It’s winter in Vancouver, it’s raining and the sun has barely made an appearance for weeks. The mighty, coastal mountains are hidden behind thick grey clouds and venturing outside without an umbrella quickly becomes a foolish mistake. I dream of tropical beaches and warmer climates but my reality is Canada, so it’s time to accept the wet weather and hibernate indoors. Preferably at one of the city’s many great restaurants.
Living in the West End, there is a vibrant food scene on my doorstep with Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Ukrainian restaurants to name just a few. Sushi is everywhere and super cheap. Establishments blend karaoke with food, and pubs offer happy hour prices too good to turn down. Robson, Denman and Davie Street leave hungry residents spoilt for choice but dining out can break the bank and hibernating in restaurants is not cheap. Thankfully, there are many gems to be found, which makes life just a little bit easier when the rain won’t stop.
Guuu on Robson is a Japanese restaurant with a lively atmosphere, creative menu and a solid following. They serve small dishes in the izakaya style, offer their own Guuud! Ale (by Russell Brewing Company) and energetic staff shout out to patrons, making everyone feel welcome. The prices are a little higher than other nearby joints but their style is unique and worth it for the quality.
On nearby Denman Street, Legendary Noodle is another well-loved hotspot where handmade noodles and hearty soups are the speciality. This tiny Chinese eatery could easily be missed but a good reputation and a strong focus on quality has no doubt kept it running since 1997. Their authentic décor and beautiful House Chrysanthemum Tea make a visit even more worthwhile.
And last but by no means least, The Capital on Davie Street features a $4.95 menu all day, every day, featuring pub grub and small plates. Favourites include the Szechuan Glazed Tilapia, Chicken Quesadilla and the Veggie Burger. Eclectic music, sports for the boys and a quality selection of beverages place it in a league of its own when it comes to value for money.
So let’s embrace the rain by hiding indoors and exploring Vancouver’s restaurants. There are worse ways to spend the winter.