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21 BEST Restaurants in Vancouver (Chosen by a Local!)

21 BEST Restaurants in Vancouver (Chosen by a Local!)

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Vancouver is a city that loves to eat! With the city’s beautiful beaches on the coast and scenic mountain backdrop, it’s no surprise Vancouver is one of the top places to visit in BC. We loved it so much that we moved here! Coming from a local, if you’re a foodie or even just looking for a memorable and delicious meal, you are sure to appreciate the diverse selection of food served in a stunning setting.

Visiting Vancouver for a couple of days puts you close to world-class restaurants as well as many hidden gems you’ve likely never heard of but deserve just as much recognition. Whether you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, authentic cultural cuisine, fresh seafood, or the best waffle house, you can find all the best food, often within the same neighborhood of Vancouver. 

After living in Vancouver for quite some time, I can confidently say we are experts in the food scene! We’ve tried a ton of dishes and there are places we keep returning to because they are THAT good.

With a good mix of ethnic foods and Canadian fare, you will have no shortage of options for the best restaurants in Vancouver. To help you decide where to eat in the city, I’ve listed all the must-try places below. So dig in!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our personal favorite restaurant in Vancouver is Danbo. The ramen here is the best we’ve ever had and we never get sick of it! But, if you’re a real foodie and want to try a few of the best restaurants, you can’t go wrong with booking this food tour. You’ll get 7 different food tastings as you are led through one of the trendiest areas in the city.

Best Restaurants in Vancouver

1. Blue Water Cafe

Sablefish meal at Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown
Photo credit: Blue Water Cafe
Fresh Atlantic Lobster at the Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown, Vancouver
Photo credit: Blue Water Cafe
  • Location: 1095 Hamilton Street
  • Type of food: Seafood fine dining 
  • Average cost per meal: $42 CAD
  • Why we love it: Perfectly cooked fresh seafood   

Blue Water Cafe is well-known as one of the absolute best restaurants in Yaletown. This award-winning seafood restaurant gives you the local Vancouver experience and frequently catches the eye of travelers looking for fine dining. The aesthetic is exactly what you’d picture for a trendy Vancouver establishment with exposed brick and wooden beams, you will sink right into this place and never want to leave!

We chose to try the “Seafood Tasting for Two” so we could try as many dishes as we could in one sitting! We were certainly not disappointed. The starters set the bar high with the Bay Scallop Ceviche and Albacore Tuna Tartare. As for the mains, I decided to treat myself and get the lobster, which was covered in white wine nage and tarragon. It was some of the best lobster I’ve ever tasted. We also had the sablefish which was perfectly prepared with miso glaze, edamame, bok choy, shiitake, and quinoa for a fusion of seafood and Asian spices. Our server was wonderful and recommended pairings with our meal which took it to the next level. 

They also have a “raw bar” with some of the best sushi, nigiri, and sashimi in Vancouver, but we were so full we couldn’t squeeze any more food in! This simply gives us a reason to come back– and we will certainly return! I’ve had good seafood before, but this restaurant took it to a new level. Blue Water Cafe is so good, that it even made our list of the best evening activities in Vancouver!

It is very popular, so I highly recommend making a reservation! You can get a sneak peek at their menu here to start planning what you’ll order.

2. Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean

Steak dishes at Hydra Vancouver
Photo credit: Hydra Vancouver
Oysters at Hydra Vancouver
Photo credit: Hydra Vancouver
  • Location: 475 Howe Street
  • Type of food: Greek food
  • Average cost per meal: $41 CAD for meals, $125 CAD for platter
  • Why we love it: Delicious food with a great authentic Mediterranean-inspired setting

A few blocks from Canada Place you will find some of the best Greek food in the city. Located inside the EXchange Tower atrium, this is a great restaurant for lunch, dinner, or drinks. Hydra Estiatorio serves up a wide variety of food from lamb and roast chicken to oysters and lobster. With large portion sizes, friendly staff, and inviting Mediterranean decor, it is no wonder this restaurant is so popular. 

If you’re like me and enjoy sharing large amounts of food, Hydra Estiatorio is a must-try! The best thing to try here is their platters that have large serving sizes that are designed to be shared family style. This can be a lot of fun to visit, especially when going with a group. To cap off your experience, you have to try their baklava – you won’t be sorry! The menu is large and the friendly staff will work with your dietary preferences to show you your options for vegetarian, keto-friendly, and gluten-free options. 

Seafood lovers will like this restaurant as there are lots of lobster, salmon, and oyster options here. As is typical in Vancouver, the seafood served up here is fresh and flavorful. I love a good happy hour and if you find yourself here daily between 3-6 pm, you will be treated with all the best deals. The oyster bar turns into a buck a shuck, there are discounted appetizers, and specials on wine, beer, and cocktails. 

Related Read: Vancouver is famous for its seasonal whale-watching excursions. Make the most out of your trip and find out all the things to know about whale watching and the best tours out there!

3. Danbo

Ramen from Ramen Danbo in Vancouver, BC
The famous ramen from Danbo!
Bailey at Danbo in Vancouver
Bailey at Danbo in Vancouver
  • Location: 1833 W 4th Ave 
  • Type of food: Ramen 
  • Average cost per meal: $14 CAD
  • Why we love it: Ultra-customizable ramen  

When ramen is cooked well, it is one of the most delicious things you can eat, in my opinion. Ramen Danbo, certainly cooks their ramen well, so much so that it is always packed when I visit! This is their first location outside of Japan and they bring authentic Fukuoka-style ramen to give us one of the best restaurants in Kitsilano.

I love their Tonkotsu (pork broth) and that you can customize things I didn’t even know existed, like noodle thickness and firmness, broth richness and thickness, and umami spice level.

On our first visit, we stuck to the classic ramen styles: chashu-men and rekka (a spicy ramen that is customizable to your taste). The hot and rich broth, thick noodles, soft-boiled egg, and a bit of extra chashu were perfect for a cold winter Vancouver day.

Ramen Danbo has become our go-to spot and we have returned dozens of times since our first visit. It is so tasty and affordable, and a convenient 15-minute walk from one of Vancouver’s best beaches, Kits Beach.

There are also some great vegan options that are just as tasty as the classic ramen flavors! Danbo is first come first serve, and it definitely gets busy. We always try to get there before 5:30 pm to have a shorter wait time (about 20 min). If you’re a ramen connoisseur, trust us when we say that Danbo is worth a visit. Check out the menu here to see what I’m talking about!

Note: Danbo has a second location in Vancouver that’s been listed as one of the best restaurants in Yaletown!

4. Five Sails Restaurant

Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle from Five Sails Vancouver
Photo credit: Five Sails Vancouver
A prawn dish at Five sails Vancouver
Photo credit: Five Sails
  • Location: Suite 410 – 999 Canada Place
  • Type of food: French fusion
  • Average cost per meal: $50 CAD
  • Why we love it: Award-winning food served with stunning waterfront views

Located right at Canada Place you will find this stunning high-end restaurant that serves the highest quality food with world-class views. There are a lot of restaurants to get great views in Vancouver but Canada Place is definitely one of the best! Watch the boats come in with the waterfront location that perfectly showcases the Lions Gate Bridge set against the stunning North Vancouver mountain backdrop. Having a meal at Canada Place is certainly one of the top things to do while visiting Vancouver!

Five Sails Restaurant is an upscale fine dining restaurant serving award-winning European-inspired food for both lunch and dinner. The presentation of the food is just as impressive as the taste and with a large wine list, you will be able to have the perfect wine pairing with your food. If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for a delicious wine and food pairing! This restaurant takes it to the next level.

There are also a lot of great options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals, so everyone can enjoy this upscale and tasty establishment!

I highly recommend booking a reservation for this restaurant to ensure you have the quality experience you can expect here. If you can request a table beside the windows, you will get some of the most beautiful views while you dine! While there isn’t a bad seat in the house, sitting beside the large floor-to-ceiling windows really enhances the experience. I was so distracted overlooking the water that I didn’t even notice when our food arrived!

If you’re feeling really fancy, you can also indulge in their specialized menus. The lunch Prix Fixe menu is served on weekdays between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm for $38 CAD per person. An Afternoon Tea (a classic bougie Canadian tradition) is served on weekends between 12 pm and 2:30 pm. Here you will be served a variety of savory and sweet treats (including tea, of course) for $65 CAD per person. If you are visiting after 5 pm, you can dine in style with their 6-course tasting menu costing $105 CAD per person, showcasing all the best from the menu. 

5. Vancouver Fish Company

The Vancouver Fish Company oysters
Photo credit: The Vancouver Fish Company
The Vancouver Fish Company salmon dish
Photo credit: The Vancouver Fish Company
  • Location: 1517 Anderson Street
  • Type of food: Seafood
  • Average cost per meal: $30 CAD
  • Why we love it: Delicious, fresh seafood served up on the water

Granville Island has a reputation for its fresh seafood and the Vancouver Fish Company is one of the best places to get just that! Their modern industrial-style decor is an inviting atmosphere to enjoy delicious food and their big booths allow lots of room for groups. The restaurant staff is incredibly friendly making the experience much more enjoyable. If you visit Vancouver in the summertime, I highly recommend sitting outside on their covered patio where you can enjoy views of the beautiful marina and may even be visited by some friendly seals. 

The food is rich and flavorful from the delicious tuna poke bowl to the halibut and chips, you will not be disappointed. There are even large platters you can share if you’re hoping to eat like kings! I’m still dreaming about the delicious seafood platter we shared that came with crab, scallops, prawns, and salmon. It was big, so come hungry! Despite being a seafood restaurant, there are vegetarian and vegan options available too, you just have to ask. 

If you love a good deal, happy hour is served daily between 3-5 pm where you will find $5 CAD beer, $6 CAD highballs, $7 CAD wine, and discounts on appetizers. The oysters are the star of the show being large and fresh for $2.50 CAD each. As one of the best things to do on Granville Island, Vancouver Fish Company is our top pick for those looking for a great ambiance and delicious seafood. You can view their menu here!

Related Read: If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Vancouver’s booming brewery scene! We have found the best brewery tours in Vancouver to give you a taste of the hop-filled culture.

6. Minami

Prawns at Minami in Yaletown, Vancouver
Prawns at Minami in Yaletown, Vancouver
Bailey drinks Miso Soup at Minami in Yaletown
Bailey drinks Miso Soup at Minami in Yaletown
  • Location: 1118 Mainland Street 
  • Type of food: Japanese  
  • Average cost per meal: $42 CAD
  • Why we love it: Delicious food with perfect presentation 

Vancouver has a large Japanese population, and with that comes some amazing restaurants! Minami is one of the top and brings the authentic Japanese aesthetic with its murals, artwork, and famous attention to detail in everything it does. This Yaletown restaurant was the first to bring Aburi to Canada. Aburi is a flame-seared sushi, and it’s only fitting that the first time I ever tried it was at Minami!

The mix is a perfect fusion of classic dishes, like Miso Soup and Steamed Edamame, as well as some unique fares, like Brussel Sprouts Chips with lemon pepper salt and Ebi (shrimp) Fritters with harissa aioli! The presentation was flawless, it was almost too pretty to eat … almost. 

Next, we moved on to Aburi. Now, I love sushi, so I thought this couldn’t possibly be better. But after my first taste, my whole opinion changed! The flame-searing brings out new flavors that it nearly tastes like a different dish. When you visit Minami, you must try the Aburi! It is even worth going solely to try this new twist on sushi.

Minami has a great Happy Hour from 3-5 pm daily. They have small bites and drink specials like $6 CAD Sake and $4 CAD Sapporo on tap. Check out their full menu here and don’t forget to try the Aburi!

7. Jam Cafe

Eggs benedict at Jam Cafe, Vancouver
My happy place!
Eggs benedict at Jam Cafe in Vancouver
Eggs Benedict!
  • 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  

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that we love brunch. It is the perfect start to any day in Vancouver (or cure after a night out). Kitsilano is home to one of the best brunch spots in all of Vancouver: Jam Cafe!

We were both in savory moods when we stopped in here and didn’t leave any crumbs on the plate! I tried the Buffalo Blue Benny, a buffalo chicken benny with crumbled blue cheese and hash browns on the side. Dan had the Gravy Coops – a buttermilk biscuit topped with pork belly, eggs, and mushroom gravy. Both were such unique and hearty dishes, we were pleasantly stuffed by the end!

Here’s a pro tip: arrive at Jam Cafe about 10 minutes before they open and join the line outside so you don’t have to wait too long. Otherwise, this popular brunch spot fills up and you’ll be stuck waiting for much longer! They do not take reservations and locals love this place, so it certainly gets busy! You can check out Jam Cafe’s menu online here!

8. Black + Blue

Steak at Black + Blue in Vancouver, canada
Photo credit: Black + Blue
Steak at Black + Blue Vancouver
Photo credit: Black + Blue Vancouver
  • Location: 1032 Alberni St
  • Type of food: Steakhouse
  • Average cost per meal: $55 CAD
  • Why we love it: Large menu with premium steak options 

If you’re craving a nice juicy steak, look no further than Black + Blue in downtown Vancouver. This is the perfect spot for those looking for lunch, dinner, or a delicious late-night cocktail. You will feel the luxury the second you step into this beautiful restaurant with its sophisticated decor and friendly restaurant staff. While I would consider this a fine dining restaurant, it really has an environment that felt very relaxed and comfortable. 

There is a meat locker displaying all the fresh-cuts of meat which perfectly sets the vibe of the restaurant. There is not a bad spot to sit in the house but the rooftop terrace is by far our favorite. The romantic setting is surrounded by fireplaces and heaters to keep you comfortable and you get beautiful views of the city. The mood of this restaurant extends throughout all three floors and even to their street patio with their welcoming staff ensuring you will have a great experience. 

They have a fantastic deal every Friday for lunch, you can enjoy a $17 CAD burger and beer special offered before 2 pm. If you’re a prime rib lover, be sure to plan your trip for Sundays as you will be able to enjoy their prime rib dinner feast. Finally, because we love a good happy hour deal, it is offered daily between 2:30-5:30 pm where you can enjoy discounted beer, wine, and cocktails as well as small bite food! But don’t fill up on apps, you’ll want to save enough room for a steak as it really is some of the best in the city!

Reservations are not required, but it’s a good idea if you’re planning on going on Friday or Saturday nights. You can view their extensive steak menu here!

Related Read: With so much to do in Vancouver, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time! We have put together the best Vancouver City Tours so you can maximize your time in this epic city.

9. Nuba

Chicken dish at Nuba, Vancouver
So good!
Watermelon dish at Nuba, Vancouver
Watermelon and cheese!
  • 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 

Nuba has multiple locations around Vancouver, but we loved checking out their “Taverna” location in Kits. This location is incredibly cozy and inspired by Lebanon’s coastal caves, so there are low-hanging ceilings and multiple levels in this small space. It’s really unique but has the same wonderful Nuba hospitality. 

The last time we were at Nuba, we had the veggie feast! So in the spirit of trying something new, we tried some meat-based dishes like Bison Kafta and Chicken Shish Tawook, all of which were well seasoned, juicy, and cooked to perfection. We also had Muhammara (made with roasted red pepper and pomegranate molasses) and a fresh and herby Tabbouleh Salad. They take dishes I’ve already had and make them extraordinary!

To top it off, we had two Beirut Sunset cocktails, which was the perfect nightcap for this meal. All of their locations are unique and delicious in their own way – well worth a stop! Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make reservations and check out their Lebanese-styled menu here.

10. MeeT

cauliflower bites at MeeT in Gastown, Vancouver
Cauliflower bites!
Cheese dip at Meet in Gastown, Vancouver
Vegan cheese dip!
  • Location: Inner Courtyard, 12 Water St.
  • Type of food: Vegan  
  • Average cost per meal: $18 CAD
  • Why we love it: Creative, delicious vegan food  

MeeT is a creatively designed restaurant and despite what its name might sound like, it is all vegan! There are a few locations around town, and after visiting all of them we love the Gastown location. We caught a nice day and sat in the outdoor area, but the inside is super cozy as well!

We started off our dining experience with pineapple peach soda, made in-house, and their vegan cheese dip. It was so creamy, warm, and delicious, perfect with some tortilla chips. I kept on the Mexican food theme and ordered the Taco Salad, which was actually really filling, made with fresh ingredients, and topped with guacamole!

Dan took a risk and ordered the Mac n’ Cheez bowl, despite his skepticism about cashew cheez sauce, but it was actually fantastic! He was so surprised at how creamy and cheesy the consistency was, you could probably fool any dairy lover if you told them it was real cheese. We also tried the cauliflower bites and they knocked it out of the park on this one – so good!

This is definitely one of the best vegan restaurants in Gastown, and they also have a fantastic happy hour and brunch menu. Check it out for yourself!

Note: You can also check out MeeT’s second location, which is one of the best restaurants in Yaletown!

11. Tacofino

Burrito at Tacofino in Gastown, Canada
Photo credit: Tacofino
Tacos at Tacofino in Gastown, Canada
Photo credit: Tacofino
  • Location: 1909 W 4th Ave 
  • Type of food: Mexican   
  • Average cost per meal: $13 CAD
  • Why we love it: Tacos, nachos, burritos. Need we say more?! 

Tacofino started with one truck in a surf shop parking lot in Tofino and their Gastown location is a staple in Vancouver, so we absolutely had to try their newest Kits location. They are similar in the menu, but this one is well-known for having an awesome Burrito Bar to add a little spice to the vibe! 

Tacofino has a daily drink special, so we started out our Friday night with a pitcher of Tricky Sangria – always a great decision! We went for the Beef Barbacoa and Maui Pork Al Pastor burritos which were filled with fresh ingredients like jalapeno slaw, pineapple salsa, and their famous spicy rice. They were giant and delicious, and yes, we did finish the whole thing!

We even managed to have enough room to try their house-made churro with spiced chocolate sauce for dessert – yum! Tacofino was an overall hit with its trendy vibe, affordable prices, and giant portions. 
If you’re in Kits for their daily happy hour from 3-6 pm, you must stop by! Check out their mouth-watering menu here.

Related Read: If you want to visit the OG Tacofino location, make the trip from Vancouver to Tofino!

12. Cafe Medina

Two breakfast meals at Cafe Medina, Vancouver, BC
How good does that look?
A coffee at Cafe Medina, Vancouver, BC
The coffee is also fantastic at Cafe Medina!
  • Location: 780 Richards Street
  • Type of food: Mediterranean-inspired brunch food
  • Average cost per meal: $18 CAD
  • Why we love it: Great brunch food with delicious waffles

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect breakfast spot, look no further than Cafe Medina. Open weekdays 8 am to 3 pm and weekends from 9 am to 3 pm, this hipster brunch restaurant is a great place to stop.

They have so many options whether you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee or a nice big steak and eggs breakfast, and no brunch is complete without a mimosa or spiked coffee! Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, be sure to ask your server. 

If you’re following our Vancouver weekend itinerary, I highly recommend you book a reservation as it deservingly gets quite busy on weekends. They do accept walk-ins but prepare for a long wait time which, trust me, is worth the wait. The staff is incredibly friendly which adds to the upbeat and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant. From 9-11 am daily you can enjoy happy hour which offers discounts on mimosas, beer, cocktails, and bottles of wine. 

You have to try their Belgian waffles! Arguably the best in the city, their waffles are fresh, light, fluffy, and full of flavor and they put a unique spin on them. There are many different toppings to choose from with the milk chocolate lavender and salted caramel being my two favorites! I was impressed with the generous portion sizes of the delicious Mediterranean-inspired brunch cuisine. 

You can view their extensive menu or make reservations online here!

13. The Boathouse

Seafood dish at the Boathouse Vancouver
Seafood pasta!
Bailey sits at the Boathouse Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the view at sunset from The Boathouse.
  • Location: 1305 Arbutus St 
  • Type of food: Seafood  
  • Average cost per meal: $28 CAD
  • Why we love it: Fresh seafood and Kits Beach views  

The Boathouse is one of the best restaurants in Kitsilano, not only for its fresh seafood, but it also has the best views in Vancouver. You can sit in the main dining room which is modern in design and has full-length windows so you can overlook Kits Beach or enjoy a nice, warm, sunny day on the outside patio!

The Boathouse is known for its fresh, local, and sustainable seafood, such as its daily selections of oysters from Canada’s East and West Coasts. We tried the Mussel and Chorizo Steamer pot, which was full of garlic and spice – I highly recommend ordering this! We also loved the Hot Crab Dip and the Coconut Pacific Cod, which was light in flavor with the coconut and lime. 

This is the ideal spot if you are looking to wine and dine. You will instantly feel relaxed with the incredible view and delicious food– and we just love spending a few hours here! If you can catch it at happy hour, you’ll be pleased with the deals on oysters, appetizers, and drinks!

Check out The Boathouse’s menu and reserve your table online here!

Related Read: Take your dinner experience to the next level while in Vancouver! This Sunset Dinner Cruise is an epic way to explore the city, take in the views, and try some truly incredible food.

14. Momo Sushi

Sushi at Momo Sushi, Gastown, Vancouver
The sushi at Momo is both food and art!
  • Location: 6-375 Water Street
  • Type of food: Sushi/Japanese 
  • Average cost per meal: $18.50 CAD
  • Why we love it: Top-notch sushi at a great price 

There are some wonderful restaurants in Gastown, but you have to make some room in your schedule (and stomach) to stop by Momo Sushi. Yet another wonderful Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, this small restaurant is modest and simple but really knows how to serve up some killer sushi. Plus eating sushi here is a rite of passage … it’s one of the best things you can do in Vancouver!

We first discovered this famous sushi spot on our Vancouver food tour. This was a great way to learn about some restaurants around the city, and we have since returned to Momo many times! The best time to visit is actually after the lunch rush, as it gets pretty busy and you don’t want to have a long wait. The menu consists of your classic sushi options – rolls, nigiri, sashimi, noodles, Udon, and even some Korean food!

I came to a sushi restaurant, so that’s what I wanted, but Dan got adventurous and wandered to the bento box section of the menu. With impeccably quick service, our food arrived, ready to be devoured! I was feeling a little spicy, so I ventured out and got the spicy tuna roll and spicy scallop roll. This was my first time trying this roll and it has become my new fave!

Dan was very pleased with Bento Box “B” which came with a whole slew of delicious items, special shoutout to the California Roll! Everything was so fresh and filling, and really affordable. It’s hard to get a sushi lunch for under $20 CAD, especially in Gastown!

Check out their menu and be sure to add this stop to your day when you’re in Gastown!

15. Robba da Matti

Spaghetti Allo Scoglio at Robba da Matti in Yaletown, Vancouver
Photo credit: Robba da Matti Restaurant
  • Location: 1127 Mainland Street
  • Type of food: Classic Italian and Tapas 
  • Average cost per meal: $27 CAD
  • Why we love it: Cozy date spot for authentic Italian

There is something so charming about a good Italian restaurant. The ambiance is always on point, and who can say no to a plate full of pasta? Robba da Matti is one of the best dining options in Yaletown, and it rightfully earns a spot on this list!

The “Date Night Special” is a great deal and includes two starters, two pasta dishes, and two desserts, plus a bottle of wine! We wined and dined here over a bottle of Merlot. It is an ideal spot if you’re on a honeymoon in Vancouver!

We started out with Prosciutto and Burrata, which arrived quickly with their wonderful staff. I stuck to my seafood theme of this West Coast trip and ordered the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. It was full of scallops, tiger prawns, calamari mussels, and clams in a tomato base – YUM. I also convinced Dan to let me try his Pappardelle “Rosche Rosche”, which was a family ragu recipe and did not disappoint! Somehow we left room for dessert and needed a post-dinner walk to ease our full bellies. 

Robba da Matti Yaletown is open all day for brunch, lunch, and dinner. I recommend making a reservation just to make sure you can get in. You can find all the details here

16. The Naam

Vegan tofu platter from The Naam in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC
Photo credit: The Naam Restaurant
Humous Stuffed Pita from The Naam in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC
Photo credit: The Naam Restaurant
  • Location: 2724 W 4th Ave 
  • Type of food: Veggie and Vegan 
  • Average cost per meal: $17 CAD
  • Why we love it: Longstanding neighborhood favorite  

This one goes out to all of our veggie-loving readers out there! In the heart of Kitsilano is The Naam, a historic restaurant that has become a local favorite spot. Vancouver was ahead of its time, as this vegetarian and vegan restaurant has been around since 1968 and holds true to its first-come, first-served, small-time operation that still focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. 

Naam is loved by locals and travelers alike. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have a diverse menu. You can get a light lunch of salads and sandwiches or something more hearty like a daily curry or a huge rice bowl!

We had a go with their veggie burger platter, and it was surprisingly amazing! We’d heard a lot about their Miso Gravy that topped a burger and it was incredible. The Tempeh Ruban had tasty tangy sauerkraut, and the Maui-Maui burger was truly unique with its water chestnuts and teriyaki combo – on a burger! I loved the unique flare this restaurant put on traditional dishes.

You can check out their one-of-a-kind menu here and don’t forget to try the Miso Gravy!

17. Rodney’s Oyster House

Cooked lobster at Rodney's Oyster House in Gastown, Canada
Photo credit: Rodney’s Oyster House
Fresh Oysters at Rodney's Oyster House in Gastown, Canada
Photo credit: Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Location: 52 Powell Street  
  • Type of food: Seafood  
  • Average cost per meal: $27 CAD
  • Why we love it: Freshly shucked oysters 

We have a few amazing seafood restaurants on this list, but Rodney’s Oyster House is a standout for its famous, fresh West Coast seafood. This is the perfect stop if you’re exploring Gastown or want to see one of the best local spots in Vancouver. Speaking of famous West Coast seafood, Rodney’s is especially popular if you’re looking for some fresh oysters! 

The vibe here is somewhat casual, with that coastal feel and nautical design. Since this is an oyster house, we had to give them a try and started out with the Pan Fried Oysters. They were freshly shucked and lightly breaded, paired with a homemade tartar sauce – I can see what all the hype is about. 

We decided to try their spin on the classic Canadian dish we love and had the lobster poutine. It was flavorful Atlantic lobster, fresh gravy, and squeaky cheese curds over french fries, and wow, it was amazing! The New England Clam Chowder also was a winner in my book as it was perfect for the rainy Vancouver day

To top it all off we had their signature caesar called Zydeco Stew and it was the perfect addition to our feast. You might need reservations on a Friday or Saturday night, but the rest of the time you can just walk in. Check out their full food and drink menu here!

18. Cardero’s

Prawns from Cardero's in Caol Harbour, Vancouver
Photo credit: Cardero’s
  • Location: 1583 Coal Harbour Quay
  • Type of food: Seafood restaurant
  • Average cost per meal: $40 CAD
  • Why we love it: Large menu with stunning harbor views

If you find yourself in Vancouver’s Coal Harbor neighborhood (maybe before or after a Vancouver seaplane ride!) looking for some fresh seafood with a stunning view, look no further than Cardero’s. The raised ceilings with extra large windows provide ideal unobstructed views of the harbor.

If you’re visiting on a nice day, sitting on their heated patio ensures a perfect vibe where you can enjoy mountain and marina views. Cardero’s has been around for decades and it has built up a reliable quality reputation in that time for its delicious fresh food and friendly service.

For those looking to eat like royalty, I highly recommend sharing one of their massive platters that will give you a taste of all their menu has to offer. Cardero’s large menu has everything including steak and lamb, burgers, pastas, pizzas, and of course, lots of fresh seafood. Despite being a pub style, the restaurant is family-friendly offering something for everyone. Their extensive wine list with many local and international wines will allow the perfect pairings to your dinner! It was a fabulous addition!

I highly recommend booking a reservation as the restaurant is deservingly quite popular and can get really busy. While they are most known for their fresh seafood, there are vegetarian and gluten-free options available as well. It gets a little more lively with nightly live music after 8 pm on weekdays and between 3 pm – 6 pm and after 8:30 pm on weekends!

19. Au Comptoir

tomato and cucumber salad, with goat cheese and purslane from Au Comptoir in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC
Photo credit: Au Comptoir
Crisp confit duck leg from Au Comptoir in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC
Photo credit: Au Comptoir
  • 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  

Many French restaurants have a reputation for being a bit uppity and pretentious. However, Au Comptoir stands out amongst the crowd. The owners wanted to bring their loved French bistro culture to the West Coast without the stereotypical fussy vibes French cuisine so often has a reputation for. 

This restaurant fits in with the trendy, hip, and welcoming vibes that the Kits neighborhood holds, proving to be one of the top places to dine when you’re visiting Kitsilano. We had the pleasure of sampling their lunch menu and loved all the local, organic ingredients used in every dish!

We started out with the Assiette de Fromage (a fancy name for a cheese plate), which was a great introduction to French cuisine! For the main course, we shared the Tarte Fine, which is a fluffy pastry with zucchini, basil, and goat cheese, and the Cuisse de Canard Confit. This is a confit duck leg with some incredible flavor and a crispy potato to soak in all the jus. 

We really loved this restaurant because they nailed the high-quality menu with a chill environment, making it welcoming for everyone! 

Related Read: Looking for a bit of outdoor exploration during your vacation? Check out the best hikes in Vancouver to explore this nature-lovers paradise! (and offset all that food you’ll be trying!).

20. The Teahouse Stanley Park

A meal at the The Teahouse in Stanley Park
Doesn’t that look good? Photo credit: The Teahouse
  • Location: 7501 Stanley Park Drive
  • Type of food: Brunch and seafood
  • Average cost per meal: $40 CAD
  • Why we love it: Iconic location in Stanley Park with epic sunsets

The Teahouse in Stanley Park is one of the most quaint restaurants in the city. Serving up brunch, cocktails, and fresh seafood, the only downfall with this hidden gem is they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This small restaurant is located right in Stanley Park, at Ferguson Point, ensuring unbeatable ocean, mountain, and park views. It is certainly one of the best things to do in Stanley Park.

The menu mostly consists of seafood, steak, and lamb, as well as a few vegetarian and vegan options available. If you are visiting on weekends after a tour of Stanley Park, their brunch menu features typical staples such as waffles and eggs benedicts that are hard to beat. The Teahouse is fully licensed allowing you to pair your meal with a delicious wine or cocktail. Sometimes we just like stopping in for a drink while we are out exploring the park!

You will walk through a beautifully manicured little garden to get to this family-friendly restaurant. You can also see an incredible sunset from here! The west-facing windows that overlook the park and ocean make this one of the best sunset spots in the city. The teahouse offers occasional events partnering with different wineries or other businesses in the area, and is also the perfect place to book a private event!

21. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
Photo credit: Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie dumplings
Photo credit: Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
  • Location: 163 Keefer St
  • Type of food: Chinese food
  • Average cost per meal: $22 CAD
  • Why we love it: delicious Chinese fusion style food

Bao Bei, meaning precious, is located in Chinatown offering amazing service and absolutely delicious authentic Chinese food. I instantly felt welcomed in its cozy atmosphere with charming decor. This is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Vancouver if you’re looking for an authentic dinner spot. Despite the small size of the restaurant, it is very busy all thanks to the reliably delicious food served. 

The menu features lots of great fusion-style food with the intention that you order multiple dishes to share amongst the table. Most authentic Chinese restaurants are family-style, so we really enjoyed jumping into this part of the culture. There are also some great vegetarian options as well!

If you are feeling adventurous, you can opt for the Chef’s choice which costs $60 CAD a person with a two-person minimum and will deliver all the best flavors! If you are coming with a larger group, there are also family table experiences where groups of 6-10 people can enjoy a customized family feast for a set price per person. This is great for a big group so you don’t have to worry about splitting up the bill at the end!

I recommend booking a reservation as the restaurant can get quite busy, however, walk-ins are also accommodated. The restaurant also offers takeaway for those looking to try the food at home. We were thankful for the friendly restaurant staff who helped us pick out the best items on the menu!

Go on a Food Tour in Vancouver

Bailey poses wit her ice cream on our Vancouver foodie tour
Bailey poses with her ice cream on our Vancouver foodie tour

With so many amazing restaurants in Vancouver, it can be hard to hit them all in your limited vacation time. Booking a food tour in Vancouver is the ideal way to experience as many of these amazing establishments as you can, and you might get lucky and learn about some hidden gems! 

Our favorite Vancouver food tour is this Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour. We love this tour for a couple of reasons. First of all, Gastown is one of our favorite areas of the city. There is so much history hidden in the cobblestone streets that can easily go unnoticed unless a local is explaining the significance to you! Secondly, Gastown has tons of great restaurants (as you know from reading this blog) but there are also some rad hole-in-the-wall places that we didn’t even know were there until we took this food tour. 

In 2.5 hours this tour will give you 7 different food tastings, like fresh poutine topped with thick gravy and squeaky cheese curds, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini, and handmade waffles and ice cream. To make it even better, you’ll have 3 alcohol tastings, including a stop at one of my favorite breweries in VancouverSteamworks Brewing! Even with so many stops, this tour never felt rushed and we had so much fun making friends with the rest of our group.

This tour runs daily at 3 pm, no matter the weather, which makes this a great rainy day activity in Vancouver! Not only will you get to indulge in the food scene, but you’ll also get to experience the old charm of Gastown and see historic sites like the Steam Clock and Maple Tree Square. It’s the perfect mash-up of history, food, and exploration!

This tour is $129 CAD per person, with a maximum of 16 people on the tour, although ours only had 12. We were really impressed by our tour guide, Conner, who not only was a great storyteller but so funny and really took this tour to the next level. This is a fantastic activity to add to your Vancouver itinerary, let your inner foodie run wild and book this tour here!

Other Things to do While You’re in Vancouver

Bailey walks on the Lynn Canyon suspension Bridge, Vancouver
Lynn Canyon is so gorgeous!
Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium from a sea plane
See Van from above in a seaplane!

Van has a special place in our hearts – with so much to do in Vancouver, it’s impossible to get bored here! The city is chock-full of countless new and exciting things to try – besides all the incredible food! If you’re looking for activities to enjoy here, we’ve got you covered.

  • Go whale watching – It’s not just people who flock to Vancouver every year! From the beautiful black and white orcas to the lively humpbacks, going whale watching in Vancouver makes for a truly unforgettable memory. This half-day whale watching tour offers an amazing experience with a guarantee you’ll see whales!
  • 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 $168 CAD.
  • Explore Granville Island – Granville Island has such a fun energy and you can easily spend an afternoon wandering through the streets seeing the street performers, checking out the famous Granville Public Market, or hitting Granville Island Brewing. If you’re short on time or want a stress-free stop, we love this VIP market access tour where you’ll get to sample all the best foods!
  • Wine Tasting in Fraser Valley- Right outside of Vancouver are some of the best wineries in Canada. This Fraser Valley Wine Tour is an ideal way to see multiple wineries in one day. I especially love wine tours because I don’t have to worry about driving and can simply enjoy the tasty vino! This makes for a great day trip from Vancouver.

Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada

Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Photo credit: Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter, the city books up in advance very fast! Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure one of the top places to stay in Vancouver.

Here are a few great hotels in Van that we love:

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – $

If you’re traveling on a budget, look no further than The Cambie Hostel. It’s located in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants, and there’s also a great bar attached to the hostel too.

It can always be a bit of a gamble trying out a budget hostel, but from our own experience, this one is a real gem! While the bathrooms are a little bit small, the rooms are clean, there’s free Wi-Fi and the staff are really happy to help you out with anything you need. Private rooms here start at $100 CAD or bunks in dorm rooms are more around the $50 CAD mark. You can book your stay over on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com!

Times Square Suites – $$

For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park you can’t pass over the Times Square Suites. Toeing the line between affordability and comfort, it’s very hard to fault this hotel and its location in Vancouver’s west end is nothing short of perfect!

We stayed in their one-bedroom suite, and I’ve got to say I had the most restful sleep in that bed that I’ve had in weeks! Rooms here start at $224 CAD per night and can be booked over on Booking.com.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$

The Hyatt Regency is situated right between Gastown and Stanley Park, so right in the heart of Van’s action. As you can imagine, this is a luxury hotel stay at a well-known hotel chain, so you know your stay will be top-notch.

With a 42″ flat-screen TV is provided in every room. free Wi-Fi, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, the views of downtown Van don’t get much better than this. The Mosaic Bar and Grill serves some truly amazing food, and if you fancy something a bit stronger, the Grain Tasting Bar has some awesome signature cocktails. Book a luxurious stay here online.

Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver. It breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel!

Getting Around Vancouver

Bailey rides the Aquabus in Vancouver on her way to Granville Island from Yaletown
On the Aquabus!

Transportation and ease of navigating a new city are super important to consider when planning a trip. It will help you determine where to stay and what you’ll be able to visit while in the city. In Vancouver, there are a few different options for transportation in and around the city.

Driving

This is probably the best form of transportation if you want to explore anywhere outside of downtown Vancouver and participate in activities like hiking or skiing, which require getting a bit further away. Traffic in downtown Vancouver can be fairly busy, just like any city center.

There is ample parking available both on the streets and in parkades, though it can be expensive. Some hotels provide parking, so check ahead of time. 

If you can rent a car so you can explore Vancouver with ease! Just be prepared to pay for parking unless your hotel includes it.

Car share

A great option besides renting a car is using a car share service like Modo or Evo. These services allow you to rent a car and pay based on the time it’s used (i.e., pay for 30 minutes, two hours, or the full day, depending on how long you drive for).

You can pick up and drop off the car at specific checkpoints around the city and the best part is they get lots of free parking. This makes it super easy to use a car for just the time that you need it. 

Public transportation

Vancouver’s public transit system is not as extensive as many other major cities, but it is still a good way to get around to main attractions. The SkyTrain provides excellent access to some of the neighboring cities, such as Burnaby, New Westminster, or Surrey, so it offers a good option if you plan on exploring outside of downtown. It also runs from the airport, so again, a good option to get into the city from the airport. 

There are also many buses in the city that run frequently. Note that public transportation options are extremely limited overnight, with only a couple of night buses and no SkyTrain options after around 1 am. All public transportation is run by the company TransLink and is fairly affordable; a single trip costs $3.15, and a day pass costs $11.25 CAD.

Taxis and rideshares

Taxis are available throughout the city, as are Uber and Lyft. These are good options in the downtown core but can get pricey if you are going further outside of that region. For example, the taxi cost from YVR to Vancouver is about $30-$50 CAD.

Aquabus

The Aquabus is one of the more unique ways to get around Vancouver. These small boats visit 8 locations in the harbor all the way from The Village to Granville Island. The Aquabus costs $19 CAD for a full-day pass or round-trip tickets start at $3.75 CAD but prices vary depending on the route you take. You can check out all their routes and prices here.

Walking and biking

Vancouver is a very walkable city, and it is possible to walk just about anywhere in the downtown core.

Biking is also a good option, as there are dedicated bike lanes throughout most of the city. You can rent bikes all over the city and pretty much ride everywhere you want downtown. I love doing this, especially on a beautiful day!

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read my honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie on a sunset cruise in Vancouver
Thanks for reading!

Vancouver has hands-down some of the best restaurants in all of Canada. The city’s trendy and hipster vibe has brought in a ton of unique culinary experiences, and we are lucky enough to indulge in them! We hope you found this blog helpful as you plan your trip to Vancouver and can enjoy the delicious dishes as much as we did. 

If you’re looking for more suggestions on what to do in Vancouver, you can check out our collection of Canada blogs. We have everything from exploring the beautiful Banff and Whistler, taking a road trip along the coast, or getting in some epic hikes! Here are three more blogs we think will be an awesome addition to your Vancouver itinerary. 

The 4 BEST Whistler Tours from Vancouver 

5 BEST Boat Tours in Vancouver, BC (Chosen by a Local!)

10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Helicopter Tour in Vancouver

COMPLETE Guide to Visiting Lonsdale Quay in Vancouver + Things to do!