Monday, January 7, 2013

Vancouver Is an Awesome Place to Visit

One of my coworkers is going to Vancouver and asked me to provide a few suggestions. What ended up happening is I ran off with a million ideas and wasn't half done. Here, however, is what I did suggest, so if you or yours are planning a trip to Vancouver, you'll have a wee reference sheet here.

I’m going to give you a few of my favourite unusual suggestions for nightlife. If you can, avoid Granville street (that’s where heads get stomped on curbs and people love to poke each other with knives as of late), and head out to some of the more fun, unknown spots.

First, Guilt & Co.: I love this place.  It’s good beer, cheese, other alcohol, and a full menu of board games. Love love love it.

Celebrities is a Vancouver icon and must:

My sisters both keep talking about a new spot called House Guest:

In the mood for a secret tiki bar and up for a bit of a trek? The Waldorf hotel on Hastings Street (not the bad part of Hastings, don’t worry) is a delight: It’s a historic space that has captured a lovely tiki bar mood. It’s a great spot!

The Railway Club is a strange, narrow little bar on the second story of a building in the heart of downtown:

Breakfast in Vancouver is delightful, though I’ve found many great spots in Seattle now, too. I still miss my favourite places, so I’ll suggest three of them.

Medina Café is just off the Stadium Skytrain (not on the Canada Line), or a short walk from the downtown core:  While they have a ton of great food, what they make particularly well are the waffles with the dipping sauces, so be sure to save room for at least one even if you decide to go with another dish as your main course. It’s tucked away, so for the most part it’s a locals-only sort of place with a cozy feel.

If you’re willing to venture out further, I suggest Slickity Jim’s Chat n’ Chew (get off at the Main Street Skytrain station, again not on the Canada Line, and go south—away from the mountains--on the #3, 8, or 19 bus line): This is a local staple with great food and a greasy spoon meets hipster sort of atmosphere.

Mind you, if you feel adventurous, get congee at the Congee Noodle House:
This is a cash-only restaurant. Have you had congee? If not, this is the place to try it. Don’t forget to add hot sauce and soy sauce to your congee when it comes out, and toss a few crullers in for good measure. I seriously miss eating this stuff!! A bit more information on how to eat it/ what it’s about is here in case you haven’t tried it before: It’s definitely worth a trip out that way!

Lunch/ Dinner:

For Vancouver’s most authentic poutine experience: My brother-in-law says it’s the most authentic because it’s actually owned by Québécois.

Want that truly Canadian experience? Hop on the skytrain (not the Canada Line) and take it to the Commercial Drive/ Broadway Station. Once there, walk north to Belgian Fries: This is where you’re going to eat poutine. Proper, Canadian poutine…or any of the incredible other poutine dishes available. After you’re finished with your poutine, walk south along the same side of the street until you find Grandview Lanes: If you do this, you absolutely must pay a game of 5-pin bowling! It’s such fun! And so silly.

5-Pin Hours
Sunday - 10am to 10pm
Monday - 10am to 11pm
Tuesday - 10am to 11pm
Wednesday - 10am to 11pm
Thursday - 10am to 12am
Friday - 10am to 1am
Saturday - 10am to 1am

You may have to wait a while or simply make a reservation beforehand.

If you want to stay within Vancouver, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat-sushi at Shabusen on Burrard Street for very cheap (and it’s good!):

If you head down Davie Street towards the West End you’ll have your pick of delightful restaurants. Among my favourites here are:

Café Luxy (Italian) with its fresh, homemade pasta:

Banana Leaf (Malaysian) for its interesting fusion food:

La Brasserie (French) for a rather odd and interesting selection:

…but really, you can pop in anywhere and find yourself pretty happy with the results.

Contemporary Art Gallery at 555 Nelson Street (walkable from the downtown core and free):

Stanley Park (always worth wandering through):

Granville Island (take the Canada Line to Olympic Village Station and walk west for a more scenic entry to the Island, or catch a bus direct):

 Five-pin bowling: see above. J

If you have time, go tubing on Mt. Seymour: It’s so much fun!!

You know what I realized? Vancouver is an *awesome* city to visit...but I'm not going to live there again. 

1 comment:

  1. Did you know they're shutting down the Waldorf? Never been to the tiki bar, and now I never shall, I suppose.

    Why does it seem like you hate the Canada Line? Perhaps because it never stops anywhere interesting?