Vancouver foodies, unite! If there’s one thing Vancouverites love more than just being chill it’s food, amiright? With hundreds of incredible restaurants, you’re never left wondering if you’ll go out to eat but rather, where.
It’s okay to admit that you’re a creature of habit. Hey, I can be too. You found that one spot that serves quality food at decent prices and the bartender even kind of knows your name. Well, maybe not, but he does know that you like a cranberry martini with a splash of pineapple and that’s good enough for you. I digress, it’s totally normal to have “your spot” but you know this city has more to offer than just sushi and your local watering hole and you’re ready to branch out.
It got me thinking. What makes a restaurant in Vancouver stand out these days? It’s not the local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, you can pretty much find that everywhere these days. It’s definitely not the plating game (sorry but The Acorn has that on lock). So What is it? What element makes Vancourites say (in the words of Tina Fey), “I want to go to there”?
I’ll tell ya, baby. It’s themes.
Think about it. What will make you want to leave the comfort of your favourite restaurant to try somewhere else? How about a tropical thunder theme where you can drink out of monsoon bowls? Or a video game bar where you can eat pizza pockets and play Super Mario Bros. The ‘Couv’s theme restaurants and bars are ready to serve every one of your #moods all you have to do is pick.
Need some motivation? Use this list to pick your next stop on the Vancouver Foodie Tour. O hit all 18 and tell me which one is your favourite. Either way, I’ll see you at the bar.
To begin with the TV/Movie 🎬 theme restaurants click "Next".
The Black Lodge // 630 Kingsway
A Twin Peaks themed bar in the city. With a rustic and campfire vibe, The Black Lodge is all about the cozy comfort and serves classic favourites like s'mores, grilled cheese and duh, cherry pie. It is a Twin Peaks bar after all...
Neverland Tea Salon // 3066 W Broadway
I never want to grow up! And at Neverland Tea Salon you don't have to. A gluten-free, vegan-friendly tea salon that is full of whimsy and magic. Come try their large selection of teas, wide range of treats, and sit in the Neverland dining room. In the immortal words of Peter Pan himself, "would you like your adventure now or would you like to have your tea first?"
Joe Fortes // 777 Thurlow St
There's a reason why Joe Fortes is the place to be this summer. Complete with a roof garden featuring a living green wall, an outdoor fireplace, and an escape from the goings on of the city JF has everything you could ever want from a rooftop patio. PS: If that didn't sell you, the mini lobster & shrimp rolls will.
Darby's Public House // 2001 Macdonald St
Want to look at the Northshore mountain and avoid long line-ups with a sangria in your hand? Look no further than Darby's Public House. One of Vancouver's largest rooftop patios has it all and with seating like this, you and your party are guaranteed a seat!
The Roof // 1032 Alberni St
Glowbal continues to class up Vancouver with strong and interesting interior design, brunch, and cocktail hour. They bring class to a patio setting and take rooftop dining to the next level. Just try one of their thick cuts of prime meat, seafood, and poultry made ready on their Josper Grill.
Reflections: The Garden Terrace // 801 Georgia St
"Reflections at the Rosewood" totally sounds like a soap opera don't you think? The Garden Terrace is the sophisticated backyard BBQ you've always wanted but your friends are too disheveled to get their shit together and plan it themselves. Located on the roof of the Hotel Georgia, Reflections is one of six dining experiences but the only one that will get you outdoors.
The Westin Grand // 433 Robson St
There's a pool on the rooftop. There's a pool on the rooftop. There's a pool on the rooftop. Omg. Sorry but the closest thing to a swim up Mexican bar is The Westin Grand in downtown Vancouver and you need to take your next sunny day break there.
Beach Bay Cafe and Patio // 193 Denman St
Conveniently located across from one of Vancouver's most coveted beaches, English Bay, Beach Bay Cafe is the sea salt haired, sun-kissed patio of your dreams. Not only is the aesthetic reminiscent of the beach house on Grace + Frankie but it's a stone's throw away from tanning, biking, and swimming!
The Shameful Tiki // 4362 Main St
A Hawaiian escape, open 7 days a week. Offering up Zombies, Jet Pilots, and Mai Tais The Shameful Tiki brings the tropics to you! The most fun you'll have is sharing one of the Bowls with a few of your friends. Hell, if you even go with one friend you can buddy up with some strangers. Only good vibes here.
Nerd Themed Restaurants in Vancouver
EXP // 309 West Pender
Level up! EXP has great food and good drinks. Thursdays are where it's at though. The entire bar competes for EXP points and prizes and they shut it down for a restaurant-wide game night!
Storm Crow // 1305 Commercial Dr
As soon as you walk into Strom Crow you're punched in the face with board games and sci-fi at every turn. Star Wars posters line the walls and they are stacked with every board game you could conjure up. If you haven't read Harry Potter, haven't seen Star Wars, or don't know who Captain Kirk is you should turn around now.
Back and Forth Bar // 303 Columbia St
Want to feel like you're chilling in your parent's basement without having to steal from their liquor cabinet? Enter Back & Forth Bar. Kick back with Super Mario Bros, have a ping pong tourney, and eat PIZZA POCKETS. Need I say more?
Pizza Ludica // 189 Keefer Pl
More boardgames! Pizza! Ludica! Yet another boardgame bar to release your inner nerd. You will need to order food to play for free but the pizza is so good I don't think you'll be complaining.
CROWBAR // 646 Kingsway
Crowbar has been rocking out on Kingsway for almost a year now and their cocktails just keep getting better and better. The food and drink are prepared by a slew of young chefs and bartenders who know what you're going to like. You'll likely catch them post-shift with a drink in hand themselves.
Osteria Savio Volpe // 615 Kingsway
If you're anything like me, you hate sharing meals, but Savio Volpe finds a way to make the experience less daunting by offering all dishes that are truly meant to be shared. Unlike my chicken wings at the local pub. Which are JUST MINE!
Botanist // 1038 Canada Pl
Botanist replaced Oru in the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Their goal is to highlight BC's botany in their food and drink. They cover their tables with beautiful flower displays and featuring hanging baskets of greenery to fit the Botanist vibe.
Olive & Ruby // 2839 West Broadway
Literally the cutest freaking cafe in Vancouver. Don't believe me? Check out this article. Between the floating flower pots and the Californian sunset on the adjacent wall this cafe brings the garden vibes to you. Enjoy some plant based foods to really seal the deal.
Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe // 750 Hornby St
This secret garden in the middle of downtown Vancouver lets you get away from all the chaos. Everyone has seen the giant building that is THE VAG but not everyone has discovered the little cafe within. No wifi in the garden so get ready to really unplug.