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.
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!