Vancouver for dim sum and third wave coffee

Hi there!

I am planning a trip to Vancouver (approx dates Aug 29 to Sept 8). I will fly to Paine Field in Everette, Washington, USA and then drive to Vancouver with a rental car.

I love Chinese food and have been craving dim sum lately. According to my research, the standard of Chinese food in major Canadian cities rivals that in China. So, I plan to have dim sum for breakfast/brunch on several days in Richmond. My partner loves dim sum too but loves third-wave coffee (pour-overs) more. We do cafe hopping whenever we travel.

Unfortunately, there are only two decent third-wave cafes in Richmond. Most of them are in Gastown, some are along Hastings in East Vancouver, and some are along Main outside the downtown area.

So, where should I stay? I have marked the following places to patronize:

Chinese food:
Chef Tony
HK BBQ Master
Empire Seafood
Happy Noodles
James On Hastings

La Casa Gelato

49th Parallel
Sunny M

Beside Chinese, which cuisines should I check out? I can think of seafood–Granville Market immediately comes to mind. I want to avoid cuisines that are widely available in Northern California, such as Mexican.

Also, given my dilemma with locations, where should I stay? I am ruling out West Vancouver due to its high cost. Should I split up my stay into two locations: several nights in Richmond and then the rest in a different part of Vancouver? I see an Airbnb located on Trinity and N Renfrew in Hastings with good reviews and good amenities (such as washer/dryer and A/C), as well as reasonable prices. I am thinking of it as an easy gateway to excursions in North Vancouver (e.g., Lynn Canyon) and maybe beyond. On top of this Airbnb, I will find another one in Richmond or lower Vancouver, so that my morning “dim sum” trip won’t be too difficult.

I would appreciate all your ideas and suggestions!!! Thanks a million.


I recently spent time in Vancouver visiting a friend & had 3 great lunches at Lunch Lady, a popular Vietnamese spot on Commercial Drive. You might have to wait 'cos they get very busy; some very nice staff. The beef carpaccio was wonderfully refreshing. I also enjoyed the Truffle Chicken Salad, though I thought the truffle mixture discordant; thankfully it was a spoonful on top so could be moved to the side to eat separately. The Pho Bo Satay was a big bowl of deliciousness.
Sadly I didn’t have time to get back to HK BBQ in Richmond but thoroughly enjoyed a meal a couple years back.
Love the cocktails at Liberty Distillery on Granville Island; strongly flavored & have been so each visit over the past 6 years. The McClay’s my favorite.
Great meal at Indian Fusion on Lonsdale in N Vancouver. Lamb Palak just as tasty as it was when first tried 6 years ago. Fantastic garlic naan & onion kulcha!
Lovely almond croissant at Lala Island Coffee on Broadway… and I Love the Chive Parmesan Scones & almond croissants from Terra Bread, Granville Island along the west end of the farmers market & a couple other locations.
Had a tasty lunch at Anh and Chi though it was a bit pricy for serving sizes. Great chicken wings; beef salad needed more oomph, better when I asked for lime to squeeze on. I wanted to have the Banh Xeo but the price was crazy high at Can$27 - I guess years of living in Houston previously spoiled me.
If you get hungry before getting to Vancouver, it’s an easy driving detour to Aslan Brewery in Bellingham for the pork belly appetizer washed down with a pint of Frauenbeir, a dark lager created by the women employees to celebrate Women’s Day - very tasty! Bellingham Brewery had some great food too but parking during the day was a bit challenging.
I may have missed something but those were the highlights. Have a great time!


Not exactly Chinese, but if you like a relaxed breakfast, I heartily recommend the Red Umbrella. Their breakfast salad is remarkable.


Doesn’t sound relaxed (long wait times according to Google reviews) but thanks for the review—we’re heading to Vancouver on Saturday.

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I’m including an article on Asian in Van, which may be helpful. But here is a logistics consideration re where to stay. Parking in Van is annoying and hard. If you stay in Richmond but tourist around in Van, you’ll have to deal with your car. Richmond is all driving. I’m not aware of any walking areas.

Here is a driving tip (I live on your route). As you head up the I5 from Everett, I recommend you get off in Burlington (around exit 230) and take route 11 northwest. First some farmland, and then the breathtaking Chuckanut drive. You’ll see the bay, mountains, forests, offshore islands, some small waterfalls (it’s our dry season now), etc. At the top of Chuckanut drive, head back east to onramp 250 and get back on the highway. It adds a little time to the drive, but the scenery is worth it.


@grayelf posts on IG about 3rd Wave and other good coffee in Vancouver.

@Goagirl might have a few comments or suggestions, if/when she checks in. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you folks.

I think while I stay in Richmond, I will use the metro to tour in Vancouver. While staying in Hastings, I will travel north to the other side of the bay.

I really look forward to this trip.

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You can opine without experience, or you can risk an experience and then judge. I’ve only broken fast there 8-10 times, and it’s been relaxing.

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