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4 BEST Food Tours in Vancouver – Chosen by a Local!

4 BEST Food Tours in Vancouver – Chosen by a Local!

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Vancouver is a food city – you will always be in a supply of amazing dishes to try! With fresh-caught seafood, an assortment of locally grown produce, and a diverse scene of international cuisine, it ranks in the top food cultures in North America. 

If you only have a few days in Vancouver, how can you possibly try all of this amazing food? We love taking food tours when visiting a new city, so a Vancouver food tour is our top recommendation. Not only do food tours give you a sample of some of the best dishes around, but you also get to explore, learn from local guides, and meet some awesome people on the way.  

Even as locals, we’ve been on quite a few and even found some new favorite spots because of them. So keep reading for our top 4 food tours in Vancouver!

Why Join a Food Tour in Vancouver?

Sushi on a food tour in Gastown, Vancouver
The sushi was so good!
Canadian Poutine on a food tour in Vancouver, Canada
The classic Canadian poutine!

When I first visited Vancouver (now this is making me feel old!) the first tour I ever did was a food tour. Not only did I get to learn a ton about the city and get my bearings, but I got to eat some incredible food and discover some of the local secrets in the city – talk about an introduction. 

Food tours in Vancouver are just that – the perfect introduction to the city. 

But I also love the fact that someone else does the hard work of planning for you. I mean, planning travel can be fun, but sometimes I just love to leave it to the pros. And with so many world-renowned chefs and restaurants in Vancouver, they certainly know what they are doing!

Food tours take you to some of Vancouver’s most noteworthy neighborhoods and show you some hidden gems. There are a variety of food tours available, whether you want to focus on history, local markets, or a specific cuisine – hello Chinatown! So you can really tailor your experience to best suit your travel style.

Now that we are Vancouver locals, we know the best neighborhoods for foodies. So the food tours listed on this blog cover our favorite areas, types of food, and restaurants in the city! Enjoy!

Our TOP Food Tour in Vancouver

Bailey walks around Gastown in Vancouver, BC
Gastown is such a beautiful neighborhood!

For the very best of the best, you can’t go wrong with this Gastown historic walking food tour, which is the perfect length at 2.5 hours and full of mouth-watering food and drinks. For just $134 CAD per person, you also get to visit some really interesting spots like the Steam Clock and Maple Tree Square, all while getting to know the other folks on your tour!

This is the highest-rated food tour in Vancouver, so you know you’ll have a great experience! You can grab tickets for this Vancouver food tour online here.

4 Best Food Tours in Vancouver

1. Vancouver walking tasting tour with Secret Food Tours

Food on our food tour through Gastown in Vancouver
Can you believe it’s vegan?!

Gastown is a Vancouver neighborhood full of some incredible restaurants to grab a bite, but there are also some great locations in downtown Vancouver. This walking tasting tour combines the best of both worlds, resulting in an experience that showcases some of the best foodie spots Vancouver has to offer!

We started by meeting our local guide, TJ, at the goregous Dominion Building. They offer tours at 10:30 or 2:30, but we opted for the morning time slot so we could enjoy all this food for brunch!

As we set off to find the best food in Vancouver, our guide took us through Stanley Park where we learned about the the Seawall to the modern Olympic Cauldron built for the 2010 Winter Games. We also spent time exploring the best sights in Gastown including the famous Gastown Steam Clock and Maple Leaf Square, so it truly was a great introduction to Vancouver!

But don’t worry, this tour isn’t all about sightseeing, there’s lots of tasty food to try in between! We got to dig into some delicious sushi rolls, as well as Aburi sushi – if you have yet to try it, it’s a type of pressed sushi lightly torched for a smoky, delicious flavor!

Next up was some tender pulled pork poutine for a true Canadian experience and some sweet chili cauliflower to balance it all out. We ended with some sweet ice cream treats and a secret spot that we won’t spoil for you, but we’re pretty sure you’ll love it!

The tour lasted about 3.5 hours and had a maximum of 12 people per tour, making this tour feel more personalized as we asked tons of questions along the way. Tickets are $178 CAD per person and include all your food and your local guide. There is a private tour option, but we thought the small group was a fun way to explore Vancouver with others!

Related Read: You can also explore Victoria’s Chinatown and the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen on tours from Vancouver to Victoria!

2. A Wok Around Chinatown

Authentic dim sum in Chinatown in Vancouver on a food tour
Dim sum, you mean dim yum!

Did you know that Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest in all of Canada? Well, now you do, and it’s a great reason to hop on this culinary tour called A Wok Around Chinatown (I know, we love the name too!). This is an awesome way to see the area, and your guide, Robert “Bob” Sung, is an actual chef – packing this 4-hour tour full of amazing culinary tips from a local expert.

Starting off strong at the beautiful Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, this smaller tour (10 people or less) is the perfect way to learn more about the history and culture of the area. After all, Vancouver’s Chinatown has been around since the 1890s!

You’ll get to see and sample loads of tasty bites along the way, with highlights like Chinese BBQ (crispy duck is the winner here!), tea brewing, and tasting. Oh, and did we mention the authentic Dim Sum lunch that I still think about to this day?!

One of my favorite stops on this tour (although they are all awesome) was the medicinal food hall, where you can learn about different foods used in traditional medicine.

Bob does an amazing job of sharing his culture with guests, and his knowledge and mouthwatering food are the perfect recipe for a fantastic city tour of Vancouver. Whether you’re locals like us or a visitor to the city, you’ll enjoy this one! 

This tour is an absolute steal at $137 CAD per person – Bob is a great character who made the experience very memorable.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

3. VIP access Granville Island market tour

Donuts from Lee's Donuts on Granville Island, Vancouver
This tour takes you to the most famous donuts in Vancouver!
Fresh BC Berries at the Granville Island Public Market
Mmm, BC berries!

One of our favorite neighborhoods in Vancouver is Granville Island. And the best thing to do here? Explore Granville Island Public Market! Not only is this market full of locally sourced food, it is also a historic staple in the city. So a visit here is a must, might as well go on a food tour to get the whole picture!

This 2-hour VIP Granville Island Market tour is the best way to sample the most – I mean there are over 50 different food stalls here! We tried 20 different samplings at 10 locations, and while that barely scratches the surface of this giant market, it felt like we covered a lot. We enjoyed bites of fresh bread with homemade pate, local cheeses, candied salmon, fluffy donuts, and piping hot coffee.

Our guide was so helpful in navigating the market and gave us plenty of time to explore on our own. We never felt rushed and were able to chat with the vendors to learn about their products, taste even more food, and learn about the history of the place.

The group is also limited to 15 people (as a maximum!), so you’ll have plenty of time to speak with your guide and ask any questions you may have. It’s these little details, like keeping the groups small, that add up to a great experience.

You can read our full review of this food tour here, but you don’t have to take our word for it, the tour has also been named a Canadian Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission! The tasting tour starts at $186 CAD. Be sure to book early for the date you want, and prepare for a culinary adventure!

4. Gastown historic walking food tour (Our top choice)  

Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver
Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver
Ice cream on a Gastown Food tour in Vancouver

And now, the creme de la creme: a Gastown walking food tour! Gastown is one of our top spots in Vancouver, and we recommend this food tour to anyone visiting the area – whether it’s your first time or your 10th. We hopped on this tour to taste our way around Gastown but learned lots of tidbits from our awesome guide, which was a welcome bonus!

We explored the area for around 2.5 hours, grabbing 7 tastings, including fresh poutine with squeaky cheese curds and fresh gravy, spicy Japanese chicken karaage, and tasty treats like fresh waffles and ice cream. As if the deal couldn’t get any sweeter, it also includes 3 alcohol tastings, including a stop-in at one of the famous (and our favorite!) Steamworks Brewing!

Tours run at 2 pm and 3 pm every day of the year, no matter the weather, making this one of the great activities to do when it’s raining in Vancouver! Not only is it a delicious intro to the culinary scene in Gastown, but you’ll also see famous sites like the Steam Clock and Maple Tree Square as you explore the cobblestone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Talk about a history and food mega combo!

Tickets for this tour cost $134 CAD per person, with a maximum of 16 people (our group had around 12). Not only did we enjoy this tour, but with over 1,000 positive reviews on Viator, it’s a clear standout.

Related Read: If the quick visit to the brewery in this tour has you craving more of the craft beer scene, check out the top brewery tours in Vancouver!

Reasons to Join a Food Tour in Vancouver

Sushi Minami in Yaleton, Vancouver on a food tour
So good!

If you’re still not sure if a food tour in Vancouver is for you, here are a few reasons to consider it…

Local Knowledge

Bailey and I are food tour lovers. It’s something we do in most countries, including the Yangon food tour in Myanmar, the Chelsea Market tour in NYC, and a taco tour in Mexico City.

But why a tour? I suppose it’s true, you could just walk the streets and visit places on your own. But think about your local hot spots in your hometown, how long did it take for you to find them? Probably months, if not years!

It’s safe to say that most local spots are found over many years of experimentation. It takes a few bad eggs (literally) to find a hidden gem.

On holiday you don’t have the time for that. That’s why we always join food tours, particularly at the start of our visit. You’ll find out the best dishes and places to enjoy them, as well as pick your guide’s brain for all the other places you check out while you’re here.

It’s a win-win, especially in a city as big as Vancouver! To us, a food tour is a great addition to any Vancouver itinerary.

It’s super easy!

We love going on hikes around Vancouver, but sometimes we just want to have a day out exploring the city. To us, getting toured around a city all while getting fed yummy foods along the way is an awesome way to spend a day. It’s zero stress and the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit – even if it’s not Christmas!

Try something new

On food tours, you’re usually ordered a dish and asked to try it. Maybe it’s something you wouldn’t normally order, but you’ll probably love it anyway! It’s an easy way to get outside your comfort zone and try something new, even if it’s something you’ve never tried before.

A food tour is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Vancouver!

Related Read: Want to go on an epic road trip? Check out our guide to driving from Vancouver to Banff which includes the absolute best places to stop along the way.

Other Things to do While You’re in Vancouver

View of English Bay from a sea plane traveling from Vancouver to Tofino
Flying over Vancouver

Van has a special place in our hearts – with so much to do, it’s impossible to get bored here! The city is chock-full of countless new and exciting things to try, from enjoying an epic sunset on a dinner cruise to relaxing at some of the best beaches in Vancouver. If you’re looking for activities to enjoy here, we’ve got you covered.

  • Go whale watching – Funnily enough, humans aren’t the only tourists 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 at only $236 CAD per person!
  • Visit the aquarium – The Vancouver Aquarium is home to some 65,000 animals, from adorable penguins to stunning tropical fish! Whether you’ve got little kids who dream of swimming with mermaids or bigger kids who love all things ‘shark’, it’s an amazing place for families, as well as anyone with a love for Earth’s amazing animals! It’s also a great activity for those looking for things to do in Vancouver when it rains.

Where to Stay in Vancouver

Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Photo credit: Hyatt Regency Vancouver

It’s no secret that Vancouver is one of the most popular cities to visit in Canada, especially during the summer and winter! We highly recommend taking the time ahead of your trip to get your accommodation booked, as it’s not uncommon for hotels to be completely full during peak times.

We have this complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver that breaks down all the areas you can stay in the city. For the brief version, these are a few of our favorite hotels in Vancouver for a variety of budgets.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$

Located between the ever-popular Gastown and Stanley Park areas, the Hyatt Regency Vancouver really makes its mark being within walking distance of many of Vancouver’s top attractions! It makes for the perfect base to go out and explore the downtown neighborhoods, like Sunset Park, English Bay, and much more.

It’s all about luxury at the Hyatt Regency, with clean, well-kept rooms as well as a fully-equipped gym. There’s also an on-site Starbucks for when you need your morning coffee fix, and the views from the rooms are just incredible! Rates here start at $284 CAD and you can book your stay online here.

Times Square Suites – $$

For a more moderate budget, the beautiful Times Square Suites is a very popular option, situated close to the beaches of Stanley Park. The rooms are very quiet, and the fully furnished suites with kitchenettes make for a very relaxing and homey stay!

We think this hotel offers the perfect mix between luxury and affordability, with a great location to boot. Rooms here start at $240 CAD and do get booked up quickly, so make sure to secure your dates online here.

HI Vancouver Jericho Beach Hostel – $

Whether you’re a backpacker looking for a base to lay your head, or traveling to Vancouver on a budget, the HI Vancouver Jericho Beach Hostel is a great choice! As the name suggests, this hostel sits less than a 15-minute walk from Jericho, Locarno, and Spanish Banks beaches.

There’s a warm and welcoming community feel with super friendly staff and there are loads of opportunities to meet like-minded travelers at their on-site café, lounge, games room, and TV room. Offering dorm beds in mixed or single-gender rooms as well as double, triple, and family rooms, bunks in dorm rooms here start at around $40 CAD per night. You can book either on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com!

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!

Daniel and Bailey on a pub crawl in Gastown, Vancouver
Thanks for reading!

There’s no doubt that Vancouver offers some of the best places to eat in the country, and going on a food tour is a fantastic way to get a taste of what’s on offer! We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about four of our favorite food experiences in this incredible city.

If you’re looking for more ideas on what to do while you’re here, have a look at our other blogs about BC’s West Coast. There’s everything from epic road trips to restaurant recommendations and epic activities to fill your time while you’re exploring this beautiful part of Canada. As well, here are three more blogs we think are super helpful for anyone visiting Vancouver!

The 4 BEST Whistler Tours from Vancouver

13 BEST Restaurants in Kitsilano, Vancouver

15 Things to KNOW about the Richmond Night Market, Vancouver


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