Being a total food addict, and having dined out (more frequently than necessary) in Vancouver for six years, I often get asked for food/restaurant recommendations from people wanting to eat where normal people eat. Now, it’s pretty hard for me to narrow it all down to a select few, because I have some hardcore faves, so bear with me.
Apparently street food has gotten a bit of a facelift since I left Vancouver, but the best still remains the heinously popular Japadog. Originally a stand outside the Sutton Place Hotel, on the corner of Smithe and Burrard, Japadog sells, obviously, Japanese-style hot dogs. They got so popular that they had to add two locations to keep up with demand.
Their most popular style is the Terimayo family, which come topped with seaweed, Japanese mayo, and teriyaki sauce. The jalapeno cheese smokie terimayo is the most popular flavour, and it’s not hard to see why. Be prepared to wait, but oh, it will be worth it.
The moules frites are obviously a staple, the terrine is perfectly balanced, the escargots are totally French, and the French onion soup doesn’t disappoint those who are looking for an authentic bowl of deliciousness.
We became a touch obsessed with Burgoo Bistro and their cheese fondues. Like, obsessed. I still haven’t found a brie fondue that can rival that of Burgoo’s. That being said, the rest of their hearty soup / salad / sandwich menu should not be overlooked.
The Straight Up Tomato soup makes any other tomato soup look pitiful, and the Gooey Cheese Grillers and Dos Diablos sandwiches make sandwiches oh-so-cool again. Burgoo has been voted #1 for soups and #1 place to go on a rainy day, and considering we’re talking about Vancouver, that’s a pretty hefty accolade.
The Eatery is hands-down my go-to sushi restaurant. It doesn’t get points for its service, which can be good one night, and borderline negligent on other nights, but it scores well above par when it comes to the food and drinks. The rolls are unique, inventive, and constantly render me indecisive (if anything, try the Volcano Roll), and the appetizers actually make me want to order appetizers in a sushi restaurant (trust me and get the Tuna Tempura and the Goma-ae).
The martini list is dangerous, and the saketinis even more so, and the atmosphere is befitting of a funky 80s AstroBoy shrine, complete with the mantra “Miso Horny” in neon lights and on t-shirts and undies, should you wish to take home souvenir.
For a variety of sushi experiences in Vancouver, check out the post I did for Travel With A Mate, which runs down things like sushi on the beach, and the most expensive sushi I’ve ever had.
I love Mexican food, even the bush league stuff, but when I find good Mexican food…it’s a whole new ballgame. Lolita’s is a truly amazing Mexican experience. It’s itty bitty, so get there early or prepare to wait, and make up for waiting by digging into a mango margarita as soon as you sit down.
The pan-seared local fish tacos top the list of the six different taco fillings, and the ceviche is pretty damn good. Also, the guacamole is so yummy, you’ll want to eat the whole bowl to yourself for dinner. I won’t judge you if you do.
Honourable Mention: Poncho’s. The fajitas are epic, but easily outdone by the Poncho’s flaming coffee.
Yes, there’s another part…I couldn’t very well forget about things like seafood and tapas, could I?! If you’re drooling now, just wait! Head over to Vancouver, Eat Your Heart Out Part II.