent, but I don't think you get very good value for the prices. Plus I find their waitstaff on the haughty side and not very well informed.

The food at West, on the other hand, is consistently superior and the staff is both friendly and able to advise on food and wine as if they enjoy doing so.

Just my take...
buzzer is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 08:43 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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I am a devoted foodie, and longtime resident of the west coast. Vancouver is a food-lovers heaven, so you are in for a real treat! Some of the places I would most recommend have already been mentioned: CinCin is fabulous, Mediteranean with a West Coast flair; Lumiere and C are outstanding high-end places; and Bin 941 has the bar-none best food I have ever eaten anywhere, as well as a phenomenal by the glass wine list. My only word of caution is that it is VERY small, and doesn't accept reservations ~ I have always had to wait, but trust me it is totally worth it.
But I would say these recommendations, and all the posts in this thread, are extremely lacking in some respects. These places are great if all you are looking for is the typical french or italian fine dining experience. But what truly sets Vancouver apart is its outstanding global cuisine, particularly asian! If you love sushi, as I do, you will be wandering the streets with a sated and goofy grin all week. Try any number of all-you-can eat sushi places, many of them on Robson Street ~ my particular favorite is Shabusen on Burrard, near your hotel. It is sushi and korean barbecue at its best, the price is phenomenal, and the quality of the food second to none. For a high-end never to forget sushi experience, Tojo's is world-renowned, but come packing a wallet.
Besides sushi, there is amazing Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian.. you name it, Vancouver has it. Some places I love are Kam's Singaporean on Davie (Thai-inspired menu, beautiful decor), Stepho's (voted best Greek for some 10 years running by locals) on Davie, Banana Leaf (out of this world Malaysian - try the stuffed prawns) on Broadway, Pho Huang (Vietnamese/Cambodian cuisine... if you have never tried Pho, the quintessential Vietnamese soup made with rare sirloin slices in a fragrant broth that takes over 24 hours to infuse with subtle flavours, you should NOW). The list is endless, and these places are CHEAP. Not only do you not need to spend a lot to eat well in Vancouver, you will really miss out on some of the best eats and experiences if you limit yourself to the hoity toity spots listed in the tourist guides! Be experimental... I discovered most of my favorites on my own just by stopping in and trying them over my years living downtown (I lived mere blocks from your hotel) and I was rarely disappointed.
Enjoy your trip!
westcoasthoney8 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Westcoast Honey - Please give us the name of some restaurants where local families eat on a regular basis. (entrees less than $15) Our kids are 14 & 8 and well behaved. Would love something with ambience or a view OR somewhere just fun. Thanks
sfg is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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You may get other responses from Westcoast Honey but if you are coming with kids you should definitely plan to have lunch on top of Grouse Mountain. Altitudes Bistro is affordable and you won't find a better view. There will be lots for the kids to do on Grouse and the food is really good.

While you are touring around downtown, you should know that other places that lots of families go are the Milestones and Earls chains on Robson Street, as well as White Spot. These are all Western Canadian family favourites.

The kids will also love Cafe Crepe's restaurants on Granville and Robson Streets. You can grab crepes to go at the window or you can eat in.

Lots of people eat on Granville Island, either inside the market at a food stall or at one of the many restaurants nearby. There is a new fish and chips takeout place called Go Fish which is very popular and would be great for a quick bite with the family. Aside from fish and chips, they have other things like fish tacos. It's located just outside of the main market near Fisherman's Wharf. The Sandbar restaurant on Granville Island has a fabulous brunch and treats kids really well even though it doesn't seem to be a family place at first glance.

I hope that helps.
Cat123 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,177
......not westcoasthoney but will give
suggestions for eating with kids in
Vancouver. A little difficult to find
places on the waterfront though.

Earls and Cactus Club are local chains
that would fit your needs. There are
branches all over the Lower Mainland.

Our fav. for taking kids is Milestones
- again, quite a few locations. I think
their food is better than the other two
(for instance, their salmon is wild) but
all have menus appealing to everyone and
more moderate prices.

Hope this helps.
llamalady is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 982
Please Note
While agree that the food @ Go Fish can be excellent it is in no way a place to grab a quick bite.
Lines to order are long and wait times for cooked food longer-this is so every order is done 'just so'.
It also means it's no fast food joint and taking hungry kids there expecting to eat now is bound to be a let down.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Cat123 and llamalady - Thanks for the suggestions, we may try all of them during the week. If you think of anything else, send them on. SFG
sfg is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 12
Hello again! Sorry about my slow reply.

Not that these aren't good suggestions, but... I think it's a mistake narrowing your food selection to the predictable chain family-style restaurants just because you are bringing children. Most of the great cheap local eats I mentioned are "ethnic", but many are not so exotic that a kid wouldn't love the food. My 8 year old neice & 6 year old nephew were visiting a couple years back, and I took them to many of the places I mentioned in my list above and they LOVED it.

What may sound exotic can be pretty simple and easy food. For instance, if you go to Shabusen (all you can eat japanese & korean)... what they call Korean yakiniku is simply barbecued chicken or beef to a kid, and they would have an absolute blast seeing you grill the meat right at the table (not something you will see every day or in every city, outside of Asia!). Being an all-you-can-eat makes it ideal for introducing kids to new cuisines without any risk ~ you can order items in small (everything is in quantities by the peice) quantities, and not lose out if they don't like it; while there are tons of "safe" items (like chicken wings, teriyaki chicken, etc) on the menu that even finicky eaters will safely enjoy.

My neice/nephew particularly loved Shabusen, the Crepe Cafe (which kid doesnt love chocolate & banana pancakes!), and Pho Hoa (vietnamese beef soup). Not only did they enjoy the food, but were thrilled to experience something new and unusual. I also think this kind of exposure broadens your children's palate to enjoy far more nutritious and delicious food alternatives than the usual burger & fries diets many kids eat. Expose kids to something different, and they will often love it ~ I see lots of children eating at my local sushi places.

That's my 2 cents worth anyhow
westcoasthoney8 is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 12:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 114

Thanks so much for your additional restaurant selections - really appreciate it! We love ethnic food and are die-hard sushi lovers, so we'll have to give Shabusen a try - especially since it's close to our hotel. I'd love to also try Malaysian food - never had it, but I would suspect it's good since I've never had an Asian type cuisine that I didn't like.

We have only made one firm decision on dining one evening and that is for "C" - we'll be meeting a couple of friend's there before we all board the cruise the next day. The rest of our meals, though, we may just wing because it sounds like we can just walk around and find a lot to choose from w/o having reservations. We're really looking forward to our trip in July!

Thanks again!
thornphoenix is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 09:52 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 12
Its my pleasure, thornphoenix.

I hope you and your family have a *wonderful* vacation out here!
westcoasthoney8 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4

If you are interested in a restaurant with great ambience, excellent cuisine, live seafood aquariums and some cultural artifacts, you might consider INSADONG - Korean Barbeque and Fresh Seafood Restaurant.

This restaurant is very close to the SkyTrain (subway) transit system. Since ths SkyTrain is above ground you can see a lot of Vancouver during your brief commute to the restaurant.

The name INSADONG is named after a famous area in Seoul, South Korea. Insadong has been a place where artists for over 400 years have gathered to sell their artwork. Queen Elizabeth has even been to this area to see the famous pottery.

The restaurant has an excellent website that will provide some pictures of the interior, the menu (over 80 dishes - with a guide option with recommendations based on experience with Korean food - Beginner, Intermediate, Expert)

The website is:


You may want to make a reservation. Their patio is great and supports WiFi (free) hotspot access. I sat out on the patio and enjoyed L.A. Galbi last week.

Our kids really enjoyed the live seafood aquariums. The restaurant had great ambience and it was a fun family experience. ( This may be the best korean restaurant in Vancouver )

Good luck in Vancouver!
greatambience is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:41 AM
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Just a word of caution - this may be a legitimate post but "greatambience" has never posted before, and the post reads pretty much like an advertisement to me. Advertising is not allowed on this site.
Meesthare is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:36 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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I just want to chime in here with one recommendation that nobody has mentioned. I was raised and lived most of my life in Vancouver. A restaurant that was always my favourite for special occasions was The William Tell. I enjoy reading about the other restaurants you mention because they are new names to me. I have recommended the William Tell to friends visiting Vancouver and they all have loved it. I checked to see if they have a website and it is thewmtell.com. Just thought I would mention it in case some of you locals haven't tried it.
traveller69 is offline  

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