top of page

What Foods Is Vancouver Famous For?

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Vancouver is known for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene, offering a wide variety of delicious dishes from around the world.

The metropolis is particularly renowned for its seafood selection, with the freshest and tastiest fish and shellfish that you won't find anywhere else.

The sushi restaurants in Vancouver are highly praised, offering some of the most sumptuous sushi in North America. Other popular local dishes are dim sum, Chinese hot pot, and Vietnamese pho.

Vancouver is a foodie paradise, and its diverse culinary scene offers something for everyone. From fresh seafood to delicious dim sum, Vancouver has it all.

Whether you're looking for a quick bite or an unforgettable dining experience, the city has something to satisfy every palate.

West Coast Oysters

West Coast oysters are a beloved delicacy in Vancouver, and the city is home to some of the best oyster bars in the world.

Freshly shucked West Coast oysters are served with various sauces, from classic mignonette to spicy sriracha mayo.

The salty flavor of these succulent bivalves pairs perfectly with a glass of crisp white wine.

Dim sum

Dim sum is a beloved staple of Vancouver's culinary scene. This traditional Chinese cuisine consists of small dishes, usually served in steamer baskets or on small plates.

Popular dim sum dishes include har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), and char siu bao (barbecue pork buns).

Dim sum restaurants are often bustling with activity, and it's a great way to experience the city's vibrant culture.

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness crab is a local delicacy in Vancouver, and it's one of the most popular seafood dishes in the city.

The sweet, succulent meat of Dungeness crab is highly sought after, and it's often served with various sauces and sides.

Dungeness crab can be enjoyed steamed, boiled, or grilled, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of chilled white wine.

Chinese Cuisine

Chinese cuisine is a beloved staple of Vancouver's culinary scene. From traditional dim sum to hot pot, there are plenty of delicious Chinese dishes in the city.

Popular Chinese restaurants offer various dishes, from Cantonese-style roast duck to Szechuan-style spicy noodles.

For a truly unique experience, try one of Vancouver's many hot pot restaurants, where diners can customize their soup base and ingredients.

Spot Prawns

Spot prawns are a local delicacy in Vancouver and one of the city's most sought-after seafood dishes.

These sweet, succulent crustaceans are harvested from the waters off the coast of British Columbia and are renowned for their delicate flavor and texture.

Spot prawns can be steamed, boiled, or grilled and pair perfectly with chilled white wine.

What Are the Must-Eat Places in Vancouver?

In Vancouver, there are plenty of restaurants with something for everyone's budget and palate.

If you love seafood, head to Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House for some of the tastiest and most fresh fish and shellfish dishes in town.

If you are a fan of dim sum, Yank Sing is well-known for its large selection of traditional Chinese dishes. Looking for something unique? Check out Vancouver's hot pot places.

1. Richmond

Richmond is a vibrant city located just outside of Vancouver, and it's known for its diverse culinary scene.

You'll find many Chinese restaurants in the city, from dim sum spots to hot pot eateries.

Richmond has a bustling seafood scene with many eateries offering fresh local catches such as spot prawns and Dungeness crab.

If you're looking for something new and unique, you'll have plenty of options - Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and many more international restaurants.

2. Gastown

Gastown is one of Vancouver's most iconic neighborhoods, and it's known for its vibrant culinary scene.

This historic district is home to various restaurants, from classic Canadian dishes to international cuisines.

Gastown is also known for its craft beer and cocktail bars, where tourists can enjoy some of the city's best drinks.

If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, some hidden gems offer unique experiences like fusion restaurants and quirky cafes.

What Are the Must-Eat Foods in Vancouver?

Vancouver is home to many must-eat foods, offering something for every taste and budget.

Seafood enthusiasts can enjoy classic fish and chips and fresh, local specialties such as spot prawns and Dungeness crab.

Yank Sing is a top choice for those who enjoy dim sum with its expansive selection of authentic Chinese foods.

For those looking for something unique, there are plenty of fusion restaurants and quirky cafes to explore.

Vancouver is also known for its craft breweries and cocktail bars, where visitors can sample some of the city's best local brews.

1. Sushi and Seafood

Sushi and seafood are two of Vancouver's most beloved culinary offerings.

The city is home to various sushi restaurants, offering everything from traditional Japanese dishes to creative fusion creations.

For seafood lovers, fresh local catches are abundant, like spot prawns and Dungeness crab.

Seafood can be enjoyed steamed, boiled, or grilled, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of local craft beer.

2. Candied Salmon Sticks

Candied salmon sticks are a beloved Vancouver specialty. This traditional First Nations dish is made with wild-caught salmon, which is marinated in a sweet and savory blend of spices before being smoked over an open fire.

The result is a delicious snack that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal. Candied salmon sticks are often served alongside traditional dishes like bann ock and berry jam.

3. Japadog

Japadog is a Vancouver institution offering a unique twist on the classic hot dog.

This popular street food is made with JaCpanese-style beef, or pork sausage served on a toasted bun and topped with an array of creative toppings.

Popular options include teriyaki sauce, seaweed flakes, and bonito flakes. Japadog has become so popular that it has several locations throughout the city.

4. Maple Syrup infused foods.

Vancouver is also known for its unique take on traditional Canadian dishes.

Maple syrup-infused foods are a famous specialty in the city, offering a sweet and savory twist on classic recipes.

Popular dishes include maple glazed salmon, maple bacon poutine, and even maple ice cream.

For those looking for something unique, plenty of creative fusion restaurants offer their own takes on this beloved Canadian staple.

5. Asian Cuisine at Aberdeen Centre

Aberdeen Centre is a famous shopping mall in Richmond, just outside Vancouver.

This sprawling complex is home to a variety of Asian restaurants, offering up everything from traditional Chinese dishes to creative fusion creations.

Visitors can sample dim sum at Yank Sing, enjoy Japanese-style ramen at Santouka Ramen, or indulge in Korean BBQ at Seoul Garden.

There are also plenty of bubble tea shops, and snack stands to explore.

First Time in Canada? 6 Canadian Foods You Have to Try

For those visiting Canada for the first time, there are a few classic dishes that you must try.

From coast to coast, Canadian cuisine is known for its unique blend of flavors and ingredients.

Here are 6 Canadian foods that you have to try on your next visit:


Bannock is a traditional First Nations dish that has become popular across Canada. This simple flatbread is made with flour, baking powder, and lard or butter.

It can be cooked over an open fire or in the oven and pairs perfectly with jams, jellies, and other sweet toppings.

Bannock is often served alongside other traditional dishes like candied salmon sticks and berry jam.

Everything Maple

Everything Maple is a popular trend in Vancouver, with the city's restaurants and cafes offering up creative takes on classic dishes using maple syrup.

From sweet treats like maple glazed donuts to savory dishes like maple bacon poutine, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from.

Maple syrup-infused ice cream is also a popular treat and can be found at many local ice cream shops.

If you're after something special, many fusion restaurants offer their own interpretations of this famous Canadian dish.


Poutine is a classic Canadian dish that has become popular around the world.

Celebrate comfort food cravings with this delicious french fries, cheese curds, and gravy dish.

All these ingredients come together to form a distinct flavor that is both savory and satisfying.

It's easy to come across poutine at restaurants and cafes in Vancouver.

If you're looking for something unique, there are plenty of creative twists on the classic dish, such as pulled pork poutine and vegan poutine.

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert originating in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

This decadent treat consists of a crumbly base layer made with graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and melted butter.

The middle layer is a creamy custard-like mixture made with icing sugar, cocoa powder, and melted butter.

Finally, the top layer is a chocolate ganache sprinkled with chopped nuts. Nanaimo Bars can be found in many bakeries and cafes throughout Vancouver.

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are a popular dish in Vancouver, with the city's restaurants offering their unique takes on this classic Mexican dish.

Fish tacos typically consist of lightly battered fish, shredded cabbage, and a creamy sauce served in a warm corn or flour tortilla.

For those looking for something unique, there are plenty of creative takes on this dish, from smoked salmon tacos to fish and chips tacos.

Smoked BC Salmon

BC Salmon is a popular delicacy in Vancouver, and smoked salmon is one of the most beloved dishes.

This dish consists of wild-caught salmon cured with salt and sugar before being slowly smoked over alder wood.

The result is a tender, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with fresh herbs and lemon juice.

Smoked BC Salmon can be found at many restaurants throughout Vancouver, and it is often served with fresh greens or roasted vegetables.

The Best Ethnic Eats in Downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver is home to a vibrant and diverse food scene, with restaurants offering dishes worldwide.

From traditional Chinese dim sum to Mexican street tacos, there are plenty of delicious ethnic eats in the city’s downtown core.

1. Phnom Penh

Vancouver's Phnom Penh is a well-known eatery that serves authentic Cambodian dishes.

This family-run restaurant serves various classic dishes, such as soups and curries, stir-fries, and noodle dishes.

The house's specialties, like the signature Phnom Penh Noodle Soup, are also available on the menu. This delicious dish combines rice noodles, pork, shrimp, and vegetables.

2. Vij’s

Vij’s is a renowned Indian restaurant located in downtown Vancouver.

This upscale eatery offers an array of traditional dishes, from curries and tandoori to naan bread and samosas.

The menu also features several house specialties, such as the signature butter chicken curry.

3. Kishimoto Japanese Restaurant

Kishimoto Japanese Restaurant is a favorite place for sushi and another classic Japanese cuisine.

On the menu, you'll find a variety of fresh seafood dishes, ranging from sashimi to nigiri and maki rolls.

Furthermore, the restaurant has house specialties, like the Kishimoto Roll, made of tempura shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and spicy mayo.

4. La Taqueria

La Taqueria, a much-loved Mexican eatery, is situated in Vancouver.

You can find a wide range of traditional Mexican dishes at this eatery, such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas.

Some of the house specialties on the menu include the La Taqueria Burrito, composed of grilled steak, refried beans, cheese, and salsa.

5. Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen

Located in downtown Vancouver, Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen is a well-known Nepalese restaurant.

This restaurant has a wide selection of traditional dishes, ranging from momos, curries, and dal bhat to thukpa.

You'll find many house specialties on the menu, such as the Gurkha Thali – a mix of curries, rice, lentils, and pickles.

6. Silvestre Peruvian Restaurant

Vancouver's downtown area is home to Silvestre Peruvian Restaurant, an excellent place for authentic Peruvian food.

At this eatery, you can enjoy a multitude of dishes such as ceviche, lomo saltado, arroz con pollo and causa limeña.

Aside from the regular items on the menu, they also offer several house specialties like their famous Silvestre Ceviche- a combination of fresh fish in lime juice served with sweet potatoes and corn.

7. Canra Sri Lankan Cuisine

Canra Sri Lankan Cuisine is a popular spot for traditional Sri Lankan dishes in downtown Vancouver.

This eatery offers an array of dishes, from curries and roti to hoppers and kottu.

Additionally, the menu includes a few house favorites like the restaurant's Canra Curry, which provides assorted vegetables cooked in savory coconut sauce.

For dessert, guests can choose from traditional treats like the Sri Lankan Love Cake - a restaurant specialty.

8. Baghdad Cafe

Downtown Vancouver is home to the beloved Middle Eastern eatery Baghdad Cafe.

You can find a range of classic dishes at this restaurant, such as falafel, shawarma, hummus, and baba ghanoush.

Moreover, there are many must-try dishes at the restaurant, such as the famous Baghdad Platter, which contains an assortment of grilled meats served alongside rice, salad, and pita.

Final Thought

Vancouver offers many culinary options, from Indian and Japanese to Mexican and Middle Eastern.

Throughout the city are multiple well-known restaurants that serve traditional international cuisine.

Vancouver is a vibrant city that embraces its culinary diversity. From Mexican tacos to traditional Japanese sushi and Middle Eastern falafel, the city has something for everyone when it comes to cuisine.

Vancouver has it all, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or an exquisite dining experience. With its wide range of cuisines and restaurants, Vancouver can satisfy any foodie’s cravings.

1,026 views0 comments


bottom of page