Vancouver fun restaurant suggestion

Old May 24th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Vancouver fun restaurant suggestion

We will be in Vancouver when our son turns 19 this Summer. Any suggestions for a fun "hip" kind of restaurant to celebrate in the evening? More meaty than fishy. Maybe with live music, jazz...?
Oh and thanks everybody for all the help. itinerary and bookings almost done!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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Forgot to mention - not Italian please since we are from Italy!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Actually, you might be amused to go to an 'Italian' restaurant here.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 05:41 AM
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We usually do end up giving an italian restaurant a try towards the end of our holidays! It's usually quite different from home but sometimes very interesting. Especially in Australia we found! Any reccommendations?
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Old May 25th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Last time we were in Vancouver (2 1/2 years ago), we stayed near the intersection of Robson and Denman. There were lots of small unique bistros all along Denman, and we enjoyed a number of them including Tapastree (specializing in Tapas/Appetizer sized portions of all kinds of food - mix and match), the Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant, the Wild Garlic Bistro. All the ones mentioned (and others in the same area, the names of which escape me)served very good food with nice atmosphere and some fairly unique menu items. There was also an Italian restaurant on Denman which appeared moderately upscale and seemed quite popular although we didn't get a chance to try it.
Sushi restaurants are popular in Vancouver and there are some (or at least one I remember) famous ones, but I don't have much experience with these.
 
Old May 25th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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In Victoria we have the 'macaroni grill' and the 'trattoria'. The first is a concrete structure located in the parking lot of a mall. Sound tacky enough?
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Old May 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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We are staying at the Swan in Victoria. Is their Bistro a good place to eat?
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Swans is an excellent pub/restaurant. A destination for many locals. House brewed beer on tap. You might want to try the west coast version of calimari or deep fried zuccini as appetisers.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 03:45 AM
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We had a great night at Joe Torre (sp)!
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Old May 26th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Joe Torre where?
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Old May 26th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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I think he means Joe Fortes, which is in Vancouver.

My suggestion is to browse www.dinehere.ca as it has all the local reviews for all the restaurants in both Vancouver and Victoria. I have many ideas for Vancouver restaurants, but I'm heading out right now, so will have to give you a list when I get back.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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Great web site. Thanks! Look forward to hearing your suggestions whenever you have time.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 11:38 PM
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Joe Fortes...ooopss ! never post late at night after drinking red wine !
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Old May 27th, 2007, 01:49 AM
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Joe Fortes looks like just the place for our birthday dinner. Thanks!
We have 5 nights in Vancouver so do keep the suggestions coming!
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Chambar is always a good time - lots of
energy, lots of noise and great food
esp. the meat dishes. However, no
live music....
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Old May 27th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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There really aren't a whole lot of choices if you want live music. I can't really think of any, honestly. The only restaurants I can think of are the Latin Quarter, a Spanish tapas restaurant on Commercial Drive... but it's a low-key place where you might go on a casual date - not really something I'd associate with "hip" and "19 year old's birthday".

The Main on Main is an average pub that serves Greek food, and has live bands perform - it's a hit and miss. It's located in a relatively hip neighbourhood full of art school students, indie rockers, and people starting up independent alternative clothing boutiques. Kind of a neat neighbourhood, but the Main is somewhere you go to grab drinks with friends in the neighbourhood - not somewhere I'd go out of my way for (or recommend for a birthday).

The other place I can think of that has live music is the Naam, a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant which is hugely popular, and hasn't changed much since the 60s (retains it's hippy vibe). The service... well... what service? The servers kind of float around and come to see you whenever it's convenient. People love this place or they hate it. I wouldn't recommend it for the purpose you're looking for.

Soooo... what would I recommend?

If you're looking for hip, somewhere that doesn't focus on Italian (which should be easy to do - Vancouver's known for its Asian cuisine and its local seafood [salmon, prawns, oysters, halibut, crab, etc], not its Italian cuisine)... and somewhere where a 19 year old would feel at home...

... hmmmm.

I'm thinking places like Section 3 or the Alibi Room, simply because they ooze with "hip" and they have live DJs playing, and you can order full entrees or you can order a lot of small plates and just share them. But read a few reviews on Dinehere.ca, it might not be what you're looking for.

Some of the izakaya restaurants would be fantastic, like Kitanoya Guu with Otokomae (on Water Street at Richards), or Hapa Izakaya (on Robson Street). They're vibrant places, very loud, fun, hip, and are fun places to go for birthdays. But they offer creative Japanese cuisine - not traditional stuff or sushi, but assortment of small plates - BBQ'd foods, noodles, salads, seafood - many of which are cooked. Again, might not be what you're looking for cuisine-wise, but would certainly be a fun experience.

If you're looking for more of a traditional sit-down restaurant, there are some which are hip, but more in a foodie, fine-dining sort of hip, and not in a 19 year old's birthday/live music kind of hip. Those restaurants would be Parkside, or Aurora Bistro.

Hmm... you might even want to consider somewhere like Lift or Cardero's. They're located on the water. My parents tend to book Cardero's for family special-events because it seems to suit everybody in the family (hip and happening grandparents included).

There are a lot of restaurants in Vancouver, but once you get rid of seafood from the menu, the choices are surprisingly sparse, especially if you're looking for hip! I'll see what else I can think of.

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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Chambar's website isn't working...reviews look good though, thanks llamalady.
Carmanah - you seem really knowledgeable about vancouver. You also replied to my post about Adara in Whistler. Is it too much to ask for Any comments on our itinerary? (Italian family ready for BC post)Thanks anyway.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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I agree about Kitanoya Guu-it's a great place to have fun.

http://www.guu-izakaya.com/

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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Any comments on Saltlik and Infinity Dining Experience?
I've actually got a great list now of about 12 restaurants thanks to all of you. We will definitely not go hungry and I will definitely post my comments when we get back.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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I really like Joe Forte's outside deck and its inside bar for cocktails and oysters, good downtown people-watching and vide, but not really for anything else. I've had some disappointing meals there.

Look at Vancouver Magazine www.vanmag.com as well for a good overview of Vancouver restaurants.
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