GDD Summit Vancouver Restaurants

Vancouver Restaurants

Vancouver has lots of seafood, sushi, Asian and pretty much anything you want.  In case it helps, a few of my favorites.  In all cases, if you hate seafood the menu will offer a variety of alternatives.  Additionally, with over 300+ wineries in the province with the majority from the Okanagan (a four hour drive from Vancouver) –  A lot of BC wine is not exported so I’d recommend trying some British Columbia Wines while you are here.  A lot of the small wineries are not widely available but some restaurants do carry them.  A BC equivalent of Yellow Tail would be Mission Hill i.e. big company that lacks character i.e. avoid this one.

An overview of some of the restaurants described below so you have a feel for where they are located.

Cardero’s Restaurant – On the water front; casual; seafood+; live band some evenings

Best BC Wine on their somewhat limited list:  Burrowing Owl Pinor Noir (2014 rocks).  White:  Joie – Noble Blend or Blasted Church – Sauvignon Blanc (even the label is fun).  As a general rule, skip Mission Hill.

Address:  1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E7

Just down the waterfront from Cardero’s is Lift

Lift Bar Grill – Better view than Cardero’s, if it’s a nice day and the deck is open have a seat upstairs by the fireplace.  Go here for the view, a snack and a drink, the food is okay but you can get a lot better for less elsewhere.  Need for a reservation depends on the weather

Wine:  Limited list – Cassini Syrah or Kettle Valley Pinot Noir (Pinor Noir are hit and miss in the Okanagan – some are absolutely amazing and others are terrible).  Sandhill is generally a really great winery so if you try the ‘Sandhill Small Lots Sangiovese’ let me know what you think.  White:  Kettle Valley Pinot Gris (yes, its pink, try it), La Frenz Sauvignon Blanc – small winery that usually knocks your socks off.

Address:  333 Menchion Mews, Vancouver, BC V6G 3H2

Further down the waterfront, you’ll see a building with White ‘sails’ also referred to as Canada Place.  Lots of tourists here and can be busy with people getting on cruise boats.

Five Sails – On the waterfront, high end, seafood, etc.  Business casual.

Address:  999 Canada Pl #410, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1


There is an area after this called Gastown – it has the steam clock you often see in photos.  It’s a neat area to explore up to perhaps three blocks past the steam clock.  Do NOT go beyond this.  It’s a bad area in Canadian standards and while you won’t be physically harmed there is nothing to see and not worth the risk.

Sushi:  Lots of sushi restaurants, if you are looking for a quick inexpensive meal you are likely safe with pretty much anywhere.

Miku:  Expensive, different, on the waterfront; business casual.

Wine:  Nichol Pinot Gris, Le Vieux Pin Ava Semillion/Sauv Blanc – a little minerally so decide accordingly. Red:  Osoyoos Larose La Grand Vin Merlot/Cab Sauv. or Laughing Stock Blind Trust.

Address:  200 Granville St # 70, Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4

Hapa izakaya – Great sushi and great owners.

Wines:  Volcanic Hills one of my favorite wineries – hard to get their wines as they are a smaller winery but have won lots of awards and if you see one of their desert wines grab it – cheap yet freaking fabulous for $20 (they stole the wine maker from Burrowing Owl).

Address:  909 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G8

Gotham’s Steakhouse – High end, Steak house downtown.  Not far from the waterfront.  No view.  Recommend making a reservation.  Business Attire.

Wines:  the markup is insane.  White:  Wild Goose “Gods’s Mountain Vineyard” Riesling is almost a steal when compared to the other options.  Red:  Cassini Cellars ‘The Aristocrat’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Address:  615 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3K3

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant:  Lively, casual, have a fresh sheet of seafood that changes every day.  Live band some evenings.  On Granville Island which is closer to Richmond than going downtown but can take the aqua bus to downtown.  Granville Island is worth a visit – touristy but still worth a stop.  Recommend making a reservation or a call ahead of time.

Wine:  White:  Joie A Noble Blend or Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc; Red:  Burrowing Owl Cabernet.  Reminder:  skip Mission boring Hill.

Address:  1535 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Hawksworth:  High End, no view, fabulous cocktails.  This place is always nominated as one of the best places in eat in Vancouver but think it’s over rated in my opinion.   Reservation recommended.

Address:  801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7

Provence Marina side:  In Yaletown with a view of the inlet (across the water from Sandbar).  Try the bamboo rice with crab and lobster.

Wine:  Road 13 Mourvedre, Meyer Gewurtztraminer, LaStella Fortissimo; Kettle Valley Pinot Gris and tell the server, yes, you know it’s pink.

Address:  1177 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Y3

Blue Water Café:  Renown seafood restaurant in Yaletown.  You’ll need a reservation.  Business casual.

Address:  1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4

Rodneys Oyster House:  Seafood, lively fun atmosphere, casual.  Recommend a reservation.  No view and in Yaletown – a trendy neighborhood that is downtown a few blocks from the inlet.

Try a Canadian Caesar – like an American Bloody Mary but better 😉 and the Crab Cakes.

Address:  1228 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6L2


Tap & Barrel:  Casual, waterfront by the big dome you see in images called Science World in the Olympic Village area.  Recommended for patio dining – no reservation but can be long waits if it’s a beautiful day.  Can take the aqua bus to the other side of the water (downtown) or to Granville Island – see Sandbar.

Wine:  Stag’s Hallow Tempranillo; La Stella Fortissimo; Hester Creek – Selected Barrels Merlot; White:  Joie A Noble Blend (yes, again), Tinhorn Creek Two Vineyards Pinot Gris; Stoneboat Faux Pas Rose; If okay with the minerally taste try The Hatch Left Bank Blanc.

Address:  Olympic Village by Science World location: 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0C2

There is a second one on the waterfront as well (between Cardero’s and Five Sails)

Address:  1055 Canada Pl #76, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

Yew:  Great food, great service, downtown, no view.  Would recommend a reservation as can be busy at times depending on what’s going on in town.  Few blocks from the waterfront in the Four Seasons.  Business Casual.

Address:  791 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T4

Market at the Shangri – La:  Stop here for a drink;  if your allergic to truffle oil don’t touch the popcorn; 😉  Bar tender won the Air Canada Award.

Address:  1115 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A8

Best view in the city is:

Observatory at Grouse Mountain – Great food, best view of the city – is about 25km from the convention hall and you have to go over a bridge so traffic can be an issue.  Unlikely the ski hill will be in operation in May.  If you make a reservation you get a free gondola ride up and down so it’s definitely worth the minute.  If you want to participate in some west coast exercise, you can do the ‘Grouse Grind’ where you can take the 3km 2,800 feet hike up.  Please don’t be one of the tourists with flip flops, purses and bags trying to do it.

Wine:  Sandhill ‘Phantom Creek Vineyard’ Syrah; White:  Sage Hills Gewürztraminer;

Address:  At the top of Grousse Mountain:  6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9

Cactus Club & Joey’s:  Canadian usual’s similar to a California Pizza Kitchen in the US – great food, good atmosphere, casual, can never go wrong but there are a lot of better options – if you are staying longer and get hungry you are good but if not, try something more unique.  Variety of locations including the waterfront by the Olympic Caldron (it’s not lit, only on special occasions).

The one below is Cactus Club at Coal Harbour (not far from Lift, Carderos and Five Sails)

Further Afield:  If you are staying longer and looking for something completely different to do: it’s in Kelowna which is about a 4-5-hour drive through the mountains into the Okanagan.  Do not drink and drive…our laws have zero tolerance so just spend the $20.

Additionally, Victoria (it’s on Vancouver Island) is a nice place to escape too – you can get there by Ferry (2 hours), plane or float plane.

Aqua Bus: Aqua bus looks like something out of a cartoon but can pay when you get onboard, has lots of little stops.  It’s quick and easy and you’ll get a great view of the city from the water.  See map.

Skytrain:  Skytrain is the local train service, it can be a lot quicker than driving or taking a cab (we do not have Uber).  Coming from Richmond there is only one train but if you are downtown there are two options – ensure you take the right one.  Price varies depending on the time of day with the typical far from Richmond to Downtown of $2.85 – you can also buy a Compass Card and add funds – each time you ‘beep’ out it will show the balance left on the card.

Trip planner:

All pictures are shown for illustration purposes.  Actual product may vary due to nefarious weather conditions.  Pack your umbrella – Vancouver is in a temperate rain forest and writer is not responsible for wet, soggy, unhappy readers but will take full credit for happy readers who enjoyed the suggestions.

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