The best local restaurants in Vancouver range from no-frills doughnut shops and Chinese BBQ joints to vegetarian cafés and fish 'n' chips shops. Thanks to its multicultural population, the city’s diverse dining scene features cuisines from various parts of the world.

    Many local restaurants are found in Downtown and Chinatown, while others are scattered across neighbourhoods like Kitsilano and Commercial Drive. Experience the best of Vancouver’s local food with our guide to excellent dining spots in this British Columbian city.

    1

    Lucy’s Eastside Diner

    Retro diner with all-day breakfasts

    Lucy’s Eastside Diner is a modest-sized place that serves up generous helpings of comfort dishes like burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese and pulled pork hoagies. Located on Main Street and East 11th Avenue, it’s a go-to spot for a late-night snack in Vancouver. Its rich milkshakes and gravy-smothered fries seem to taste even better after a night on the town.

    Lucy's Eastside Diner stays open 24/7, serving hearty breakfasts at all hours. Must-tries include the eggs benny and cinnamon French toast – and yes, there's breakfast poutine with chorizo, too.

    Location: 2708 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C7, Canada

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 604-568-1550

    Map

    photo by Ruth Hartnup (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Japadog

    Tasty Japanese-style hot dogs for diners on the go

    Japadog is known for its wide range of Japanese-style hotdogs. Opened by a Japanese couple who moved to Vancouver, the first Japadog appeared as a food stand on Burrard and Smithe Street back in 2005. It’s since expanded with a shop on Robson Street and several stands and food trucks around the city, including the suburbs of Surrey and Richmond.   

    Japadog’s hot dogs have flavourful fillings, such as yakisoba noodles, seaweed, and grated radish, topped with Asian sauces like miso. Meat options include beef and turkey, but you can also opt for a vegetarian hot dog.

    Location: 530 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7, Canada

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 3 am, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 am, Sunday from 10 am to 3 am

    Phone: +1 604-569-1158

    Map

    photo by Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    The Fish Counter

    Fresh and locally sourced fish and seafood dishes

    The Fish Counter is a cheerful little spot serving sustainably sourced fish and seafood from its Main Street location, off East 22nd Avenue. Most diners come here for its fish and chips, but you could also try clam chowder, crab and shrimp baguette, or BC bouillabaisse made with local seafood.

    The Fish Counter offers fish and chips with not only cod, but also halibut and wild salmon. Gluten-free options are available upon request. The restaurant has a small indoor dining section and some seats out front, as well as ready-made meals and sauces for takeaway.

    Location: 3825 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P1, Canada

    Open: Monday from 10.15 am to 6.30 pm, Thursday–Sunday from 10 am to 6.30 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 604-876-3474

    Map
    4

    The Naam

    Vancouver’s original veggie haven

    The Naam has been a landmark dining spot in the Kitsilano neighbourhood since 1968. It has managed to remain a favourite even though many vegetarian restaurants have sprung up around Vancouver in the decades since. You can enjoy veggie burgers, vegan Dragon Bowls, daily curry specials, and Thai noodles. It also has own line of herbal teas, which you can enjoy in its cosy interior area or out on the garden patio.

    The Naam has been a strong supporter of local food producers, using locally-made tofu and tempeh and Yukon Gold potatoes grown in the Fraser Valley. Local artists also get a boost at The Naam, with its rotating art shows and live music nights.

    Location: 2724 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1R1, Canada

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 11 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 604-738-7151

    Map

    photo by Ruth Hartnup (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Hungry Guys Kitchen

    Build your own healthy bowl or salad

    Hungry Guys Kitchen is a busy lunch and dinner spot on Granville Street. It’s popular with on-the-go office workers and visitors looking for a healthy fast-food alternative in Downtown Vancouver. You can build your own burrito, bowl or salad by choosing from a selection of rice, beans, meats, and tofu, as well as a bunch of different toppings and sauces. 

    The Hungry Guys' setting is sleek but casual, with wooden benches for diners and a long counter with a colourful mix of toppings on display. There's limited seating for dine ins, but you can opt for takeaway and enjoy your meal at one of Vancouver’s parks.

    Location: 988 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L2, Canada

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 604-559-7000

    Map
    6

    Duffin’s Donuts

    East Van snack food staple

    Duffin’s Donuts is a popular place for grabbing some freshly made doughnuts and coffee in Vancouver. Located on East 41st Avenue and Knight Street, this family-run diner has been part of East Vancouver’s dining scene since 1987.  

    The menu reflects the neighbourhood’s diverse cultural mix, offering not only doughnuts but also hearty eats like fried chicken, burgers, spring rolls, Vietnamese banh mi, and Mexican tortas. Duffin’s Donuts is a great go-to spot for night owls – and clients of the dispensary next door – on the prowl for a quick and satisfying snack.

    Location: 1391 E 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5W 1R7, Canada

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6 am to midnight, Saturday–Sunday 24 hours

    Phone: +1 604-325-5544

    Map

    photo by Mike W. (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    7

    Downlow Chicken Shack

    No-frills fried chicken sandwiches

    Downlow Chicken Shack has earned a following for its generous offerings of fried chicken. You can choose the spice level of your chicken and have it served up as a combo dish with salad and fries or as a sando (sandwich).

    Many come to Downlow Chicken Shack to pick up a takeaway meal. However, the restaurant has a small dining section with a few tables and a counter, plus more seating on the patio. Its main branch is on the busy Commercial Drive strip, but you could also check out its other location at the University of British Columbia’s main campus in Point Grey.

    Location: 905 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 2H2, Canada

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 604-283-1385

    Map
    8

    Kintaro Ramen

    Authentic Japanese noodles in Vancouver

    Kintaro Ramen attracts hungry locals with its steaming bowls of noodles and Japanese light bites. It’s so popular that diners are willing to endure long queues until they get a chance to sit down and enjoy their meal.

    Found at the corner of Robson and Denman Street in the West End, Kintaro Ramen offers a no-fuss ambience. Its signature miso ramen is flavoured with 12 spices and soybean paste from different regions of Japan. It’s been hailed as Vancouver’s best ramen shop several times since it first opened in 1999.

    Location: 788 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from 11.30 am to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 9.30 am (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 604-682-7568

    Map

    photo by Roland Tanglao (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Harvest Community Foods

    Healthy noodles and fresh local foods

    Harvest Community Foods is about as local as you can get, as this café and shop was created in a community project where the public voted to decide the use of its site on Union Street. It has since become a popular place for locals to stop by to enjoy udon, ramen, or rice in the Chinatown-Strathcona neighbourhood.

    The grocery store is stocked with a colourful array of local produce like vegetables, sauces, honey, and cheeses. Those wanting to dine in can grab one of the small tables or stools at the counter in its cheerful interior dining area. There’s more seating on the patio that’s great for clear days in Vancouver.

    Location: 243 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2Z7, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from noon to 6.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 604-682-8851

    Map
    10

    Chinatown BBQ

    Succulent barbecued pork in the heart of Chinatown

    Chinatown BBQ is a cheap and cheerful dining spot serving up Chinese favourites in Vancouver. Succulent barbecued pork, curry beef brisket, and roast duck are all prepared by chefs trained in traditional techniques. As its name suggests, the restaurant is in Vancouver’s Chinatown, so you’ll be able to soak up the sights and sounds of this vibrant neighbourhood as you make your way here.  

    Chinatown BBQ’s decor has a retro diner feel, with black and white checkered tile flooring, bright red seats, and vintage photos lining the walls. It’s a good spot to bring the family, with large platters of Chinese dishes available for sharing.

    Location: 130 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3, Canada

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 604-428-2626

    Map
    Lana Willocks | Contributing Writer

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