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Travel

The Three-Minute Guide to Vancouver’s Restaurants and Neighborhoods

What you need to know for a quick trip.

Vancouver’s food evolution has been driven as much by its immigrant and indigenous populations as it is by its temperate geographic position, which means terrific seasonal produce almost all year round and up-and-coming British Columbia vineyards. A wave of new Japanese-fusion restaurants, a centuries-old tradition of great cocktail bars, plus the most authentic Chinese cuisine outside of China make it worth the trip.

Top Restaurants and Bars

PiDGiN.

Source: Pidgin Restaurant

PiDGiN
The Asian and French-fusion fare is delicious, relaxed and cutting edge. There's also an amazing bar program.

Hy’s
About as Old World as it gets, from the mouth-scorching tableside Caesar salad to the bathtub-size martinis. There's even a Steak Diane.

Bauhaus
The best, most authentic German restaurant in North America occupies one of the sexiest modern rooms in town.

Kirin
In the heart of the financial district, this is still the best stop for high end dim sum and other Chinese treats.

Hawksworth
David Hawksworth’s eponymous shop is a study in modern Canadian fare. Try his newest, the more casual Nightingale.

Dungeness crab truffle with custard, meyer lemon, and edamame artichoke at Hawksworth.

Source: Hawksworth Restaurant

Café Medina
Take Canadian’s love of waffles and maple syrup and add a layer of Moroccan couscous and you have the hottest breakfast spot in North America. A must visit.

Crudo at Kissa Tanto.

Source: Kissa Tanto

Kissa Tanto and Bao Bei
The two buzziest restaurants in town come from the same owners. The former is Japanese-Italian chic, while the latter has homemade dumplings and Chinese fusion nibbles.

CinCin
CinCin offers the best Italian in Vancouver, with simple flavors, but it’s not the only great Italian spot in town. Nicli Antica is great for pizza.

The Diamond, Prohibition and Gringo
These are the three top bars in a town blessed with them. The Diamond is honky-tonk. Get the Vancouver martini with a hint of orange bitters. Prohibition is in the speakeasy model and home of the Inception Negroni (a negroni ice sphere). Gringo is for late nights — it’s where the party ends.

The bar at the Diamond.

Source: The Diamond

Insider Tips

Getting Around

While the city doesn’t (yet) have Uber, taxis are plentiful and take credit cards. But why bother when you can take the Canada Line straight from the airport to wherever you’re likely to be staying or going? It’s the easiest subway system in the West.

Gastown at night, Looking east down Water Street
Gastown at night, looking east down Water Street.
Photographer: SnappySnaps.ca/Getty Images

Gastown

The gentrified industrial area nearest the harbor, Gastown is also home to its sexiest new restaurants and bars.

Richmond

Like in Hong Kong, there are plenty of great Chinese restaurants downtown designed for Westerners. The best ones, though, are in Richmond, the largely Chinese area outside the city. If you’re committed to the best food, take the trip.

If You Have Time

Vancouver’s real secret is its natural beauty. Few cities are as close to as many microclimates. Mountains in Whistler, Stanley Park in the heart of town, and sub-tropical rain forests to the north and deserts to the west. Pontoon aircraft fly out of the harbor all day making a skip to the islands or to British Columbia’s capital Victoria as easy as hailing a cab. Be sure to take in the Museum of Anthropology for the totem poles and Vancouver Art Gallery downtown.

A desert at Bauhaus.

Source: Bauhaus Restaurant
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