About Dirt Road Travels
We believe that the best way to discover new places is by getting off the beaten path and taking suggestions from local chefs, brewers and entrepreneurs. We create mobile-first city guides with recommendations for the best off-the-beaten-path spots and the stories of how the locals who built them got their start.
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9 Best Meals in Vancouver
The foodie scene in Vancouver surprises visitors with a wide variety of options for every individual in your group. "The food culture is what’s keeping me here. I prioritize all of my disposable income on eating, so whether it’s at restaurants, at farmer’s markets or for great local produce, it’s just a really exciting city for food.” -Adam Chandler, BETA5
This vegan find offers Mediterranean food from a restaurant in Mt. Pleasant and a food truck on the go. Rotem and Itamar, the founders, are both self taught chefs from Israel. They fell in love with Vancouver but both agreed the city needed a little more hummus and falafel. You will feel refreshed and satisfied after a flavorful meal from these guys.
2. Say Hey Cafe
You can’t go wrong with a good sub. Adam Chandler, owner of BETA5 chocolates, is a huge advocate for Say Hey Cafe. “It’s a bit of a hole in the wall that's run by a couple of young guys who are in the industry. They know food and they just make really good simple well-composed sandwiches.” Whether it's for breakfast or lunch, you should make a point to visit this shop soon. We're sure it'll become your go to in no time.
The full Vancouver city guide has restaurant and activity recommendations galoreThe Ultimate Day in VancouverSeattle, Washington city guide for your next adventure
3. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
“Bao Bei is a really great cafe that’s become a destination restaurant. It’s run by a lady, Tannis, who spent a lot of time in Vancouver’s Chinatown grocery shopping when she was growing up. She brought back this really modern Chinese restaurant that does everything exceptionally.” The chefs and owners of BETA5, The Birds & The Beets and Ask For Luigi, all rave about the experience and cuisine at Bao Bei. When they serve up Chinese style small plates, you really can have it all.
4. The Birds & the Beets
With a quirky space in Gastown, The Birds & The Beets provides delicious food and drink in a great atmosphere. Co-owner Matt Senecal-Junkeer says his go to is the Miso Barley Bowl. What was intended to be a weekly special last year has turned into a favorite to the many that frequent this lovely spot.
5. Au Comptoir
The quaint and cozy atmosphere of Au Comptoir makes you feel like have just stepped into a neighborhood cafe in Paris. We would be happy to eat here any meal of the day. Whether you start the day with coffee au comptoir ("at the counter") or end it with wine and a table full of friends, you can't help but leave this place with a full belly and a smile.
6. Burdock & Co
"Burdock & Co is a bit of an institution in Vancouver. It's the best wine list in the city for natural wines and really, really good locally-sourced and foraged foods.” Drew Johnson, owner of Bows X Arrows, describes Burdock & Co as a Vancouver must. They capitalize on what the Canadian Pacific Northwest has to offer in order to make locally sourced and delicious meals.
7. Harvest Community Foods
Chef JC Poirier of Ask for Luigi raves about Chef Andrea Carlson and her ramen at Harvest Community Foods. "Andrea pays attention to the details. She'll source the best ingredients, her broth is made with care, the noodles are perfectly cooked and the greens are from local farms."
8. Kin Kao Thai Kitchen
Zachary Zimmerman, owner of Say Hey Cafe, highly recommends making your way to Commercial Drive to hit up Kin Kao. The people of Kin Kao believe less is more and stay true to that philosophy as they prepare simple yet mouth watering dishes. The traditional Thai food prepared by executive Chef Tang Poonchai utilizes local ingredients picked daily and spices imported directly from Thailand. Pair your meal with one of the many local craft beers they have to offer!
9. The Fish Counter
Mike McDermid and Robert Clark work hard to ensure Canada is making efforts to produce sustainable seafood. Their work at The Fish Counter is proof that they don't only talk the talk, they walk the walk. Whether grabbing a small bite, something to cook the whole family, or chowder to go - The Fish Counter is your seafood go to.