Looking for Downtown Vancouver’s best dining options? There are many to choose from, but here’s where the locals love to go.
Hapa Izakaya (Robson)
1479 Robson St | 604-689-4272 $$ | Japanese@hapaizakaya | Visit website
Voted a “Top Five Izakaya In North America” by Bon Appétit Magazine, Hapa is a local mini-chain that offers a combination of Japanese cuisine, fun and culture. Each location has a slightly different personality and the Robson dining room is the largest and most lively location, with plenty of booths perfect for big groups. On the menu, you’ll find Japanese-style pub food like Ebi Mayo and the best marinated edamame you've ever had. Along with a permanent menu, each location has its own “fresh sheet” that highlights local, seasonal and Ocean Wise ingredients.
1698 Robson St | 604-685-8678 $$ | Japanese@guuizakaya | Visit website
Guu is one of the pioneers of the izakaya trend in Vancouver boasting multiple locations around the city. Its second location on Robson Street is known as “Guu With Garlic” for its selection of highly aromatic dishes with a garlic punch. Alongside standard pub fare, you’ll find interesting dishes that offer a contemporary twist on the classics, such as kabocha croquettes and rice served in a hot stone bowl.
838 Thurlow St | 604-685-8817 $$ | Japanese@guuizakaya | Visit website
Guu on Thurlow was the very first izakaya to open in Vancouver, which launched the the trend in the city. This Japanese company offers the most authentic pub-style experience this side of the Pacific with its busy and boisterous atmosphere. Winner of "Best Casual Japanese" at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Guu serves traditional dishes like oden, udon and tempura, in addition to a rotating fresh sheet and a plentiful selection of sake.
70 - 200 Granville St | 604-568-3900 $$$ | Japanese@mikurestaurant | Visit website
Miku is known for introducing the Aburi (flame-seared) style of sushi to Canada. This innovation carries over to the rest of Miku’s menu, which features French and Italian touches that result in dishes like kaisen soba pepperoncino and a Japanese take on the standard bouillabaisse recipe. With an emphasis on sustainable seafood, Miku is a longtime member of the Ocean Wise program. Located directly up from the waterfront in Coal Harbour, you'll enjoy one of the city's most stunning views of the North Shore Mountains.
Tableau Bar Bistro
1181 Melville St | 604-639-869 $$$ | Casual French@tableaubistro | Visit website
Inside Coal Harbour’s trendy Loden Hotel lies Tableau, a handsome, high-ceilinged French bistro boasting numerous accolades, including multiple “Best Casual French” gold medals at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Using West Coast ingredients, Chef Marc André Choquette serves traditional bistro fare like French onion soup and Nicoise Salad. The menu showstopper is the mushrooms on brioche toast (it's listed on all of their menus, including brunch, for a reason). Open for weekday breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, Tableau is ideal for business lunches and private parties, too.
983 Helmcken St | 604-428-7004 $$ | Small Plates@latabfood | Visit website
Latab is an oasis for good food in the desert-like area near St Paul's Hospital. Chef Kris Barnholden makes his own vinegars and flours. He forages, pickles and cures, too. Small plates and natural wines are the focus here at Latab.