Feature photo courtesy Trip Advisor.
Arguably, the best food in the world can be found in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Authentic, sometimes century-old, family recipes have made their way here along with the people that have immigrated, from near and far.
The accessibility to quality ingredients (such as fresh fish, organic produce, and free-range, organic meats) has exposed us Westerners to the very best dishes from Cuba, India, Ethiopia, France, Italy, China, Mongolia, Korea, Lebanon, you name it…
Not to mention the amazing cultural experiences that come along with it.
Side note: We even have sustainable fish food. For those tropical fish with discerning tastes and are keen on environmental issues, this is available at your local PetSmart.
Disclaimer: The restaurants below are listed based on my personal experiences and opinions. I have not received any endorsements for listing any of the following establishments.
Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái
The Chinese New Year: Year of the Rooster is HERE! My Chinese zodiac is the rooster so I’m particularly excited. It’s time to celebrate. With family, friends, fireworks and the CNY parade. And, of course, food.
I’m not talking about westernized sweet and sour pork and pineapple chicken. Although those are available.
I’m talking about:
- Dim sum
- Singapore noodles
- Spicy prawns
- Bok choy with oyster sauce
- Mmmmmm moon cakes!
Malaysia is where half of my wife’s family is from, and we were finally able to experience it for 5 weeks last Christmas and New Year. It was such an amazing experience and a trip we plan to repeat. It was our first big trip together and we learned a LOT about traveling to the other side of the world, but I’ll save that for another time.
The Banana Leaf has a delicious array of Malaysian cuisine.
I seriously recommend doing this, we had it at their Davie Street location:
This is, by far, Lucien’s favorite food. There are so many places to choose from. We like to go to Pho Toan Thang in Port Coquitlam. They have excellent food, awesome service, great prices, and they’re family friendly. We always order extra food to go. The subs make a delicious late-night snack, or (if none of your family members swipe it from the fridge) a lunch for the next day. My favorite thing about small, family-run Asian restaurants is having all of them yell “Thank-you, have a good day!” as we leave. Even from the back kitchen.
Our family’s staple order:
- Summer rolls
- Rare beef pho
- Beef pho with everything in it (rare beef, tendon, tripe, flank…) for Lue
- Vermicelli noodles with lemongrass chicken
- Pork chop on rice
- White bean drink (no green jelly)
- A couple subs, to go
This is a very broad category. Trip Advisor has 259 Japanese restaurants listed in Vancouver (that doesn’t include the surrounding cities such as Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam or the North Shore). Some of them specialize in 1 specific dish, like ramen or hot pot. Some offer a fusion menu. You could probably go to any one of these and eat some pretty amazing food. The smaller, family-run restaurants are likely going to be cheaper than the larger, fancier restaurants that have decorated chefs. It really comes down to the type of experience you are looking for.
We love these:
- Takoyaki Octopus Balls – I first had these in the Tokyo airport, during a lay-over, as recommended by my awesome niece, Jade. Now one of my favorites.
- Spicy Agadashi Tofu – Spicy deep fried tofu. That is all.
- Oyster Motoyaki
- Ebi sunomono salad
- Tuna tataki
- Beef sashimi
- Spicy salmon cone
- Spicy dynamite rolls – classic
Eastern Mediterranean Food
Babylon Café. The BEST shawarma. Period. You’re sure to find a line-up at peak times but it is worth the wait.
- Chicken Shawarma – you can thank me later.
Aroma, located in Port Moody, has AMAZING Indian food. You can cater the spice level to your liking.
Try these, you won’t be disappointed:
- Mutter paneer
- Chicken tikka masala
- Garlic naan
- Vegetable pakora
- Steamed rice
The last time I ventured around and really paid attention to the restaurants popping up, was about 5 years ago. Since then, I now see more and more Korean restaurants. I have yet to try Korean food.