Almost everywhere you go in Vancouver and Whistler, you can feel the atmosphere is different. The world has already begun descending upon these two cities for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and you just can’t ignore it’s presence, whether you’re for it or against it. Vancouver will be forever changed, for worse or for better that is yet to be seen, but I always remain optimistic.
Since this blog is focused on food, I won’t even get into discussing that side of things. What I do want to discuss is MUST EATS in Vancouver.
Good food doesn’t have to cost $50 per entree. It’s all subjective to the diner, and with that thought, it’s always hard to put together a TOP # LIST.
It’s 5am, I’m up early after having slept the whole day away after pulling a 16hr overtime shiift, so this is going to be a simple jotting down of my ideas.
You MUST eat Asian. Chinese is too focused of a category because I would be leaving out Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai & etc. The city of Vancouver is literally a melting pot of cultures & their respective cuisines and that means we have nearly everything under the sun available here for you to sample and enjoy. Just throwing out some from the top of my head that I have enjoyed. Phnom Penh, Thai Son, No. 1 Beef Noodle, Taiwan Beef Noodle King, Sun Sui Wah, Shiang Garden, TangThai, Sawasdee Thai, Bool Chul Pan. If in doubt, go to Richmond.
You MUST eat West Coast. Loosely defined as a style of cuisine that incorporates everything great and wonderful about this side of the Pacific Ocean, it generally means you’re in for a wackload of seafood. Good seafood no less. One of the best and most revered would be The Cannery. Good luck trying to get a reservation though, they’re closing soon. West, Raincity Grill, Coast, Blue Water Cafe are also constantly talked about.
You MUST eat sushi. That means sushi, sashimi, tempura, etc. You can go for either really cheap (Samurai Sushi), medium (Zipang) or expensive (Tojo’s). There are far too many in between, but pretty much no matter where you go (or if you do your research), you won’t be bad off.
You MUST eat cheap. A decent bowl of pho w/ spring rolls can be had for $10. A twist on the boring hotdog is Japadog, with unique and novelty toppings for >$5. Forget McDonalds when you can have a full combo for $5 at Burger Burger. Sample different tacos at La Taqueria, Dona Cata or Salsa & Agave for >$10. Two slices of pizza + drink for $5 at either Uncle Fatih’s or Pizza Garden. Enjoy a piping hot poutine at Belgian Fries or Fritz.
You’re gonna thank me for these cheap eats when you realize you’re down to your last bills after spending all your money on those tickets for the Mens Hockey Final match. (Which by the way, if you have, you should really take me, your favorite blogger, to!)
You MUST drink. Although Vancouver is generally regarded as a no fun city because of our strict liquor laws & hours due to our babysitting councillors, I hear rumors that these laws will be relaxed for the two weeks. The Europeans must be breathing a sigh of relief or else they’d be throwing a fit for not being able to drink past 3am or in public. Again, only rumors but I hope it’s true because we can’t expect to host a 2 week party for the world if we don’t lax, can we?
Metro Vancouver has many microbreweries, so many that I don’t even know all of them. Red Truck, Phillips, R&B, Steamworks & Granville Island Brewing come to mine. (*Technically GIB doesn’t brew in Vancouver anymore, but the seasonal brew is still from Granville Island!)
Gastown is probably your best bet to get drunk. Not only does this neighbourhood maintain an old-Vancouver charm with the brick buildings and cobblestone roads, it’s also home to The Alibi Room, Pourhouse, The Blarney Stone, Steamworks, Di6mond & The Irish Heather. All are fairly forward drinking establishments with a huge list of beers, cocktails and wines. As an added bonus, the Bavarian house will also be right at the edge of Gastown by the Waterfront station and you can bet the beer will be flowing nonstop there. Who wants to send some smokies & beer up to Whistler for me?
Checking out at 6am up here in Whistler with this first draft. Will be posted when I get a reliable connection.