Dining in Greater Vancouver, BC

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Description : ABOUT Honolulu Coffee Company… view more

YAH Says : Honolulu Coffee Company Review… view more

Honolulu Coffee Company

Review pending. Honolulu Coffee Company had its Grand Opening in Vancouver BC on June 30 2016. YAHglobal was there for day one of this Hawaiian brand's first mainland franchise. Check back next week for updates.

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Description : ABOUT Five Guys Burgers… view more

YAH Says : Five Guys Burgers Vancouver… view more

Five Guys Burgers Vancouver

This new Five Guys Burgers location has delivered the very first great burger to downtown Vancouver. Before, the poor residents of the DT VanCity area code had to head to Main Street (Splitz Grill) if they wanted anything resembling a thick and juicy serving of hand shaped beef (with a decent side of fries) at a fair price. We know fans of the boutique burger joints of the area will balk at that statement but downtown Vancouver burgeries either pay far too much attention to maintaining their lounge-like demeanor (why didn't you just open a nightclub then?) while neglecting their efforts on the grill OR they let their long standing popularity along the Davie/Denman corridor affect the consistency (or lack therof) of the burgers and service.

What Five Guys Burgers has brought to the table for Vancouver is a franchise model of success that ensures great service (with a smile!) and a good price for a damn good burger. Then there's the fries. The only other burger chain that we can name that delivers an excellent burger along with fries that are also worth the visit alone is In-N-Out Burger and this California based burger haven will likely never cross the border so count your lucky loonies for the arrival of Five Guys Burgers on Robson Street Vancouver.

Five Guys Burgers are thick, juicy, customized to order and served up by an energetic staff that makes you want to return time and time again.

Five Guys Burgers Vancouver

Five Guys Burgers Vancouver

Note: Unfortunately peanut allergy sufferers will need to steer clear of Five Guys Burgers. The secret to their tasty fries comes from the fact that they cook with peanut oil and this is also celebrated by offering free peanuts to guests who are welcome to fill up from the bulk bags of peanuts at the back of the establishment. If you're allergic, you'll swell up just by passing the entrance of Five Guys Burgers. Hurry up and find a cure for this epidemic already!

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Description : Best Cupcakes in Vancouver?… view more

YAH Says : Mancakes Bakery Cafe While… view more

Mancakes Bakery Cafe

While the name of this bakery/cafe makes one think that perhaps Mancakes specializes in phallic shaped cakes for stagette parties or weddings in the state of Vermont, it stands more as a shot to the Barbie-esque Cupcakes franchise found throughout Vancouver BC. If you've seen the obnoxious "reality" show Cupcake Girls then you know the shot is deserved, intended to not. Not to take away from the Cupcakes chain by any means, they sell some delightful cupcakes with mounds of icing to tempt the most fickle sweet tooth, but the word delightful will never be used to describe Mancakes' cupcakes - and that's a good thing!

So here it is - Mancakes has within its pastry case possession the greatest cupcake to ever grace the culinary streets of Greater Vancouver. But before that cupcake is revealed - let's deliver some additional intel.

Located at the bottom sloping portion of Robson Street as it approaches BC Place, this new cupcake cafe may go unnoticed by passer-byers who are more accustomed to spotting noodle houses along the blocks by the Vancouver Public Library. It's minimalist contemporary decor stands in contrast to the pink cloudiness of its competitor where you wouldn't be surprised to see Care Bears sitting down for tea and cupcakes. Mancakes feels more like a place you would go for a quick bite before renting American Psycho on Blu-Ray with buddies and a bottle of scotch.

They serve coffee (no espresso yet) that claims to be the strongest in town, further cementing the fact that this joint is not for wussies. But of course the main attractions are the small crown shaped delicacies that line the pastry case. Mancakes feels more like a gourmet chocolatier when it comes time to inspect their selection and make a decision. The guys behind the counter expertly deliver their knowledge behind the recipe of each individual treat. With flavors like Chocolate Red Wine, Apple Brie, Rum & Coke, and Pink Peppercorn how the hell is one to make a decision? Thankfully Mancakes has a mini-variety-pack sampler which you should certainly pick up to take home, but don't dare leave without ordering at least two full-size cupcakes.

We ordered the Tequila Pineapple, which curiously combined to taste like an über rich carrot cake, and it is certainly worth mention as a "must try" but the simply named CHICAGO changed our perception of what a cupcake can be altogether. In fact, Mancakes' CHICAGO is the Best Cupcake in Vancouver BC. The moist cake exterior simply serves as a crumbling tube that contains the richest and creamiest caramel filling we've laid our taste buds on in years. But the icing is what commands the greatest of accolades - a cheddar cheese buttercream that dismisses all of the skeptical assessments held by any that inquire about the unique icing topping. Mancakes pastry chefs (and they are chefs) are geniuses for the marriage of caramel and cheddar cheese buttercream. The single kernel of popcorn on the top of the Chicago only serves to provide a mischievous wink to those who thought they knew what the cupcake scene was like in this town.

Cupcakes are no longer a monopoly business in Vancouver and the scene no longer looks like the bath & body section at Victoria Secret. Thanks guys.

Mancakes Bakery Cafe Vancouver

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Description : ABOUT Jethro's Fine Grub See… view more

YAH Says : Jethro's Fine Grub Guy… view more

Jethro's Fine Grub

Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and the hour long line-up of locals in front of Jethro's may have already beaten us to the punch on discovering this Vancouver comfort food haven but a ton of other Vancouverites living in the downtown bubble are none the wiser to what's happening across the bridge where what is safe to call the best breakfast joint in the whole Lower Mainland is found.

If it's your first time at Jethro's Fine Grub then someone in your party has to order the specialty pancakes. In fact, one order is good enough for the whole table. Jethro's buttermilk discs have the circumference of full size vinyl record yet thick and double stacked about 4 inches high so its size more resembles the wheel of a Vespa. But compared to many other eateries where size is used more for show, Jethro's manages to inject so much flavor into their pancakes that it slaps iHop's seasonal pancakes silly. We ordered the Gold Rush - Banana pancakes stuffed with Caramel, Pecans, Streusel (tastes like a shortbread cookie), and whipped butter - and for some reason felt that we should order a side of fries and the Two Eggs & Meat - the pancakes however, were heavy enough for the entire party of three. No exaggeration folks, Jethro's pancakes are the most filling, flavorful, and "get your money's worth" pancakes anyone at the table had ever had. In fact, these were the best pancakes we've found on this side of the continent. The same can be said about the eiffel tower of French Toast - which shares the title with the pancakes at Jethro's as the most ordered breakfast item.

Practically every customer leaving Jethro's Fine Grub had a take away carton in tow with reheating instructions scribbled on the box top. Belts are loosened like a post Thanksgiving walk of shame and thoughts of ever needing to eat again that day are diminished. We promised our server a return for lunch one day for the Pulled Pork, Chicken Gravy, or Alligator Nuggets (yep, like it sounds) and headed out for a one hour walk to walk off the 10,000 calories that Jetho's gave us for an $11 pancake order that could feed a village.

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Description : ABOUT Waffle and Berries Vancouver… view more

YAH Says : Waffle and Berries Vancouver… view more

Waffle and Berries Vancouver

Waffle & Berries, located on the outskirts of Downtown Vancouver towards Coal Harbor, is a nice little Waffle Bar that resembles anything but. 

Even when you see the name on the cafe exterior you almost assume it's just a cutesy moniker for a health and beauty shop that hocks gift baskets of soaps, lotions, and bath salts. But fortunately Waffles & Berries is the real deal, even with its upscale interior decor complete with flower arrangements and chandelier lighting.

Waffles & Berries Vancouver

While Waffles & Berries and its cordial staff serves espresso, pastry and paninis they're all about Belgian Waffles of the Liege variety - soft, sweet and chewy. Stereotyping this place based upon upscale decor we assumed when we ordered the Leige Breakfast for $11.95 that we would receive one tiny waffle sprinkled with a little icing sugar, a berry here and there, and a tea spoon of whipped cream. What we received was two hefty portioned waffles painted thick with Nutella, rich whipped cream, and with each waffle a topping of what appeared to be the result of two overturned bowls of fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. By the end of it we were completely stuffed, hunger pangs and sweet teeth completely satiated.

Waffles & Berries Vancouver

Waffles & Berries is a recipe for those that like a classy but cozy atmosphere, concierge style service, and taste for the finer side of belgian waffles.

Waffles & Berries Vancouver

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6. Pig & Mortar

Address : 1529 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Phone : (604) 828 1921

Description : ABOUT Pig & Mortar… view more

YAH Says : Pig & Mortar Pig… view more

Pig & Mortar

Pig & Mortar pulls the popular menu and fan base from its food truck and takes it indoors to this quaint yet industrial (a juxtaposition) location along Fairview slopes. Its location tucked away before Granville Bridge crosses over into downtown draws the hip (but not hipster) action sports crowd from West 4th avenue so depending on the time of the year the small cliques within can be found discussing off-piste ski slopes or Cox Bay waves while sipping various craft beers. The location itself is small but cozy and ripe with interesting decor including a regal uniformed dog painting and napkin holders with individual celebrity puns like Kevin Bacon.

The main draw of course is the bacon based menu that made their predecessor Pig on Wheel food truck a success. The menu is simple but does not lack in taste or originality in any way. The reasonably priced Flatbread Sandwiches at Pig & Mortar combine a flurry of gourmet ingredients that take the salty goodness of hefty bacon to a new level. What really sets their meals apart is the fresh baked flatbreads which are thick, chewy, and flavorful. The best anecdote of all in regards to the flatbreads at Pig & Mortar is the fact that they are made in a sustainable manner. We're not just talking about locally grown ingredients here folks, the process from which the grains become flatbread wraps is what is most notable - they are ground by the chef who rides a stationary bike powered contraption so that no electricity is used, only human based energy. You can practically picture the crew at Pig & Mortar on a rural hillside somewhere serving up flatbreads to a village during medieval times or perhaps in the future, post apocalypse.

We sampled the Piggy Blues flatbred stuffed with bacon, blue cheese, greens, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and mayo - bulky, flavorful, and filling. For dessert we inquired about the off-menu (but on the menu at their Pig on Wheels food truck) Bacon, Bourbon & Caramel Brownie Bite. We considered ordering a couple of these treats but were dutifully informed by the counter person / bartender about how rich these brownie bites were so we stuck to one. They were right. The Bacon, Bourbon & Caramel Brownie Bites at Pig & Mortar will not only send you into insulin shock, they will get you downright drunk - so so good.

Pig & Mortar is a highly recommended street food born eatery that is welcome to open up a brick and mortar shop in any neighborhood. Vancouver is blessed to have this dining option available to battle the at times snobby vegan heavy culinary scene taking over far too many Vancity streets.

Pig and Mortar Vancouver

Pig and Mortar Vancouver

Pig and Mortar Vancouver

Review and photos by Marcus Maraih - Editor. Follow Marcus on Google 

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Description : ABOUT Gorilla Food Vancouver… view more

YAH Says : Gorilla Food Vancouver Gorilla… view more

Gorilla Food Vancouver

Gorilla Foods is an underground raw food bar in Vancouver. We don't just mean "underground" in the sense that there are likely gatherings in the back room of this establishment that plot to overthrow the government ala 12 Monkeys, we mean it literally. This basement eatery is below street level on the downward sloping end of downtown Vancouver's Richards Street. 

Organically decorated by tree stumps, greenery, and other earth tones Gorilla Food is all you want a raw food joint to look like, right down to the reggae tunes that lull patrons into a calm state of revolution that never reaches fruition. The regulars within have clearly bought into the lifestyle as evidenced by their blonde dreadlocks, scented by sandalwood soap, and hanging about discussing recently read books and travel plans.

Fringe vibe aside the thing that makes people swing into Gorilla Food is the food, shakes, and smoothies. From wraps to pizzas to delectable desserts the bites in Gorilla food lose no flavor by opting out of preservatives and unnatural preparation methods. The shakes and smoothie concoctions, eclectic in their make-up, include everything from acai to pineapple and hemp to kale, which serves to deliver creamy and flavorful drinkable meals that provide a boost of energy and likely make you "regular" as another positive side effect.

As expected with any raw food bar the prices reflect the lack of mass production of its ingredients so be sure to bring a loose budget along with your taste buds and healthy constitution. Regardless, it's worth it.

Gorilla Food Vancouver

Gorilla Food Vancouver

Gorilla Food Vancouver

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Description : ABOUT Earnest Ice Cream *We’re… view more

YAH Says : Earnest Ice Cream Earnest… view more

Earnest Ice Cream

Earnest Ice Cream may not be as easy to find as other Vancouver food carts and trucks that line the one way strips of the city's asphalt and in the cold winter months we fear their complete absence from the slow building Vancouver food truck and cart scene. Earnest Ice Cream is the best ice cream in the city and it's a pity that they don't have a permanent home in the downtown core.

Earnest Ice Cream Cart Vancouver

Earnest Ice Cream is made with all natural ingredients and a chefs touch for blending favors into the rich and creamy base of milk, cream and eggs, Their tagline of "Seriously Good" is no lie. Their ever changing menu that at times includes an ode to Carteme's Donuterie, Hair of the Pig, and Roasted rhubarb oat crumble, is perfected by the steady inclusion of fan favorite Salted Caramel that we're pretty sure we died for (and went to ice cream heaven).

Earnest Ice Cream Cart Vancouver

In Earnest Ice Cream's ability to blend unanticipated flavors into a simple in appearance scooped topped cone they've managed to dismantle the Marble Slab, Cold Stone, and Baskin Robbins myth that chunky clutter is better. At Earnest Ice Cream, less is more and that's what we'll be back for. If only we can find them again.

Earnest Ice Cream Cart Vancouver

Note: Ice cream cart aside, you can buy Earnest Ice Cream in a jar at the following locations:

Woodland Smokehouse
www.woodlandsmokehouse.com
485 Commercial Drive

Harvest Community Foods

www.harvestunion.ca
243 Union Street

Cocoa Nymph

www.cocoanymph.com
3739 West 10th Ave (at Alma)

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Description : ABOUT Grounds for Coffee… view more

YAH Says : Grounds for Coffee Vancouver… view more

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver

This Alma Street (@ 10th Avenue) coffee shop serves a mean java but it's really all about the FREE cinnamon buns - Nut Free, Raisin Free, Egg Free, Trans-Fat Free, Bleached Flour Free, Hydrogenated Oil Free, and Shortening Free - to be exact. So with all the "good stuff" left out of the ingredients taste must have suffered in the process, right? Wrong! Grounds for Coffee is home to the Best Cinnamon Buns in Vancouver.

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver

 

What sets Grounds for Coffee cinnamon buns apart from the rest is that aside from not excluding those with restricted diets from sampling their baked goods they make gooey & chewy cinnamon buns that actually taste of rich cinnamon and can be devoured whole even without the icing. Most cinnamon bun bakery "joints" claim their fame by hiding subpar dough under layers of thick sugary lather - ahem Cinnzeo - whereas Grounds for Coffee cinnamon buns stand strong without. Don't get it twisted though because their icing is also superior - a pearled glossy sheen that drips between the crevices of the swirled bun leaving a sweet aroma and flavor that lasts even when eaten back at home hours after the pastry has cooled in its take-away container. Their sweet espresso drinks such as the Caramel Macchiato and Almond Mocha are also worth the visit to Grounds for Coffee in itself but as evidenced by the cinnamon goop left on the edges of the empty plates of the packed house tables it's clear why everyone gathers around this Alma Street coffee shop.

 

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver

Grounds for Coffee Vancouver - "Best Cinnamon Buns in Vancouver"

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Description : ABOUT Menchies Vancouver Menchie's… view more

YAH Says : Menchies Vancouver Let's start… view more

Menchies Vancouver

Let's start off by saying that the trifecta of frozen yogurt, gelato, and ice cream scenery in Vancouver is pretty bleak in comparison to most metropolises. Even when Vancouver nabs a much anticipated franchise from south of the border something always skips a beat in the process and the city is left with a watered down version of the namesake. It's as if corporate head office neglects to check in to the BC based locations. That's exactly what happened with Cold Stone Creamery when it entered the 604 area code - nothing like the version found south of Blaine Washington. 

But that can't happen at Menchie's because unlike other retail creameries (frozen yogurt, gelato, ice cream) the customer completely dictates the serving size, the mix of flavors, and the flavor mix-ins. As long as you pay the tab at the end of the frozen yogurt processing assembly line the staff at Menchie's could care less what you decide to create.

If you've never been to Menchie's, Cambie Street location or otherwise, you need not worry as the concept is pretty straight forward. You walk in, grab the one-size-fits-all cup (or order a waffle bowl first) and select from the dozen or so frozen yogurt flavors. Each flavor twists out of its dispenser at a slow pace which would be irritating if it didn't allow you the time and option to dream up other combinations to mix in as you glance down the line at the frozen yogurt flavor options on deck. Once you've filled the cup until your heart's content you shift to the candy, crumbly, sugary add-ons. There you can scoop in everything from Fruit Loops to Clodhoppers to Gummies. Then, for either the more health conscious or those just hoping to see how much more they can pile on, there are a variety of fruit & nut topping options that range from apricots and almonds to walnuts and watermelon. Then comes our favorite part - the sauces and syrups. When you order a sundae (and the like) from any retail creamery you have to watch while your server dictates how much gets poured on, and more often than not its never enough. But at Menchies Frozen Yogurt you are in control. You can unleash the pump to pour out caramel gooeyness or peanut butter sauciness until your bowl can fit no more. We pretty much drown our frozen yogurt in both when visiting Menchie's. After that, you simply place your order on the scale fronting the cashier and pay the bill. We suppose this is the only caution worth forwarding in regards to Menchie's - keep in mind that it's all based on weight so try not to get too carried away or you may end up with a $15 frozen yogurt sundae. Nonetheless, it will be worth it. 

The Menchies Frozen Yogurt Vancover location across the bridge from downtown at Cambie Street gets pretty busy on weekends and sunny days so be prepared to grab and go in the event that there are no seats available. Otherwise if you manage to nab a seat you can sit back and take your time consuming your frozen treat while enjoying the Wall of Fame (pics of celebrities that frequent Menchie's) or even comparing the creative frozen yogurt flavor combinations of the other customers surrounding you - taking notes for your next visit to Menchies Vancouver.

Note: Menchie's is very transparent with their ingredients so if anyone in your party has allergies or dietary restrictions there are indeed clear options available so that everyone gets to enjoy a frozen treat together.

Menchies Vancouver

Maple Syrup Frozen Yogurt w/Caramel Sauce - Simple and Perfect

Menchies Vancouver

Menchies Vancouver

Welcome to Menchies Vancouver

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