Serious food in Vancouver B.C.?
June 6, 2011 9:24 AM   Subscribe

I am going to be in Vancouver, BC soon, for a mere two nights. I like "foody" food and serious, we-make-our-own-bitters type cocktails. Where should I go? Also: is there some analog to Powells Books in Vancouver?

My orbit will be between UBC and the West End.
posted by everichon to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

My two favorite restaurants are:

posted by dobie at 9:38 AM on June 6, 2011

There is nothing close to Powell's. Macleod's is our quaintest bookstore but it is small. We all make pilgrimages to Portland to buy our books at Powell's, and I'm not really joking.

Vancouver is known as a food city. It takes more money than I have to really get into this lifestyle, but I know there are some world class places here. Try Yelp, and read the West Ender, one of two alt weeklies and especially good for restaurant reviews and food news. Funny, the banner ads on that site were trying to entice me to visit Portland (again). There is no escaping that city.

Also: we just got Portland-style food carts! They are rad, when you can find them. There aren't many of them yet. If you see the Roaming Dragon definitely try something. Also, visit the Japadog stand at Burrard and Smithe for a unique and famous Japanese-style hotdog, or visit their store on Robson nearby.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:35 AM on June 6, 2011

is there some analog to Powells Books in Vancouver?

No. But Pulp Fiction is pretty cool, particularly the Main Street one.
posted by philip-random at 10:36 AM on June 6, 2011

MacLeod's books is awesome. It's the only remaining bookstore in Vancouver that even remotely measures up to what Victoria and Sidney BC have to offer for used bookstores.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:27 AM on June 6, 2011

Yeah, if you're interested in digging for treasure, MacLeod's is the place. If you want some filtering done for you (ie: less selection, a focus on more recent, less "collectable" stuff, a mixture of new and used) Pulp Fiction's the place. Both are in pretty cool neighborhoods.
posted by philip-random at 11:35 AM on June 6, 2011

I quite like Apron, out by the airport, for high-end "constructed" type food. Phnomh Penh is pretty good. There's also a whole host of decent izakaya fare: Guu (5 locations) & Hapa (2 locations plus an upscale spinoff) for starters.
posted by juv3nal at 11:48 AM on June 6, 2011

If you can get downtown on the train, there are some great food options:

Meat and Bread: awesome, awesome sandwiches
Judas Goat: fannnnncy tapas
Nuba: Lebanese

49th Parallel on 4th in Kits is great for coffee.

I doubt Habit makes their own bitters, but they did have a make-your-own cocktail that I enjoyed. Good atmosphere, too.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 11:49 AM on June 6, 2011

Cocktails? If you're in the Westend I can't think of any great ones but "The Refinery" on Granville downtown is closest for great cocktails. Next closest "UVA winebar" then West on south Grandville has perfect cocktails and food. The Keefer bar is worth the cab trip.
posted by jade east at 2:35 PM on June 6, 2011

Wander down to L'Abbatoir in Gastown. They make good cocktails, and if you're lucky, they'll have a barrel-aged cocktail available.
posted by burntflowers at 3:57 PM on June 6, 2011

Abbatoir was lovely--thanks, burntflowers, and thanks to everyone else. More followup soon!
posted by everichon at 8:47 AM on June 8, 2011

Chambar blew my mind--highly recommend. Incredible flavors, nailed the atmosphere, and nice people running things.

The Refinery was good, too! Interesting, not run-of-the-mill cocktails, and good noshes--I loved their veggie flatbread.
posted by everichon at 9:25 PM on June 8, 2011

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