In keeping with the last two posts about eating, I figured I’d better round out the trilogy with my last food post: eating my way through Vancouver.
It was no secret that during my visit to Canada I was more than prepared, after a year of lackluster Honduran food, to eat all the things. My lifelong love affair with food was kicked into overdrive during my 3.5 weeks in Canada, especially in Vancouver. This city was made for eating!
So sit down and grab a snack – this one is going to be lengthy and delicious!
Here’s how I ate my way through the city:
1. A & W
The first chain restaurant I went to was the A&W in the Vancouver Airport as soon as I arrived. I used to work at the factory that made these burgers, and they’re about the only fast-food burgers I feel okay about eating. You don’t want to know what’s in the rest of them!
|mama burger, get in me immediately!|
2. Bella Gelateria
Astute readers picked up clues along the way and finally figured out that my second full time job when I was saving to move to Roatan was assistant manager at this (now) world-famous gelato shop. The master gelato maker and owner, James Coleridge, won the International Gelato Festival in Florence while I was working at the shop and our pleasantly busy little store turned into a media frenzy with lineups out the door and down the block. Great for business, bad for someone on their second 8-hour shift of the day! But now that I live in the Caribbean, I can finally enjoy artisan gelato again 🙂
|with james (left) and salvatore (center) – they made my favorite CHOCOLATE BACON gelato for me upon my return! love these guys!|
|sorbettos – peruvian lime & strawberry, and raspberry|
|this is now considered a ‘small’ bella lineup!|
3. Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant
Ethiopian food is my second favorite after Japanese food. After discovering this restaurant years ago, apparently I went a lot because the owner recognized me and asked me where I had been the last year and why hadn’t I come to eat there?? So awesome. I always get the yebeg tibs (lamb stew).. and it was so good, I went twice on this trip.
|with one of my divemasters from roatan! we had a 24 hour meetup in vancouver.|
|ummm the green tinge is from the bar lights, not the food!!|
|combo platter for 2|
|yebeg tibs with a side of ayeb (cheese)|
4. Sushi Zero One
I wrote about this gem in my Ten Things to Do in Vancouver, BC If You’re Kind of Broke but Really Awesome post. It is by far my favorite sushi restaurant in the city. Cheap prices, authentic Japanese food, great sushi. Win!
|my friend jen with our plates of sushi… i have a salmon roll, oshinko roll, and umekyu roll.|
|cold udon with mountain yam, okra and natto…YUM!|
5. Tandoori Palace
Found this little Indian/Pakistani place in the heart of my adopted neighborhood, Commercial Drive. I had a saag gosht (lamb in spinach sauce) with naan and black pepper pappadums. I’d like to say I shared this meal in the photo, but I ate the whole fucking thing. Yep. It was awesome, and the I got it all for take-out for under $16 including tax and tip! This could have easily fed two, I’m just a pig.
6. Maruko Ramen Noodle House
In my never-ending quest to eat at every single ramen-ya in Vancouver, I found this place that had popped up while I was gone. I loved the interior (see photo) – quintessentially Japanese minimalist meets kawaii cute meets downtown Vancouver sleek.
I thought it was fantastic (and way more authentically Japanese) that you can choose the size of ramen, as well as having ‘combos’. I had a shoyu ramen with black garlic oil, in a combo with a cha-sui (pork belly) rice bowl. I was pleasantly surprised with how good they both were! The rice bowl had a little too much mayo for my taste but the pork was ridiculously tender and I was stoked to see preserved vegetables on the side – ummm, I think these are Chinese, I’ve only ever had them in Chinese soup, but they are good and balanced the fatty pork out well. The ramen noodles had the right amount of bite and the black garlic oil was heavenly and gave it some serious umami! I got the ramen combo and a tea for under $14 including tax and tip. Solid choice in my books.
7. Motomachi Shokudo
My forever favorite restaurant in Vancouver – when I lived in the city I ate here minimum 3x a month. I LOVE THIS RAMEN. In everywhere I’ve tried in the city, this has come closest in taste to the ramen I had in Japan. The servers don’t even ask my order anymore – nama shoyu ramen with ‘flavor oil’ (it’s a burnt green onion oil) and a cold green tea. Under $13 including tax and tip. Bliss. I’m actually having a hard time writing about it right now and feel like I would rob a grandma just to get a steaming bowl of it right now. FYI it’s nearly +50C in Roatan right now. That’s how much I love this ramen.
8. Belgian Fries
For some reason I decided that my last meal in Canada needed to be poutine. I guess that was the most Canadian food I could think of. My faithful best friend trotted out to Belgian Fries on Commercial Drive with me, and as a holistic nutritionist, she was appropriately aghast when this monstrosity arrived at the table:
This is ‘The Diplomat’ – vanilla cake, vanilla custard, vanilla buttercream and puff pastry. And I didn’t mind paying $8 for it one bit.
They also have a Cashew, Caramel, Nougat & Smoked Salt Chocolate Bar at the Pender St. one and a Maple Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich at the Cambie St. one. I can tell you from extensive field research that both are excellent choices.
|mango basil salad roll, veggie skewers, veggie spring roll, rice noodles with green onion and peanuts and a small cucumber and carrot salad.|
|sometimes i forget my hair wasn’t always the giant frizzy mess it is in honduras.|
And finally, the most Canadian meal I ate the entire trip:
Oh my gawd! That A&Dub burger looks so fantabulous! Lots of stuff looked scrumptious. I can't wait to go home (Dec) and stuff my face with all I miss. I always eat Panera Bread, Jack in the Box, Church's Chicken and I've been feigning for some chinese food. I can't wait for all that grease. Ha! Dallas has lots of good dining spots so I'll have to hit some of those up.
It was all SO GOOD! I'd love to hear more about the food scene in Dallas!
I knew I shouldn' t have start reading this post.. It's 5.30 am and I am going the eat noodles like I never had any before BYE.
This happens to me every time someone new comments on it and I come back and read it. Shit.
I love that your first meal was A&W! It's my favourite fast food as well although I'm a Teen or a Mozza burger lover (and the onion rings!) It, and probably in combination with everything else I shovelled in my mouth that first week, was the reason I spent my second week in Canada with an upset stomach!
I had onion rings, don't worry!! Yeah, I ate so much the first two days that I was sick all night on the third day at my friend's wedding 🙁
Colleen Brynn says
This all looks so good, and I love all the Japanese grub. Guh!
I have to say I can never get past the word gravlax. It does not in any way describe what it is. It always sounded like a terrible medicine to me – some strange combo of gravol and exlax.
Also I want to know more about this incognito man…
Haha! I feel like a jerk to myself reading this post in Roatan! Ummmm..also…you may have just ruined gravlax for me.
Agness Walewinder says
First of all, how do you manage to keep fit eating so much food!!!!????? 🙂 I'm so jealous. Secondly, wow that's been a great culinary journey from Japanese to Ethiopian food. Actually, I've never tried Ethiopian cuisine. Your dishes look so nice, I really need to go for it once I make it to Vancouver. I'm also a big fan of sushi 🙂
Wow, thanks Agness – I don't feel fit at all! I've gained 15 pounds since I moved to Roatan 🙁 but I figured I'm only in Canada for a small amount of time, I'm going to enjoy myself and eat whatever I want! You should definitely try Ethiopian food, it's delicious. Be careful of the heat though – even their 'mild' is really spicy!
Jacquie @ Must for Wanderlust says
Okay you had me at chocolate bacon gelato… Must be the Canadian in us hahaha… & okay that tattoo is effing brilliant! Cannot even describe my love for food posts 🙂 x
So good!!! I love chocolate bacon anything really haha. And thanks, I think my tattoo is pretty good too 🙂
Woweee! I actually feel full, just from reading your descriptive post+pics. Thanks for the tips! Perhaps when I get my scooter we can do a lunch date to the new 'Asian Xpress'…
Well you are sure impressive lady, I just get hungry when I look at this 🙂 We should definitely have a scooter date to Asian Xpress, I am curious!
Instructor Natalie says
Oh my god, you would not believe the amazing food I'm missing out on here in the Maldives! Unless you love fish curry and rothi, you're shit outta luck! Oh, and I don't eat fish 🙁
I always wondered about the food in the Maldives!! How do you like working there, seems like they've always got jobs going…?
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) says
No offense to your brilliant dive posts, but I think this might just be the best thing you have ever shared with us! I hope one day we can meet up and dive AND eat all the things together! 😀
As you know by now Steph, diving and eating are my two favorite things….so I hope to do both with you guys!!
Ugh this is making me so jealous of Vancouver's food scene! There is a major lack of good ethnic food where I live now… if it wasn't for the recently opened Indonesian restaurant I would die. Need a trip to Vancouver ASAP!
Yum – I've never seen an Indonesian restaurant! What's your favorite dish?
ifs ands Butts says
Look at all that diversity!!!
Yeah! We are totally spoiled for choice in Vancouver…something I miss A LOT in Roatan! Sometimes I used to play the "spin the globe" game when I couldn't decide where to go for dinner 🙂