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No Dishes Required: Vancouver's Best Take-Out Restaurants



We’ve all been there–sometimes you just don’t want to cook, but a PB and J isn’t going to cut it and having a solid take-out joint on speed dial is key. From inexpensive Mexican to savory Lebanese and fresh seafood, these Vancouver restaurants have tasty options for you to grab-and-go.

The Fish Counter on Main Street is part fish monger, part take-out restaurant. Their hot take-out menu consists of items like fish and chips, fish tacos, freshly made soups and oyster po' boys while the cold options are stocked with healthful salads, sauces and other items that can be heated up at home. 

The word take-out is practically synonymous with pizza and Pizzeria Farina churns out tasty pies until the dough runs out. The menu is concise so you won’t get lost with too many options–besides, take-out should involve minimal thought and effort. This Neapolitan style pizza is stacked with delicious ingredients and the only thing you’ll need to pair with it is a cold beer.

When a healthy craving strikes, Nuba’s got your back. They offer healthful Lebanese dishes that cater to vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. With multiple locations throughout Vancouver, chances are there’s a location nearby. They use local and hormone-free meat and the price and portion sizes are very reasonable.

The only thing left to worry about is whether you should pick up a bottle of red or white, and what TV show to indulge in.

 


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CHAU Veggie Express (East Vancouver)


This family-run business serves vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese food and is a local favorite and when it comes to taste, there's no shortage of delicious things to eat here. From fresh salad rolls to warm, comforting bowls of noodles and soup, the menu boasts plenty of healthful and satisfying options. You may think that cooking Vietnamese food without fish sauce may be a challenge (and for many it is), but owner, Maria, and her mother, Chau, have concocted an excellent substitute that doesn't substitute flavor. Each dish speaks for itself, but the reasonable prices and large portions certainly sweeten the deal. Speaking of sweet, make sure to save room for dessert - they're excellent here!


It's a bold statement to make, but Maenam may just be Vancouver's best Thai restaurant for a number of reasons. The atmosphere is open, yet warm. Casual, yet polished. Cool, but not too trendy. The cocktail list is bang on and made up of distinctive flavors that have hints of spice, sweet and sour - depending on which one you choose. The food is authentic and made from high quality ingredients. The presentation is nothing to sneeze at either as each dish is beautifully presented. On the menu you will find familiar classics like the sweet and sour Tom Kaa soup, curries and Pad Thai (a vegetarian option is available), and less familiar dishes like yum plah meuk mauang kwio - a beautiful banana blossom salad.




Novo Pizzeria focuses on rustic Italian food, with it's star dish being their Neapolitan style pizza. These pizzas are cooked at a high temperature of 900 degrees in their wood burning oven; the thin crust cooks to perfection, while maintaining the integrity of the delicious toppings. If you're not in the mood for pizza, there are many other comforting items to order. Cheese lovers will drool over their burrata cheese on their starter list. If you haven't had it before, it's the most creamy and indulgent mozzarella that's soft and buttery. At Novo they serve it with arugula, oven dried tomatoes and olive oil; it's a must order! You can even get it on one of their pizzas. Other dishes you will find on the menu are antipasto plates, creative salads, paninis and pastas, to name a few. Located just across the Burrard Street bridge makes it easily accessible from downtown, whether you're walking on a nice day, taking a bus, taxi or driving.


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This Japanese owned and operated sushi joint is a must visit for healthy and delicious appetites. In addition to making all of their rolls with brown rice they use organic and OceanWise ingredients. On the menu you will find traditional rolls like spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, dynamite and California rolls. Make sure to also order one of their specialty rolls. There are a number of vegetarian and vegan options here, along with rice free rolls, gyoza, udon, teriyaki, sashimi, tempura (they use whole wheat flour), salads and more. The space is small and if you don't want to wait, order some take-out and enjoy it at home.


The Fish Counter


As an early adopter and influencer of the sustainable seafood movement, Chef Clark has brought his passion and skill to The Fish Counter. He co-founded this grocer/casual cafe with marine biologist and former Ocean Wise manager at the Vancouver Aquarium,, Mike McDermid. It's safe to say that these guys know their stuff. The Fish Counter is the best of many worlds! Grab super fresh seafood to take home and prepare yourself, pick-up some ready made soups and salads to tuck into, or sit down on one of the wooden benches and enjoy a piping hot fish taco. Either way, your stomach will thank you.


La Taqueria  Pinche Taco Shop
Photo courtesy of La Taqueria


Authentic Latin and Mexican fare is hard to come by in Vancouver, but La Taqueria does an excellent job of bringing the flavors of the South to the North. Choose from items like de cachete (tender beef cheeks), carnitas (pork confit), pollo con mole (chicken in a mole sauce), pescado (fish), and the popular de lengua (beef tongue). There are also a number of vegetarian options and if you venture that way, make sure to order a rajas con crema (roasted poblano peppers with creamed corn, sour cream and Mexican cheese). There are a few different homemade salsa options and some freshly pickled vegetables to add onto your taco that will add some welcome heat. To complete your meal, grab a horchata. It's creamy, without the dairy, slightly sweet, and has warm hints of cinnamon. It's very refreshing!




Located on Kitsilano's West 4th Avenue, Tractor's menu has a focus on using as much local and seasonal ingredients, with options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and meat eaters. Enjoy delicious salads, sandwiches, soups and proteins that are prepared in small batched to guarantee freshness. For something more hearty, tuck into one of their homemade stews that are sure to leave you satiated and nourished. Tractor Foods invites guests to sit down and eat, or grab some items to-go and enjoy at home. The cafeteria style menu means that you won't be waiting long for your food to be ready and the best part about this 'fast food' is that it's healthy! With plenty of variety, your taste buds will never grow tired of the ever changing menu and seasonal flavors.


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West Side
Vij's Rangoli
Photo courtesy of Vij's


South Granville is known for it's charming boutiques and calming neighborhoods, making it a fabulous area of town to walk, shop, and enjoy the scenery. There are also a handful of excellent restaurants in the area, Vij's Rangoli being one of them. Open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks, Rangoli is Vij's more casual sister restaurant. Start your meal with one of their delicious samosas. With fillings like lamb, beef short rib, grilled kale and jackfruit, and potato and bell peppers-to name some-it's hard to pick just one. If you find yourself in this situation, order the flight of three! For mains, there are plenty of curries to choose from. The menu is packed with flavorful options that will suit both vegetarians and meat lovers.


Pizzeria Farina
Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Farina (Facebook)


If you're a die-hard fan of Napolese style pizza, but wish you could enjoy it at home, Pizzeria Farina is for you. You can eat-in, or take-out, and either way is very delicious. The thin, chewy, yet pillow-like crust is the perfect bed for the ingredients of your choice. They offer a handful of different pizzas, with add-on options like fresh arugula for a nice peppery finish, while olives and anchovies add a certain saltiness. Should you be craving a little meat on your pie, get them to throw on some soppressatta or fennel sausage. Hot pepper can also be thrown on for all your spice mongers. Whether you choose to stick to a classic Margharita, or go all out and devour the Finocchionna, the spicy and rosemary olive oil that's tableside is the the perfect accompaniment to drizzle over your pizza.




Nuba is one of Vancouver's favorite gems that has built a strong following that has helped pave the way for its expansion across the city. Nuba specializes in Middle Eastern dishes and everything from the hummus and baba ghanouj to the falafel and grilled meats are bursting with flavor. An added bonus? This Lebanese cuisine is quite healthful. Each item on the menu is very reasonably priced and made from quality, local ingredients (where possible). The West Hastings restaurant is a very popular lunch location amongst the business district workers. Dinner is no exception and is always packed with people waiting to get their Lebanese fix from Nuba. Each of their locations is equally delicious so don't be shy to give any of the properties a shot.


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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha

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