What to eat and drink in Vancouver, Canada
Where to begin? There is something for everyone in this cosmopolitan city, and the variety of cuisines and price points have been described as a foodie’s delight. In particular, you will find many different kinds of Asian food available. In general, the city is up there with some of the best cities in North America when it comes to food.
The highest density of restaurants is in Kitsilano or the West End. The central business area has many of the high end restaurants either along Robson Street or associated with the many hotels in the downtown area. East Van tends to have many authentic ethnic restaurants.
In recent years Vancouver has been recognized for its successful street food program, with dozens of new food carts and food trucks appearing throughout the downtown area.
For budget travellers, pick up a Georgia Straight (a free local paper available all over the place), and clip two for one coupons from the food section.
Be advised that although the vast majority of stores around Vancouver accept credit cards, small family-owned Chinese businesses and restaurants, more often than not, accept only cash.
Bubble tea (or boba tea) is also a popular drink among the Vancouver youth. There are countless tea houses throughout Vancouver.
The coffee scene in Vancouver is amazing. Vancouver has an incredible selection of funky, trendy, and hip cafes. Gastown, Yaletown, and Denman Street have great cafes downtown. Check out Main Street, Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano, and Commercial drive for awesome cafe culture outside of downtown.
Vegetarians will find it easy to find food at virtually any restaurant, but there are some all-veg restaurants that are particularly worth checking out.
Vancouver adopts a somewhat sedate and refined air when it comes to its watering holes. While visitors can certainly find trendy bars and flashy nightclubs, they are more likely to encounter upscale bars and comfortable yet chic coffee houses.
If you’re looking to sample a famous regional drink, you should order icewine. Icewine is a dessert wine, made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. Because only the water grapes freeze, icewine makers are able to extract highly concentrated juice that is extremely sweet. While icewine is not made in Vancouver per se, it has helped put British Columbia on the winemaking map.
Over the past decade or so, Vancouver’s bartenders have dusted off century-old mixology books, experimented with new recipes, attended each other’s seminars and lectures and begun creating award-wining concoctions.
The majority of Vancouver’s best-rated cocktail bars are housed in City Centre and Gastown.
Beer and Brewpubs
Vancouver’s cold, clear streams have beckoned to brewers for decades. Starting in the 1880s, a slew of craft brewers opened their doors. Over time, these small brewing companies either closed up shop or merged multiple times with other brewers to form large conglomerates. While Canadians enjoyed these offerings, by the 1980s, locals were ready for the return of craft beers.
Canada’s first microbrewery, Granville Island Brewing, opened its doors in 1984 and kicked off a new trend. Today, Vancouver has 50 plus brewers crafting over 200 different varieties of beer. Unlike the bars however, Vancouver’s brewpubs (places that brew their own beer onsite and are licensed to sell it direct to the public) and breweries are scattered throughout the city.