For the February long weekend, Mike and I took off to Vancouver for a quick getaway.
Whenever I visit any place, my top priority is to eat at as many local restaurants as possible!
Vancouver’s food scene is incredible and one of the items I recommend for my Long Weekend Getaway: Things To Do In Vancouver list is to eat. all. of. the. food.
Here’s a brief recap of the food Mike and I ate during our two and a half days in Vancouver + recommendations on what you should order.
I feel like we definitely ate a lot, but man do I wish there were more hours and meals in a day, or I had a bigger tummy. There was so much more I wanted to try (and I thank everyone for their great dining recommendations over on Facebook and Twitter before we went on the trip! It definitely helped with my Excel spreadsheet restaurant-mapping process, lol).
Vancouver Long Weekend Dining Recap
Cafe Medina: it’s a super trendy, hip, spot where you can expect a line-up before they open.
Order several of their liege waffles with the white chocolate pistachio sauce! (I regretted ordering just one) Their Wolves Breakfast (basically a meat platter) is also fantastic.
Santouka Ramen: feels like you’re in a ramen shop in Japan – with a very busy, hot atmosphere, and great ramen. Order their shio white tonkotsu ramen, or the char siu (with lots of roast pork).
Mike and I are also obsessed with gyoza so you have to get that and when we went, there was a Lunar New Year special featuring chirashi – delicious raw fish over rice. The food was very quick to come out (despite a bit of a wait getting in).
ARC Dining (Fairmont Waterfront)
ARC (Fairmont Waterfront): catch the live music Tuesdays through Saturdays and share the incredible Beast Board!! Chef’s choice of local and seasonal meat or seafood plus vegetables. Massive and delicious.
I also thought a ton of their menu items sounded amazing (including the fantastic coastal oysters + foraged mushrooms). We had a terrific meal at ARC, with fantastic service, unsurprising as our entire stay at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel was 100%.
Stormcrow Tavern: we were so full when we arrived here we didn’t really order food but browsing the food items (and their geeky names) is half the fun. This “Planet Hollywood” for geeks, sports bar for nerds, has an awesome vibe. You can order a take-home souvenir ‘Beerbabarian’ stein (though Mike forgot his there! ugh) and just hang out playing board games.
Hapa Izakaya (Coal Harbour)
Hapa Izakaya: on a Saturday night this seemed like the place to be – packed with different birthday parties, loud 90s music playing.
Order their namesake – the Hapa rolls, and if you’re into gyoza, maybe give their interesting tempura take a try (but pass on the beef tataki). They also serve ramen during lunch!
Ask For Luigi
Ask For Luigi: this tiny, unassuming pasta shop on a random corner past Gastown is amazing! Expect a line-up before they open.
If going for brunch, get their pasta risotto with mushroom, sausage and poached egg, or their pappardelle bolognese. The carbonara also sounded incredible. It’s cool to watch as the chefs roll out the handmade pasta right before your eyes.
Phnom Phen: I think a Cambodian / Vietnamese combination restaurant is so interesting. We were stuffed from our Italian breakfast but tried their spring rolls and hot and sour soup with shrimp. Not my favourite (but it was fine – like what you’d expect from a hout and sour Vietnamese-style soup), but the rest of their menu looks promising, and they are rated one of the best restaurants in Chinatown (it also got really busy as soon as we sat down!)
Vij’s: the restaurant of former Dragon and current celebrity chef / entrepreneur Vikram Vij, you must try the flavourful lamb Popsicles, as well as the incredible mutton kebabs. Mmm. Such spices! If you’re lucky, Vikram will be hanging out and greeting you. He is just the sweetest guy!
Food photo warning: it’s dark in here so my photos were not great, so I apologize for that harsh flash on the lamb popsicles photo.
Momo Sushi (Gastown)
Momo Sushi: a cute, small space where you’re seated in a basement coming in from the main street (Gastown). Cool vibe with neon signs and a fun playlist – plus a really affordable menu!
Order the super cheap and tasty sashimi appetizer and the Gastown rolls because well, you’re in Gastown. But honestly I could’ve ordered so much more (and from the orders I overheard at other tables, it seems like their lunch bentos/combos are popular!)
Food Court at Aberdeen Centre
Food court in Aberdeen Centre: this is a super busy food court with so much ethnic food variety I lost count. Try their beef tofu hot pot (though not like your traditional “hot pot”) which at $9 is both tasty, filling, and comes with a drink and cream puff dessert.
So much, yet not enough?!
2.5 days is just NOT enough time to eat your way through Vancouver..
Check out these other resources for ideas on where to eat in Vancouver:
- TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Best Vancouver Restaurants
- 10Best’s Best Vancouver Restaurants
- Zomato’s Best Restaurants in Metro Vancouver
- Yelp’s Best 10 Vancouver Restaurants
- Vancouver Eater’s Top 10 Best To Try Before You Die Ramen
- BC Living’s Where Vancouver Chefs Go For Sushi
And also, just ask your friends!
We got some great recommendations when we asked our friends who had been to Vancouver before.
Also check out my recommendations of other things to do in Vancouver (because you do need to space out your meals lol).
And please leave a comment letting me know your favourite Vancouver restaurants!