Vancouver - A locals perspective

Wonderguide by

Alicja Lei

It's pronounced Vang-couver

Vancouver was my home for about 5 years. It's the perfect balance between urban and nature with amazing diversity, delicious food and endless things to do and see!

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Restaurants - Oh so Asian

The quality and choice of Asian food in Vancouver is unparalleled. Here are some of our favorites, but I'm sure we're just scratching the surface.

Image - Dinesty Dumpling House
Dinesty Dumpling House
Alicja:Have the stir-fried rice cakes, the crab and pork soup dumplings, and the green beans
Image - Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant
Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant
Alicja:MAKE RESERVATIONS....and the portions are huge so don't over order.
Image - Jinya Ramen Westside
Jinya Ramen Westside
Alicja:Be ready to wait outside...but totally totally worth the wait.
Image - Motomachi Shokudo
Motomachi Shokudo
Alicja:This place has been in business a while now so I find that I rarely have to wait. But it's really very good!
Image - Minami
Alicja:The salads, the cocktails and of course they have their specialty rolls...the salmon one is my favorite.
Image - Hapa Izakaya Yaletown
Hapa Izakaya Yaletown
Alicja:Fun music, good vibes and tasty food. Get the crispy rice bowl and the udon noodles.
Image - Vij's
Alicja:You can't make reservations and you will definitely have to wait...but it's worth it.
Image - Phnom Penh Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurant
Alicja:Not your typical pho joint. Get the chicken wings.
Image - Pho Goodness
Pho Goodness
Alicja:I think I ate here once a week. It's where I get my pho fix.
Image - Anh and Chi
Anh and Chi
Alicja:French style Vietnamese
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Restaurants - Italiano

Homemade pastas that would rival Italy

Image - Ask For Luigi Restaurant
Ask For Luigi Restaurant
Alicja:It's tiny, it's in a sketchy area, it's so so so so good. Put your name on the list and then go for a drink at Urban Winery.
Image - Osteria Savio Volpe
Osteria Savio Volpe
Alicja:I've had some of the tastiest bites in my life here. Make reservations and try the tiramisu ice cream dessert.
Image - Tavola
Alicja:Beautiful pastas and the burrata appetizer is ooey gooey delish.
Image - Nook
Alicja:The sister of Tavola. An amazing place for quality italian food. It's by the beach so you can take a scenic walk after dinner!

Restaurants - Everything else

Most of these places you're going to have to make reservations for well in advance.

Image - AnnaLena
Alicja:Make reservations and I think family style is the best way things.
Image - Blue Water Cafe
Blue Water Cafe
Alicja:A place to be seen in the evenings where you can get beautiful fresh fish and amazing sushi. Make reservations
Image - Tacofino Taco Bar
Tacofino Taco Bar
Alicja:Mmmmm...spicy margarita and fish tacos.
Image - La Catrina Tacos
La Catrina Tacos
Alicja:This is a little hole in the wall and they have really yummy tiny tacos.
Image - The Mackenzie Room
The Mackenzie Room
Alicja:Must make reservations, eat the bread and be courageous with your cocktail choices.
Image - The Greek By Anatoli
The Greek By Anatoli
Alicja:It's not cheap and cheerful, but the food is delicious and it's a great atmosphere and it's one of my favorites.
Image - Siegel's Bagels
Siegel's Bagels
Alicja:Be sure you come here and then buy a dozen bagels to take home. These are literally the best bagels in the world.


Butter and sugar in copious copious amounts

Image - Purebread
Alicja:You might short-circuit when you walk in and see the choices. But try the Coconut Buttermilk loaf and the black cherry scone.
Image - Butter Baked Goods Ltd
Butter Baked Goods Ltd
Alicja:Sweet treats and beautiful birthday cakes.
Image - Beaucoup Bakery
Beaucoup Bakery
Alicja:Get here early and get a traditional croissant and a double baked almond croissant.

Sight seeing - The smart way

Priority for me is always food...and then I'll stop and see some sights along the way. So here's what not to miss.

Image - Stanley Park Loop
Stanley Park Loop
Alicja:Rent a bike and take a cruise around this truly magical oasis.
Image - FlyOver Canada
FlyOver Canada
Alicja:You have to check this's an immersive experience and you really feel like your flying.
Image - Gastown
Alicja:You can meander in and out of restaurants and shops for a good part of the day.
Image - Baggio Gelateria & pizzeria
Baggio Gelateria & pizzeria
Alicja:So I know that this is a gelato place, but it's award winning, and then you can go for a stroll with your delicious gelato along the harbour
Image - Third Beach
Third Beach
Alicja:If you're visiting during the summer months, pack a big blanket, a picnic, your sunblock and get ready to people watch and sunbathe.


Robson St is the main shopping street where you can find the major department stores like Holt Renfrew and Nordstroms, but below are the boutiques where you can find something special.

Image - Bacci's
Alicja:For high end women's apparel and an amazing home side where you can find something for everyone.
Image - misch
Alicja:Mid to high end women's apparel, perfectly curated for a bit of everyday luxury.
Image - Mine & Yours
Mine & Yours
Alicja:Brand name luxury items that have been barely used...think Hermes bags and Valentino pumps.

Night out

Poppin bottles and gettin silly

Image - The Parlour
The Parlour
Alicja:So this is actually a pizzeria, but it gets busy and turns into more of a bar. Make late reservations and then CALL to confirm!!
Image - Pierre's Champagne Lounge
Pierre's Champagne Lounge
Alicja:On the back end of a restaurant, gets pretty busy on the weekends...plays top 40s house.
Image - Celebrities Nightclub
Celebrities Nightclub
Alicja:The biggest gay club but they bring in amazing DJs!
Image - Reflections: The Garden Terrace
Reflections: The Garden Terrace
Alicja:Outdoor patio...perfect for those breezy evenings
Image - Twelve West
Twelve West
Alicja:If you want to go to da club, go to this one.

Working out

It's not about eating guilt free (although it's a bit of a bonus), these gyms are FUN!!

Wonderguide map

  1. Dinesty Dumpling House
  2. Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant
  3. Jinya Ramen Westside
  4. Motomachi Shokudo
  5. Minami
  6. Hapa Izakaya Yaletown
  7. Vij's
  8. Phnom Penh Restaurant
  9. Pho Goodness
  10. Anh and Chi
  11. Ask For Luigi Restaurant
  12. Osteria Savio Volpe
  13. Tavola
  14. Nook
  15. Autostrada Osteria Downtown
  16. AnnaLena
  17. Blue Water Cafe
  18. Tacofino Taco Bar
  19. La Catrina Tacos
  20. The Mackenzie Room
  21. The Greek By Anatoli
  22. Siegel's Bagels
  23. Purebread
  24. Butter Baked Goods Ltd
  25. Beaucoup Bakery
  26. Stanley Park Loop
  27. FlyOver Canada
  28. Gastown
  29. Baggio Gelateria & pizzeria
  30. Third Beach
  31. Bacci's
  32. misch
  33. Mine & Yours
  34. The Parlour
  35. Pierre's Champagne Lounge
  36. Celebrities Nightclub
  37. Reflections: The Garden Terrace
  38. Hello Goodbye Bar
  39. Twelve West
  40. Spin Society Downtown Vancouver
  41. Ride Cycle Club
  42. YYOGA Downtown Flow

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