Downtown Vancouver is ideal for foodies—locals and tourists alike will find plenty of restaurant options to try, including fine dining from award-winning chefs, plus flavors and dishes from all corners of the globe. This list of the 15 best restaurants in downtown Vancouver serves up the best options of delicious bites for all budgets.
Classically trained chef, and star of Top Chef Canada, Chef Felix Zhou runs the counter service establishment Heritage Asian Eatery. His restaurant serves classic comfort food with an Asian flair, such as pork belly bao, five-spice chicken wings, XLB dumplings, and duck rice bowls. Head to Heritage for Far East cuisine and locally sourced ingredients in a casual setting. Its West Pender location is also close to the iconic Canada Place.
Brunchers beware, there may be a line-up here any day of the week, and once you go inside the warm and welcoming Cafe Medina, you'll never want to leave! Mixing Mediterranean-inspired dishes with the best waffles in the city, the eclectic brunch menu is one to revisit again and again. Try the tagine or make your way through the waffles with special sauces such as white chocolate pistachio rosewater. Open for brunch only (8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends).
Looking for a romantic date night spot? Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s stylish vintage style dining room is inspired by European bistros and features a seated oyster bar, champagne bar, and outdoor patio. Come here for a special occasion and celebrate with succulent seafood (Executive Chef Alex Chen’s specialty) or head here at Happy Hour (3-5:30 p.m.) for a bargain taste of Boulevard’s menu. Weekend brunch is a popular option for Vancouverites and hotel guests (the restaurant is inside the Sutton Place Hotel at 845 Burrard Street).
It might seem like a tourist trap to avoid but Vancouver Art Gallery's Gallery Cafe is a hidden gem in the heart of downtown's Robson Plaza that has been going strong since 1994. Choose from a wide range of freshly made quiches, salads, sandwiches, soups, and pies and other treats, as well as a selection of wine and beer if you want to have a drink with your lunch. It closes at 6 p.m., but if you're there on a summer's day, grab some food and a bottle of bargain bubbly, and soak up the sun on the gallery steps. The outdoor patio is a real delight and perfect for people watching.
Located on the gritty end of Granville Street, the Twisted Fork Bistro is easy to overlook when strolling between bars, but you'll see a line-up here for brunch that will give it away. Inspired by French bistros, the bijou space has wooden accents and booths that give it a romantic vibe. The menu is brunch only. They'll seat you between 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., closing around 4 p.m. daily. They offer French classics such as croque monsieur and favorites like eggs benny with smoked salmon.
Situated close to Canada Place and the cruise terminal, Miku is the sister restaurant to Minami in Yaletown. Just like its smaller sibling, Miku specializes in Japanese aburi-style sushi, which involves searing the top of the packed sushi, creating a distinctively delicious smoky taste. Try the salmon or prawn (ebi) aburi sushi, a best-seller, and enjoy the crab-filled Red Wave Rolls and crispy calamari for a taste of West Coast seafood in upscale sushi surroundings.
Vancouver's food-truck-turned-international-sensation Japadog combines the classic North American stadium staple, the humble hotdog, with Japanese flavors such as the Terimayo option with teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed. Other weird and wonderful options include yakisoba (yes, noodles in a hot dog), kobe beef, or fried ebi (prawn) hot dogs. Take your pick and eat in, or visit the original food truck on Burrard Street nearby.
Chef David Hawksworth, the owner of Rosewood Hotel Georgia's fine dining Hawksworth Restaurant, opened Nightingale as a casual upscale dining experience that focuses on veggie-forward dishes, share plates, and pizzas (which he spent a year perfecting pre-opening). Head here for creative cocktails, local brews, and delicious dishes, all housed in a beautiful heritage building.
Popular with workers on their lunch break and an ideal place to head for casual Japanese-style gyoza dumplings and ramen at any time of day (including weekend brunch). Gyoza Bar dishes up Japanese comfort food in a casual environment with gyoza dumplings served in classic imono cast iron pans. Lunches are designed to be fast and tasty while the dinner menu is more for diners who want to share food and fill up for the evening.
High ceilings and a high rating from local chefs give Joyeaux Cafe & Restaurant a Parisian feel. Avoid the lunchtime rush when in-the-know office workers come here to take out steaming bowls of pho. Instead, head here mid-morning or late afternoon to try some of the best budget Vietnamese food in the city. This is a great place to fuel up before exploring nearby Canada Place and the seawall.
Somewhat of a Vancouver institution at 568 Beatty Street, Chambar's Belgian-inspired brunches and upscale evening menu make it a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Enjoy your moules frites with a glass of local or imported beer, and enjoy similar breakfast bites to sister restaurant Cafe Medina (including those legendary waffles).
Hidden away on Homer Street (of course) in a heritage building, Homer Street Cafe serves up perfectly cooked chickens from its fire engine-red rotisserie. Poultry is the star of the show, but you'll also find local seafood, salads, and cheese and charcuterie plates on the menu. Ideal for a pre-theater or show dinner as it's close to downtown's entertainment district.
Located inside the budget boutique Moda Hotel, Cibo Trattoria focuses on seasonal slow food and authentic Italian flavors. If there's no room in the rustic yet refined 40-seat trattoria, head next door to Uva for local wines, bar bites and seasonal sips that are some of the most creative cocktails in the city.
Smack dab in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Royal Dinette has been quietly winning numerous awards for its fresh farm-to-table fare under the direction of Head Chef Eva Chin. Head here for lunch, dinner, or drinks, and soak up the unique space and the fine-dining bistro ambiance.
Delicious dishes don't have to bust your budget, and Basil Pasta Bar proves that with pasta dishes that are fresh but not pricey. Pick your own pasta, select a sauce, and then pile on the protein and veggies. House specials include smoked salmon fettuccine and maple bacon conchiglie. Leave room for tasty tiramisu for dessert! They have two locations: one at 636 Davie Street and another at 1602 Yew Street.