Vancouver is home to some incredible restaurants. From Japanese cuisine, to farm to table, to craft ice cream, to even Afghan cuisine, there is something for everyone! If you are visiting Vancouver or simply looking for a new restaurant to try, here are nine of our top restaurants when it comes to eating around the city:
Phnom Penh is a Vancouver institution known for its Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisine. Often with at least one hour wait to be seated, it is a family-style restaurant in Chinatown that has been running since 1985. Must eats here include butter beef, beef luc lac, and their famous chicken wings -but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. If you want to skip the line, go early or in between lunch and dinner!
Zarak is a new upscale Afghan restaurant on Main Street opened by the owners of Afghan Kitchen in South Surrey after years of success. Zarak combines mum’s recipes with refined plating and an ever-evolving cocktail list. Favourites here include the dumplings, lamb shank, and bolani. Our one tip here -make a reservation as in advance as you can!
Passione Gelato is a small batch gelato shop at the bottom of Parq Vancouver. Opened by Salvatore Boccarossa after leaving Bella Gelateria, one of Vancouver’s most popular gelato spots, they have been on a mission to bring fresh, and unique flavours to Vancouver. A personal favourite is their salted caramel and passionfruit sorbet, but their flavours are constantly changing!
Japanese food is arguably the cuisine Vancouver does best, and there is no shortage of incredible restaurants serving everything from sushi, ramen, homestyle Japanese food, and much more. Raisu is an Izakaya in Kitsilano that specializes in fresh fish, bento boxes (which you have to reserve in advance), and teishoku, fried meats. Round up some friends for this one and grab some drinks so you can enjoy it to the full extent!
A more lowkey eatery, Yui Japanese Bistro is tucked away inside a building on Burrard. We recommend going to Yui for their delicious and innovative aburi oshi. You can get the classics like salmon and ebi, or try something new like their vegan wagyu oshi. Pro tip: Double check that they’re open on Instagram, as sometimes they are randomly closed!
On the topic of Vancouver institutions, you cannot miss Earnest Ice Cream. What started out as an ice cream tricycle at the Vancouver Farmers Market in 2012 has now grown to an ice cream empire with multiple locations in Vancouver. Earnest focuses on creative flavours with a seriously decadent base. Our favourites include their London fog and cookies and cream! Just be careful – there are lineups even in the Winter!
Okay, so one thing about Vancouver is that we Vancouverites take our brunch SERIOUSLY. The best part is that most brunch places are amazing and not just overrated. One of these places, and our personal favourite, is Jam Cafe. Originally a small restaurant from Victoria, they’ve expanded to Downtown and have two locations! Unfortunately, Vancouver also loves lineups, and you’ll be lining up for at least 1 hour for any normal brunch time. Is it worth it? Yes. Try their red velvet pancakes, any of their eggs benedicts, and their homemade hot sauce and thank us later.
There is no end to the amount of delicious craft ramen restaurants in Vancouver. Marutama sets itself apart due to its choice of chicken broth, versus the traditional pork broth! Fun fact: Marutama was founded in Kawaguchi, Japan in 2001, and Vancouver is the only North American city they have expanded to! Other top choices include Horin Ramen and Ramen Danbo.
We’re venturing into the suburbs for this bucket list item. But trust us, if you are a Korean Fried Chicken fan, it’s worth it. Nadri is a small family business that serves up traditional Korean Eats in Burquitlam. We’ve tried many things on the menu, and while every item is great, our favourite is hands down their Nadri special Chicken. If you’re coming from Downtown Vancouver, simply hop on the SkyTrain to Lougheed Mall and walk south for about 10 minutes, and you’ll be there!
When it comes to top eats in Vancouver, the list is endless. We hope you give some of these spots a try, and let us know what other ones you think deserve to be on the list!4