Welcome to round one of eating Vancouver. Instead of posting individual reviews on each of my eats, I thought I would do posts of ten. Get ready for a rumbling stomach!
1. Belgian Fries
The best poutine in BC
– CBC Montreal
This is the message that greets you on the menu board at the Belgian Fries’ establishment on Commercial Drive. I had to give poutine another go after an unsuccessful attempt on Canada Day. I tried the beef kotlet, which sat atop the fries. I must admit it was better, but still not great. Sorry, Canada. My friend tried some Belgian Fries, and be warned, the large serving is LARGE. The fries were also good, but nothing special.
2. Moose’s Down Under
Ahh, my home away from home. I am a regular visitor to Moose’s Down Under in Downtown Vancouver. Every time I open the door and start talking to the servers, I feel instantly at home. My favourites on the menu include the oz fries: potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream, and lamingtons: a favourite morning tea from home that consists of a square piece of sponge cake covered in chocolate and dipped in coconut. Moose’s make it a bit more exciting by pairing the snack with whipped cream and strawberries, which I will be doing when I return to Australia.
They also do a mean pavlova, which is technically a traditional Kiwi dish, but we steal it for our own. Kind of like Russell Crowe as people like to say. The pub has everything you would find in its Australian counterpart — minus the pokie machines and beer garden that is. But the quintessential pub grub of burgers, the salads for the ladies and fine brew are all here.
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3. Save on Meats
From the outside, and the business name, I initially thought Save on Meats was a butcher’s shop. However, it is in fact a diner with an outside sandwich counter attached. It is situated at 43 Hastings Street in Gastown and is recommended for a cheap and quick bite to eat at any time of the day, as it has quite extended operating hours.
My dining companion and I decided to halve and sample the Lumberjack Breakfast ($14.95): 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 pieces of ham, 2 eggs, waffles and hash browns.
The sausages were a little bit unusual, and I couldn’t really decipher their origin, but the rest was magnificent. Bacon? Perfect crispiness. Waffles: When drizzled with maple syrup, the Lumberjack frontrunner. Hash browns? So many and I could have taken a packet home. I think next time I would even just get the waffles by themselves, which would make me an even happier customer.
4. Lost + Found Cafe
Lost + Found actually happens to be situated two doors down from Save on Meats on Hastings Street in Gastown. Although please be advised we visited the eateries on two separate occasions. Just saying. Lost + Found actually has quite a small but still delicious menu: hot and cold drinks and some gourmet snacks and sandwiches, but you visit this cafe for its atmosphere. It was such a large space, with items from NGOs for sale, documentaries being projected onto the back wall, indie music playing in the background and very hipster decor. I wanted to take one of the map chairs home myself. The cafe proclaims on its website it’s a place where “where philanthropy and creativity meet”. This is certainly true.
My friend and I thought it would be a great place to relax and study. Make sure you visit their website for more information regarding the charities they are a part of and support.
5. El Camino
While we were shopping along Main Street, we discovered the fantastic little Mexican restaurant and bar, El Camino. Our dinner started off with a bang as we were given free popcorn to nibble on as we perused the menu. It was rubbed in lime and salt and was not-surprisingly delicious.
I went with the vegetarian Lomo Saltado: a Peruvian stir-fry of tomatoes, peppers and onions with spanish rice and potato wedges. It was a very tasty meal and the service was very efficient, but be warned — it was HOT!
My dining companion went with one of their subs, and we finished off our night with my favourite dessert: churros with melted chocolate. They are just the best, no matter where in the world you are. I would definitely recommend El Camino for dinner or drinks. It was a great space with dimmed lights, making for a very romantic atmosphere.
Yolk’s is definitely one of my favourite food trucks in Vancouver. Not only because the team there are super friendly, but their food is super good. They know how to cook eggs. They are situated mostly outside the front of the Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain Station on Beatty and Dunsmuir Streets. Yolk’s sometimes have specials for you to try, but their main menu consists of a few different options for you to make your perfect breakfast. You can start with bacon, ham or mushrooms/add hollandaise or cheddar/one or two eggs/and choose the bread to engulf it in. It will end up looking something like this.
The fantastic food truck is opening a restaurant this week at Clark and Hastings in East Vancouver for anyone wanting to give them a go. Why wouldn’t you want to?
7. Meat and Bread
I am a big fan of Meat and Bread. The food they serve is what the name insinuates: yummy meat in a crunchy bun. They have four sandwiches daily, and a couple of sides, but the best is the Porchetta: Salsa Verde. It is full of pork, some crackling, some herbs and a whole lot of awesome. Perfection.
The eatery has two different locations: on the corner of Cambie and Hastings in Gastown, and downtown on West Pender between Burrard and Thurlow. Make sure you grab a bite to eat from them during your time in Vancouver.
My friend invited me out for a dim sum lunch at Kirin on Broadway at the City Square Mall. I’ve never really tried dim sum before, but it is a pretty cheap alternate lunch for two. Most dishes are around $4-$5 each for two to three samplings. We tried some pork buns (not my favourite) and a couple of varieties of dumplings. I liked the seafood combo (yummy) and the spring rolls (always the winner).
It is a very popular restaurant amongst locals. There must have been about 150 people in their dining area for this Sunday lunch, so make sure you make a reservation or be prepared to wait. You also get a beautiful view across the ocean to the mountains and North Vancouver.
9. Flying Pig
On the corner of Abbott and Water Streets in Gastown is another popular local haunt, The Flying Pig. Although they have a sister restaurant on Hamilton Street in Yaletown, I have only been to Gastown for both lunch and dinner, and the menus do change from day to night but the food is just as good. The Flying Pig is known for its massive, extra-salty-so-you-drink-more matchstick fries stacks. Check.it.out. The stack is a perfect accompaniment to the steak sandwich for lunch, and just a nice, juicy steak for dinner.
During our dinner I couldn’t resist their pecan pie for dessert, and it will literally melt in your mouth. They also offer a fantastic cider for any fellow cider fanatics out there called Red Roof. The Flying Pig is perfect for lunch, dinner or just drinks during your night out in Gastown.
10. The Dime Road House
So there are these fantastic places in Vancouver that have all food on their menu for $4.95. And you would think that because it’s so cheap they would scrimp on the serving sizes, but that is definitely not the case. The Dime Road House on Commercial Drive is one of the many cheap dining options. We went there for lunch and I decided on something from the brunch menu: a mixed plate of toast, bacon, hash browns and eggs. There were a couple of small things wrong: not getting cutlery, asking for scrambled and getting fried eggs, but I guess for the price you can’t really complain.