Vancouver foodies, I feel for you. Keeping up with our ever-expanding list of A+ restaurant options must get tiring. Still, I'm not complaining - you never have to look far to find something delicious and inexpensive to eat.

As our neighbourhoods undergo rapid change, certain pockets of the city have emerged as unlikely gems. One such instance is the cluster of businesses around Fraser and Kingsway in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant, which has undergone a significant transformation in the past 6 years. With everything from artisan coffee to amazing French food, here are some places you should definitely have on your radar:

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Les Faux Bourgeois // 663 E 15th Ave

A lively, cosy, and consistent French bistro serving up steak frites, duck confit, and soupe à l'oignon gratinée, Les Faux Bourgeois offers top French food and a lovely selection of local and Gallic wines. Best to make a reservation; the city has caught on that there's a much cheaper way to enjoy classic French food than booking that airfare to Lyon...

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Sal Y Limon // 701 Kingsway Street #5

A totally inconspicuous little spot in the strip-mall on Fraser and Kingsway, you might just miss this Mexican restaurant if you're not careful. Which would be a shame, because the unpretentious space serves up top notch and cheap tacos, burritos, huaraches and the likes. With meat options ranging from lamb to chicken to beef tongue, there's something for the cautious and adventurous foodie alike. Best of all there's a solid selection of hot sauces, but fair warning: the 'Diabla' sauce is nothing short of lethal.

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The Lion's Den Cafe // 651 E 15th Ave

Admittedly, I hadn't heard of "Japaribbean” food before - but I regret being late to the game. The Lion's Den Cafe is Vancouver's first Caribbean-Japanese restaurant, and fuses the best of both worlds. With dishes ranging from Japanese omelettes to jerk chicken to oxtail stew, you're going to need to visit more than once to get up to speed on this particularly delicious and creative merging of culinary cultures.

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Osteria Savio Volpe // 615 Kingsway

A restaurant styled after the traditional Italian osteria, Savio Volpe favours simple ingredients, freshness, regionality and flavour. Their pasta is handmade daily, and their meat and fish are "kissed by smoke over the wood-fired grill and rotisserie" (as per their website). With a generous selection of Italian wines, old world coffee, a lovely and upbeat ambiance, and desserts to die for (you'll return for the 'chocolate tart with olive oil, sea salt and pinenuts' alone), Savio Volpe is more or less a foodie's dream come true.

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Crowbar // 646 Kingsway

The newest addition to the neighbourhood, Crowbar describes itself as "a neighbourhood restaurant and cocktail bar located in the golden triangle of Kingsway and Fraser."  And if the triangle wasn't 'golden' before, it certainly is now: Crowbar brings an awesome date-night option into the 'hood with a well-crafted selection of cocktails as well as a solid wine list. Not to mention a menu created by Chris Scott (of Wildebeest) and Scott Korzack (of L'Abattoir)  - you just know this place is going to make its mark.

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Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters // 4149 Fraser Street

I'm going to be so bold as to call Bow & Arrows one of the very best coffee roasters in BC. With their original space located in Victoria, BC, Vancouver's Bow & Arrows is still relatively new, but it has already delighted us with its selection of beans, as well as its breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus. And be sure to keep an eye open at your local bottle shop for their collaboration beer with Port Moody's Twin Sails Brewing, 'Con Leche' - a Horchata style Milk Stout brewed with a variety of roasted malts and coffee.

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Have more favourites in the neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments!


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