Food Life North America Travel

36 Hours in Vancouver

Earlier this month, we spent a few days in Vancouver as part of a larger trip to British Columbia. We had approximately 36 hours in this wonderful city, and tried to make the most of it. Here are some of our favorites (and note that one of our favorites, a visit to the Chi Spa, was covered earlier in my review of the Shangri-La!).

Our first night in Vancouver, we landed close to dinner time and thus after checking into our hotel, ducked out for a quick meal. A friend had recommend Guu Izakaya, as a fun place to dine, and it was only a ten minute walk away. It was indeed very lively and reminded me a lot of some local izakayas in Japan!


Our favorite dishes here – the recommended sashimi of the day, as well as the black cod.



After our meal, we decided to walk off the calories- but then happened to walk by Thierry, which thwarted our plans. There were so many enchanting desserts on display through the window that we had to go in.


Of course we sampled a few desserts – I would recommend at least trying one of the cakes, and a maple macaron for a first time visitor.



The next morning marked the start of our sole full day in Vancouver. After a big breakfast at Market, we headed off to the nearby Stanley Park.

Maybe it was the time of year we went (May), but I was so surprised that this gorgeous park wasn’t chock full of people. It was one of the most beautiful and largest public parks I’ve been to…and there were ample benches around to sit and read a book, my favorite park activity!



During our walk, we came across the Vancouver Aquarium! And of course had to go in. Who doesn’t love animals and sea life?


We had a wonderful time at the aquarium and I would recommend it for families and adults alike. I could stare at jellyfish alone for hours. The amount of wild colors found all through nature was fascinating and inspiring.






We ended up spending way more time in the aquarium than we thought (hours!) and by the time we got out, it was well into lunch time. We headed over to our next stop – the Granville Island Public Market.


I always love going to the public markets in the cities we visit, and was very happy to learn that Vancouver had a large one. To me, a public market is a great place to get a feel for the local food culture…as well just enjoy a nice meal, of course.




This poppyseed cake was amazing! We found it at Stuart’s.


Not exactly local, but I couldn’t help lining up for a small order of some pierogis when I saw them available.


Outside, there was plenty of seating – the outdoor benches, plus the ample bird watching, reminded me a lot of San Francisco’s Ferry building.


Right outside the public market was the Aquabus water taxi. I’d definitely recommend a ride on one of these to any first time tourist. It was only a few dollars each and we enjoyed a nice (albeit very short) ride back to downtown Vancouver.


Since we only had one full day in Vancouver, I wanted to get in as much eating as possible. A few hours before dinner, I spied a JAPADOG cart, and knew we had to stop!


JAPADOG is a Vancouver chain, and I’d recommend a stop if you find yourself here. The lone New York location recently closed.  If it isn’t obvious, the cart features hot dogs…with a Japanese cuisine twist! Delicious.


Our main meal was still to come however – dinner at Miku! We had originally been booked to eat at Hawksworth that evening, which came highly recommended. However, while in Vancouver we kept hearing that we “had” to have the local sushi. Thus we decided to swap our reservation to Miku, which was within walking distance of our hotel.


All our plates at Miku were delicious, but the restaurant particular specializes in the aburi style of sushi (half seared, half raw). The salmon aburi was amazing and I could have happily eaten this for every meal in Vancouver…and beyond.


Another highlight of the meal – dessert! I’ve always found it rare to find very strong desserts at great sushi restaurants, and so was very pleasantly surprised. This mango dome was delicious.


We rolled on home after dinner, and enjoyed some bad TV (for those interested, it was I Wanna Marry Harry).

The next morning, we had a final breakfast at our hotel, went to the spa, and then went out for a short walk around Vancouver. What a beautiful city, and we barely scratched the surface.


We’ll be back, Vancouver! At the time however, we were off – to Sonora, which I’ll be posting about next. Thank you for reading along!

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  • Eriko
    June 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    You visited my hometown! I miss it, isn’t Thierry the best?

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Yes it was delicious!

      • Petti
        June 5, 2014 at 12:50 am

        I love Thierry too. Sometimes I will just drive an hour there just for the dessert!

  • Nancy
    June 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I was in Vancouver in May, too! Your pictures reminded me of my visit. I think, besides the food, the highlights were Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the Lynn Suspension Bridge (just outside Vancouver).

    • Katherine
      June 5, 2014 at 7:36 am

      Ahh another Aquarium fan, very cool! We didn’t get to see the bridge sadly – it’s on the list for next time! 🙂

  • a
    June 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Did you get to try Cantonese food? I hear Vancouver has the best Canto food in the world, better than HK!

  • Steph
    June 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I love seeing the city I live in through the eyes of someone else :]

    Glad you enjoyed your stay and the food!
    The only other food place that I can think of for you to try next time is Belgium waffles from Nero’s on Robson. Their speculoos one (which is off the menu and is made usually a cookie butter) is awesome.

  • Mel
    June 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    To be honest, Stanley Park is a bit far — even for those of us living downtown! I always hop over to a small park near the beach. BUT, you’re right. It’s gorgeous and I need to make a point to get there more often 🙂 I love cycling along the seawall.

    Love, love, love Miku (and its sister restaurant, Minami). So glad you enjoyed it too!

  • Anu
    June 6, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Love your blog and been following for a long time. First time commenting though and off topic too. Hope you don’t mind.

    Long time ago you had reviewed the DVF Zarita dress. I finally have an occasion that merits a nice lace dress and DVF is still making Zarita dress. Do you still like that dress and wear it? Does its popularity bother you (running into people wearing the same dress)?

    Thanks. Again, sorry for hijacking the thread for an off topic question.


    • Katherine
      June 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Hi Anu, I am happy to answer. I have 2 of these dresses and love them – however I did “rest” them for a while, just too ubiquitous and I eventually was worried I’d end up matching with someone else at a wedding. I have kept them however – they are classic and I think I’ll be using them for years to come. Also, how you accessorize it will make it yours 🙂

      • Anu
        June 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

        Thanks for your reply, Katherine. I have decided to purchase the dress.Looking forward to it 🙂

  • Sonora Resort: Part Two » Feather Factor
    July 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm

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