AAA Travel Tips / Vancouver, Culinarily Speaking

Vancouver, Culinarily Speaking

AAA/Katie McPhee
By AAA Travel Editor Katie McPhee
May 29, 2018
Wondering where to eat slurp-worthy bowls, handcrafted dumplings and Japanese-inspired hot dogs in Vancouver? You’ll have no trouble finding Asian-influenced cuisine at local restaurants in Vancouver; it’s simply a matter of picking the neighborhood and the time of day. Whether you’re in town for a long vacation or just a quick trip, check out these picks for the top Vancouver restaurants to sample Asian cuisine.
Family table dishes at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie/Peter Bagi
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
163 Keefer St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(604) 688-0876
Occupying a cozy storefront in Chinatown, Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie offers a modern take on traditional Chinese cuisine. Meals are meant for sharing and served family-style; standouts include crispy pork belly with pickled ginger and mint, vegetarian pot stickers and handmade dumplings. Fancy cocktails have an Asian twist, too, utilizing ingredients like sake, Japanese whiskey and Thai tea. A fair warning: you’ll most likely have a bit of a wait, as this AAA Three Diamond doesn’t accept reservations and is open for dinner only.
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Yaki udon noodle dish with beef at Guu Original on Thurlow in Vancouver British Columbia
AAA/Katie McPhee
Guu Original
838 Thurlow St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(604) 685-8817
One of the best restaurants in Vancouver for small groups and date nights, Guu Original is not your typical Japanese restaurant. The location off Robson Street is an “izakaya,” or laid-back Japanese pub, offering a tapas-style menu of sashimi, yaki udon noodles, beef tataki, hot pots, deep-fried octopus balls and other specialties. Servers and cooks create a fun and lively vibe by shouting orders across the bar and welcoming new patrons in a loud chorus of greetings in Japanese.
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The signature Terimayo hot dog topped with seaweed flakes and teriyaki sauce at JapaDog restaurant in Vancouver British Columbia
AAA/Katie McPhee
JapaDog
530 Robson St. (and various food cart locations)
(604) 569-1158
Teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed on a hot dog? You bet! That is the signature menu item—the “Terimayo” dog—at JapaDog, Vancouver’s local purveyor of Japanese hot dogs. The street food sensation began in 2005 with a small cart on a downtown street corner and has since expanded to multiple stands, a mobile food truck and a dine-in restaurant on Robson Street (all are cash only except the restaurant). Good for a quick lunch, JapaDog is a must-try for sampling hot dogs topped with interesting ingredients like yaki noodles, kimchi, bonito flakes and sliced onion with plum sauce.
Pork belly rice bowl topped with an egg from PiDGin restaurant in Vancouver British Columbia
AAA/Katie McPhee
PiDGiN
350 Carrall St.
AAA Inspector Rating
(604) 620-9400
Perfect for small groups, date nights or special occasions, PiDGiN is a treat for the taste buds. The menu at this AAA Three Diamond restaurant, located in the historic Gastown district, changes seasonally and features Asian and Pacific influences as well as French cooking methods. Opt for the prix fixe tasting menu to try a bit of everything, or order à la carte to sample such expertly flavored dishes as pork belly rice bowl, a Korean rice cake with spiced hazelnut or the ceviche of the day. One of the many Vancouver restaurants with a happy hour, PiDGiN has daily cocktail specials from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
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Bowl of ramen noodle soup with pork and an egg at Marutama Ramen in Vancouver British Columbia
AAA/Katie McPhee
Ramen
Various locations
Combat the sometimes-gloomy Vancouver weather with a warm bowl of Japanese ramen noodles. The international trend has not left this area behind—there are numerous Vancouver restaurants serving up Japanese ramen bowls throughout the city. Lines form out the door at Ramen Danbo (1333 Robson St. and 1833 W. 4th Ave.) for traditional tonkotsu ramen with a rich pork broth, at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (1690 Robson St. and 558 W. Broadway St.) for their milky white broth as well as soy- and miso-flavored varieties, and at Marutama Ramen (780 Bidwell St., 2858 Main St. and 270 Robson St.) for noodle bowls with a creamy chicken broth.
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