Dining in Vancouver

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Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:23 pm

Not sure how many 'foodies' are out on these boards but I thought I'd start a thread about some of the interesting places to dine in Vancouver. I love to cook but it's great to hit the town every now and then and check out some of the restaurants; bars; tapas; lounges in the Lower Mainland.

Last week before I left for Toronto, Mr.LB took me to Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley, Gastown. I just want to say I absolutely LOVE this place. Never been to a place like this in North America, just in Europe (but that's been years as well). Not stereo-typical fare, more like food for thought...depending on your bevvy. You get choices of cheese, meats, and garnishing as your meals. Accompanied by great wines or great beers. A few friends have been raving about this place, so my BF took me there and we had a great time. Fantastic eats and bevvies.

Food Recommendations

Condiment: Guinness Mustard
Meat Choice: Spicy Chorizo
Cheese: Manchego

The list of meats and cheeses and condiments change either daily or weekly, and it's a fantastic place to just chill. Totally casual and you can dine in the wine cellar as well. The people who own it, I just found out happen to be friends of mine and also own the Irish Heather (another gem in Gastown).

I highly recommend it for a casual but still upscale night out. Bring some friends that are visiting the city there, I promise you won't be disappointed.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Puck » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:25 am

Sounds good LB. I'm in Victoria, so I don't get into Van for dining all that much (the 2 children under 4 is also a factor), but I can vouch for West*, Raincity Grill, and the Alibi room - although the latter was a beer-only visit. Speaking of which, can anyone comment on the food there? The local beer list is excellent.

* I think the chef may have changed recently.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:33 am

Puck wrote:Sounds good LB. I'm in Victoria, so I don't get into Van for dining all that much (the 2 children under 4 is also a factor), but I can vouch for West*, Raincity Grill, and the Alibi room - although the latter was a beer-only visit. Speaking of which, can anyone comment on the food there? The local beer list is excellent.

* I think the chef may have changed recently.


I LOVE the Alibi room! Haha one of my haunts for sure! Alibi room has good food, for me it's more a place to sit and have a few.

Raincity is good too and West if phenomenal, David Hawksworth is the shit!

If you're a big fan of Belgian Beer, try Chambar on Beatty. Great food, great beer and awesome atmosphere.

Heading out to check out some of event centres for the Olympics today as well as a long overdue meeting..and getting rid of a couple of our hockey tickets (Speaking of which, we have preliminary games to sell in the Best Buy Club..all your food and non-alcoholic bevvies included for about the same price most 300 levels are going for on Craigslist.) I'm going to check out the new parts of Cambie Corridor/City Hall for a lunch spot today.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby dr.dork » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:39 am

LotusBlossom wrote:Raincity is good too and West if phenomenal, David Hawksworth is the shit!

If you're a big fan of Belgian Beer, try Chambar on Beatty. Great food, great beer and awesome atmosphere.


David Hawksworth hasn't been at West for about 6 months to a year. He is starting his own restaurant which I don't think is open yet. West is probably my favourite higher end restaurant.

I like Chambar and I like that Salt place (although it is more of a place for appetizers than a meal). The other place that was good for Belgian beer was -- I can't remember what it is called -- but on Cambie where Tomatoes used to be. Cambie and 16th I think ? Sort of upscale pub food if I remember correctly but I don't remember the food that well because I was too busy drooling over the beer menu.

My favourite place is probably the Chilipepper house on Kingsway which is run by a chinese family that lived in India. It is some weird accidental chinese-indian fusion restaurant. Jeans and t-shirt, completely unpretentious, and if you want to be seen don't go there (go to Vij's instead for overpriced pretentious indian food). Yes, I have the hate on for Vij's. (It should be against the law to overpay for either Indian food or Chinese food in Vancouver. Shouldn't overpay for Sushi either, but there are exceptions to that rule...).

I have had good meals at Lumiere but the last time I went (about 8 months ago) I walked out hungry and about $1000 shorter on cash. Service was bad too, but I heard it has improved recently.

Lots of good places on Main too.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Broda » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:38 pm

Foodie? I'm a HUGE foodie!!! actually moving back to Van today.. can't wait to hit up some of my old haunts. Also moving back into a place with a sweet kitchen.. and will want to cook alot more.
That Salt tasting room sounds awesome LB. Is it a bit like a tapas place? Also is it good for vegetarians? When i was in Europe this summer i think the best i ate was in Spain.

I'm curious though about Sushi, what are the best places to go downtown? I know my usual places but I have a friend coming and she is wanting to know a good place downtown. I think its Guu in gastown... maybe its not there anymore... but yeah looking for a place that would be good and possibly even slightly pretentious... ha.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:08 pm

Broda wrote:Foodie? I'm a HUGE foodie!!! actually moving back to Van today.. can't wait to hit up some of my old haunts. Also moving back into a place with a sweet kitchen.. and will want to cook alot more.
That Salt tasting room sounds awesome LB. Is it a bit like a tapas place? Also is it good for vegetarians? When i was in Europe this summer i think the best i ate was in Spain.

I'm curious though about Sushi, what are the best places to go downtown? I know my usual places but I have a friend coming and she is wanting to know a good place downtown. I think its Guu in gastown... maybe its not there anymore... but yeah looking for a place that would be good and possibly even slightly pretentious... ha.


It's good for vegetarians as well. They have great vegetarian plates and cheese plates. I'm admittedly a carnivore so I tend to go for the awesome meat selection they have there. Check out the new Irish Heather as well, they moved across the street and do a "Long Table" dining tradition if you book online.

Guuis in Gastown on Water st. and the West End (Thurlow just off Robson) AWESOME place!

I was at Tapastree (Robson Street and Denman) this weekend with a bunch of people that grew up with me.Fantastic place. It was definitely a reunion for some of us since we haven't seen each other in about 10 years or more. Great place and I dare say their vegetarian tapas were of higher quality than the meat ones. Great place and great selection of wine and other cocktails and beer.

Best Sushi is Tojo's, but highly expensive on W. Broadway. Honestly, the best bang for your buck for sushi is Tanpopo, an all you can eat place that serves unlimited amounts of sashimi and the salmon is wild sockeye not that of the farm variety.

I will say this, it's good to be back in Vancouver and having GOOD sushi again and not paying an arm and leg for it, like I was in Toronto. The sushi in TO is IMO sub-par and costing WAY more than it was worth.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:21 pm

dr.dork wrote:
LotusBlossom wrote:Raincity is good too and West if phenomenal, David Hawksworth is the shit!

If you're a big fan of Belgian Beer, try Chambar on Beatty. Great food, great beer and awesome atmosphere.


David Hawksworth hasn't been at West for about 6 months to a year. He is starting his own restaurant which I don't think is open yet. West is probably my favourite higher end restaurant.


Well too bad for West. I actually haven't been there since about over a year ago now. I'm excited about Hawksworth new place then.
I like Chambar and I like that Salt place (although it is more of a place for appetizers than a meal). The other place that was good for Belgian beer was -- I can't remember what it is called -- but on Cambie where Tomatoes used to be. Cambie and 16th I think ? Sort of upscale pub food if I remember correctly but I don't remember the food that well because I was too busy drooling over the beer menu.

I'll trek there today when I am in the area and have a gander.

My favourite place is probably the Chilipepper house on Kingsway which is run by a chinese family that lived in India. It is some weird accidental chinese-indian fusion restaurant. Jeans and t-shirt, completely unpretentious, and if you want to be seen don't go there (go to Vij's instead for overpriced pretentious indian food). Yes, I have the hate on for Vij's. (It should be against the law to overpay for either Indian food or Chinese food in Vancouver. Shouldn't overpay for Sushi either, but there are exceptions to that rule...).


Vij's...heard stuff never went, but I honestly head to Fraser/Main if I want some good REAL Indian food..lol

I have had good meals at Lumiere but the last time I went (about 8 months ago) I walked out hungry and about $1000 shorter on cash. Service was bad too, but I heard it has improved recently.

Lots of good places on Main too.


It's been a while since I have gone to Lumiere, don't remember much about the place except it was terribly overpriced..lol I'll take my chances of running into Pratt in his leather pants sitting at the bar at Fortes.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby BingoTough » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:09 pm

I live in London (UK), where despite the reputation, we get some amazing food. It's not all yorkshire puddings and roast beef.

However, when I'm back in Vancouver I love going places where you can get an honest burger and a tasty beer. You've got some really good choices there. Took my wife to Fuel a year ago... not impressed. Terrible service and sub-par food for the price.

Arms Reach Bistro in Deep Cove is worth checking out in the summer. Snoozy little community, decent little restaurant (though can depend on who is in the kitchen). Not necessarily a recommendation for a foodie, but nice enough.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby rockalt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:54 pm

LotusBlossom wrote:Best Sushi is Tojo's, but highly expensive on W. Broadway. Honestly, the best bang for your buck for sushi is Tanpopo, an all you can eat place that serves unlimited amounts of sashimi and the salmon is wild sockeye not that of the farm variety.

I will say this, it's good to be back in Vancouver and having GOOD sushi again and not paying an arm and leg for it, like I was in Toronto. The sushi in TO is IMO sub-par and costing WAY more than it was worth.


Good call on Tanpopo Lotus. I remember that was my favourite digs for late-night all you can eat sushi. It's definitely the best deal in town, particularly when you factor in the quality. Frankly I don't know how they do it, offering unlimited wild salmon sashimi. God I miss good sushi!

You know just about two weeks before I left Vancouver, I discovered my new favourite sushi restaurant. I can't remember the name of that place but it was located near the corner of Broadway and Macdonald, on the southeast side of the street. It's a couple of stores away from the KFC (something tells me that's no longer there) and across the street from the safeway. Anyway, they used to serve brown rice sushi. Before you turn your heads in disgust, they do serve normal sushi as well. For whatever reason though, I really loved the brown rice version. There's absolutely nothing fancy about this place but the quality's definitely up there.

You can't even begin to imagine the sheer awfulness of asian cuisine I've endured in the last two years. Traiteur Asiatiques should be outlawed! (Paris is replete with little Chinese stores where you pay for the luxury of microwaving your own food). London's considerably better, especially for Indian but I have yet to find any amazing sushi joints.

Speaking of which, Bingo do you know of any nice restaurants here? I know there are loads but it can be a little difficult to navigate with all the massive chains. I don't each out much, being a student and all, but it would be nice to know a couple for when my girlfriend visits. I just had Dim Sum yesterday for the first time in over two years. A little expensive, but not bad.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby BingoTough » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:43 am

rockalt wrote:Speaking of which, Bingo do you know of any nice restaurants here? I know there are loads but it can be a little difficult to navigate with all the massive chains. I don't each out much, being a student and all, but it would be nice to know a couple for when my girlfriend visits. I just had Dim Sum yesterday for the first time in over two years. A little expensive, but not bad.


Cheap but great (£15 per head)
C&R Cafe in Chinatown
Tayyabs in Whitechapel
Tay Do in Shoreditch (Kingsland Road)
Imperial China for Dim Sum (Chinatown)

Will put some more expensive ones down later... but to tie you over: Pham Sushi (Whitecross street) for some pretty stellar sushi (try the rock shrimp tempura).
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby LotusBlossom » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:41 am

thanks for all the places to dine out in London. My cousin is getting married next year (He grew up in London) and I would like to try some places out there that are just roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. :P

Know anything about possible Malaysian places to eat?
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby BingoTough » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:22 pm

LotusBlossom wrote:Know anything about possible Malaysian places to eat?


C&R is our favourite. Things to try:
- Kampung-style Nasi Goreng
- Kangung belachan (water spinach & sambal)
- Sambal Ayam-goreng (chicken wings + sambal)
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby rockalt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:17 pm

BingoTough you rock! Thanks very much for the suggestions. I'll be sure to check them out in the near future, especially pham sushi! And yes thanks for the cheap suggestions. I'll start with them and then hopefully have enough money one day (ie. a job) to try the other ones.
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby nucklehead_88 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:29 pm

I dunno a whole lot about dining in Vancouver cuz its a bit of a drive (from maple ridge). But from personal experiance i know that Kirk Mcleans restraunt is great, Its called "So.cial at Le Magasin" in gastown http://socialgastown.com/ and it's huge into using local ingrediants. If you ever find yourself in the maple ridge area, "The Kingfishers" is my favorite spot to eat or watch the nucks play. Great food, great price. Huge bar selection. During canucks games, all the tables have canucks players names, if your tables player scores you get a free round. I you have Luongo as your table and he gets a shut out, your whole tab is free. Plus the Sous Chef is my little brother :D . http://www.kingfisherspub.com/
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Re: Dining in Vancouver

Postby Puck » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:44 am

Chambar... I've heard good things about that place before. Anybody know if they pour any of the serious lambics (Oud Beersel, Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, Boon, Girardin)? I love that stuff, but it's super rare in BC.

Its 9:43AM and I'm dying for a beer and some frites...
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