Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot being born and raised in Vancouver. Framed by rugged mountains, lush forests and the Georgia Strait, British Columbia’s largest city is one of those rare places where you can start your day with skiing and finish it by the beach. The scenery is unparalleled, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With immigrant residents making up almost 50% of the population, Vancouver’s rich multiculturalism has helped the city blossom into one of the world’s most vibrant food destinations. Growing up, I was exposed to food from all corners of the globe — from dumplings and tacos to curry and sushi — and developed an appreciation for diverse cuisines from an early age. To this day, I love trying new foods from around the world and owe it to my hometown for cultivating my passion for international flavors and local ingredients.
Whether you’re coming to Vancouver for a weekend getaway or long-term stint, I’ve rounded up my favorite street eats, restaurants and food markets so you’ll know exactly where to go to get the best grub.
The cobblestone streets of Gastown are lined with chic bars and eclectic dining options. Look out for Japadog outside Waterfront Station. This iconic street stall blends Japanese flavors with the humble hot dog. Try the signature Terimayo, which comes topped with teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed.
At the Flying Pig, bite into delicious Pacific Northwest dishes like herb-crusted steelhead trout and foraged mushroom pappardelle. Just around the corner is Tacofino, a beloved BC chain serving up California- and Mexico-inspired beach food. You can’t go wrong with the crispy chicken or eggplant tacos here.
There’s also Nuba, the go-to spot for authentic Lebanese food. Order a bunch of mezze plates (hummus and crispy cauliflower are recommended) and share with friends. If you find yourself on the outskirts of Gastown, stop by the Alibi Room for a pint of local craft beer or dig into fresh handmade pasta at Ask for Luigi.
The West End is packed with ramen joints, making it every noodle lover’s dream. Slurp up Japanese comfort food at Kintaro (go for the spicy garlic ramen if you can handle spice), Marutama, Santouka or Ramen DANBO. For more Japanese delights, head to Kingyo Izakaya for cold beer and a variety of delicious small plates. Be sure to order the grilled sake-kasu black cod, truffle carbonara udon and stone-grilled Kobe beef.
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Other notable restaurants include Dinesty, one of the top places for pork soup dumplings, and Sura, specializing in traditional Korean dishes such as kimchi stew and bulgogi beef. Craving a snack? Grab an Australian meat pie at Peaked Pies or opt for a fresh Belgian waffle at Nero. When it’s nice out, sip cocktails and savor the view of English bay from Cactus Club Café.
Upscale Yaletown is where you’ll find some of Vancouver’s most popular fine dining establishments. Celebrities are often seen dining on fresh seafood at Blue Water Café and Rodney’s Oyster House (I even spotted Owen Wilson here a few years back). For the best Japanese and West Coast fusion, go to Minami and savor its famous salmon oshi sushi. Locals also rave about the pan-seared scallops and extensive wine list at Cioppino’s. In the mood for brunch? Tuck into hearty breakfast poutines at OEB Breakfast Co.
Chinatown is a hub for all kinds of Asian cuisine. Start your culinary adventure at Phnom Penh, an award-winning Cambodian and Vietnamese restaurant famed for its beef luc lac and deep-fried chicken wings. There’s always a line out the door, so make a reservation beforehand. You can also satisfy your dim sum craving at Jade Dynasty, which steams up dumplings and barbecue pork buns all day long. Along the fringe of Chinatown is Chambar, a Belgian brasserie known for hefty pots of moules frites. Don’t leave the neighborhood without a box of Mello brioche doughnuts. The lemon curd, matcha and tiramisu flavors are guaranteed to make you swoon.
Stretching from Science World to past Granville Island, the False Creek area is ripe with gastronomic surprises. Grab a table at Ophelia and indulge in authentic Mexican dishes like corn-crusted octopus smothered in white mole. Afterward, treat yourself to dessert at Ernest Ice Cream or grab a drink at local watering holes CRAFT Beer Market or Tap and Barrel.
Every Vancouver holiday includes a visit to Granville Island, a cultural hub with hundreds of art studios, boutiques and eateries. At the public market, you can stock up on fresh produce and browse the food stalls offering everything from maple candy to smoked salmon. When you work up an appetite, refuel with fish and chips from Tony’s or chicken pot pie from A La Mode. If you’re after waterfront views, take a seat at The Sandbar and enjoy the landscape with a side of Dungeness crab cakes.
Get Ready to Eat Your Way Through Vancouver
This article barely scratches the surface when it comes to all the incredible food in Vancouver. Use this list as a starting point for your foodie tour and be sure to make your own delicious discoveries along the way. If you’re feeling adventurous, venture out of downtown Vancouver to areas like Kitsilano, Commercial Drive and Richmond for even more culinary gems.
Good Sam Parks in the Region
Burnaby Cariboo RV Park, Burnaby, BC
Capilano River RV Park, West Vancouver, BC
Birch Bay Resort-Thousand Trails, Birch Bay, WA
Cottonwood Meadows RV Country Club, Chilliwack, BC
Cultus Lake Thousand Trails RV Resort, Lindell Beach, BC
To cross into Canada from the United States, American tourists must be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. Vaccinated tourists must test negative for COVID-19 before traveling (via PCR test), carry hard copies of their vaccination records and upload their documents to the ArriveCAN app or website.