Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

Vancouver


lovetotraveltx
 Share

Recommended Posts

We all have different interests and physical abilities. Do a little research, and decide which options are best for YOU.

 

Borrow some travel books from your library, read trip reports, send for free visitor guides, look at your cruisline excursion list. Learn about ALL the options available instead of relying on 7-8 responses you'll get here.

 

The more you know, the better your trip will be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a nice area called Granville Island in Vancouver, lots of shops, restaurants and a unique area on the water. Depending on when you go, they are usually musicians, entertainment. Yes, it is touristy but it's a nice few hours. Also, there is a HOHO (Hop On Hop Off bus) that does the circuit in Vancouver, another nice way to see more of the city and let your feet take a rest, good to see what's there and getting off if you see something of interest. As to downtown Vancouver, it's just another big city. Enjoy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all have different interests and physical abilities. Do a little research, and decide which options are best for YOU.

 

Borrow some travel books from your library, read trip reports, send for free visitor guides, look at your cruisline excursion list. Learn about ALL the options available instead of relying on 7-8 responses you'll get here.

 

The more you know, the better your trip will be.

 

I will research. Besides the cruis line port guide books people recommend here is there a travel book you like?

 

I never rely 100% on cc. I just like to hear everyone's suggestions because a lot of cc posters have done this trip over and over!

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 full days in Vancouver after southbound cruise. What are your must do's?

 

What is your favorite restaurant/food(s)?

 

Thank you

I don't know about must dos but in my two days we did this. 'Fly Over Canada' is great but the actual 'flying' bit is only about 8 minutes. All the best, Tony

 

[YOUTUBE]a-u1IcJ6VtM[/YOUTUBE]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Search (or if it isn't working for you, just read through a few threads on the Canada and West Coast Departures boards) for BCHappyGals postings - she includes a long list of local attractions that should have at least a few things on it for any kind of person.

 

With two days, IMO you should not leave the immediate area - while there are many great places within day-trip range of Vancouver, like any other big city there are more than enough local activities to fill at least three days without going anywhere else. Time is your enemy on short stays - so unless the journey to, e.g. Whistler or Victoria, is inherently part of the attraction to you it's time poorly spent when you are trading off actually doing something close by.

 

As to which would be best for *you* - more info required about the kind of stuff you like. Ditto on restaurants - I'm more than happy to spend hours debating the best dishes/service/value among our many food options, but there's no point me raving on about the best pork belly or sashimi if you don't eat pigs or fish;-)

 

The only food advice I'd give right now, since all I know is that you're based in Texas, is to avoid local steakhouses if value is important to you - while there are some joints offering top-end steaks (we even have, finally, somewhere selling REAL kobe beef) you'll pay *a lot* more per ounce than you will in Texas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We like the Hop On Hop Off bus as it gives a good overview of the town and helps if you are not into a lot of walking. We also enjoy, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park and just walking around town.

 

I second looking for posts from BCHappyGals in the Vancouver section as her list is usually part of my "go-to" place for Vancouver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will research. Besides the cruis line port guide books people recommend here is there a travel book you like?

 

Research is half the fun of the trip!! You learn about ALL the options and get excited about the things you will see and do.

 

I go to the library and to Barnes & Noble, and flip thru all the travel books to find the ones that appeal to ME. I prefer big glossy photos so I can SEE what the sights or activities will be like. And there is so much information available on line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Search (or if it isn't working for you, just read through a few threads on the Canada and West Coast Departures boards) for BCHappyGals postings - she includes a long list of local attractions that should have at least a few things on it for any kind of person.

 

With two days, IMO you should not leave the immediate area - while there are many great places within day-trip range of Vancouver, like any other big city there are more than enough local activities to fill at least three days without going anywhere else. Time is your enemy on short stays - so unless the journey to, e.g. Whistler or Victoria, is inherently part of the attraction to you it's time poorly spent when you are trading off actually doing something close by.

 

As to which would be best for *you* - more info required about the kind of stuff you like. Ditto on restaurants - I'm more than happy to spend hours debating the best dishes/service/value among our many food options, but there's no point me raving on about the best pork belly or sashimi if you don't eat pigs or fish;-)

 

The only food advice I'd give right now, since all I know is that you're based in Texas, is to avoid local steakhouses if value is important to you - while there are some joints offering top-end steaks (we even have, finally, somewhere selling REAL kobe beef) you'll pay *a lot* more per ounce than you will in Texas.

 

We love seafood and pork, lol. Eat just about everything and my husband and I love to eat local food in non touristy spits when we travel!

 

We tend to avoid Mexican and barbecue since we do live in tx.

 

We are in our mid 50's. Like walking, and are in decent shape. But don't hike, raft, etc. Do like traveling on boats.

 

Don't mind cities, like museums and history.

 

Appreciate everyone's help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all have different interests and physical abilities. Do a little research, and decide which options are best for YOU.

 

Borrow some travel books from your library, read trip reports, send for free visitor guides, look at your cruisline excursion list. Learn about ALL the options available instead of relying on 7-8 responses you'll get here.

 

The more you know, the better your trip will be.

 

I understand this response, but it really doesn't help the discussion. What would be helpful is everyone chimed in with THEIR must dos, and if necessary, predicate that with what type of person they are. But just to tell someone to go read a book or trip reports really defeats the point of these forums, no?

 

The OP posed a legitimate question, IMO.

Edited by gjkubel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Walking through Stanley Park is nice (and the price is right...free). The Fish House at Stanley Park is a favorite restaurant from my two trips there.

 

For breakfast, we enjoyed De Dutch (specialty is plate-sized pancakes with all sorts of choices for toppings - meats, fruits, eggs, etc.).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand this response, but it really doesn't help the discussion. What would be helpful is everyone chimed in with THEIR must dos, and if necessary, predicate that with what type of person they are. But just to tell someone to go read a book or trip reports really defeats the point of these forums, no?

 

The OP posed a legitimate question, IMO.

 

I prefer to direct people to RESOURCES so they can make informed decisions about sights and activities that will best meet their priorities. That's particularly true when someone doesn't provide any information about their interests or physical ability.

If someone asks specific questions about a location or activity, I'm happy to respond with information about MY experience. And I have done so many times. But when someone is just looking for general info, I think giving them resources is a far more helpful response.

As I said previously ... best to learn about ALL the options rather than the 7-8 responses they'll get from this thread.

So no, it doesn't defeat the purpose of these forums. Help can come in many ways, no ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I prefer to direct people to RESOURCES so they can make informed decisions about sights and activities that will best meet their priorities. That's particularly true when someone doesn't provide any information about their interests or physical ability.

If someone asks specific questions about a location or activity, I'm happy to respond with information about MY experience. And I have done so many times. But when someone is just looking for general info, I think giving them resources is a far more helpful response.

As I said previously ... best to learn about ALL the options rather than the 7-8 responses they'll get from this thread.

So no, it doesn't defeat the purpose of these forums. Help can come in many ways, no ?

 

But YOU are the resources here (all of us are). And the OP asked a specific question -- what are your must do's in Vancouver? What are your favorite restaurants? There are always tons of options, but what is more important, to me, is to learn what are people's favorites. Yes, physical abilities and interests will diverge, but patterns also will emerge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in our mid 50's. Like walking, and are in decent shape. But don't hike, raft, etc. Do like traveling on boats.

 

Don't mind cities, like museums and history.

 

 

During my 1 day in Vancouver in late May 2013, I enjoyed walking along the Seawall Walk from downtown to Stanley Park, and spending the day in the park.

 

The Seawall Walk starts next to Canada Place/Pan Pacific Hotel and goes along the beautiful harbor and all around the park. It's a pleasant, level walk with benches along the way and lots of photo ops. You can rent bikes; the Walk is paved and has two lanes - one for walkers and one for bikers. There are plenty of things to do along the way: you can take a cruise around the harbor or a seaplane flight.

 

Stanley Park has lots to do, including walking along wooded paths through the forested area, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, or visiting the Vancouver Aquarium inside the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Go to a library and look it up yourself" isn't very helpful. :)

 

This is our first trip to Vancouver too. The only thing I know for certain is that I'll be visiting Long's Noodle House for their XLB. It is reported to be some of the best in Canada/US. I've also been looking at the Richmond Night Market for it's street food vendors. Looks like foodie paradise, but I'm not entirely convinced it is worth the trouble. Also considering Dinasty. Farmer's Apprentice comes very well reviewed as the best of the Vancouver food scene, focusing on locally sourced ingredients. And, before I leave Canada, I'm going to be certain to try a Poutine. One where the cheese curds squeak between your teeth. If anyone knows where the best Poutine is in Vancouver, I'd be appreciative of a recommendation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We love seafood and pork, lol. Eat just about everything and my husband and I love to eat local food in non touristy spits when we travel!

 

We tend to avoid Mexican and barbecue since we do live in tx.

 

We are in our mid 50's. Like walking, and are in decent shape. But don't hike, raft, etc. Do like traveling on boats.

 

Don't mind cities, like museums and history.

 

Appreciate everyone's help!

Since you're already planning to hit up books & other resources, I'll let you read up on the museum etc. side of things yourself. Every guide to Vancouver is going to (rightfully) rave about Stanley Park & the Seawall, so since you like walking you'd be very well-advised to allocate a few hours to wandering around those. Now you've clarified a few things about yourself I'm sure there will be some more focused posts about Must Do Things too - for what it's worth I'm with ML on the 'everyone has different ideas of what's a Must Do, so without knowing more about you it's hard to give an answer more useful than Hit The Books' front.

 

Where travel guidebooks will consistently let you down is restaurants - the gap between reviewing and publication is too long to capture new places or significant changes in staffing/quality of existing restos. Vancouver has a pretty harsh restaurant environment, lots of places die quickly regardless of talent in the kitchen, especially if they're trying to push the boundaries rather than stick to mainstream fare.

 

It's been a while since I've posted a comprehensive listing of many restaurants, and some in my older posts have ceased to be or declined enough I'd no longer recommend them, so I'm going to take the opportunity of you asking to list a lot of info and link to this post when folks ask similar questions in future. Grab a libation, I'm going to get wordy...;-)

 

BBQ is best avoided locally - a few places do offer passable midrange Q, but the supposedly-quality places are just far too variable. If you have to bring me a steak knife for my brisket, the chef needs the boot...

 

Mexican though I'd suggest giving a try - we have a fabulous and authentic 'streetfood' type tiny local chain, La Taqueria who have a couple of small venues focusing on tacos as well as a bigger sit-down Mezcaleria out on Commercial Drive (a fun neighbourhood with lots of local joints, virtually no chain stores or restos) with more substantial food and a huge list of tequila/mezcal.

 

There's no real Vancouver-specific dish (though being Canadian, we do have several Poutineries around, some very good - if you like the thought of fries with gravy & cheese as a concept try La Belle Patate or Fritz). Oops, how could I forget Japadog! Mostly little carts with a limited menu, but the sit-down place on Robson has everything available. I recommend the Kurobuta Terimayo.

 

The most consistent local trend is locavore cuisine, so what's on offer will vary depending on the season you visit. Bishops is the great-granddaddy of the scene and has been offering consistently fantastic food for decades over the bridge into Kitsilano (the part of Vancouver closest in vibe to a Californian beach town - VW Campers seem to be parked every second block). Edible Canada is the torchbearer for the newer generation - as well as their bistro on Granville Island they still do special theme banquets, foodie tours and even vacations.

 

Food Trucks are also a trend that has exploded recently - another expansion in the number of licenses makes the streetfood app a valuable resource. Too many trucks now to have sampled close to them all, but standouts to me are Roaming Dragon, Kaboom Box, Soho Road, Fresh Local Wild, and Vij's Railway Express.

 

For a money-is-no-object meal, Hawksworth, Blue Water, or West would be my reccos. All are consistently at the top of their game, with excellent service and food. Hawksworth especially is our go-to when we want to be totally pampered: ninja servers refill your drinks without you noticing, actual sommeliers come to the table, chef works the floor gladhanding people; it's the closest thing to old-school European white glove service you're going to find in a city as casual as Vancouver.

 

Not cheap, but good value in the Euro Bistro genre I'm mostly patronising Good Wolfe (Germanic dishes, huge for the price) and L'Abattoir (the best sweetbreads in town) with occasional trips to Homer St Cafe (best pork belly in town - maple glazed - and outstanding rotisserie chicken) or Wildebeest (carnivorous in the extreme; caveat that it's on Hastings Street so can be a bit sketchy outside though their block is usually fine).

 

People always ask about good fish & chips - another good topic to run a Search about. Pretty much every pub & resto in town has a passable battered cod or halibut available, but if you want to try a good variety of fish at fair prices you can't do much better than The Fish Shack on Granville.

 

I'm a big fan of small plate dining in general, and Spanish tapas specifically - there's a great one right in the heart of Gastown, Sardine Can, as well as a couple more down near Stanley Park which I haven't tried yet (though I'm very familiar with Neil Taylor's work in other restos, so I'm confident that Espana will be very good).

 

Gastown is such a popular spot to visit that it almost seems illegal to leave Vancouver without walking down Water Street to the Steamclock and Gassy Jack statue. There are many restos around the area, including some great eateries that for some reason most tourists just walk right past - for example:

Pourhouse (solid food, but it's all about the cocktails - many pre-prohibition recipes and no vodka used at all);

Blacktail Florist (it's raised half a floor above street level, great people watching, but two restos have died here in four years because it's hard to spot - BF is shortlisted for best new resto in Canada though, so it's getting a lot more press than the prior venues did and I hope they make it because their food and cocktails are exquisite);

Secret Location (just across from Gassy Jack, but it's inside a ridiculously-pricey clothes shop so people seem to completely miss it. We've always had great food, but foodie friends have had worse luck so seems to be a tad inconsistent);

Salt (not so surprising that tourists don't find this one as it's literally down an alley, and a rather sketchy one too - but if you can look past rats & heroin addicts or get a cab to & from the front door it's outstanding charcuterie and the best sherry list in the city).

 

Having so many Asian folks from both recent and long-ago immigration, unsurprisingly Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world for Asian food. Most of the really good Chinese food is out in the surrounding townships, but we do have a few long-running staples like Sun Sui Wah (cab or transit from downtown required), Kirin, Dynasty on the high end; Foo's Ho Ho, Peaceful, Hon's on the low. Bao Bei and Bambudda both offer a much more modern take, sort of Chinese Tapas & cocktails - we love them both.

 

If you want high end sashimi, Blue Water's sushi bar is comparable but the overall experience of Omakase at Tojo's is more interesting. For more reasonably-priced sushi dishes, Kaide or Shuraku are excellent (the latter's Zest is also a good across-the-board pretty high end Japanese place).

 

Izakayas are very popular here - variously described as 'Japanese Pubs' or 'Japanese Tapas' they serve sushi, noodles, and 'pub grub' dishes like sausages or pork chops. Common in Japan, and a scattered around the pacific rim so you might have encountered them before on your travels, but we have a lot of them locally - Guu and Hapa are chains, Kingyo is the one my buddies who really like the style seem to prefer, but personally I've got a soft spot for Alpha.

 

Vij is certainly well-known to guidebooks as the best Indian resto in town, but can be frustrating to visit due to their no-resos policy and vast fame (go next-door to Rangoli or check out his food truck).

 

Phnom Penh is justly famous for their wings, and if they sold nothing else they'd probably still be in business - if you can tolerate packed tables and no resos it's well worth visiting for great value Viet-Cambodian food.

 

Chinatown has become the go-to place to open non-asian restos lately - Mamie Taylor's (Southern comfort), Bestie (German Sausages), The Parker (fabulous veggie food - said as an unabashed carnivore!) have all survived and indeed thrived for over a year now. There's also some really niche places for mostly takeout like The Pie Shoppe (do I really need to say what they sell...?), Pazzo Chow (Italian), Harvest Union (noodles at lunch cooked by Andrea Carlson, a Bishop protege who also runs the fantastic Burdock & Co), and CrackleCreme (creme brulee place and Liege waffles - so annoyed this opened after I found out about my diabetes, it always smells FANTASTIC...)

 

Just south of Chinatown on Main, close to the Amtrak station there are a couple of excellent options - Pizzeria Farina is in the running with Nicli Antica for best old-school neapolitan style pie in town, and Campagnolo does excellent Italian food. They also have a quirky little hidden cocktail bar upstairs, accessed through a door with a hobo sign scrawled on it but no name or number. Due to the prescence of an unlimited bottle return depot and several shelters close by, you will definitely see local street people around the area - if that's likely to make you uncomfortable, take a cab.

 

Some local chains are also very good - the ones that spread out of the area like Milestones, Earls, & Joeys are like pretty much any other large chain of casual dining restos with a menu to please everyone that doesn't really excel at anything. But Cactus Club Cafe is basically affordable fine dining - imagine McDonalds consistency applied to fancy food. They have a couple of locations with excellent views too, at English Bay and the Convention Centre.

 

Nuba is a Lebanese chain offering some reliably-tasty and pretty durn healthy cuisine. If you do go, do not leave without trying Najib's cauliflower - it's part of their mezze, but I always recommend an extra portion of it.

 

The local British influence can be seen in a variety of pubs scattered around, with varying levels of authenticity. Tap & Barrel and Mahoney & Sons have the lock on pubs with a view, since both have branches at the Convention Centre and also False Creek. The food is much better in the former, and the beer also better value (full 20oz pints).

 

Rogue is a modern spinoff from Steamworks with several branches now. Mostly focused on hoppy PNW beers, which suits us very nicely, whereas Steamworks (and Yaletown Brewing) are actual brewpubs both of which have been around a couple of decades - the latter has now branched out into distilling too.

 

The Portside Pub is just far enough away from Maple Square that tourists can't see it for all the people sitting in Chill Winston's extensive patio - after a recent change of management they actually have a proper kitchen now, offering a very Haligonian style pub menu (you can add Donair Sauce to basically anything).

 

The Alibi Room is hands-down the best craft beer destination in Western Canada - always 20+ well-chosen brews, usually at least two cask-conditioned, and most from BC so you can sample products of several local breweries without having to move anywhere else. Far enough into Gastown that you do not want to wander looking for it though - from Gassy Jack, stick to the left sidewalk on Alexander street and probably best to take a cab home if after dark.

 

The Fat Badger is the closest thing to an English Gastropub we have - outstanding homemade sausages, especially black pudding. The Irish Heather in Gastown also has pretty good food, and a very large selection of whiskies through the back in Shebeen. Relish gets a bit loud late at night, but is a great early dinner option and ideally located for the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel which seems to come up a lot on hotel bidding sites..

 

Tons of new breweries with tasting rooms have opened in the last year (long story short, our booze laws are finally being overhauled for the modern era) - the most accessible one is Postmark, same building as the Vancouver Urban Winery, as there's a HOHO Trolley stop right outside. Again I would not recommend walking up here by yourself - there are usually a few strung-out people sitting around within a block of the building and you may see drugs being dealt.

 

There are two places that right now I have to recommend with a caveat, due to both having just moved premises, but that were so consistently good before that I'm confident after a short period they'll be ticking over nicely again - Chambar and Cafe Medina. The former brought Moroccan-Belgian fusion to Vancouver and remained one of the top dining spots in town until their move last month. The latter was a spinoff into the breakfast & lunch side of things and is still the hardest brunch seat to get in town even though they've doubled seats in the new location.

 

Other places have raised their game on the brunch front since and Medina does have legit competition these days - e.g. Twisted Fork, Commune Cafe, Yew, Catch 122, Cibo, Homer St Cafe - but it's still the best and I don't expect the move to change food quality. I'm just waiting for the new location hype to settle down before going returning to both venues to see how the service end has held up and will report back accordingly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have always enjoyed the walk along the seawall from Canada Place to Stanley Park while watching the float planes and reading the historical placards.

 

But another idea to consider is a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery. While I find their collection of Emily Carr somewhat of an acquired taste the frequently have very interesting temporary exhibits. Their website will provide information.

 

Also, while I am not a beer drinker the hubby enjoys the Steamworks Brew Pub. We've enjoyed both lunch and dinner there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We haven't been to Vancouver since 2007, so any food suggestions we might have had, wouldn't necessarily be valid at this point. We were big fans of the Hop On/Hop Off bus. From there we ventured into Stanley Park and the aquarium there. We had never seen beluga whales before, so that was very cool. We went to Granville Island as well, but it wasn't a favorite for us. We also visited Gaston. Unfortunately, we didn't have time for the suspension bridge, which I hated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Martincath what a wonderful comprehensive list of restaurants!

 

I live in the suburbs of Vancouver and worked "in the city" for many years (I now work in the burbs) and enjoyed quite a few of the restaurants you mentioned - Rangoli was a favorite for lunch. You have given me many ideas of restaurants to visit when we go into Vancouver for concerts, hockey games etc!

 

CC even helps locals find new things :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a day in Vancouver after our cruise on the Oosterdam in August. Since we had been to Vancouver in 2008 and had done the city tour at that time we looked for something different and fun to do. On the bottom floor of our hotel (Pan Pacific) there was a visitor center - we decided to go to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Northern Vancouver. Cost is $37 (you save $3 if you buy your tickets there)....a free shuttle stops out in front of the Pan Pacific going to the park....takes about 1/2 hour to get there....we had a blast. There is a 450' suspension bridge, a rainforest with suspension bridges from tree to tree, and a cliffwalk that extends out over the river. It was awesome and one of the highlights of our trip.

 

I'm sure you will find something that will meet your needs in everyones responses. Enjoy!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While everyone's interests are different as a native Vancouverite I sincerely believe that Italy52's recommendations of things to in Vancouver for 2 days are about as good as it comes. One trap we often fall into, no matter where we go, we think we have 1 or 2 days to see a city, however, with disembarkation procedures, hotel check-ins, transfers to airports......our time on the ground can get considerably diminished.

 

Assuming someone has something akin to 2 full days then a trip over to the North Shore and taking in the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Grouse Mountain Skyride tend to be musts for visitors. Both venues offer free shuttles to/from Canada Place during the cruise season and to get value from these one should plan at least 2.5 hrs at each plus 30 minutes of commute in either direction (both can be done on the same trip as they are about 5 minutes apart).

 

Stanley Park is huge on the list of things to do but at 1,000 acres it impossible to see in a few hours in fact few Vancouverites have seen it all in their lifetime...including yours truly. Just yesterday I was driving thru the park in the rain thinking of all the areas that I hadn't seen and likely never will.

 

There is no better way to see the sights of the city in a day than on one of the HOHOs. I have always tended to recommend the Vancouver Trolley in this forum as they are the pioneers of this service, operate year round and offer live narration. However, to get maximum value a person may care to look at the routes and attractions and decide what is of most interest to them and schedule where they want to get off and on.

 

Yes, there are many more things to see in Vancouver but IMO these are the highlights and the best way to spend 2 full days in city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...