We were finally able to reschedule the associated Alaska cruise for this May, so if the stars align, we’ll be in Vancouver for a couple of days beforehand (no Seattle this time). Right now we’re looking at flights that would get us in midday on Thursday, May 25, so we’d have that evening plus all day Friday and Saturday to explore Vancouver before hopping on our ship. Would love updated restaurant and sightseeing recommendations - while I received a ton of valuable advice last time around, I’m guessing there have been a lot of changes over the last three years. Also, we are not traveling with my parents this time, so there are fewer limitations in terms of walking/activity as well as cuisines (seafood/sushi is a go!). Brewpubs and awesome Chinese are a must, but beyond that we want to try whatever Vancouver does better than NYC.
I booked the Skwachays Lodge near Gastown but that can be changed if there is a better/more walkable location you’d suggest. I also looked at the Burrard (where we were supposed to stay last time), which seems a little more central but has gotten some less-than-stellar reviews lately. We won’t have a car but are fine with public transportation (and walking/cabbing of course). Thanks in advance for your input, HOs!
We are former Vancouver part time residents – and only left after the province adopted punitive taxes to drive us out of town (to Seattle as it turned out). We still go to Vancouver regularly (or have resumed doing so since the border opened). Here are our “go to” restaurants.
Italian: Savio Volpe and La Quercia.
Chinese Hong Kong Cafe: James on Hastings (we consider James a “must;” try their live dungeness crab and pretty much anything else on the menu and do not be deterred by the very modest atmosphere).
Chinese Upscale: Kirin (Cambie location)
Chinese Dim Sum: Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Chinese Shanghai: Shanghai River (in Richmond, but well worth the 20 minute journey)
West Coast Casual: Nightingale (creative small plates, another one you should not miss)
French Casual: St. Lawrence (just received a Michelin star)
Thank you Peter for these recommendations! I’m glad to see that Nightingale survived COVID and is still going strong - it was my top choice in 2020 and will absolutely be on our itinerary this time around. Will check out the others.
Vij’s for dinner if you like Indian. Granville Island is a mecca for food lovers. Lots of food stalls to peruse and snack at. Time and weather permitting, a stroll around the Stanley park path or a visit to Van Husen botanical gardens are both lovely. I will defer to the above re Asian food recs, but have certainly heard that it’s Richmond, rather than Van proper, with the best Asian cuisine.
Excited for you that the trip is back on! We liked the Alibi Room. Cool space but I remember I could’ve ordered better food (I think my bowl meal was rather one-note). I think B ordered something delicious following our server’s recommendation. Fun, convivial atmosphere and delicious beverages. (I was also 7-months pregnant so was not drinking alcohol.)
I was thinking we’d visit Granville Island and the market for lunch one day. I’m not sure I can talk DH into the Van Husen gardens but I’m sure he’ll be up for a stroll in Stanley Park. I know he wants to see some of the X Files filming locations so we’ll probably end up touring a lot of downtown on foot - seems like Stanley would fit right into that.
We had one of our most memorable meals of 2022 at Kisso Tanto, Japanese-Italian, and subsequently a Michelin pick. You will probably want to cab there, though, it’s not in the most salubrious neighborhood and the entrance is discrete. The Botanist is lovely for a drink and is on many lists, but we didn’t find the food terribly interesting.
Thanks! We’re New Yorkers - nothing much fazes us. In fact, our current hotel, the Skwachays Lodge, is right down the street from Kissa Tanto. We might switch to the Burrard, though - apparently the A/C situation at Skwachays leaves a lot to be desired, and there is nothing my husband hates more than being hot when he sleeps!
Update: flights are booked! I put notes in my calendar to book Nightingale and Kissa Tanto for Friday and Saturday nights as soon as their reservations open. Thursday night I think we’ll keep a little more casual since we’ll be tired from the flight and a bit jetlagged. We’re planning to drop our bags at the hotel when we arrive (probably 1-1:30pm depending on traffic), then walk over to Granville Island and get a snack and hang out there until check in, weather permitting. Then maybe Dinesty Dumpling House for dinner (or other casual Chinese).
Our return flight leaves at 2:20pm on Sunday, which means we might have time for dim sum in Richmond beforehand (depending on disembarkation time). Shanghai River a good choice, or are there others I should consider?
Got my Nightingale res, now waiting for Published on Main or Kissa Tanto. DH prefers the PoM menu, so that may be where we end up. Thinking about brunch on Saturday - any can’t miss spots? Also, have any of you HOs ever checked out Guilt & Co. for drinks and/or live music?