We will be in Seattle and Vancouver this May (2-3 days in each city) and are looking forward to checking out the PNW’s restaurant scene. What do you guys do well on the West Coast that we can’t get in NYC? We’ll be traveling with my parents and my mother doesn’t eat seafood, so sushi (unless they do other things well) or seafood-only places are out, but we’re up for most anything else. A great Chinese place in Vancouver and a spot for my dad to slurp oysters are musts. Hit me with your favorites! Any suggestions for sightseeing are welcome as well - in Seattle we’re planning to go to a Mariners game, see the Chihuly Garden, probably do the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, maybe Amazon Go. Vancouver will likely include Stanley Park, the city museum, maybe the Capilano Bridge, perhaps a trip to Granville Island, etc. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Trying to get over the shock of noticing this thread - good thing I was sitting down!! Lots of reccos for you in both places, let me percolate my ideas for a bit and repost, once thoroughly composed.
I wish I could help but I never go out
Taylor Shellfish has an oyster bar near Seattle Center https://www.taylorshellfishfarms.com/location/queen-anne
There’s a new Filipino place or two, that might be different.
The best Chinese food in Vancouver is found in Richmond, BC, closer to the airport than downtown Vancouver. I haven’t been for a while, and wouldn’t know if the places that were good 12 to 15 years ago are still the top ones to visit.
The restaurants right at Granville Island tend to be touristic.
If you like to walk, a walk along the Seawall in Vancouver is nice.
I’ve always wanted to go to the Richmond Night Market but never manage to visit on a weekend.
I agree that the restaurants at Granville Island aren’t the highlight. But the market is wonderful, and a great place to browse, shop, and nibble for any foodie. Your Chinese question is hard, because there are so many variants. Are you looking for Cantonese seafood and stir fry banquet halls, noodles, dim sum? Different recommendations depending on your answer. Also do you want high end places or small/holeinthewall/ethnic/crawl places? When we’ve been to Van, we almost always go to one of the shawerma places for a great cheap lunch or dinner. NYC is a food mecca, so it’s hard to compare, but Seattle has some great Asian too, in particular Viet and Korean. The ID (international district) is a cornucopeai. I’d probably also suggest a Farmers Market visit in SEA (Sat Univ Dist and Sun Ballard are my favorites). And the Ballard Locks. Boat elevators! I love it. We have some sweet bakeries too.
We’ll also be in Vancouver in late May. One day, we plan to use the “hop on, hop off” bus to get an overview of the city. And one definite hop-off will be Granville. My SiL, who is travelling with us, has been before and says it’ll be a great place ot look for arts/crafts but, of course, I’m interested in the food. It may be an appropriate place for lunch so, accepting this may not be the gastro meal of the trip, is there anywhere worth considering?
When we started planning this trip, I’d been interested to see Chinatown - I live near Manchester in the UK and we have Europe’s second largest Chinatown. But, having read that the place is now very a shithole, I’m not keen to go on walkabout. But might still be interested in a meal there if there is anything particularly iconic.
Still researching for a couple of other downtown dinners, probably seafood.
We’ll probably want to do at least one higher end place for dinner, maybe one in each city - preferably with a local ingredient focus or at least something unique to the area. Otherwise we are good with anything ranging from hole in the wall ethnic to mid-range. Nothing touristy please!
As for the Chinese request, Sichuan is actually my favorite but I think my parents would enjoy Cantonese and/or dim sum. We are staying downtown but we are willing to taxi to good eats! We’ll also be driving up from Seattle one day so we could stop for lunch somewhere more remote before returning the rental car (to a downtown location).
Thanks for the reminder - this is a great idea for my parents. Dad gets grouchy when he has to walk very far.
I have Hawksworth pencilled in for this. Certainly upscale as far as I can tell with a good looking carte and a tasting menu that showcases produce from the province. And walking distance from our hotel. I see this as a our last dinner in the city before we get the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff when it will just be Mrs H and me (the SiL leaves for the UK that morning).
Granville Island market has always been touristy and overrated, at least from what I remember. Check it out anyway if you have some time to kill.
Chinatown moved to Richmond. Chinatown in YVR was like a little Hong Kong back in the day.
If you like Indian food there’s no shortage of restaurants and street food. Surrey is the population’s stronghold (it’s not far from metro YVR if you drive).
Yeah, do Capilano bridge. I hate it when someone rocks it on purpose even though it’s not allowed.
Just remember I used to go to a public market called Lonsdale Quay Market to eat oysters. Only a short ferry ride from downtown. At this market uou could eat many kinds of oysters at the fishmongers. Not sure if they still have any fishmonger these days. Their website is here, and TripAdvisor of course. It’s touristy, just like Granville Island.
The best views of YVR are from Grouse Mountain. I hope you have it on your list.
The market at Granville is quite nice
Yes, DH and I are hoping to drop my parents at a museum or something at some point so we can hike at Grouse. Looks amazing!
Harters, at the GI market, we will typically grab some different bread and rolls at Acme, hit up one of the charcuterie stands for some deli meats, some pates, and some pickles, and then maybe grab some interesting looking and somewhat hard to get fruit (persimmon, rambutan) and rinse them in the bathroom. Then we’ll take all of this to the outside tables and bird/sea watch.
I don’t know the Chinese scene in Van very well, but do concur that the best Chinese dining isn’t concentrated in a particular area and certainly not in Chinatown proper. Richmond has many more good places but is strip-mall-y. We’ve had great noodles in Granville (not Granville island but slightly south of downtown) and great dumplings in Burnaby.
SEA to VAN with decent traffic and border crossing will be about 3 hrs. The town I live in is smack between them (Bellingham). Get out there for lunch and a stroll if it’s a pleasant weather day. My rec is exit 250, go west toward the water, and take an hour to walk around the Fairhaven neighborhood. Lots of good and decent food choices, but mostly the town is just downright adorable and on the water.
Perfect sounding lunch, Sasha.
Agree with most of the posts - lots of good advice for you regarding Vancouver.
For me, Granville Island (market only) is a must. I would also add the city library. While no longer “new”, the architecture is very cool. There are also 3 highly regarded museums in the city, including the Museum of Vancouver, which would be my first choice. There’s also a Museum of Anthropology, as well as a science museum. The Sea to Sky Highway on the way to Whistler, is one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever taken, but doesn’t sound feasible for your trip.
In our experience, we’ve found the best Chinese food in Richmond. Vancouver is very diverse, and you should be able to find just about anything you’d like to eat. Sorry, no names of places.
As far as Seattle goes, there’s a lot going on food-wise. Our standbys over the years have been The Metropolitan Grill, The Brooklyn Oyster House, Wild Ginger and a few of Tom Douglas’s resto. I prefer his flagship restaurant, The Dahlia Lounge. Most listed above are on the spendy side, a little old school, but places where you can count on excellent food, service, and the ability to converse while dining.
We went to a new place the other night on Capital Hill, called Stateside, for excellent Viet-Asian food.
Some less expensive places we like are Chinooks in The Fisherman’s Terminal, close to the locks. Also Lloyd’s in the Pike Place Market. Great breakfasts there, and a Bloody Mary, not to be missed if you like them.
Oh and then there’s Ray’s Boathouse, which is in the area of Chinooks but $$$$. Our favorite Greek place closed earlier this year, so no rec’s for Greek . Except for Cafe Lola, another Tom Douglas resto, and the food is good.
Finally, in the Wallingford area we like Tutta Bella for pizza, highly recommend Kabul for Afghani food, and a visit to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Dick’s Drive In, for burgers and fries…
Hope this helps, and please let me know if you’d like more Seattle suggestions. I can pick the adult kids’ brains for some of the newer places.
For activities, I highly recommend the Underground Tour.
I haven’t been to Seattle for close to 30 years. My main food memory is having fried clams from a place at/near Pike Place Market. (Realize the OP’s mom doesn’t do seafood!)
Wow, thank you so much for those recs! The Dahlia Lounge looks lovely, as do several of the others - I will check them all out and start compiling a list! For breakfast, did you mean Lowell’s rather than Lloyd’s? I found them online and the breakfasts and Bloodys look fantastic! DH and I aren’t big breakfast eaters usually but we’ll make an exception in this case
Yes, sorry, I did mean Lowell’s!