Vancouver is known for being a cultural melting pot, which can also be translated into the perfect hub for foodies. The amount of Asian-fusion restaurants and charming brunch spots can be overwhelming, so I have picked out the some of the top spots for where to eat and stay.
Expect a crowd waiting outside for a seat at this popular brunch spot located on the border of Yaletown and Gastown, but don't be discouraged -- it's definitely worth the wait. If you want savory and filling, go for the Fricasse -- braised short ribs with fried eggs, caramelized onions and applewood smoked cheddar. Complete your meal with their fresh Belgian waffles topped with raspberry compote topping and a white chocolate pistachio mocha to pair.
Address: 556 Beatty Street
Photography by Maurice Li
Found in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown, Phnom Penh is the place for authentic Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes. They are famous for their deep-fried chicken wings that come with a peppery-lemon dipping sauce. The adventurous should try their delicious, butter beef dish.
Address: 244 E Georgia St
Photography by: Chow Times
James Coleridge, the Founder of Bella Gelateria, is the mastermind behind this award winning gelato shop (yes, he's even beat Italy in the world championships). They offer over 30 flavors that are hand-crafted daily on-premise. There are always new seasonal flavours but the classic must-try flavours include: Organic Green Tea Matcha, Organic Thai Coconut Milk and Salted Caramel.
Photography by: Pangcouver
Address: 1001 Cordova Street
Rodney's Oyster Bar
Calling all oyster aficionados: if you're looking for great seafood, fresh shucked oysters and a fun and energetic vibe, Rodney's is your place. The restaurant has been running for 10 years and has a location in both Yaletown and Gastown.
Address: 1228 Hamilton Street
Photography by: Kslee
No trip to Vancouver is complete without getting your dim sum on at Kirin, an authentic Chinese restaurant with quality dishes that easily compete with what you'd find in Hong Kong. Try the shrimp dumplings (har gow) and the fluffy bbq pork buns (cha siu bao). This meal is served family style, so go with a least two people (the bigger the group the better) so you can sample everything on the menu.
Address: 1172 Alberni Street
Photography by Kent Wang
Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill
If you are looking for fine Italian cuisine, Cioppino's is a Vancouver favourite. The restaurant always has a daily features list that almost always includes dishes with fresh truffles. Go for the burrata cheese starter and a must-try is the 7-hour braised veal cheek pappardelle.
Address: 1133 Hamilton Street
If you're looking for an upbeat and energetic atmosphere in a room filled with beautiful people, West Oak is the place to kick-start your night. Here you'll find Westcoast dishes like braised lamb shank served with home made gnocchi and Vancouver Island mussels and Frites.
Address: 1035 Mainland Street
Located in heart of Yaletown, you are steps away from trendy restaurants, lounges and less than a five minute walk to the seawall. The recently renovated hotel has a modern design aesthetic and a hip and "see and be seen" atmosphere. Business travelers will appreciate the convenient location of this hotel and proximity to restaurants and cafes (note that it may get a bit loud on the weekends), and party animals and night owls will enjoy the upbeat vibe and nearby nightclubs.
Address: 322 Davie Street
Shangri - La
Hailing as a Singaporean luxury hotel chain, the Shangri-La Vancouver is known for it's world-class service. With Asian-inspired architecture and Vancouver Art Gallery-curated décor, the hotel is the definition of upscale and elegant. It is a convenient four blocks away from the shops on Robson and the Vancouver Convention Center. Make sure to make a stop at their Xi Shi Lounge, which is perfect for casual business meetings, formal afternoon tea gatherings, or fancy cocktails.
Address: 1128 West Georgia St.
A weekend in Vancouver gives you just enough time to scratch the surface of food and culture, but a small taste will keep you coming back for more.
Amy Chan is a luxury hotel reviewer and relationship columnist.