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Vancouver Restaurant Guide
Normally we don't write about food on our website, but we are making an exception this week to tell the YMCA/NAYDO delegates coming to Vancouver about some of our great restaurants.
Welcome to the YMCA/NAYDO conference.
While you are here we assume that you would like to eat food. Preferably great food. So I have prepared a list of some of my favorite restaurants for you. I hope that this little guide leads you to sample some great food, and enjoy some of the best of what our city offers.
Vancouver is a great restaurant city. It's full of creative chefs, and an abundance of local delights.
You can dine out at our many “100 mile diet” gems, or sample the amazing ethnically diverse restaurant scene.
You will not go hungry.
I've split this recommendation list into three different categories to make it somewhat easier for you. First, since virtually all delegates will be staying in downtown Vancouver, I focused my choices on what will be close by. Second, I've tried to divide it into low-budget, medium, and high end. Frequently, but not always, the best restaurants tend to charge you a lot more money. Nonetheless, sometimes it's worth it.
My co-worker Glenn also added some vegan and vegetarian friendly recommendations. All restaurants are in the downtown core unless indicated. Other restaurants I mention are still within 3 to 7 miles from the Conference Centre.
Good Budget restaurants
Simpatico's: Greek restaurant, 2222 W. 4th Avenue (Kitsilano, 4 miles from downtown). http://simpaticorestaurant.ca/
Nando’s: Portuguese chicken, various locations. http://www.nandoscanada.com/
Siegel’s Bagels: Just off the downtown peninsula, and fantastic. http://siegelsbagels.com/
White Spot: Successful local chain. Various locations. http://www.whitespot.ca/
Flying Wedge: Local, creative pizza you can order by the slice. Various locations. http://www.flyingwedge.com/
East is East: Silk road restaurant on West Broadway (5 miles from downtown), with lots of charm and great reasonably priced food. http://www.eastiseast.ca/
Vera’s Burger Shack: You can order organic burgers or lamb burgers. Various locations. http://www.verasburgershack.com/
Banana Leaf : Good Indonesian food, and a place for a large group of people. Make sure you have the Sambal green beans. Various locations. http://bananaleaf-vancouver.com/
Save on Meats: 43 W. Hastings. Pretty close to the conference center. http://www.saveonmeats.ca/
Whole Foods Markets/Capers: Various locations, with inexpensive healthy options. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/canada/
Robson: 1675 Robson Street
Cambie: 510 West 8th Avenue
Kitsilano: 2285 West 4th Avenue
Earl’s: A chain, but fun atmosphere and decent menu. http://www.earls.ca/
Maenam: Best Thai in the city, on West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano. http://maenam.ca/intro.html
Thai House: Very cheap lunch specials, various locations. http://thaihouse.com/
Jules: A French restaurant in Gastown. Great steak and fries, fish. http://www.julesbistro.ca/
Baru: Great ceviche, paella and more. http://www.barulatino.com/index.php
Chambar: Frequently cited as the best restaurant in Vancouver, and also difficult to get into. But worth it. http://www.chambar.com/
Vij’s: Easily one of the best Indian restaurants in North America. They don't take reservations, and even Oprah had to stand in line to get in. But a great low-budget option is Rangoli, owned by Vij, and it shares the same kitchen. http://www.vijs.ca/ http://www.vijsrangoli.ca/
Tojo’s: Often called the best Japanese restaurant outside of Japan. Make sure you have Tojo's Tuna if you go. Just outside downtown, about 4 miles from the conference center. http://www.tojos.com/Splash.html
Bishop’s: Wonderful creative menu based on local foods. Service is impeccable. http://www.bishopsonline.com/
I added this section because there are so many good Italian restaurants in Vancouver. The restaurants listed have higher priced entrées, which can be great, but the pastas are reasonably priced.
Il Giardino: My personal favorite. Great food and wonderful ambience. Sadly closing in April 2013. http://hotelvilladelia.com/restaurant_ilgiardino.cfm
Cioppino’s: Located in Yaletown. http://cioppinos.wordpress.com/
La Quercia: 6 km from downtown, small, intimate and very hard to get a reservation. http://laquercia.ca/
Cin Cin: A fun place downtown on Robson Street, with excellent food. http://www.cincin.net/
The Sandbar: On Granville Island, a great place to visit. Just outside downtown, usually packed and lots of fun too. http://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar
Fish Café: 2053 W. 41st, Kerrisdale. Probably 6 miles from downtown, but it has a fabulous, fresh, reasonably priced menu. Not a huge number of seats, but my favorite place to eat fish. http://www.fishcafe.ca/
C Restaurant: Pretty stunning West Coast restaurant. #2-1600 Howe Street. http://www.crestaurant.com/
Seasons in the Park: The perennial winner for romance. About 6 miles from downtown in Queen Elizabeth Park with a great view of the city. http://www.vancouverdine.com/seasons-park
I’ve not had the opportunity to eat here yet, but it has been highly recommended.
Hawksworth Restaurant: 801 W. Georgia Street. http://www.hawksworthrestaurant.com/
Medina: 556 Beatty Street. http://www.medinacafe.com/
Vancouver is one of the most veg-friendly cities in North America, so most restaurants will be able to serve you delicious vegetarian or vegan food. I've divided the list into Downtown and Outside of Downtown. Feel free to get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @glenngaetz) if you have any questions about them.
Loving Hut Express Food truck, located outside of the Roundhouse Community Centre (view map)
Some of the best vegan fast food in the city. Lots of old favourites made vegan (the reuben is highly recommended). All vegan.
Panz Veggie 1355 Hornby Street (view map)
Healthy (and delicious) Chinese vegetarian food with friendly and fast service. Quite possibly the best vegetarian Chinese restuarant in Vancouver. All vegan.
Outside of Downtown:
Chau Veggie Express 5052 Victoria (view map)
A new addition to Vancouver's veg options, but close to the best. Delicious Vietnamese noodle soups (yes, vegan pho!) made with fresh ingredients. Best tofu in town. Worth the long ride on the number 19 bus.
Out of town but worth the trip if you have time: