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Probably one of the better-known neighborhoods in Vancouver, Kitsilano (affectionately known as “Kits”) is famous for having one of the most beautiful city beaches in the world – Kits Beach. From there (or from their equally renowned saltwater pool!), you can catch views of the city and English Bay, with beautiful mountains towering in the background.
Named after Squamish Chief Khatsahlano, the area was once a dense rainforest that has now evolved into a quirky, laidback neighborhood. Home to an array of organic foods, outdoor fitness activities, and retail stores, Kits is a great spot to explore. Even better, it has tons of amazing restaurants and diverse cuisines to try, so if you’re wondering where to eat in Kitsilano, check out our top 13 picks for the best restaurants in Kitsilano!
The BEST Restaurants in Kitsilano
1. Trattoria Kitsilano – Best Italian
- Location: 1850 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Italian
- Average cost per meal: $23 CAD
- Why we love it: Hearty Italian in a comfy setting
If you’re exploring the area, Kitsilano’s 4th Ave is the place to go for shopping and chowing down on all kinds of cuisine. This is exactly where you’ll find our favorite Italian restaurant in Kits – Trattoria!
With a simple awning and curbside seating, Trattoria’s low-key vibe makes it the perfect spot to dive into some quality Italian dishes. We planned our most recent visit around their popular “Tratt Tuesdays” when they offer a fresh, filling pasta dish for only $16 CAD– my kinda deal!
They have a small but diverse offering of about 9 pasta options – from classic Spaghetti and Meatballs to Mushroom Ravioli to Linguine Vongole. There’s a little something for everyone’s taste, and you can also opt for gluten-free pasta for $2 extra.
I jumped right into the Short Rib Pappardelle with cafe au lait sauce, generous short rib, tender mushrooms, and toasted pine nuts for a little nutty crunch. Dan opted for the Rigatoni Arrabbiata, which hit all the flavors – salty pancetta with a spicy chili kick, herby sweet tomato sauce, and creme fraiche.
Trattoria is open daily with happy hour specials from 2-5 PM and 50% off wine on Wednesdays!
Click here for the menus, hours, and reservations at Trattoria.
2. Danbo – Best Ramen
- Location: 1833 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Ramen
- Average cost per meal: $14 CAD
- Why we love it: Ultra-customizable Ramen
A casual 15-minute or so walk from Kits Beach, Ramen Danbo is a popular spot for a good reason. Bringing Fukuoka-style ramen to the Kitsilano food scene, their Tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen is rich and delicious. My favorite part is that they’ve got customizable options that we didn’t even know existed – noodle thickness and firmness, broth richness and thickness, and umami spice level.
For our first visit, we went with the classic chashu-men and classic rekka – spicy ramen that is (you guessed it!) customizable to your taste. Thick noodles, slightly richer broth, soft-boiled egg, and a little extra chashu washed down with a cold Asahi were all we needed to refuel after a day kicking around beautiful Kits Beach.
We’ve visited Ramen Danbo dozens of times since our first visit, it’s honestly one of our go-to restaurants in Kitsilano. So tasty and super affordable, it really doesn’t get better, especially on cold winter days in Vancouver!
If you’re Vegan or pork broth isn’t your fave, the menu has options for you too – either way, get there early as this Kits spot is first come, first served, and it gets busy. Whenever we visit, we aim to arrive before 5:30 pm in hopes that the wait isn’t longer than 20 minutes.
If you like ramen, trust us and visit Danbo; you won’t be disappointed.
You can check out Danbo’s menu online here.
Note: Danbo also has a second location in Vancouver that’s one of the best restaurants in Yaletown!
3. Maenam – Best Thai/Asian
- Location: 1938 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Thai
- Average cost per meal: $33 CAD
- Why we love it: Fresh, authentic Thai flavors
Thinking back to the flavorful, bright dishes we had in Thailand made me even more excited to try Maenam, Kitsilano’s authentic Thai restaurant. Open at 5 PM every day to welcome you for dinner, Maenam’s trendy, modern look fits right into the Kits vibe.
We visited here with a group of friends and shared starters to get a little taste of everything, which is a great way to go. Some of my favorites that stood out were grilled sweet corn & green papaya salad, Tom Ka coconut mushroom soup, and Thai cupcakes with grilled scallops – a mouthwatering combo of coconut, peanut, ginger, chili, and lime.
Our mains were equally delicious; perfect Pad Thai with that famous tamarind zing and rich Chu Chi curry Albacore Tuna. If you’re not too familiar with Thai cooking, this is a great spot to test out those fresh flavors – but remember to make your reservations first, this place can get busy!
You can check out the menu and book Maenam online here.
4. Jam Cafe – Best Brunch
- Location: 2153 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Coffee, Brunch & Lunch
- Average cost per meal: $20 CAD
- Why we love it: Chill café with tons of options
There’s only one thing that can make any day (or the morning after a night out!) in Kits even better: brunch. If you’ve been reading along, you know we love brunch, and Jam Cafe lives up to the hype of being known as one of the best restaurants in Kitsilano for your brunch fix.
I stepped outside my usual brunch orders and got the Buffalo Blue Benny – a buffalo chicken benny with crumbled blue cheese and hash browns on the side. Dan was also in the savory brunch mood and got the Gravy Coops – buttermilk biscuit topped with pork belly, eggs, and mushroom gravy.
We didn’t leave any crumbs here; everything was so good and absolutely lived up to the hype.
Fair warning: they don’t take reservations, so call ahead for wait times or get there a little earlier to browse the menu while you wait. The best chance of getting a table without waiting too long it to show up ten minutes before they open and line up out the front door.
You can check out Jam Cafe’s menu online here.
Related Read: Some of my favorites places to go for brunch in Vancouver are restaurants in Gastown – check it out!
5. Darbys – Best pub food and craft beer
- Location: 2001 Macdonald St
- Type of food: Pub grub & Brews
- Average cost per meal: $18
- Why we love it: Loads of options and a rooftop patio
We can’t write a blog about the best restaurants in Kitsilano without including a place that serves traditional, hearty pub food, now can we?!
Serving up craft beers and ciders since 1981, Darby’s is popular for being one of the best restaurants in Kitsilano to kick back and enjoy a cold one. At first, we came here to test out some of their impressive 40+ beer and cider offerings but eventually needed a little food to keep us going!
We dug into the Butter Chicken Poutine, a yummy starter with those essential Quebec squeaky cheese curds. For mains, we stuck with pub classics, Dan got crispy Fish & Chips – snapper filet with a perfect lemon garlic mayo combo, and I got the juicy Darby’s Burger with no shortage of toppings like avo, cheese, bacon, and cheese. Friends of ours shared a pizza and is was huge and delicious!
Portions here are generous, the drink selection is unbeatable, and to top it all off, there’s a rooftop patio to enjoy brews and views. Check out their menu and specials here, including happy hour every day of the week!
6. Au Comptoir – Best French Cuisine
- Location: 2278 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: French Bistro Classics
- Average cost per meal: $38 CAD
- Why we love it: Low-key bistro with standout dishes
Some of the best dining experiences give you a glimpse into another food culture, like at Au Comptoir. The owners wanted French bistro culture on the West Coast, but without the fussy, pretentious vibes that French food often gets a rep for having.
True to the Kits neighborhood, the interior is hip and welcoming, and we sampled their lunch menu filled with lots of local, organic ingredients.
We kicked off this experience with the Assiette de Fromage (cheese plate) – a pretty great intro if you ask me. For mains, we shared two plates starting with the Tarte Fine, a delicious puff pastry with zucchini, fresh basil, and perfectly tart goat cheese. The second was Cuisse de Canard Confit – a confit duck leg with out-of-this-world flavor and crispy potato to soak up the jus.
I think they hit the nail on the head with a top-quality menu in a pretty chill environment, and would definitely revisit (especially for the duck!).
Check out Au Comptoir’s menu online here!
7. The Eatery – Best Sushi
- Location: 3431 West Broadway
- Type of food: Japanese/Sushi
- Average cost per meal: $17 CAD
- Why we love it: Quirky atmosphere & great menu
Top of the list for unique Kitsilano food joints, The Eatery has bright, kinda crazy decor – think glow-in-the-dark nautical theme meets pop art, with some octopuses hanging from the ceiling for good measure!
The menu is equally appealing, with loads of classics like miso soup and tempura alongside creative appetizers like Japayam Fries and Sushi Pizza Bites. The menu is extensive, but we give winning points to the Chicken Katsu Curry, Captain Crunch Roll, Green Hornet, and Spicy Tuna pressed sushi. They also offer a pretty good list of veggie rolls and a whole heap of drinks to quench your thirst, from sake margaritas and cold brews to wine and sangria.
If you’re looking for a fun, kooky restaurant experience to shake it up a bit, The Eatery is definitely what you’re looking for. Peep the menu and secure your table with reservations before you visit.
8. Rain or shine – Best Ice cream
- Location: 1926 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Ice Cream
- Average cost per meal: $5 CAD per scoop
- Why we love it: Local small biz with creative flavors
If you’re busy searching for where to eat in Kitsilano, don’t neglect the sweet treats, either! A family-run business, Rain or Shine keeps Kitsilano fueled on delicious ice cream without artificial ingredients.
Even better – they keep it local by working with a dairy farm in Abbotsford to create their famous flavors – from classic chocolate or vanilla to inventive flavors like blueberry balsamic and honey lavender. Milkshakes like the Earl Grey Lavender Milkshake (trust me on this one) and decadent Sundaes will have you planning your second visit. Or third…or fourth…!
Rain or Shine is a super popular spot, especially on warm summer days in Vancouver. In fact, there is often a line all the way down the street! If this isn’t a testament to how good this ice cream is then I don’t know what is!
All of their ice creams are egg-free, most gluten-free, and there are vegan options, so everyone can get in on the action. They post updates most frequently on Instagram (@rainorshineyvr), but you can also check here for flavors, hours, and locations.
9. The Naam – Best Vegan Food
- Location: 2724 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Veggie & Vegan
- Average cost per meal: $17 CAD
- Why we love it: Longstanding neighborhood favorite
We haven;t forgotten about the vegetarians on this list of the best restaurants in Kitsilano – this one’s for you!
Down in the heart of Kitsilano is The Naam Restaurant, a neighborhood staple from way back in 1968. True to their roots, they still operate as a small, first-come, first-served Vegan & Vegetarian restaurant focusing on fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Naam is a cozy spot popular with locals and visitors. The menu is diverse, with light fares like salads and sandwiches or filling options like a daily curry or loaded rice bowls.
We tested out their veggie burger platters – mostly curious to try this famous Miso Gravy we’d heard about (spoiler alert: it’s SO good!). The Tempeh Reuben with tangy sauerkraut was super flavorful, and the Maui-Maui burger hit it out of the park with the unlikely water chestnuts and teriyaki duo.
You can check out their extensive menu here, and remember – trust me on the Miso Gravy.
10. Tacofino – Best tacos
- Location: 1909 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Mexican
- Average cost per meal: $13
- Why we love it: Tacos, Nachos, Burritos. Need we say more?!
We loved our experience at Tacofino in Gastown, so we didn’t think twice about going in for round two at their Kits location. Both have similar items, but this one is dubbed their “Burrito Bar,” so it has a little more variety.
There’s a drink special for every day of the week, so we jumped on it and started our Friday evening with a pitcher of Tricky Sangria – yum! The Beef Barbacoa and the Maui Pork Al Pastor burritos were calling our name, filled with fresh, delicious ingredients like jalapeno slaw, pineapple salsa, and their signature spiced rice.
The portions here are generous and satisfying, but somehow, we managed to sneak in their house-made churros for dessert, served with an awesome spiced chocolate sauce. So far in our books, Tacofino is 2/2 for being trendy, affordable spots to get fresh, budget-friendly bites.
Check out the Kits location menu here, and join them for daily happy hour 3-6 PM while you’re at it!
Related Read: The original Tacofino opened in Tofino. Check out all of the fun things to do in Tofino!
11. The Boathouse – Best view and seafood
- Location: 1305 Arbutus St
- Type of food: Seafood
- Average cost per meal: $28
- Why we love it: Fresh seafood & Kits beach views
One of the best restaurants in Kitsilano for unbeatable views, The Boathouse is a must-try for seafood lovers. You can pick from the modern main dining room with full-length glass windows for the best views of famous Kits Beach or kick back on their open-air deck if it’s warm outside.
The Boathouse prides itself on using fresh, local, and sustainable seafood, like their daily selection of Oysters from Canada’s East & West coasts. We tried out their Hot Crab Dip, made with cream cheese and roasted red peppers – I highly recommend this one! Other standouts were the garlicky, spicy Mussel & Chorizo Steamer pot and the Coconut Pacific Cod, the perfect lime and coconut combo.
This is a great place to visit, eat great food, and take in the beauty of Kits. We can’t complain about their Happy Hour either, which includes deals on oysters, light bites, wine, spirits, and beer.
You can check out The Boathouse’s menu and book online here!
12. Dark Table – Best dining experience
- Location: 2611 W 4th Ave
- Type of food: Canadian/International
- Average cost per meal: $41 CAD
- Why we love it: Super unique dining experience
The Kitsilano food scene is full of surprises, and Dark Table is one of the coolest restaurant experiences we’ve had in a while. You’ve probably heard of dining in the dark before, and while we were a little skeptical at first, it ended up being a super cool experience.
The waitstaff here are visually impaired, which adds another layer to this experience. They seamlessly guided us through your dining experience, giving us a little insight into their lives – a pretty cool concept, we think.
The set menu offers choices on mains, including vegetarian and vegan options, but the starter and dessert are a surprise! You get to let your tastebuds go wild and experience flavors by smell and taste, which really does amp it up a few notches.
If you’re looking for a restaurant in Kitsilano that offers an entirely different dining experience, add it to your list and make a reservation!
13. Nuba – Best Middle Eastern
- Location: 3116 W Broadway
- Type of food: Lebanese
- Average cost per meal: $16 CAD
- Why we love it: Bright, delicious flavors in a cozy location
We loved Nuba’s “Canteen” location in Yaletown and were excited to test out their “Taverna” in Kits. This location is super cozy, cavernous vibe and some of the same cool geometric designs I loved at the Canteen.
We had a shareable veggie feast last time, so we switched it up and tried some meat-based dishes like Bison Kafta and classic Chicken Shish Tawook – all succulent, juicy, and spiced perfectly. The Muhammara -made with roasted red pepper and pomegranate molasses- and fresh, herby, lemony Tabbouleh Salad were winners also.
We had two Beirut Sunset cocktails to top it all off, and I’ll be eyeing up their other locations to check out in the future!
Walk-ins are welcome, but you can make reservations and check out their food options here.
Related Read: Spending some time in Vancouver? Check out our guide on where to stay in Vancouver to know about the best areas to base yourself.
Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver
Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So while you’re here, be sure not to miss some of the top attractions and activities:
- Whale Watching – Without a doubt, one of the most popular tours in Vancouver is whale watching. Set off from the city on a half-day on the ocean looking for whales. If you’re lucky, you might even see Orcas (also known as Killer Whales.) This whale-watching tour is a ton of fun, and at only about $200 CAD it is good value too!
- Hiking – There are a ton of amazing hikes in and around Vancouver. Challenge yourself with the famous Grouse Grind, wander the trails near the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, or even drive towards Squamish and do The Chief.
- Ride in a Seaplane – One of our favorite memories in Vancouver was riding in a seaplane. Taking off and landing on the ocean is super exciting, and then the views from the air are breathtaking. This seaplane ride lasts for 20 minutes and costs $160 CAD. It departs and returns to Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver. The best part is that seaplane tours in Vancouver operate all year round, so even if you’re visiting Vancouver in the winter you can take to the sky!
- Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.
Thanks for reading!
I hope your hungry after reading this blog (I know I am!) Kitsilano is truthfully one of my favorite areas in all of Vancouver, and one of the reasons is for it’s vibrant food scene. The restaurants in this blog are just somewhere to get to started, but maybe also just walk around and let your nose lead the way!
Be sure to check out our other blogs about the West Coast of BC including a few related reads below:
Everything you NEED to Know about the Richmond Night Market
Guide to Visiting the Vancouver Aquarium