words Alexa Wang
Vancouver is a foodie’s dream come true, a city where you could get your hands on every traditional staple cuisine you could think of. But it’s not just the local appreciation for fine dining that makes this city great. If you amble through Vancouver, you’ll likely find line-ups behind food trucks. If you’re visiting Vancouver for the first time and you don’t know where to start, here’s where you can get a taste of the finest food in the city.
Other than being a brilliant shopping district, Granville Island is also known as a favorite spot among foodies looking for flavorsome adventures. Just a short ride away from the downtown waterfront, the public market offers everything from exotic cheese shops, to freshly baked pastries, to succulent sausages and salamis from specialized producers. If you’re a beer person, make sure you stop by the local Granville Island Brewery. And because Granville relies on fresh seafood from nearby fish markets, it’s also home to the best fish and chips venues.
While an unorthodox spot to list, you’d be surprised by the abundance of options you’ll run into. Culinary destinations range from the finest sushi to the city’s best fast food served from food trucks. If you are craving for pizza, Omega is a great location for pizza that offers different specialties and signatures. They also serve plenty of other delicacies like the juiciest wings you’ll ever try. The moment you step over the threshold, you’ll smell the delicious scent of freshly baked pizza and sizzling spiced meat.
While there are also plenty of fine dining restaurants, Surrey is more of a hub for excellent quality fast food, fish and chips, and stir-fried noodles. And if you’re in the mood for some authentic Indian food, you’ll definitely run into plenty of options to choose from, which serve exquisite curry dishes for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.
It goes without saying: brunch spots and food trucks in Vancouver’s downtown bring something different to the table and to your culinary experience. Award-winning chefs run the kitchens of fine dining spots, while you’ll also find local fast food and cozy cafes that suit every budget. Depending on what you’re craving, you’ll find a wide selection of local and international restaurants with a plethora of cuisines that cater to your distinct taste buds.
If you like an outstanding view with your meal, make sure you check out your beachside options, which are dominated by award-winning fine dining patio restaurants, as well as more budget-friendly eateries, where you can have buttery croissants and delicious, crispy baked items. Downtown is also the perfect place to get fresh seafood, where Asian and French restaurants will have your inner Gordon Ramsay fall in love with their innovative menus.
As you walk through the crowd on Commercial Drive, your eyes will catch plenty of international restaurants to choose from. The road stretches for four miles, and it’s lined with reputable F&B businesses and restaurants. You’ll find classic food with an Asian twist, cafes are known for their fine Portuguese coffee beans, and sandwich shops where you can grab a quick bite on the run.
Be sure to check out the myriad of festivals and events, such as the yearly Car Free Day in the center of Vancouver. If you fancy some cheap eats to grab while taking a tour, you’ll easily find exotic cuisines that range from Lebanese and Oriental fusion to Mexican, Asian, and everything in between. We recommend you try some classic Mexican dishes, which also offer wide selections of vegan and vegetarian options. If you’re craving some filling beef sandwiches, or if you’re in the mood for a burger, you’ll recognize the best stalls and food trucks by their long line-ups.
Gastown has beautifully evolved into a vibrant urban neighborhood. It’s known for being the perfect stop for a mouth-watering brunch that will keep you energized for the rest of the day. It’s one of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhoods, so you’ll run into a wide range of souvenir shops, cafes, food trucks serving sweet and savory snacks, and of course, fine dining restaurants. It’s one of those neighborhoods where the fresh aroma of brewed coffee and sizzling grilled beef will stop you wherever you go. The diverse coffee culture will likely grab your attention, which makes this busy part of downtown ideal for a flavorful breakfast as well.
Richmond Night Market
If you’re into more down-to-earth eateries, Richmond Night Market is the foodie spot for you. Although it’s not a year-round market, you can enjoy the wide selection of delicacies and exquisite specialties from May through October. It’s known for offering authentic international cuisine, but it’s also popular for its Asian and pan-Asian food.
Exotic choices range from the richest-tasting teas you’ll have, to freshly grilled seafood and mouth-watering ice cream. Although we have to warn you, this market is certainly not for anyone who’s remotely indecisive, as you’ll have up to 120 vendors offering more than 600 food items to choose from. But if you’re heading there on an empty belly, you’ll likely mix and match from multiple stalls and walk out more than satisfied. Make sure you try the ever-popular rainbow cheese toast and some Filipino tacos if you’re feeling experimental.
The West End
Known for being an authentic hub for excellent Asian cuisine, the West End is where to head if you’re craving some exquisite ramen noodles; or if you’re feeling a little fancier, the plethora of seafood restaurants will tickle your nostrils as you walk past them. This is simply where you can get your hands on an unrivaled fusion of Asian cuisines and pan-Asian venues that cater to experimental foodies with a distinct taste. While there’s plenty of authentic Asian cuisine options to choose from, the West End is best known for its blend of cuisines, such as Japanese and Malaysian, and pub-style food that coalesce Chinese meals with a European twist.
There’s no better way to discover a city and its diverse cultures than through the food it has to offer. While the glistening glass of surrounding skyscrapers and multicultural exhibitions may seem like the biggest attraction in Vancouver, it’s actually the diverse F&B options that keep visitors and tourists coming back for more.