I visited Vancouver for the first time last summer, and I fell in love with the beautiful city. We stayed at The Westin Grand in Downtown Vancouver for the convenience. We had an amazing view of the city from our hotel, which included the Vancouver Public Library (Central Library Branch) and B.C. Place Stadium. The hotel is right on Vancouver’s popular shopping and food street — Robson Street (equivalent to Fifth Avenue in New York City). We also got out of the city and spent a couple of days north of Vancouver.
Below are my recommendations by neighborhood:
►Jam Cafe on Beatty – Popular local brunch spot. They give you generous portions, so sharing is a must.
►Mean Poutine – This food stand has a wide range of delicious poutine options.
►Japadog – Good for a quick hotdog and fries snack break.
►Miku Restaurant – This was my most memorable meal in Vancouver. Fresh and delicious sushi — I highly recommend trying the aburi salmon oshi.
►Bella Gelateria – The best and unique gelato flavors in Vancouver. I tried and loved both the earl grey tea and lavender flavors.
► Hida Takayama Ramen – Delicious hole-in-the-wall ramen inside a quiet food court.
►Stanley Park: Go for a morning or early afternoon run, walk, or bike around the park as you take in the surrounding city and nature views. Don’t forget to make a quick stop at the Brockton Point Totem Pole nearby.
Other places to eat and visit outside the city (will need a car to drive):
►Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant – Authentic and delicious dim sum with good portions.
►Bubble World – Popular Hong Kong style cafe with a ton of dishes to choose from, including a couple of my favorites — deep fried squid and shaved ice. They have multiple locations in the Vancouver area.
►Aberdeen Centre – Large Asian mall with a wide selection of Asian food at the food court. We also stopped by the popular Japanese dollar store Daiso and Korean beauty store Aritaum while we were there.
►Yaohan Centre – We came here for some Hong Kong style detox herbal dessert and drinks — I recommend trying the herbal jelly with coconut milk for a quick detox. Also, the supermarket in this mall has the freshest packaged sushi I’ve ever seen as well as a good range of Asian beauty products.
► Tropika On Cambie – Great dinner spot for groups. Asian family-style dishes — I recommend trying their curry dishes.
► Bao Chau Vietnamese Restaurant – A solid hole-in-the-wall spot to satisfy your Vietnamese food cravings.
Head north of Vancouver (drive over the Lions Gate Bridge):
► Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – Well worth the trip to cross the suspension bridge as well as complete the cliffwalk and treetops adventure in the West Coast rainforest.
► Joffre Lakes Provincial Park – Spend the day hiking at this breathtaking, picturesque park. This was my favorite activity on my trip.
►Olympic Rings at Whistler Olympic Village – Take a photo with the Olympic rings.
►Earls Kitchen + Bar – Great American restaurant with a good range of options.
►Menchies – A solid frozen yogurt place if you’re craving something sweet.