lunch & dinner
When searching for somewhere to eat for a big meal, Vancouver has it all. I mean really, it has it all. You can find some of the world’s best cuisines right here in the city, thanks in part to the multiculturalism of the city and those who have brought the world’s foods home, and thanks in part to the global access that we have as a port city (best sushi hands down is here too).
Good Day Sunshine Cafe, South Surrey
My parents and I all had soup and sandwich combos – and they were deliciously homemade from scratch. The interior could use a little more comfort and warmth, but the food more than made up for that.
The Chopped Leaf, Morgan Crossing
Our favourite for filling, yet healthy dinners – a fresh restaurant that somehow manages to make it cool to eat your vegetables.
Kaisereck, Granville Island Public Market
What to eat: My favourite thing to pick up from Granville Island’s bustling market is the make-your-own-bagel at the local German Kaisereck. You can pick what you want on it, and they’ll stuff it to the brim and toast it to perfection. Then you can enjoy your creation outside on the docks with the most gorgeous view of False Creek.
Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant, Harbour Centre, Downtown Vancouver
What to eat: Although pricey, the view makes this restaurant worth it. You’d have to pay to go up to the view deck anyway, and the rotating restaurant that literally offers 360 degrees views of the city every hour is a nice treat. Both times I’ve dined here I’ve had the salmon and pea spaghetti – delicious and paired nicely with a glass of white!
Tractor Foods, Kitsilano
What to eat: Everything on the menu here is catered to health-conscious Vancouverites. Featuring organic items, and many dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free options, this place has a wonderful menu for those searching for a light meal.
Doughgirls Bakeshop, University of British Columbia
What to eat: This place is a UBC gem. They sell themselves as a comfort bakeshop, and boy are they. Get your hands on any number of their mouthwatering pastries, after you have indulged in their yummy main courses of course! I found their side salad to be nothing too special, but their mac’n’cheese more than made up for it.
Abode Restaurant, Downtown Vancouver
What to eat: Catering more to the brunch crowd, I enjoyed their vegetarian chili bowl. Very rich in flavour and featuring an entire bread bowl, it was filling and delicious. The mimosas they have on tap are perfect, even if the bill ended up being a little bigger than I had expected.
Mercante Cucina Italiana Pizzeria, University of British Columbia
What to eat: Quite probably my favourite pizzeria in Vancouver, you can easily scoff down one of their entire pizzas by yourself and not feel too much guilt. They’re delicious, and freshly oven-baked, so of course there is some sort of health aspect to them…Right? I also used to live across the street from them, which was utterly dangerous and daringly tempting.
Stanley Park Teahouse, Downtown Vancouver
What to eat: Mostly I enjoyed this restaurant for the view – the sun sets over the water on the edge of Stanley Park right outside the window. The food wasn’t incredible; I ordered the flatbread, which I found to be overcooked and dry, lacking in flavour and too expensive. Perhaps I should’ve gone for something else, because I know this place boasts good reviews. Wonder if that sunset has something to do with it!
Cactus Club Cafe, English Bay Beach
What to eat: A Vancouver standard, Cactus offers a range of easy-to-enjoy meals. One of my favourites is the lettuce wraps – the sauce on their chicken fillings is unbeatable. The Cactus Club Cafe chain is all across the Lower Mainland, but head to Waterfront or to English Bay for the ones with the best views.
Pajo’s Fish & Chips, Steveston
What to eat: Fish and chips! Obviously! They make the most delightfully tender fish and the deep-fried batter just melts off. One of the best places in the city, hands down.
Old Ginger Szechuan, Kitsilano
What to eat: I came here after Ellis, Sam and I took our university graduation photos (where does time go!?) and we dug into a massive spread of food which we hardly managed to finish. Among others, we suggest the corned soup, the broccoli beef, the Shanghai chow mein and the chicken fried rice.