Vancouver’s hot food scene runs deep with influences from almost every country. The city sees over 44,000 new people each year, bringing their culinary styles and ingredients with them. Whether you’re looking for cheap eats, international dishes, or quirky fusion food, Vancouver has you covered.
With affordable flights to Vancouver being added daily, it’s fast becoming a hot spot for all kinds of travelers. People are discovering the city’s deep history and culture, which shines through in its food scene.
Traveling to Vancouver and discovering its culinary wonders can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Although Vancouver has some out-of-this-world restaurants to try, they can be overshadowed by standard franchise restaurants.
But don’t panic! I’ll make sure that you get to eat the best while you’re in this beautiful city. Take notes from this all-inclusive guide to discover the most delicious Vancouver restaurants you won’t want to skip out on.
9 Delicious Restaurants to Try in Vancouver
Sampling some of the top restaurants in Vancouver is one of the best ways to experience the city. After a day of sightseeing and exploring Vancouver, you’ll work up an appetite. Try one of these fantastic restaurants before heading out to a festival or experiencing Vancouver nightlife. Here are 9 must-try restaurants in Vancouver.
Take a culinary journey to Italy without international flights. Marcello’s has been serving the Commercial Drive neighborhood of Vancouver for over 30 years. Trained in Milan, Chef Marcello Lombardo immigrated to Vancouver and brought unique Southern Italian flavors to share with Vancouver.
Marcello’s serves up wood-fired pizzas and classic Italian pasta, giving Naples a run for its money. Start your culinary adventure off with a traditional Limoncello or Aperol spritz and an insalate before choosing your main course. Their hand crafter pizza dough, cooked in a wood-fired oven, will transport you right to Italy!
Best known for: Napoltana pizza
You might be wondering... what is the most popular food in Vancouver? The answer is Japadog.
Brave the rain and lace up your Vessis to find these classic Vancouver food trucks littered all over the city. Japadog was started in 2005 by Noriki Tamura, who came to Vancouver and opened up a hotdog stand. Instead of slinging regular dogs, he created a new fusion food, a Japanese-flavored hotdog.
After instantly becoming a Vancouver staple, Japadog trucks, and stands popped up all over the city and at every local event. Sample some of their famous hotdogs like the Chicken Karaage dog or the Kurobuta Yakisoba. Vegetarians will love their extensive veggie menu, making it a perfect choice for all foodies. Japadog is the ideal lunchtime stop on your way to explore Granville island or the Gastown steam clock.
Best known for: Wagyu Terimayo hotdog and Shichimi and garlic fries
Tacofino is another BC staple that originates from the back of a surf shop on Vancouver island. You don’t have to take a day trip to the island to try these delicious tacos, but I highly recommend it! There are 6 locations across Vancouver, each serving a slightly different menu.
Tacofino brings fresh local ingredients and seafood together in an authentic Mexican style to create unique combinations. These tacos have an out-of-this-world flavor from fresh tuna, lamb, chicken, yam, and many more.
The complimentary toppings and sides are designed to create the ultimate meal. They also cater to vegetarians, vegans, and people with dietary restrictions.
Best known for: Quesa birra taco
6. Sushi Mugen
A trip to Vancouver isn’t complete without trying the freshest sushi outside of Japan. Eating at Sushi Mugen is like eating a work of art. Their authentic and fresh sushi is delectable, but the attentive service and intimate atmosphere make it next-level.
The name comes from a Japanese word meaning “limitless,” and the chef’s creative dishes are a testament to that. Start with chicken Kara-age for an appetizer before moving on to one of their Mugen epic rolls. A-la-carte nigiri is the best way to sample all the fresh seafood on the menu.
If you’re looking for sushi restaurants in Vancouver, Sushi Mugen is your best bet!
Best known for: Mugen epic rolls
Check out the best of the best when it comes to deep-fried chicken. Downlow Chicken shack serves fresh, never frozen fried chicken raised and cut locally in BC. Enjoy crispy chicken by the piece or in a sandwich with plenty of sides like potato salad or fresh coleslaw.
This quick eatery is the perfect grab-and-go lunch before a weekend in Whistler or a comfort food dinner after a day of exploring Commercial Drive.
Best known for: The cool ranch sandwich
Have an elegant night out with dinner and drinks at the Nightingale. Dining in this informal restaurant feels like stepping onto the pages of a design magazine with low-key lighting and rustic decor.
Chef David Hawksworth serves classic Canadian fare like ribeye, roasted chicken, and Atlantic cod with sides that complement these signature dishes superbly.
Start with a light appetizer like Antipasti or smoked tuna dip before choosing the perfect main - but save room for dessert! The black forest mousse will delight your taste buds.
Best known for: Nettle & ricotta tortelloni and black forest mousse
Blue Water Cafe rarely misses the list of top 10 restaurants in Vancouver, and for a good reason! This establishment may be pricey for most budget travelers, but it’s definitely worth the splurge.
It’s one of the classiest seafood-eating experiences on the West coast. Plus, you can feel good about their choice to serve only sustainable seafood. The raw bar resembles a Japanese aesthetic, but the rest of their delicately crafted dishes are elevated and modern.
Dine in style in a heritage brick warehouse converted into a stunning restaurant. The atmosphere sets the stage for an exquisite dining experience. Dishes like char and yellowfin tuna almost jump off the plate. With only one vegetarian entree on the menu, it can make it tricky for vegetarians and vegans to dine, but it’s still possible.
Best known for: Raw bar and sablefish entree
2. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh routinely makes the list of best restaurants in Vancouver. Chef Nam Trieu Humpkik sought refuge in Vancouver after running their restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They opened a small noodle booth in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown district, and the rest is history.
Phnom Penh has become one of Vancouver’s most well-known Cambodian and Vietnamese restaurants. The extensive menu can quickly become overwhelming, with over 124 dishes. The best way to have an authentic experience is to pick 4-6 items to share with the table and eat in a traditional dim sum style.
The butter beef and crispy chicken wings are house favorites, but their less popular dishes, like oyster cakes, are worth trying too. Be prepared for long lines—their recent Michelin star has significantly increased wait times. The homestyle food and reasonable prices help keep a long list of repeat customers.
Best known for: Oyster cake
Now that you’ve experienced the cuisines of the people who helped shape modern Vancouver, it’s time to try something truly unique to Vancouver. A trip to Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without some delicious wild-caught salmon!
Salmon n’ Bannock is one of the only local restaurants that serve authentic indigenous cuisine. Bringing fresh ingredients from the Pacific and traditional indigenous foods together for a whirlwind of flavor.
Start your meal by trying the historic First Nations dish called bannock. This simple dense bread is best served with jam or butter and remains a staple in the diet of many indigenous communities across Canada. Try a wild game like bison that melts in your mouth or fresh sockeye with traditional wild rice.
Best known for: Signature bannock with butter and jam
A Taste of Vancouver!
Ready for a Canadian taste explosion? If you’re keen to try some of these great restaurants in Vancouver, why not add them to your BC travel itinerary? Pilot is the perfect tool for the job...