Good Restaurants in Vancouver

We will be in the summer several days in Vancouver. Currently going through many posts/discussion boards and trying to figure some good, unique restaurants. We are open to any style but like creative, unique cooking - so what are some not to miss places in Vancouver ?

Hello honkman! Given the state of things over the past two years, I haven’t been dining out anywhere near as much as previously, but here are a few ideas for you:

Unchai Thai – takeaway only but by far the best Thai in Vancouver (admittedly faint praise but it really is excellent); happy to give you specific reccs on dishes if you are interested

Elephant – new but a tried and true crew and my favourite chef in Vancouver (possibly anywhere) make it a slam dunk. If you are a night owl, follow them on Instagram to see when the burger makes an appearance after 10:15 pm. The late-night pastas would also be a must if you go then, based on Justin’s previous incarnations.

My Chau for pho ga don (closed Sundays and closes early every day) CASH ONLY; the most ethereal chicken broth and a deepfried chicken leg served side along. Need I say more?

Kim Chau for takeout banh mi – the sine qua non for me, and the nem nuong is particularly toothsome; they supply many Vietnamese restos in town with various types of meat.

Oriole Cafe has some of the best Taiwanese eats in town and great pourovers if you happen to be into coffee. M-F 9-3 only

9 Dumplings (Robson Public Market) water boiled fish and Sichuan eats, as well as the titular dumplings; free parking underground off the back lane which is a huge bonus in this area.

Pinpin for pork sisig, crispy pata and chicken inasal if you are craving Filipino eats. Has A/C which is a rarity here.

Amay’s House for Burmese samosas, prata with potato curry, tea leaf salad, pork belly curry. Stick to the Burmese items and avoid noodles.

Santouka for the toroniku ramen. Definitely a try-before-you die meat. The one on Broadway is a bit more open; it also has A/C whereas the Robson one doesn’t and really needs it in the summer!

Lamajoun in a difficult to find industrial zone in an off-beat part of Richmond; tasty Georgian eats, good dolmades, very limited seating if it has reopened that; otherwise random tables in the parking area

Baby Dhal roti on Commercial go early and call ahead as they do largely takeout but everything is prepared to order so they always need at least half an hour heads up

Crystal Mall food court in Burnaby:
stall 2113 Chao Shou Wang 778-371-5033** #1 Dried Spicy Wontons, #7 House Hot Noodles, and Spicy Noodles; look for the white sign with three red characters CLOSED MONDAYS, CASH ONLY
stall 2110 Shanghai Dimsum House Ltd. 604-909-6688 xiao long bao and shen jian bao are standouts; order separately so you can eat both hot CLOSED WEDNESDAYS, CASH ONLY

Richmond daytime:
HK Barbecue Masters – get some roast pork (siu yook) and some bbq pork to go!
O’tray (aka Tianjin Flavours) for jianbing (good breakfast or light lunch), tofu “brains” and some pork bao; it’s in President Plaza food court; I was there yesterday! CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Mama’s Dumplings for an order of shen jian bao but it’s kinda far away
Golden Paramount for dim sum


What an informative post, @grayelf!

Thanks @grayelf - very interesting list- particular for lunch. In general, for us dinner is the main meal and we really like to have a relaxed, slow paced time and so it is unlikely that we would pick take out (obviously that would change if covid would get bad again) or a food court. Elephant looks really interesting and right up what we would also pick here in SF. Do you have any additional thoughts on restaurants similar to it ?

Sure, but I daresay there’s nothing else like Elephant in Vancouver because of the chef.

St Lawrence would be a cool place to check out as it is one of the rare Quebecois-inspired restos outside of, well, Quebec. Get resos well in advance. Sit at the bar if you want to watch the chefs work. Park right in front if you can.

Published is relatively new. I’ve only been once but thought they did so-called west coast cuisine very well. I was particularly impressed with their treatment of vegetables.

Kissa Tanto might be up your alley. It’s Japanese Italian, with excellent front and back of house bonafides. Two caveats: it is cacophonous at certain tables, like yelling at your server, can’t hear your DC loud. It is also completely inaccessible if you have any kind of mobility issues.

L’abbatoir was a standby for the type of dining I think you are looking for, but I haven’t been since before the pandie. Be sure to book in the atrium if you go though.

And not to get too far off track but what are some of your faves in SF? It’s been a minute but we used to visit for eating trips quite frequently.

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We have visited San Francisco very often when we lived in San Diego for 15+ years but we are actually just moved to SF about 6-7 months ago (after living in Boston for 5 years with only few SF visits). Due to covid we are just starting to explore the restaurant world again (we tend to not judge restaurants by take out as it just a mediocre compromise) and so the assessment is relying only on a few recent visit but mainly older experiences - Commis, Coi, SPQR, Chez Pannise, Atelier Crenn, Nopa, Zuni, Quince, Pausa, Perbacco, Barbacco, Delfina, A16, Monsieur Benjamin, Burma Superstar, ROOH, Aziza, Piperade (and I am pretty sure I am missing a few and several other have closed, e.g. Commonwealth)


Second trip to Elephant confirms it as a don’t miss. Omakase kind of a steal at CAD$60.


piggybacking on this thread, I’ll be in Vancouver in May & would love any recommendations for takeout &/or outdoor dining that is vegetarian-friendly (gf is veggie, I eat flying things & swimming things but no mammals). Are there good Chinese vegetarian places?

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NYT on Vancouver (gift link)


For all things Chinese…from casual, hole-in-the-wall to fine dining…Cantonese, Shanghainese to Taiwanese,…etc, the following is THE ULTIMATE REFERENCE!!!

For other cuisines, I found the latest Michelin guide fairly reliable though with a few exceptions. eg., ‘Published on Main’ which I found so-so and over-rated when compared to say a 1* in Toronto like Alo or Edulis!