The Templeton is exactly how you would imagine an old school diner to be; vinyl chairs, milkshake mixers, a juke box and hearty breakfasts to fill that morning void in your stomach. It's a cozy space right on the Granville Street strip and they use free-range eggs in their kitchen. The price of each dish is a bang for your buck, considering the quality ingredients they use. Another great thing about The Templeton is that they cater to vegetarians like no other restaurant in town (apart from vegetarian restaurants) and are happy to substitute bacon for veggie bacon. How's that for accommodation? The Blueberry Banana Pancakes are fluffy and full of little blue berries that burst in your mouth, while the Big Ass Breakfast will satisfy both your sweet and savory cravings. For lunch the vegan chili is always a standard go-to that will leave you feeling full and devoid of any meet hankerings. The Templeton on Granville is a good life choice.
Recommended for Homestyle because: The Templeton uses natural free run, non-medicated eggs, handmade specialty turkey sausage, naturally smoked preservative free bacon and veggie bacon for their awesome breakfasts.
Natasha's expert tip: It's not an ideal place for large groups and is best for groups of four, at most.
Yaletown L'Antipasto is a quaint and unassuming restaurant in Yaletown that will blow you away. Though it may be bold to say, Yaletown L'Antipasto has some of the best fresh pasta in Vancouver. This family-run joint will make you feel warm and welcomed with their personable service and authentic Italian fare. They combine imported products from Italy with locally sourced and fresh ingredients from British Columbia to create delicious antipasti options, salads, pastas and desserts. On warmer days, sit outside and enjoy the patio - it's great for people watching! Open for lunch and dinner, Yaletown L'Antipasto is a favorite amongst locals. The price point here is very reasonable, making it an ideal spot for a date. Wash down your meal with a glass (or bottle) of wine from their well stocked wine list.
Recommended for Homestyle because: The space is cozy, the menu is concise and the pasta is freshly made from scratch. The pappardelle rosse is a must order.
Natasha's expert tip: Take advantage of their date night deal for $90. Choose any two tapas or the Yaletown Anipasto to share, any pasta or risotto each, one dessert to share, and a bottle of either Cecchi Chianti or Masi Bianco.
Hawkers Delight may appear rough around the edges, but like any good dive, it's the Singaporean and Malaysian food that keeps people coming back on a regular basis. When you look at the prices, atmosphere may not even matter. You're going to get a bang for your buck at Hawkers and you certainly won't leave hungry. The Mee Goreng has a nice heat to it and the noodles are perfectly fried without being over done, and it's just a little over $5. A steal! The Laksa is another winning dish for around the same price and the coconut broth is a sumptuous nest for the noodles, fish cake, chicken, tofu puffs and egg that are resting into the broth. The food comes out fast, hot and will not leave a dent in your wallet. Meat eaters and vegetarians will both be happy to see that there are options for both.
Recommended for Homestyle because: The Laksa at Hawkers Delights is a big bowl of heaven that will only set you back about $6.00.
Natasha's expert tip: It's cash only here.
Damso is the place to go when you're craving Korean food. Don't expect to find yourself in a little hole in the wall, Damso's atmosphere is casual, clean and welcoming. Whether you're in the mood for Korean BBQ, noodles or bibimbop, Damso has you covered. Start your meal with the seafood waffle that's loaded with prawns, scallops and squid, you may never go back to eating regular seafood cakes at your local Korean restaurant again. The Kalbee "Osso Bucco"is rich in flavor, but not too heavy and is incredibly tender. The Korean BBQ section of pork belly, short ribs and other grilled meats. Damso also does their own take on North American classics, like the burger. They've created a Bulgogi burger and stuffed it with kimchi and grill it to perfection and serve it alongside yam fries. Damso is open until 2:30am for late night eats.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Damso's bibimbop and Korean BBQ are two classic Korean favorites and they do a stand-up job here.
Natasha's expert tip: Damso is a popular haunt for industry people in Vancouver because they can get a stellar meal late at night after most restaurants close.
Cheap and cheerful traditional Chinese comfort food is served up at Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown. There's nothing glamorous about this joint, just simple and wholesome food that will leave your belly full and your wallet light. The BBQ duck congee is will warm you up from the inside out, while the gai lan will nourish. This Chinese diner has been a mainstay in the neighborhood and the menu has remained true over the years. The roast pork is crispy and flavorful, while the chow mein doesn't disappoint. Gain Wah Restaurant gets busy during lunch hours, but service is quick.
Recommended for Homestyle because: The congee at Gain Wah Restaurant will warm you up from the inside out.
Natasha's expert tip: There is metered parking out front.
Known for their pies and organic food, Aphrodite's has a strong following amongst Vancouverites that enjoy quality food, made with a lot of love and care. With a heavy focus on vegetarian options, there are a few meat options that are all locally sourced from organic farms. The charming atmosphere is usually filled with local families and happy diners that frequent Aphrodite's to nosh their home cooked food. The wild mushroom quiche is filled with BC shitake mushrooms, gruyere cheese and spinach, making it hearty and filling. While you're at Aphrodite's, you shouldn't miss out on their famous pies. These homemade slices of goodness are filled with only the best fresh fruit. You won't find any fillers or additives in these pies. Top with with a scoop of ice cream and you're in for a real treat!
Recommended for Homestyle because: Aphrodite's Cafe & Pie Shop mains hit the spot, but there's nothing more comforting than pie à la mode.
Natasha's expert tip: If you don't have room for pie after your meal, you can order it to go and enjoy it later.
When going out with friends, different dietary needs can make dining options slim. The Wallflower is where omnivores, carnivores, vegans and gluten free eaters can all come together to break bread, or a house-made gluten free bun. Located on trendy Main Street, The Wallflower is a favorite amongst hipsters and a younger crowd. Open for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert, a good meal is available any time of day. Brunch includes your classic eggs benny, complete with vegan and gluten free options. Meat eaters will enjoy fried chicken, meatloaf wellington, a classic burger and more, while vegans will have their own menu to choose from. Let the vegan menu make your mouth water with dishes like the vegan shepherds pie, vegan poutine or the vegan tofu peanut wrap. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is fun, making it perfect for a date night or dinner out with friends.
Recommended for Homestyle because: The Meatloaf Wellington at The Wallflower Modern Diner is a big plate of comfort.
Natasha's expert tip: Check out their website for music and special events.
Before we get into the details, we have to warn you that you may become seriously addicted to Phnom Penh. The secret is out in Vancouver and locals and visitors alike are lining up for Phnom Penh's Cambodian and Vietnamese goods. This restaurant calls the East Side home and has a following that's obvious from the line-up. The deep fried chicken wings are a masterpiece. The light and crispy batter keeps the wings juicy and the sauteed garlic and green onions add extra flavor. Dip them in the lemon and pepper sauce and we dare you to stop at just one. The marinated butter beef is a dish of thinly sliced, medium rare beef topped with a blanet of cilantro, brown garlic and Phnom Pehn's special sauce. It's tender, tangy and awesome! Phnom Penh has plenty of dishes you must try!
Recommended for Homestyle because: The lemon grass chicken on rice and pho at Phnom Penh will make you feel right at home.
Natasha's expert tip: Go during off peak hours and avoid a wait.
There are very few restaurants in Vancouver that are open 24 hours a day, serving up healthy food that will satisfy those around the clock cravings you may be having, but The Naam is a reliable option any time of the day. Located along Kitsilano's West 4th Ave, it's been a Vancouver vegetarian institution for many years now. The strong following they have built are people from all walks of life, and range from vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers that are looking for a veggie fix. The menu has a wide array of choices with items like veggie bowls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, enchiladas, burritos, nachos and plenty of other options for your mouth to water over. They also have massive breakfast menu that will give you the sustenance you need to get on with your day. Although all items are vegetarian, they can also cater to vegan diets.
Recommended for Homestyle because: No visit to The Naam is complete without indulging in their miso gravy that pairs so well with their potato wedges.
Natasha's expert tip: The portions are quite large here. Make sure you're hungry, or share a plate with a friend.
Want to feel like you've turned the corner and landed in Paris? Seek out this little cafe right in the middle of the French Cultural Center and your wallet will thank you in more ways than one. No airfare for starters and a great value on well-prepared dishes. You'll need a rudimentary knowledge of French to make a selection from a menu that includes classics such as carnard confit and lapin grille entrees and for dessert creme brulee du jour or decadent gateau ganache. The changing weekly table d'hote is also a great deal. A leisurely brunch at Salade de Fruits is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday or Sunday.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Salade de Fruits is where locals go to enjoy a solid French meal that's served in an unpretentious environment and won't break the bank.
Natasha's expert tip: They are closed Sunday and Monday, but open the rest of the week for lunch and dinner and weekend brunch.