Florentine's Profile

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Kid Friendly Brunch?

I know the Oakwood would be okay. I've been there for brunch and it was crawling with kids. Yolk's, I imagine, would also be kid-friendly. Another person visiting from San Francisco brought their 4 year old to Farmer's Apprentice for dinner without any fuss, so it sounds like it can be done. Unsure about the new Chambar location, and haven't been to Ask for Luigi yet.

New to Grandview area (Victoria/Venables) - recommendations within walking distance please!

Norman's Fruit & Salad is still going strong... there's also Triple A Market a few stores south which a friend of mine describes as "the thrift shop of grocery stores". Though some of the stock looks like it's been sitting around for a while, it's always worth poking your head in as you'll never know what you're going to find, and when they bring in the fresh local produce, it's excellent and cheap.

Longtail vs maenam

It depends. Are you looking for a gourmet food court experience or refined fine dining with table service?

Coincidentally, I dined at Longtail on Sunday - my first time back to New Westminster in 4 years. I didn't even know of Longtail beforehand, but the boyfriend eyed it, and we decided to give it a go. We sat on the patio and had some delicious beef green curry (me) and their beef/rice special (him). I was expecting Bob Likes Thai Food or Urban Thai Bistro quality food, but it was certainly a few steps above, with some authentic ingredients (pickled galangal, pea eggplant, etc.) and beautiful presentation. It's definitely the best casual Thai food I've had in the Lower Mainland, complete with Thai condiments on the table - roast chili flakes, crushed peanuts, chili oil, etc., so you can make it as spicy as you want. It's the kind of place where you order at the counter, they bring it to your table, and you're expected to bus your own table after your meal. The kind of place where you pour your own water into paper cups. The kind of place where, once you get your food, nobody's going to check on you again. It really does feel like you're going to be served fast food Thai, but the food exceeds your expectations - it looks beautiful and tastes beautiful. I'd dine there again if I was in New Westminster, but I don't think we'd take the Skytrain from East Van out to New West just to dine there. This isn't knocking Longtail - the food is delicious, but it's a really casual dining experience, I don't think of it as a destination dining experience.

Maenam is more of a refined dining experience - elevated ingredients, well balanced/sophisticated cocktails, proper table service, a contemporary/hip dining room. I remember dining on a halibut green curry the last time I was there and loved it. Maenam is to Thai food what Vij's is to Indian food, in my mind. I am no Thai food expert, however. If you had to choose one, Maenam would be obvious to me simply because you get the full experience, and it's a destination restaurant.

Best value happy hour in Vancouver

$5 proper pints of craft beer at Stateside Craft on Commercial Drive. 40 American craft beer to choose from - almost none of it swill. 4-6pm daily.

Morning coffee/muffin in Vancouver

I know you're looking for west of main, but something to add to your list is Prado on Commercial and 4th, as it suits what you're looking for. Great people watching, lots of natural light, free parking on the side streets, good baking (had a delicious pain au chocolat recently, and their cranberry ginger muffins are good), and 49th Parallel coffee.

CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

Richmond is an island at the mouth of the Fraser River. Minoru's a nice serene park in the middle of what's otherwise an ugly city, but if you get a chance to get along Richmond's waterfront - not its industrial waterfront by the night market, but its Richmond West Dyke Trail or Steveston's Garry Point Point waterfront, it can be quite awe-inspiring.

CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

I wish I could say I've tried their food, but I only ventured there once in the evening for an art opening... so that doesn't really count! But everything I've heard about the Greenhorn has been favourable - a culinary/coffee oasis in the West End!

CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

Re: Coffee on Davie, if you're closer to English Bay than to Yaletown, check this place out:


CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

Late July is reliably hot and sunny without any humidity. Statistically unlikely to be cold and rainy, but of course... with climate change, anything's possible these days. I wouldn't expect it, however. July, August, September are a part of the Vancouver drought season - it's why we suffer through winters of rain. ;)

Need 3 Foodie Dinner Spots for Newcomers to Vancouver

Dinesty's great, but note it's purposefully misspelled "Dinesty". There's another restaurant called Dynasty too... but it's a different restaurant entirely! :)

recommendations for a nice dinner and dim sum

Dinesty (on Robson, one block east of Denman Street) could be fun for casual Shanghainese Taiwanese. They're famous for their xiao long bao (soup dumplings).


Vancouver bars/pubs with tasty foods and NHL finals

Are you into craft beer? St. Augustine's on Commercial Drive would be fun. They have 60+ craft beer on tap (many of which are local), the food's good (in the context of pub food), and the atmosphere will be lively... the walls are lined with TVs, and all will be playing the Stanley Cup finals. While it's not downtown, it's less than a 10 minute skytrain ride east from downtown, and puts you in a cool East Vancouver neighbourhood with several pubs and bars to choose from, in case you feel like a bar crawl: http://staugustinesvancouver.com/

July weekend recommendations


July weekend recommendations

The demographics of Punjabi Market have shifted over the decades. It's a shell of its former self, sadly. The Punjabi community thrives in Surrey, and heck, even in Abbotsford. There are old storefronts along Main, but even those are closing down.

It's kind of like Vancouver's Chinatown in many ways - you'd assume that's where you'd find the city's best Chinese cuisine, but the demographics have shifted and that community (and its cuisine) is now thriving in the suburbs.

Sadly both Chinatown and Punjabi Market are not where you'd seek out the city's best Chinese or Indian cuisine.

July weekend recommendations

Consider Dinesty (yes, spelled that way) for Shanghainese Chinese, which is on Robson Street one block east of Denman Street, steps from Coal Harbour. It satisfies both people who know Chinese food/local foodies, and those who are unsure. Case in point, my significant other is someone who's dubious whenever I even consider hinting at suggesting Chinese food, yet we return to Dinesty time and time again. Order the Xiao Long Bao (soup dumpings). The menu is also approachable to people who know nothing about the food - there's a photo of every item, so there's no mystery in what you're ordering. Even the XLB and how to eat them is thoughtfully explained in the menu. The interior's modern and somewhat hip as far as Chinese restaurants go. Definitely not the traditional banquet hall setup.

Sadly, there is nowhere notable for Indian in downtown Vancouver, as Sam says. With such limited time in Vancouver, I wouldn't even bother. HOWEVER... people seem to love Salam Bombay on Burrard Street, based off the online reviews. I've never been, but I'd be curious to try it: http://www.salambombay.com/

Where to go for a drink before dinner near 4th and Burrard?

The August Jack has a great craft beer list ("14 draught taps of rotating craft beer") + bottles of Belgian, local/west coast craft beer: http://www.theaugustjack.com/beer/

Even Romer's Burger Bar does craft beer. Maenam has phenomenal cocktails. The Bibo for wine and Italian cocktails. Trattoria Italian Kitchen for wine. Fable might be another consideration.

3 Days from Toronto - Kelowna, Okanagan and Vancouver

For craft beer, drink at Brassneck Brewery, 33 Acres, and 49th Parallel Brewing, stopping off at Bomber Brewing, and Odd Society Spirits. CRAFT at Olympic Village, Alibi Room in Gastown, and St. Augustine's on Commercial Drive for the best in craft beer pubs. East Van's Commercial Drive and Mount Pleasant/Riley Park (Main Street) are going to be your craft beer hubs.

For craft cocktails, Gastown/Chinatown is the place. Keefer Bar, Diamond, Notturno, L'Abattoir, The Union, Pourhouse -for starters. Elsewhere downtown: I'd put Uva Wine Bar, Hawksworth, and the lobby bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on your list as well.

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.

Liquid smoke in Vancouver?

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

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.

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.

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?

BC focused beer forums

#YVRBeerTweetup's another excellent source.

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*

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:


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.

small group dinner?!

Have you tried Jules Bistro in Gastown?

You could also try Carthage Cafe on Commercial Drive:

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.

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.


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.