“The best food in Vancouver?” you ask. “Surely it’s hard to narrow down the best eats in a city known for great food?”
Well, yes it is. During our three months in Vancouver we sampled much of what the central city has to offer, and so much of it was so good that it was hard to refine it to nine favourites!
One of our favourite aspects of living in downtown Vancouver was the plethora of good food nearby. Within a 5-10 minute walk from our apartment we could sample numerous cuisines, from Vietnamese to Lebanese.
After being in the Hamptons for so long, the lack of good ethnic food (and the lack of good food in general) was starting to wear on us. Arriving in Vancouver was like a breath of fresh air in the food sense, as we are used to a cosmopolitan food scene coming from Auckland with its significant Asian influence. In Vancouver we loved the little ramen bars, food trucks (like in Portland), cheap but delicious sushi, and generally just the vast range of food available.
So here we go, our nine favourite eateries in Vancouver! (and some coffee shops at the bottom for good measure). We’ve even put a handy map at the end of the post so you can find these eateries when you’re next visiting the city!
1300 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5
Forage does an amazing breakfast. We love that they use lots of local and fresh ingredients. There were also so many alternative breakfast options that you don’t see in many other cafés – the spiced lentils with poached eggs and Merguez sausage (pictured below) was a favourite!
1175 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N2
Sushi Bella’s modern take on Japanese is refreshing amongst the ton of more traditional Japanese restaurants in the area. We loved the quirky sushi flavours but the traditional options were great too. They do a mean teriyaki chicken and great gyoza, too. There are heaps of Japanese places along Davie Street but Sushi Bella was our favourite!
813 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1B7
This little Lebanese place was a great find on one rainy night when we couldn’t be bothered cooking dinner. We loved chatting with the owner Malik while he made our sandwiches. Oh gosh, the flavours in those sandwiches were incredible! We loved the beef one with lots of hummus. A great choice for a cheap lunch or dinner at about $8 per sandwich.
370 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N3
We found Meat & Bread towards the end of our time in Vancouver. We are so glad we went for a wander in this part of Gastown one rainy day (there’s also a location on West Pender St in the West End)! The concept is simple – they have three kinds of sandwiches that you can order, and they make it in front of you. Our favourite is the Porchetta – roast pork, salsa verde, and crackling in a ciabatta bun. Amazing. It’s best to get there earlier as they sell out of the popular flavours! They have a different third flavour every day so there’s always something new to try.
203 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1
Six Acres is on the corner with the statue of ‘Gassy Jack’ in Gastown. Many of the restaurants in this area are overpriced and cater to the tourist crowd, but Six Acres is not at all. It’s located in Vancouver’s oldest brick building and is a tapas-style restaurant with insanely good food and very reasonable prices. We adored the bison steak salad and corn fritters! They also have a fantastic local beer selection. Definitely worth checking out.
62 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1K3
Nicli Antica Pizzeria makes arguably the best pizza in town – that we’ve had, anyway! The half hour wait for a table was worth it – their prosciutto e rucola pizza was amazing, as was the Caesar salad with triangles of flatbread instead of croutons. And goodness me, the tiramisu was to die for…
1161 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N2
We love Vietnamese food, and Pho Central does a great, cheap menu full of Vietnamese delights. The pho bo is especially good, with tender beef and a salty, spicy broth. Also worth a mention is the banh mi – a cheap and tasty lunch at about $5!
159 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H5
We’ve written about the Whistler branch of Purebread in a previous post, and their Vancouver location is well worth a mention here too. The food here is fresh, flavoursome, and delicious. We had a muffin that tasted like a cinnamon sugar donut and a savoury roasted vegetable tart, as well as some amazing Stumptown Coffee.
788 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5
There is always a huge line outside Kintaro, and we had wanted to try the ramen there for ages. One day we braved the cold winter weather and lined up, and it was so worth it. The ramen was delicious – salty, noodly, porky… so good. We also had fantastic gyoza and they serve local Granville Island beer too!
We’re from a coffee-loving country, and America was seriously disappointing on the coffee front (with a few exceptions – Stumptown, I’m looking at you!). So when we heard Vancouverites love their coffee, we got excited! We found a couple of awesome coffee shops near to our place in the West End:
Greenhorn Cafe – 994 Nicola Street, Vancouver, BC V6G 2C7
JJ Bean Alberni – 1188 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A5
Coffeebar Gastown – 10 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4
Purebread Bakery – 159 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H5
Here are all the locations above on a handy map for your next trip to Vancouver!
We think we’ve presented a nice range of eating options for central Vancouver here, but have we missed any out? We’d love to know so we can try them next time!