Florentine's Profile

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Hominy in Vancouver?

No idea for Main Street, but for Commercial Drive, that Latin American/Indian shop sells cans of the stuff on Commercial between 1st and 2nd. I'm also pretty sure I've seen cans of the stuff at Triple A, the green grocer on Commercial and 1st next to Liberty Wine Merchants.

Apr 04, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Liquid smoke in Vancouver?

Heck, even Army & Navy on Cordova sells the stuff!

Apr 02, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Just moved to YVR; can you help me come up to speed?

ScoutMagazine.ca is a good place for getting your finger on the pulse of the local restaurant scene/industry.

VancouverIsAwesome.com is a local blog, good for grassroots coverage of the local arts, entertainment, and general life in Vancouver.

VancouverMagazine.com is the higher end look at local restaurants.

Have you been to Commercial Drive? It's a great place for cheap(er) markets - Santa Barbara, Donald's Market, Norman's Fruit & Vegetables, Dollar Grocers, La Grotta Del Formaggio, etc. Some good eats there too.

Mar 11, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

One good dinner in Ladner or Delta area

Consider Sharkey's in Ladner village. It's rustic pub with a nautical theme overlooking the river. While not necessarily a foodie establishment or a seafood restaurant serving local seafood, their "steamers" never fail - clams, mussels, cioppinos - that's what you want to be ordering.

Feb 25, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Private outdoor patios

Blue Water Cafe has a private patio attached to their private room... but good luck with the smoking laws!

I wonder if catering an event might be easier re: smoking? Perhaps Swallow Tail Tours/Secret Supper Club could coordinate something for you?

Feb 17, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

BC focused beer forums

#YVRBeerTweetup's another excellent source.

Jan 30, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Jamaican Restaurants

What, no love for Riddim & Spice on Commercial Drive? ;)

Just kidding.

Calabash is the only Caribbean restaurant I'd willingly take folks craving some of that cuisine, but if they're from Jamaica, they'll likely be disappointed with whatever Jamaican cuisine Vancouver has to offer. Unless they specifically requested Jamaican food, I'd take them somewhere else that Vancouver does well.

Saying that, I had a friend from St Lucia who LOVED the food at The Reef on Main Street, specifically the hush puppies. *shrug*

Jan 28, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Update on Indian in Vancouver?

Has anyone been to Indian Oven on W 4th? I was at a long table dinner event last night at Hawksworth, and an Indian woman sitting next to me recommended it for good Indian in Vancouver. I haven't been, and noticed it hasn't been listed on this thread or the 2012 list either, yet the reviews online are mostly favourable:


Jan 26, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Good to excellent Greek restaurants in Vancouver city limits ?

Bouzyous is no longer Bouzyous - new management/owner, I believe, now called Saloniki Greek Taverna. I used to avoid it, but finally went a few months ago - the place was packed, and they have live jazz by evening on weekends. The halibut souvlaki was great. Not sure how it would rank in the big picture of Greek restaurants, but for a neighbourhood haunt, I will continue to go back.

Jan 17, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

small group dinner?!

Have you tried Jules Bistro in Gastown?

You could also try Carthage Cafe on Commercial Drive:

Jan 13, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

YVR recs?

Mexican food has improved since you've left, but coming from LA (the Mecca of Mexican), you'll probably still be disappointed..

Saying that, I am a fan of La Mezcaleria, on Commercial Drive. The kitchen staff are all Mexican, the Mezcal flights are dangerous, and the tacos are fantastic. The atmosphere is fun - it functions as a bar rather than a restaurant, but it's worth a visit: http://www.lamezcaleria.ca/

La Mezcaleria, by the way, are owned by La Taqueria.

I've also enjoyed the Tacofino Commissary on E Hastings, even if it's a complete hipster hotspot: http://tacofinocommissary.com/

In any case, these two East Van places will give you a taste of the Vancouver Mexican culinary scene circa 2014. And once you're there, you can find Mexican ingredients along Commercial Drive as well. Poke your head into Dollar Grocers, Triple A Market, and El Sureno Market - you'll no doubt find the jars, spices, and whatnot. Heck, even Urban Fare (owned by Save On Foods) sells a variety of dried chiles.

Jan 09, 2014
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Where do you like to go in Vancouver BC? [moved from Seattle]

The Tangent Cafe on Commercial Drive has live jazz on Sundays between 4-7pm. It's not a jazz club, but they've got a good craft beer list, and the food has been decent, especially the Mee Goreng.


Dec 30, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Vancouver (Richmond) BC Chinese Restaurants

Shanghai River or Dinesty (yes, spelled that way) for Shanghainese. The former is more formal, the latter is stylishly contemporary/casual.

For dim sum/seafood: Fisherman's Terrace or Sea Harbour Seafood restaurant. The former is busy busy and in Aberdeen Centre - an Asian mall worth poking your head into (as well as next door Parker Place) for the food courts alone. The latter is located next to River Rock Casino, literally on the Skytrain line.

There are countless others, but this will give you a start.

Dec 28, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Airport Eats for YVR - your favourites?

Thanks sov! I already submitted the copy, but that's useful info to know. I might be able to get the editor to add in that tip about Fortune Wok as a post-edit. We'll see.

Speaking of Harvey's... this is an aside now, but I don't think Harvey's ever had much of a presence in Vancouver, other than inside Home Depots. Or am I just imagining things? I know Harvey's is supposed to be a great Canadian institution, but the only people I know who speak fondly for those burgers are either from Alberta or Ontario... or so I've found.

Dec 12, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Poire William from Switzerland, to buy in Vancouver

I can confirm I've seen it in the tiny Yaletown BC Liquor store, behind the cash.

Dec 11, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Airport Eats for YVR - your favourites?

Thanks for the feedback! Funny enough, White Spot is one of my highlights, precisely for those reasons.

Dec 10, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Airport Eats for YVR - your favourites?

I love the ideas, but I'm kind of stuck with the assignment, which is to write 2 sentences to go with a map of every food outlet in YVR. I agree that most of it's underwhelming, but that's not the point of this assignment. The point is to set expectations for people arriving at the airport, stuck with the offerings. I'm creating one of these Airport Dining Guides for Vancouver:


Here's Seattle's, just to give you a sense:


Fortunately, I'm also able to give a few "if you're able to escape the confines of the airport to eat somewhere nearby, here are my picks". Hence my idea for including Richmond restaurants.

Now if only I had an eating budget for this... ;)

Dec 07, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Airport Eats for YVR - your favourites?

Glad to hear I'm not alone when it comes to the Flying Beaver. I completely agree that it's more about the novelty of their location and atmosphere, than the food, but sometimes that's alright!

I was looking into Pier 73 as well, the restaurant currently located at the Delta Hotel at what was once the Elephant & Castle. I met their manager and chef at an industry event last year, but the reviews coming in don't sound too promising. It's a shame, as the location along the marina is one of those Sea Island hidden secrets.

Likewise, Tramonto at the River Rock looks like a hit and miss. I had it on my long list as possible options, but I think I'm also going to keep that one off in favour of more "Vancouver's famous Chinese food". And by Vancouver, I of course mean Richmond.

Dec 07, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Airport Eats for YVR - your favourites?

Hey 604 Chowhounds,

Remember how you were talking about there being a lack of Richmond in the newly-launched Eater Vancouver blog? Well, I took on an assignment to write their Airport Guide for YVR. Every single restaurant inside YVR must be included in this guide... including take out and fast food (yes, even Tim Horton's!). Fortunately these are small 2 sentence write-ups, and not reviews. I also get to select a few restaurants within close proximity to YVR for inclusion, and I intend to include a few Canada Line-friendly eats, perhaps shining the spotlight on Richmond's famed Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine. And maybe even the novelty of the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill. Maybe.

Are there any restaurants that you think MUST be included as YVR peripherals? Ex: Sea Harbour Seafood for higher end dim sum/seafood, plus it's super easy to get to as it's only 3 stops away via Canada Line?

Also, does anyone have any particular favourite places to eat inside the airport itself? Other than, say, Globe@YVR at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Airport, I'm drawing a blank. I'm looking through the list of the endless cafes, fast food joints and satellite Milestones, White Spots..., and a few places are just boggling me. Like, does anyone actually eat at that Koho place in the International Terminal? Have you? Is Hanami to be avoided like all Yelp reviews suggest? While I've been using YVR my entire life, some of these places are still culinary mysteries to me.

Dec 05, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best Sushi in Vancouver

Kishimoto on Commercial Drive.

Nov 11, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Eater Vancouver launches

I'm friends with the editor. She's great, and relatively new to the city... but she's got good taste. I imagine these choices are going to evolve over time.

Oct 08, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

JN&Z: a destination for back bacon lovers

I live around the corner from this place, literally. It's amazing, but you're right, they're almost always closed. They close at 5pm. They're closed on Sunday. They're closed on holidays, usually for weeks at a time. A few weeks ago they were closed "for summer". However, if you get there at 10am on a Saturday, you're golden. Go later in the day, and they could be sold out of what you're looking for.

My favourite? The smoked pork chops. The Ukrainian sausages are good too, as is the smoked bacon. Pork is what they do best.

Sep 24, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dinner with friends in Vancouver

Ahh yes, BierCraft. I was there a few nights ago before attending a Vancouver Fringe Fest event. For Belgian beer, there is no better place in Vancouver. However, I find the food hit & miss. I had their fish tacos, which were alright, but nothing noteworthy. I mean, if you're seeking fish tacos, La Mezcaleria (also on Commercial Drive) is where I'd go. Boyfriend had the sambal tofu, which he loves. Friends had the sambal green beans, which were okay.

The Tangent Cafe, also on Commercial Drive, is another one of my regulars for craft beer. Their Indonesian cuisine is surprisingly delicious. I like going there for their live jazz on Sunday afternoons.

Sep 13, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dinner with friends in Vancouver

As a Commercial Drive dweller and craft beer geek, I've really been enjoying St Augustine's (owned by Parallel 49 Brewing) for sampling craft beer. It beats out Steamworks and YBC any day, IMHO. The latter two aren't good value and have a real touristy vibe.

Even though Alibi Room is the elite of craft beer pubs in Vancouver, I find that St Augustine's is better value if you're strictly going for the beer. 4 beer sampler paddles are several dollars less (I think $9.50 after tax). The live beer menu is also a fun touch, and their beer menu (60+ taps) changes daily: http://staugustinesvancouver.com/. Food is surprisingly good for a pub that looks like a bad sports bar. The fried chicken = delicious, and the roast cauliflower/brussel sprouts are both tasty. I've also been happy with their flat breads. But I do stress, this is all about the sampling of west coast craft beer - it is not a food first destination, if you catch my drift.

Alibi Room is great too, don't get me wrong, but pricier, weirder hours, and harder to get a table.

In your circumstance, I'd put Chambar at the top of your list, but make reservations. Then come back to St Augustine's when you want to geek out. ;)

Sep 13, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Looking for best fresh and variety of northwest seafood in Vancouver

Most restaurants in Vancouver have local seafood on the menu, even if they aren't a "seafood restaurant".

Some places I'd recommend based on what you're seeking:

Forage: http://www.foragevancouver.com/
The Flying Pig: http://theflyingpigvan.com/
Yew: http://www.yewseafood.com/

For something extremely casual, Fish Shack (owned by Glowbal) might be worth a consideration if you're looking for a seafood-only menu: http://www.glowbalgroup.com/fish-shack/

Sadly, the Cannery was demolished in 2010.

Aug 29, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Coming up from Seattle in October: mind reviewing my food itinerary?

Biking from downtown Vancouver to Capilano Suspension Bridge? That wouldn't be my idea of fun, unless the idea of riding uphill up a mountain appeals.

Have you looked into Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge? Nearly identical suspension bridge, but free to cross. Capilano has the additional touristy things (Cliffwalk, coffee shops, gift shops) but if you're doing things on a budget, Lynn Canyon is where the locals go. Capilano is where the tourists go. Regardless, you can access both Capilano and Lynn Canyon via regular public transit, super easy from your hotel. Take the Skytrain (Burrard Station is out front) one stop to Waterfront Station, then transfer onto the SeaBus over to Lonsdale Quay. From Lonsdale Quay take bus 228 or 229 (both go to Lynn Canyon). Using public transit, this takes about one hour each direction.

Joe's Grill and Rosie's = meh. These places aren't destinations, they're merely places you settle for because they happen to be nearby. You're from Seattle. You guys do diner food. Vancouver doesn't do diner food. It's more expensive here, portions are tinier. But if you're seeking a greasy spoon, Deacon's Corner may appeal: http://www.deaconscorner.ca/ Again, for greasy spoon brunch, set your expectations lower.

Aug 11, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Quick Lunch Stop in Osoyoos - looking for recommendation

I still have memories of eating fried chicken from a takeout shack at Osoyoos 9 summers ago. Took it in a box and brought it back to my B&B where I ate it on the back deck overlooking the lake. Paired with white wine and a selection of local cheeses and fruits, it was strangely one of those wonderful food moments I still dream about. Who knew?

Jul 10, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Most unusual dim sum in Vancouver

Since carts aren't that common, you could consider somewhere where they have images of the food on the menu, if that's your only reason for wanting carts. Places like Sea Harbour Seafood do this, and they're considered one of the better dim sum restaurants:


For Shanghainese dim sum, there's the ever-popular Dinesty. They have photos on their menu as well. There's no website, but here's a blog post:


Richmond, the suburb city where the majority of Vancouver's Chinese community lives (and thus, where many dim sum restaurants exist), hired a food blogger to live and eat every day for a year. They compiled a "best dim sum" list after eating in Richmond for a year. Might give you some more ideas (and you can read the blog post for photos):


Finally, the Chinese Restaurant Awards have a "best dim sum" category, worth scouring, if not to give you more ideas and the various types of dim sum available:

Critics Choice: http://chineserestaurantawards.com/index.php?section=CriticsChoice

Diners Choice:

Jul 07, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Ready-made pizza dough ?

Try calling Gourmet Warehouse. I know they have it frozen, perhaps they also sell it fresh?

Jan 05, 2013
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Meat On A Stick

Richmond Night Market, usually. As for right now? Good question.

Nov 10, 2012
Florentine in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)