The most common question I’m asked as a food blogger is, “Where is the best place to eat in Vancouver?”. I always have a hard time answering that question, because food is so subjective, but I have come up with a list of 15 of my favourite places to eat around Metro Vancouver. All of these restaurants are places that I frequently visit and bring family/friends.
What I look for in restaurants is a good balance of quality and value in the food the serve. I love affordable cheap eats, but I am also willing to dish out the dough is the quality is there. I also like places that have a fun and interesting ambiance that reflects the food the serve. Upscale modern decor is always nice, but I love dumpy, hole in the wall, dives just as much. Lastly, what I look for most is food that makes me happy. If I feel good after I eat there and I want to tell people about it and go back for more, I know I’ve found something special.
Here is my list (in alphabetical order with no particular ranking):
Pho is one of my favourite comfort food meals and Mr Red Cafe makes the best pho I have had to date. I find most pho restaurants to be very similar, but the broth at Mr. Red Cafe is next level and super flavourful and clear.
My must orders: Any pho on the menu, crab spring rolls
Dinesty has become my new favourite place for Chinese food. I like their modern atmosphere and all the food I’ve had there has been great and reasonably priced.
My must orders: steamed pork dumplings, stir-fried Shanghai rice cakes, simmer chicken with basil
Bubble Tea is one of my favourite things in the world and Chatime is my go-to place. Their tea based drinks are the best and I love how much you can customize your drink to suit your own tastes.
My must order: Roasted milk tea half sweet, less ice, with pearls (or grass jelly)
Beaucoup Bakery is my all time favourite bakery. They specialize in French style pastries and classic American style baked treats. They also make a great cup of coffee and have an adorable welcoming atmosphere.
My must order: Kouign Amann, any type of croissant, peanut butter cookie, cappuccino
Over the past couple of years I have developed a special love for all Korean food. One of my favourite places is an unassuming literal hole-in-the-wall that you would have no idea existed if you weren’t in the know. This little place specializes in kimbab, which is essentially the Korean version of sushi. They also offer incredible bang for your buck and give you huge quantities for the price you pay.
My must order: Kimchi and tuna kimbab
I’m a good Canadian girl, so I love and appreciate coffee and doughnuts. 49th Parallel Coffee and Lucky’s Doughnuts are located within the same shop, so you can go in and get both your sugar and caffeine fix at the same time. Lucky’s makes the best doughnuts in town and every one I have tried has been delicious (and I’ve tried a lot). 49th Parallel Coffee roasts great coffee and makes excellent drinks.
My must order: soy cappuccino and any doughnut
I honestly live my life to eat meat. Some of the best meat I have ever eaten was the smoked meat at Estrella’s in Langley. It is worth the drive out to the little shop to try some of this amazing meat because it is truly a special and authentic Montreal experience.
My must order: Smoked meat sandwich with medium meat, reuben
I’m grouping Miku and Minami together because they are sister restaurants and I love them both for the same reasons. Their aburi style sushi is something special that is different from all the other sushi places around. Every food item here is a delicious work of art. The restaurants are also beautiful in their own ways and the service is excellent.
My must orders: aburi salmon oshi sushi, aburi saba oshi sushi, green tea opera cake, red wave roll
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love diner food. I like the Red Wagon because they serve diner style food with a cool modern twist. They use interesting ingredients, like pork belly and duck confit, in yummy comfort food ways.
My must orders: pork belly banh mi and anything with their pulled pork
My #1 favourite coffee shop in Metro Vancouver hands down goes to Revolver. Not only do they have a hip, bustling, atmosphere, but they make the best coffee I have ever had. Their pour over coffee is amazing and it changed my opinion and tastes on what coffee should be forever. They also get bonus points for being super cool AND having nice service.
My must orders: Soy cappuccino and daily feature coffee
While the Red Wagon is more of a hipster/modern diner Rocko’s is as real deal old-school as it gets. It is located out in Mission, inside of a trailer and it has been around since the 1950’s. The food is relatively simple, but the portions are big and it is greasy and satisfying. They are also open 24 hours and serve breakfast any time, which gives them big bonus points in my books.
My must orders: Rocko’s skillet, Rocko’s house omelette, good ol’ clubhouse, famous philly stacker, and any milkshake.
I love ramen so much I couldn’t decide on just one place for this list. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a newer, trendier place that also makes a great bowl of ramen. Their signature one is the toroniku ramen. With this ramen, you can choose any broth, but it comes with pork jowl instead of just the regular pork. The pork jowl is some of the tenderest meat you will ever have, and although it is expensive, it is worth trying.
My must order: toroniku ramen
If I told you some of the best sushi I’ve had is in Port Coquitlam would you believe me? Sushi K Kamizato makes beautiful sushi with high quality ingredients that is an unexpected surprise for it’s suburban location. They specialize in sushi and special maki rolls, so if you prefer cooked items, I wouldn’t come here. The couple who owns it are also the nicest people I have ever met at a restaurant. They are so friendly and appreciative and they always remember me and I just love them.
My must orders: house roll, oceanwiser roll, torched tuna toro nigiri
Tacofino is my all time favourite food truck and I also love their brick and mortar Commissary location, which has a more extensive and fun menu. I’m convinced that their fish tacos are the best fish tacos in existence and I would probably battle someone to the death if they said otherwise.
My must order: fish tacos (both locations)
Noodles and soup are one of my favourite things to eat on a regular basis and I love how Deer Garden has a large customizable menu. There are so many different types of broths and toppings and so far I have enjoyed everything I’ve had here.
My must order: Any noodle dish to suit your mood!
Where are your favourite places to eat?