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Old
07-26-2012, 06:50 PM
  #1
indfin
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OT: Visiting Vancouver

We (me, my wife, and 3 teenage sons) are making the trek from NJ to Seattle and Vancouver next month.

Will be in Vancouver from Aug 7 -11. Taking the drive to Whistler for some whitewater rafting one day, but otherwise no set plans yet.

Suggestions? Fairly active family (wife won't go for anything too "extreme" ... would definitely also want to get a feel for the city. We are staying at the Sunset Inn and Suites on Burnaby Street.

Also restaurant suggestions?

Thanks in advance ... none of us have ever been out there, so we are really looking forward to it.

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07-26-2012, 07:00 PM
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If you're just bombing around Vancouver for an extended amount of time, rent some bicycles.(if the kids are old enough to bike) We have such an AWESOME accessible city by bike. You will see everything you want to see. Go to UBC, Queen Elizabeth park, Stanley Park. Bike routes Galore. Ya don't really come here for the nightlife, you come for the natural beauty. I bike everywhere int he summer and the beauty is still not lost on me.

As for dining... Your best bet is to list your food preferences and budget. I'm an obsessed foodie who can find the perfect meal on any budget, so it really depends on what the fam is craving.

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07-26-2012, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Fingerhat View Post
If you're just bombing around Vancouver for an extended amount of time, rent some bicycles.(if the kids are old enough to bike) We have such an AWESOME accessible city by bike. You will see everything you want to see. Go to UBC, Queen Elizabeth park, Stanley Park. Bike routes Galore. Ya don't really come here for the nightlife, you come for the natural beauty. I bike everywhere int he summer and the beauty is still not lost on me.

As for dining... Your best bet is to list your food preferences and budget.
It costs like $100 to rent a bike by Stanley Park. Better to just walk or skateboard.

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07-26-2012, 07:04 PM
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It costs like $100 to rent a bike by Stanley Park. Better to just walk or skateboard.

Hahaha Are you kidding me? I bought a great used road bike for $200. I could probably sell it for $180. I guess don't rent near Stanley Park. I just find with bikes you can get from one side of the city to the other in about 30-40 minutes. It beats driving. But at those prices... Yowza. All depends what you want to get out of the trip. I'm sure it's cheaper to drive somewhere in Whistler than it is to raft, right? =)

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07-26-2012, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Taco Fingerhat View Post
If you're just bombing around Vancouver for an extended amount of time, rent some bicycles.(if the kids are old enough to bike) We have such an AWESOME accessible city by bike. You will see everything you want to see. Go to UBC, Queen Elizabeth park, Stanley Park. Bike routes Galore. Ya don't really come here for the nightlife, you come for the natural beauty. I bike everywhere int he summer and the beauty is still not lost on me.

As for dining... Your best bet is to list your food preferences and budget. I'm an obsessed foodie who can find the perfect meal on any budget, so it really depends on what the fam is craving.
Everyone bikes (boys range from age 13-18), so that sounds interesting. Someone else mentioned Stanley Park as well.

Dining - 18-year is a vegetarian, other two like to try everything and really enjoy food. Would definitely like to try local places (rather than chain restaurants, etc.). Doesn't have to be cheap ... more important is good/interesting places.

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07-26-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indfin View Post
Everyone bikes (boys range from age 13-18), so that sounds interesting. Someone else mentioned Stanley Park as well.

Dining - 18-year is a vegetarian, other two like to try everything and really enjoy food. Would definitely like to try local places (rather than chain restaurants, etc.). Doesn't have to be cheap ... more important is good/interesting places.
If you want semi-fine dining that's not too expensive, you could try Culinaria. I think it's around $30 per person. The restaurant is run by students (waiters, chefs, hosts). I've eaten there twice and really enjoyed the food.

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07-26-2012, 07:14 PM
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Where's wetcoaster when you need him...

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07-26-2012, 07:17 PM
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Where's wetcoaster when you need him...
A PM away

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/member.php?u=13177

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07-26-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by indfin View Post
Everyone bikes (boys range from age 13-18), so that sounds interesting. Someone else mentioned Stanley Park as well.

Dining - 18-year is a vegetarian, other two like to try everything and really enjoy food. Would definitely like to try local places (rather than chain restaurants, etc.). Doesn't have to be cheap ... more important is good/interesting places.
Alberni street in the heart of downtown has a lot of nice restaurants: Kobe Steakhouse, Italian Kitchen and Coast Seafood are the ones that come to mind right away. You'd be happy with any of those in my opinion. Kobe's has the open grill concept so your chef prepares the meal in front of you - it's pricey ($40-$60 per entree) but it's a fun experience and the food is of high quality.

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07-26-2012, 07:18 PM
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http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1177541

Here's a link with some suggestions, I know honeymoon and family vacation are completely different, but there are some good restaurant recommendations in that thread.

Also, I suggest biking along the false creek path, you can start in Vanier Park, go through Granville Island and bike through Yaletown, English Bay and all the way to Stanley Park on the water side boardwalk, beautiful. NJ is so close to Coney Island, so I'm not sure if the kids would enjoy it but PNE in East Vancouver is a fun time too.

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07-26-2012, 07:28 PM
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Where's wetcoaster when you need him...
Pfft, I can fill his shoes. He's a little too "traditional" with his food for my tastes. There is a youth movement in Vancouver's food cuisine. Not everything has to be 'Le Crocodile' and Scotch.


As for my suggestion: GUU! http://www.guu-izakaya.com/ Their reviews are here: http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/guu-otokomae
They have 4 family friendly restaurants located at every tourist hub in downtown Vancouver. And each restaurant features a uniquely different menu. it's Japanese food, but different from the typical sushi rolls one would see on a menu. Plenty of vegetarian options, and it showcases quite beautifully the versatility of Vancouver's food scene. It fills everything I need in a restaurant: Great food, great prices, versatile menu, great location, and great energy.


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07-26-2012, 07:28 PM
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Granville Island has a kid's market. They also have an arcade and play place not unlike Chuck E. Cheese, however smaller of course. Also have a brewery I'm sure they tour there.

Stanley Park is a must. So beautiful. The Vancouver Aquarium is nearly a stone's throw away. Don't plan on walking around Stanley Park unless you feel up to it, it's a long trek.

Have fun, hopefully the weather is good to you because when the weather's right, there is no place in the world quite like BC.

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07-26-2012, 08:32 PM
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Granville Island has a kid's market. They also have an arcade and play place not unlike Chuck E. Cheese, however smaller of course. Also have a brewery I'm sure they tour there.

Stanley Park is a must. So beautiful. The Vancouver Aquarium is nearly a stone's throw away. Don't plan on walking around Stanley Park unless you feel up to it, it's a long trek.

Have fun, hopefully the weather is good to you because when the weather's right, there is no place in the world quite like BC.
And in stanley park there are beavers in beaver lake now. Haha they just showed up.

Also recommend Grouse Mountain on a clear day. Best view anywhere of Vancouver.

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07-26-2012, 08:41 PM
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Restaurants:

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Originally Posted by Wetcoaster View Post
Upscale restaurants...

Bishop's (long-time go to place for top end dining):
http://www.bishopsonline.com/

West Restaurant + Bar
http://www.westrestaurant.com/

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar - maybe the best seafood in Vancouver now.
http://www.bluewatercafe.net/

The Shore Club - surf and turf offerings.
http://www.theshoreclub.ca/

An old time favourite of mine is Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge in the Wedgewood Hotel - regualr meetings after hours in the lounge with clients.
http://www.wedgewood...es_2/dining.php

A lot of people would say Il Giardino for Italian but I would go with Cafe Il Nido set back off Robson and Thurlow.
http://www.cafeilnido.net/

Diva at The Met - some complain about portion sizes but the food is top drawer:
http://www.metropolitan.com/diva/

Just opened - Hawksworth Restaurant in the newly renovated Rosewood Hotel Georgia - David Hawksworth was the executive Chef at West.
http://www.hawkswort...vid-hawksworth/

Cin Cin (maybe some celebs as well - Laura Dern the last time I ate there and I once ran into Kristin Kreuk)
http://www.cincin.net/

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (sort of on Robson at Thurlow)
http://www.joefortes.ca/

O'Douls (if you like jazz and West Coast cuisine)
http://www.odoulsrestaurant.com/

Cafe Il Nido (One of my favourites hidden away off Robson)
http://www.cafeilnido.net/home.php

Le Crocodile (I used to take clients there when I was looking to close a big deal the rack of lamb is the best in Vancouver)
http://www.lecrocodi...nt.com/home.cfm

So many top Chinese restaurants - the 2012 Chinese Restaurant Awards have just been given and you cannot go wrong with any of these winners:
http://chineserestaurantawards.com/i...=CriticsChoice
http://chineserestaurantawards.com/i...n=DinersChoice

World class Japanese food - Tojo's
http://www.tojos.com/Home.html

On the North Shore:
The Salmon House
http://www.salmonhouse.com/

The Observatory on the top of Grouse Mountain - free gondola rides with reservations - spectacular views:
http://www.grousemou...the-observatory

A hidden gem in Burnaby - The Pear Tree run by by world class chef Scott Jaeger:
http://peartreerestaurant.net/

It depends what you are looking for -

Try some of the street food carts:
http://communities.canada.com/vancou...food-2011.aspx
http://communities.canada.com/vancou...announced.aspx

Nu which is one of the best Greek restaurants around has two carts - Nu Greek Street (parked at Howe and Dunsmuir as well as Granville at West Georgia) - great Chicken or Lamb Souvlaki with some of the best pita bread wrap ever...$6.50.

Here is the Nu website: http://www.nurestaurant.com/ BTW a friend was just at the bar in Nu and they have a Happy Hour special weekdays from 5-7 pm where you can order three of the appetizer plates for $9.00. He says it is a great value.

Go Fish at Fisherman's Wharf near Granville Island.
http://www.yelp.ca/biz/go-fish-ocean-emporium-vancouver

The beer in the beer batter for the fish comes from Granville Island Brewery and the fries and cole slaw are great.


Menu:
http://www.bin941.com/modules/gofish/gofishaMenu.pdf

Belgian waffles:
Café Medina, 556 Beatty Street, Vancouver
http://www.medinacafe.com/menus/breakfast/

Patisserie Lebeau, 1728 2nd Ave West, Vancouver
http://www.grababetterwaffle.com/

Also try the Elbow Room Cafe - I have run into more than few Hollywood actors there over the years. This café is known for friendly "customer abuse."
http://www.theelbowroomcafe.com/zgri...site/sitep.jsp

The Red Wagon Cafe at 2296 East Hastings Street on my list of good breakfast places as well lunch and dinner comfort food:
http://www.redwagoncafe.com/menu

Another good diner choice that recently opened - Lucy's Eastside Diner at 2708 Main Street Street and it is open 24 hours a day. Great breakfast, sandwiches and burgers - classic comfort food. Try the meatloaf sandwich.
http://www.lucyseastsidediner.com/

Save-On Meats Diner Menu (also still a butcher shop and a sandwich counter as well:
http://saveonmeats.ca/menu/save-on-meats-menu.pdf

Reviews:
http://communities.canada.com/vancou...er-review.aspx
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...rticle2107092/

A Phở house (Vietnamese Beef Noodle) would likely be Le Petit Saigon 2783 E. Hastings St. near Renfrew also great Vietnamese sandwiches.

Taiwanese beef noodle is great at Huangs Beef Noodles 6940 Victoria Drive

And a new Chinese restaurant that has been getting great reviews from friends but I have yet to try is Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie at 163 Keefer Street in Chinatown - think "modern old-style Chinese restaurant". It has won a lot of awards in a short time and has been selected by several magazines and reviewers as the Best New Restaurant in Vancouver.
http://www.bao-bei.ca/

A really good Chinese meal on the cheap??? Try T&T supermarkets (across from Rogers Arena) hot food area for lunch - mix and match and also quite good barbecue as well. Take home some cold food from the deli case and try the Vietnamese subs - HINT after 6pm they clear out the cold food and barbecue at reduced prices - great when you do not want to cook. They also have quite good sushi takeout.

Comfort food??

Acme Cafe at 51 West Hastings Street - and really good value. Terrific sandwiches and try the meat loaf.
http://www.acmecafe.ca/

More upscale. Don Francesco's at 860 Burrard has great Italian food. I used to go to Francesco's original restaurant - Francesco Alongi's back in the 1970's and 1980's on Richards Street.
http://www.donfrancesco.ca/

Another really good Italian restaurant that has been around for decades. I would often go for a pre-game meal when the Canucks played at the Pacific Coliseum - Osteria Napoli on Renfrew at 1st Avenue - great Italian food. The veal was always superb. Been a few years since I have been there. Also a romantic date place.

http://www.osterianapoli.com/

Best Steak - Gotham's - Hy's Encore as sentimental favourite In Seattle try Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. The Shore Club has great steak and superb seafood. Less expensive but still top end steak Hamilton Street Grill
http://www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com/

Best Carnivore Outing (non-steak) - Memphis Blues BBQ.
http://www.memphisbluesbbq.com/meals.php?p=bc

Best new style deli - Salt Tasting Room and it is great - incredible charcuterie and cheeses.
http://salttastingroom.com/

Classic Italian - Cioppino's - try the lunch special of rotisserie chicken and the pastas are superb.
http://cioppinos.wordpress.com/

Indian food? No contest... Vij's at 1480 West 11th Avenue and he has a takeout place next door - Vij's Rangoli. Considered some of the best Indian Food in the world.
http://www.vijs.ca/

Something different - Belgian by way of North Africa and arguably one of the best in the City and just blocks away from Rogers Arena. One of my personal favourites - Chambar, 562 Beatty Street.
http://www.chambar.com/

BTW a food blog with really good reviews of Metro Vancouver restaurants is Sherman's Food Adventures - a great place to check out restaurants that you may not have heard of as well as many that are well-known:
http://www.shermansfoodadventures.com/

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07-26-2012, 08:42 PM
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Also, we should have a "Visiting Vancouver" thread stickied...

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07-26-2012, 08:42 PM
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If your only here for a few days I would suggest stanley park, the aquarium at stanley park, grouse mountain gondola ride (great view of the city from the top) & granville island. Take the ferries from downtown to granville island. http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/index.htm Best not to pack too much more in as you'll probably want to spend some time downtown just exploring / shopping. At night on Fri & Sat I think the chinatown night market is on and that can be fun to check out after dinner.

I'll leave the food up to others as there are so many good choices.

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07-26-2012, 09:03 PM
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If you are fit, rather than taking the sky ride, do the grouse grind.

take a spare shirt for everyone, you will be sweaty. but a great walk, followed by cold beer and a great view is well worth while.

I also recommend going to see the Capilano dam, the capilano suspension bridge (or if you can fid it on your own, since its free, the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge.

Then come on down to my place and have a beer on our deck (we live about an hour away in the states) but this time of year it is as close to heaven as the world gets ....

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07-26-2012, 09:09 PM
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If you are fit, rather than taking the sky ride, do the grouse grind.

take a spare shirt for everyone, you will be sweaty. but a great walk, followed by cold beer and a great view is well worth while.

I also recommend going to see the Capilano dam, the capilano suspension bridge (or if you can fid it on your own, since its free, the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge.

Then come on down to my place and have a beer on our deck (we live about an hour away in the states) but this time of year it is as close to heaven as the world gets ....
Thanks ... maybe we stop by on our way to/from Vancouver, as we will be in Seattle before and after

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07-26-2012, 09:31 PM
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Too bad your sons aren't 19+. I'm throwing a house party on the 10th.

In terms of food restaurants I recommend:

Taqueria - Mexican
Memphis Blues - BBQ(you guys probably have better)
Suika - Japanese
Donair Dude - Donairs
The Red Wagon - Breakfast
Bella Galateria - Desserts
Thai Basil - Thai
Mr. Pickwicks Fish & Chips - Seafood
Go Fish Emporium - Seafood
La Grota Del Formaggio - Sandwiches/Desserts (Best sandwich I've had)
Khunnami Chang Thai - Thai
Peaceful Restaurant - Oriental
Meat and Bread - Sandwiches
Dinesty Chinese Restaurant - Oriental
Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie - Baked goods
Moderne Burger - Burgers
Belgian Fries - Burgers+Poutine
Romer's Burger Bar - Burgers
Potter's Garden - Korean BBQ
Anatolia's Gate - Mediterranean(Turkish)
Stepho's - Greek
Japadog - Japanese inspired Hotdogs
Cafe Medina - Breakfast
Damso Modern Korean Cuisine - Korean BBQ
Phenom Penh - Vietnamese
Kiss Yo Mama - Caribbean
Las Tortas - Mexican
La Belle Patate - Sandwiches
Nicli Antica Pizzeria - Pizza
Uncle Fatih's - Pizza
Phao Thai Hoa - Vietnamese
Wild Rice - Chinese Fusion
Dogfather - Hotdogs
Mean Poutine - Fried Chicken Poutine, nuff said.
Twisted Fork Bistro - French
Jethro's Fine Grub - Breakfast GOOD!

Foodtrucks:
Fresh Local Wild - Seafood
Re-Up BBQ - BBQ
Moms Grilled Cheese - Grilled Cheeses
Mangal Kiss Mid-East BBQ - Middle Eastern

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07-26-2012, 09:46 PM
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Doesn't look like it's been suggested yet, but if you have a Vegetarian member of the family, it would be a treat for him to go to the Naam, Vancouver's go-to Vegetarian restaurant.

I'm a proud carnivore, but I love the place. I would avoid the veggie dogs or burgers, but the mexican dishes and dragon bowls are amazing. They have this home made 'miso gravy' that's also worth a try with fries.

It's also one of those places that fully embraces Vancouver's green/trendy/hippy culture.

http://www.thenaam.com

I second the person who suggested Guu. There's a few locations, but they have different menus, and Guu With Garlic in the West End is my favourite

http://www.guu-izakaya.com/robson/

Sushi's an absolute must if you're in Vancouver. My favourite is a place called the Eatery that does an Andy Warhol-esque pop art spin on both the decor and the menu. It's quite unique. They have a fun array of vegetarian rolls for the vegetarian too. It's not really the stereotypical Vancouver sushi experience though, for that, honestly any one of the hole-in-the-wall sushi places around town will do.

http://www.theeatery.ca/


Last edited by express: 07-26-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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07-26-2012, 09:56 PM
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For Chinese food, I'd reconmend Ken's Chinese Restaurant. As a Chinese person, I can vouch for its good food and authenticity. Well, unless you're not used to "real" Chinese food

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07-26-2012, 10:04 PM
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Doesn't look like it's been suggested yet, but if you have a Vegetarian member of the family, it would be a treat for him to go to the Naam, Vancouver's go-to Vegetarian restaurant.

I'm a proud carnivore, but I love the place. I would avoid the veggie dogs or burgers, but the mexican dishes and dragon bowls are amazing. They have this home made 'miso gravy' that's also worth a try with fries.

It's also one of those places that fully embraces Vancouver's green/trendy/hippy culture.

http://www.thenaam.com

I second the person who suggested Guu. There's a few locations, but they have different menus, and Guu With Garlic in the West End is my favourite

http://www.guu-izakaya.com/robson/

Sushi's an absolute must if you're in Vancouver. My favourite is a place called the Eatery that does an Andy Warhol-esque pop art spin on both the decor and the menu. It's quite unique. They have a fun array of vegetarian rolls for the vegetarian too. It's not really the stereotypical Vancouver sushi experience though, for that, honestly any one of the hole-in-the-wall sushi places around town will do.

http://www.theeatery.ca/
Knew I forgot the Eatery. Not a big Sushi fan, but the place is superb.

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07-26-2012, 10:17 PM
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If you're going to Whistler I recommend going ziplining. It's a blast.

http://www.whistler.com/activities/summer/zipline/

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07-26-2012, 10:20 PM
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Most American visitors I run into are always looking to check out Vancouver's local shrubbery. I'd check out the places on Cambie and Hastings.

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07-26-2012, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indfin View Post
Everyone bikes (boys range from age 13-18), so that sounds interesting. Someone else mentioned Stanley Park as well.

Dining - 18-year is a vegetarian, other two like to try everything and really enjoy food. Would definitely like to try local places (rather than chain restaurants, etc.). Doesn't have to be cheap ... more important is good/interesting places.
Veggie Options (where you can also get meat dishes):

The Wallflower. The Templeton. The Naam. The Foundation.

-http://www.thewallflowermoderndiner.com/ - serves meat dishes but also veggie, vegan, and gluten free meals

-http://thetempleton.ca/ - has meat dishes but has veggie options

-http://www.thenaam.com/home.htm - full veggie restaurant

-The Foundation blows, they were kinduv rude and elitist when I went there, so don't bother

There's also Whole Vegetarian Foods on Main Street & 16th (which is a vegetarian chinese restaurant with amazing simulated meats like their veggie steak and orange chicken). And Po Kong on Kingsway & Fraser (which used to be where Whole Vegetarian Foods is now and they have the same menu).

-http://www.wholevegetarian.com/

-My personal suggestion would be Whole Vegetarian Food or the Wallflower


Last edited by Samzilla: 07-26-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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