If eating well and taking yourself on a culinary adventure is just as important as checking out your favorite attraction in a new city, Vancouver will keep you well fed and curiously hungry for your next meal. The eating scene here is diverse and you can eat Japanese delicacies, Dim Sum, French pastries, local cheeses, flavorful Indian, spicy Mexican, fresh seafood and pizza cooked in an oven from Mt. Vesuvius, all in one day if you're really hungry.
Vancouver is known for its sushi and if you want the ultimate experience, Tojo's is the Cadillac of sushi restaurants in the city. Just make sure to bring a full wallet! Rumor has it that Tojo himself invented the California roll. That being said, there are plenty of cheap and cheerful places to grab the freshest of sushi and will save you some pennies to throw back into the foodie wishing well.
Tojo works his magic behind the counter — Photo courtesy of Tojo's restaurant
If you've always dreamed of going to Naples to sink your teeth into a true pizza, we've got good news for you, it's possible to enjoy it in Vancouver. Nicli Antica uses only the best ingredients, sticks to the traditional pizza making method used in Naples and cooks each pizza for 90 seconds at 900 degrees in their wood-burning oven that's been flown in from Mt. Vesuvius. That's amore!
Nicli Antica — Photo courtesy of Nicli Antica
You may not think of it as a traditional brunch item, but dim sum is a popular way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. Sun Sui Wah on Main Street is solid choice for dim sum and has plenty of seating if you've got a large group. Another local favorite is seafood and you can find it on just about every menu in Vancouver. For fresh off the boat fish, head down to the Fisherman's Wharf at Granville Island and bring home something that was just swimming a few hours prior to your purchase. If you don't have a kitchen to cook it in, Go Fish! beside the wharf will satisfy your fish and chip, fish taco, fish soup, and basically whatever fish craving you have that day.
Granville Island — Photo courtesy of uncleweed (Flickr)
Just as much as Vancouverites like to go out to eat, we love cooking! The local dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables are abundant and easily accessible around the city. Two Rivers Meats is where many of Vancouver's best restaurants source their meat, and you can too! Granville Island's Lobster Man and Oyama Sausage are fantastic places to get the most fresh ingredients. There are plenty of local cheeses that can be found at the Farmers Market, as well as in many grocery stores around town. Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese is excellent, and beautifully packaged according to the flavor you're buying. Some are garnished with roasted garlic, edible flowers, fresh herbs and lemon slices.
Oyama Sausage Company — Photo courtesy of uncleweed (Flickr)
While you're in Vancouver, you may miss getting in the kitchen and cooking up a storm, and if you find yourself in this predicament, call the Dirty Apron. They offer a variety of cooking classes and it's owned by the same people that own Chambar restaurant and Medina Cafe, both two of Vancouver's best places to grab a bite. There you can make things like Seared Venison Loin with White Bean Truffle Ragout, Crispy Seared Duck Breast, and some of the favorites you may have tried at Chambar for dinner.
Comfort food — Photo courtesy of Dirty Apron
If you would rather take a gander and walk around until you find something that tickles your fancy, Gastown is a great place to start. There are plenty of restaurants of varying price points, cuisines and atmospheres that will be satisfy. If you're interested in checking out Kitsilano, West Fourth and West Broadway is where you will find the major restaurant hub. The West End's Davie Street and Denman Street are where you're more likely to find plenty of sushi, Izakaya, ramen, Greek and budget friendly eateries. Yaletown is also another neighborhood that has a high density of restaurants to choose from and you can dine on oysters, Thai, burgers, Mexican, BBQ, steak and plenty of other drool-worthy items in this area. Vegas may be the city that never sleeps, but Vancouver is the city that never stops eating.