vancouver restaurants

Dig into dumplings on a Vancouver weekend food crawl. (Photo: fang jie / Getty Images)

Eat + Drink

Eat Your Way Around Vancouver on This Flavor-Packed Weekend

Surrounded by the sea and hugged by towering mountains reflected in gleaming glass skyscrapers, Vancouver effortlessly earns its reputation as one of the world’s top Instagrammable cities. But don’t think that Vancouver’s charms are all in its undeniable good looks.

Along with a raft of galleries, museums and excellent shopping opportunities, this modern multicultural city also boasts a delicious and dynamic culinary scene.

Take a tasty weekend tour through the city’s highlights, sampling the best of what it has to offer.


If you arrive in the city on the first Friday of the month, you’ll find the Vancouver Art Gallery is open until 9 p.m., in which case you’ll have time to hit happy hour at Joe Fortes and enjoy local oysters paired with crisp, fruit-forward white wine from the nearby Okanagan before perusing the art gallery. On any other Friday, hit the gallery first (start at the top with the wonderful Emily Carr pieces) and then head to Joe’s before 6 p.m.

Afterward, take a stroll along Robson Street to check out the shops. Browse Japanese candies, skincare and food at Konbiniya (try the matcha soft-serve if you have a sweet tooth — it’s incredible!); stock up on essential oils at Saje; and support Vancouver-founded fashion at Aritzia.

vancouver restaurants
Be sure to dine at Miku for fantastic sushi and views. (Photos: Mark Yuen)

For dinner, make a reservation at Miku to glimpse gorgeous views over the water and North Shore mountains while digging into sustainable sushi. Splurge on the Kaiseki Aburi Prime five-course tasting menu, which is served on specially designed pottery from the town of Arita in Japan.


Grab coffee and fresh-baked bagels to go at Siegel’s Bagels in Kitsilano. Open 24-hours, it’s the perfect pit stop before heading to the beach to join Vancouver Water Adventures for an early morning guided kayak tour when the waters are calm. Spot harbor seals and great blue herons as you paddle past landmarks that include the Science World globe and B.C. Place.

After your paddle, fuel up with Koko Monk’s innovative hot chocolate (think black-sesame white hot chocolate with lemon and lime caramel, or matcha with sake and miso). You’ll want the boost for the journey by transit to nearby Richmond for dim sum (usually served until 2 p.m.) to indulge in what’s often acclaimed as the finest Asian food in North America.

Take a long look at Tourism Richmond’s Dumpling Trail map and devise your plan of attack — absolutely do not miss out on xiao long bao (soup dumplings) from Dinesty or har gow (steamed shrimp and prawn dumplings) from Empire Seafood.

Although the district is primarily famous for its cuisine, Richmond also lays claim to a stunning International Buddhist Temple. Modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, it’s one of the largest Buddhist temples in North America. Visitors are welcome, and it’s a fascinating spot to explore. History buffs can plan a stop at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site and discover the fascinating history of 19th-century canning on Canada’s west coast.

From May to October, foodies should visit the Richmond Night Market for superb pan-Asian street food, live music, entertainment and bric-a-brac. The largest night market in North America also offers tasty takoyaki and Korean barbecue skewers, as well as dragon beard candy, tornado potatoes on a stick, and rainbow-colored “unicorn” grilled cheese sandwiches.

If you’re not visiting during night market season, return to Vancouver for a night of deliciousness. Keep to an Asian theme by stopping at Pidgin for consistently creative Asian–French small plates (the pork belly rice bowl is heaven) and beautiful cocktails. Or, for a change, try Burdock & Co, where the seasonal locavore menu is an edible love letter to the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

vancouver restaurants
Locavores will enjoy a meal at Burdock & Co. (Photos: Leila Kwok)

If craft beer is your jam, then the Alibi Room is still the original and best place to enjoy some 50 different local and international brews on tap.

Cork dorks should make a beeline for The Wine Bar, open until 1 a.m. With more than 400 by-the-glass pours, it’s a great spot to explore wines from B.C. and around the world.


Enjoy a lazy morning working up an appetite for the puffy, warm beignets sprinkled with grand-fir-infused sugar you’re going to indulge in over brunch at Wildebeest, renowned for its innovative cocktails and seasonal menus. Treat yo’self and order the bone marrow with smoked castelvetrano olive tapenade and a side of the superb hasselback potatoes.

Fully sated, head back to the West End to learn about the city’s Indigenous roots. The city of Vancouver was founded on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, so explore with Talaysay Tours in Stanley Park and learn about the legends, history and culture of the Coast Salish people.

Finally, you can’t leave Vancouver without slurping up a bowl of its deservedly famous ramen, and nowhere does it better than Marutama, home to a silky, rich and incredibly flavorful chicken broth with light, springy, house-made noodles. Order the cha-shu tamago ramen and savor the ultimate pleasure that comes with every bowl.