Vancouver basics?

I only recently arrived in Vancouver after about 5 years in LA. I’d gotten used to the fabulous Chinese food available in the San Gabrial Valley and fantastic Thai found in and around Thai town and Hollywood. And the ramen. It was at a point where you could have a favorite ramen-ya in almost any area of the city. It was glorious.

Now I’m here in the great and unexpectedly white north (seriously, there hasn’t been this much snow in vancouver in almost 10 years) and while I’m delighted to live in such a fantastic multicultural city, it’s a LOT to take in. Chinese food is especially predominant, and though I know that Richmond is to Vancouver as the SGV is to LA, I don’t know my way around. I’ve found Fraser to be home to a number of tasty filipino places, but I’m always looking for the really special spots.

So, where should I go to eat, eh?

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Dunno if you’re still reading, Lectroid, but I just saw your post and thought I’d reply, however late! Yup, you got here for the crazy snowiest winter we’ve had in my lifetime, followed by the wettest, longest “spring” and now a stretch of hot dry weather that is also unusual. I’d say climate change is real but I don’t want to get political on HO :slight_smile:

You’ve probably figured out that Thai food is a bust here, despite Angus An’s best efforts. I’ve given up trying, with the exception of a couple of starters at Kin Khao on the Drive. You can and I hope have done much better with Chinese offerings, both in town if you’re selective and in Richmond where your choices are wider. A couple of pretty decent Sichuan and Hunan spots around too. Ramen is also relatively strong here though I’m not sure how it has stacked up for you compared to LA, and it’s not yet possible to get a good bowl in every nabe.

PinPin is probably the best Filipino in the city proper but you have to order carefully still. I love their version of both sisig and crispy pata. Not a strong cuisine in town generally though.

Write back and let us know what you’ve found, and if you’re still interested in specific reccos. And a very belated welcome to Vancouver!

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Even if he’s gone, grayelf, I’d love your recs on favorite places to go in Van for ramen, dim sum, other chinese. Cantonese, Sichuan, etc. We are in a rut, seeming to always end up at Crystal Mall food court or Peaceful. Both fine, but Van is too big to always end up in the same spots.

And I wonder if you have favorites for Indian, other than Vij’s. We heard Indian was great right across the border, but haven’t actually had any specific tips. Just this general “word on the street.” Thanks!

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Hey Sasha, did not realize you were here in Van, cool! Maybe we can chow together sometime if you’d like… but for now:

ramen: Marutama (West End one), Santouka (Broadway one, hello toroniku and A/C! Was there for dinner tonight)
Cantonese: Big Chef if you order carefully
Sichuan: Yummy Mammy, which is technically Guizhou; Sauerkraut Fish for Guangzhou fish
Hunan: Alvin Garden (don’t miss the pork heart)
dim sum: Chef Tony, Good Choice, Kirin City Square, Dynasty (though my recent meal there had a couple of dud dishes and the portion sizes seem to be shrinking)
Shanghainese: Ning Bo and Ning Tu for opposite ends of the spectrum, I can give specific dish reccos if interested; Long’s if you order carefully
Kalvin’s for the fish with yellow chives, a Last Supper sort of dish for me
Beijing with a twist: 9 Dishes, which is crazy fun and can be inconsistent but I love it anyway
HK BBQ Masters for consistently excellent char siu and roast pork (best taken to go and pro tip: park outside, not in the covered parking lot; you will save a lot of time)
A couple more ideas: Mr Red Café in Kits, My Chau for ethereal chicken pho (you get a deep fried chicken leg on the side, need I say more?), Kim Chau for banh mi (takeaway only and not on Monday), Thanh Xuan for top fish cake noodle soup and banh cuon – can you tell I love Vietnamese food?

No Indian to recommend, alas – it’s not strong here at all, contrary to your intel, at least IMO. I used to like Vij’s a lot but things had changed there even before the recentish move, so I haven’t been.

Could ramble on more but I’ll stop for now :slight_smile:

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In BLI, not Van. But probably up to Van for the day 5-10x/yr. So any recs to get us out of our rut are helpful. Thanks!

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Amazing post Grayelf… these are great eat out ideas. how do you find all of these places to try in the first place. I feel like looking for good food is not easy. I feel with Yelp or Zomato, the visuals are generally not the greatest. Instagram is great for food photots but they are not searchable when you need it the most… I just want to know how did you have start to build this great list of food places to try!

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Thanks, Lex. I mostly get ideas from IG now, plus of course just driving around town, and walking in interesting eats nabes. And I have a small group of like-minded foodie friends who share their finds which is great. There isn’t a reliable single source anymore since Chowhound changed. It’s hard to keep track with so many places changing/closing too. From my August post, for example, Marutama has slipped IMO, Yummy Mammy and Big Chef are gone, Kim Chau is now open seven days for banh mi). Kinome which I didn’t mention is closing at the end of March, and Tokyo Thyme, another Japanese fave, was forced out in December. One IG tip I got from a super user which I haven’t implemented myself is to reply to posts on places you like and add a searchable hashtag like #Lex_LiYVR so that you can see all those posts in one place. Not perfect but…

Hi Grayelf,

Thank you so much for your reply. It is always filled with detail and good information. I agree with you for Chowhound and how it is hard to keep track of places opening and closing.
Aw, sounds like you have a group of amazing people like yourself that love to dine and have fun. I like using IG too, I have been bookmarking posts I like. However, I just wish IG has the restaurants on a searchable map for the easy of use. What do you think?

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Hey Grayelf and others: I’m extending this thread in hopes of getting some current recommendations. Hope you folks get email notifications of new posts.

We’ll be in YVR the weekend of Sept 12 through 17. I love all forms of great Chinese, and Asian generally especially Vietnamese, so am looking forward to being there, and in fact we will be staying at a hotel practically next door to the Night Market. So I’m hoping to find some of the good spots in Richmond and anywhere else (we’ll have wheels). I’ll eat anything, but dear wife is celiac so needs to be careful about anything wheat (soy sauce is no problem for her, but wheat noodles are over the line). Also we will be with friends including her Mom part of the time and Mom is a country girl who isn’t too adventurous. So what might you suggest where three Chinese food lovers can get the best of Richmond, while being sure celiac wife and non-adventurous Mom will also find something to like? All help greatly appreciated.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold