Food & Restaurants in Vancouver
Where to begin? There is something for everyone in this cosmopolitan city, and the variety of cuisines and price points have been described as a foodie's delight. In particular, you will find many different kinds of Asian food available. If you fancy sushi many places offer "all you can eat" lunches for $12, which offers food of a wildly varying quality. In general, the city is up there with some of the best cities in North America when it comes to food. If you can do without alcohol, you can usually have a pretty reasonable meal for under $12, and at one of the more expensive restaurants in the city, $70 will get you a four course feast with exquisite service.
The highest density of restaurants is in Kitsilano or the West End. The central business area has many of the high end restaurants either along Robson Street or associated with the many hotels in the downtown area. East Van tends to have many authentic ethnic restaurants.
Vancouver is also famous for its dim sum restaurants. Because of the big Chinese population, the price and quality of dim sum here is among the best in the world. One of the consistently highly ranked dim sum restaurants by local magazines is Sun Sui Wah, at 3888 Main St. Also, check out Floata in Chinatown on Keefer St, or the Kirin at Cambie and 12th; reservations recommended. There are many restaurants on Victoria around 41st Ave (or Kingsway and Knight) which offer cheap dim sum ($2.75/plate), albeit with less class and more oil. In Burnaby, try Fortune House in Metropolis Shopping Complex. The city of Richmond, with a majority of its inhabitants being of Chinese descent, will have a plethora to choose from. Restaurants are all over the place on No. 3 Rd, Westminster Hwy, Alexandra Rd, and on the many side streets just east of Richmond Centre.
Many Vancouver restaurants recommend you have a reservation, the majority of them use OpenTable, or other similar software; however, some require you to phone. Check on the restaurants website or Yelp page before you go to be sure you will be seated in a timely manner.
For budget travellers, pick up a Georgia Straight (a free local paper available all over the place), and clip two for one coupons from the food section.
Every January, the city holds a food festival with over 270 local restaurants, which offer prix-fixe menus for both visitors and locals. The program, Dine Out Vancouver, runs over 17 days and includes the cities new eateries, neighbourhood favourites and award-winners. In 2017, to will be held from January 20 to February 5.
Be advised that although the vast majority of stores around Vancouver accept credit cards, small family-owned Chinese businesses and restaurants, more often than not, accept only cash.
- For coffee, there are perhaps more Starbucks per capita in Vancouver than anywhere else. On Robson and Thurlow, until recently there were two Starbucks kitty-corner to one another. Starbucks is the most dominant of the three coffee shop chains found in Vancouver. The others, Caffe Artigiano and Blenz, are found throughout downtown. JJ Bean is favoured among the locals and it's a great place to spend a few minutes to a few hours nursing a coffee and one of their ginormous muffins; there are ten locations scattered throughout the city. Bean Around the Worldis a popular coffee house chain with ten locations. Waves Coffee is popular with students for its 24-hour operations, and free Wi-Fi internet. For independent chains try Mario's on Dunsmuir and Howe; they have a unique feel and a slower pace than other coffee shops. Make sure not to miss Trees' cheesecakes and its roasted on-site organic coffees.
Vancouver has seen a rise of new independent coffee shops in the past three years, most of which focus on single-origin beans and a simpler approach to delicious coffee devoid of syrups and flavourings. Examples include:Matchstick, Kafka's, Revolver, 49th Parallel.
Bubble tea (or boba tea) is also a popular drink among the Vancouver youth. There are countless tea houses throughout Vancouver, the most notable being Dragon Ball Tea House on West King Edward Ave and Oak St.
Food safety inspection reports are available online from the local health authority, Vancouver Coastal Health.