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Food

Eat Your Lunch Out: Railtown and the DTES

Food

Eat Your Lunch Out: Railtown and the DTES

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Lindsay William-Ross Aug 09, 2016 10:00 am

Sandwiched between breakfast (the alleged “most important meal of the day”) and dinner (the meal that seems to get all the attention), there’s no good reason to overlook lunch.

Lunch can be the midday bright spot in the workday, or where you linger on a day off. From where to settle in for a marathon chat sesh with the ladies who lunch, to handy spots for quick bites, we’re exploring lunch of all kinds, all around Vancouver.

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Here are 10 great lunch spots in Vancouver’s Railtown and Downtown Eastside (DTES).

Belgard Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Belgard Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Belgard Kitchen

Tuck into the Settlement Building, the impressive Railtown space that’s home to the Vancouver Urban Winery, Postmark Brewing, and Belgard Kitchen, where you can hideout from the hustle of the city and indulge in comfort eats elegantly presented. Dip gooey wedges of grilled cheese in their tomato soup, nibble on charcuterie, or dig into one of their lovely salads or bowls. They’ve got wraps, sandwiches, burgers, and Pizzettes for those looking for a heartier nosh.

Address: 55 Dunlevy Avenue, Vancouver
Phone: 604-699-1989
Twitter: @belgardkitchen

Ask For Luigi

Photo courtesy of Ask for Luigi

Photo courtesy of Ask for Luigi

Still haven’t scored a table at Ask For Luigi? Try at lunch time. The tiny Railtown restaurant is fairly chill for the midday meal, when there’s less clamour for a seat and the same beautiful fresh pastas and appetizers you can get at dinner–but slightly smaller portions and lower prices.

Address: 305 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-428-2544
Twitter: @askforluigi

Railtown Cafe

Photo courtesy Railtown Cafe

Photo courtesy Railtown Cafe

This expanding Vancouver catering and cafe empire has its roots in the neighbourhood, and its here you’ll find their always-stellar lineup of salads, soups, sandwiches and baked treats in a fun, industrial-chic laid back atmosphere.

Address: 397 Railway Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-428-0800
Twitter@railtowncafe

The Uncommon Café

Jess Fleming/Daily Hive

Jess Fleming/Daily Hive

Hit up the Uncommon Cafe for a great lunch that’s woefully under the radar. They are focused on being local and sustainable, and serving up comfort eats that have a developed a loyal following. Look for soups, sandwiches, baked goods, specialty drinks, and their much-loved meatballs.

Address: 477 Powell Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-254-0477
Twitter@uncommoncafeyvr

JJ Bean – Railway

JJ Bean Coffee Roasters/Facebook

JJ Bean Coffee Roasters/Facebook

We might be outing a well-kept secret here by proclaiming JJ Bean on Railway a great little lunch spot. Their “minimalist” cafe is full-service, and fronts the local coffee company’s commissary, so you’ve got a front row seat for the making of all their baked goods. Soup, sandwiches, wraps, muffins, and more make for great lighter, casual bites alongside their coffees and teas.

Address: 460 Railway Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-253-7245
Twitter@JJBeanCoffee

Ed’s Daily

Ed's Daily/Facebook

Ed’s Daily/Facebook

This busy Strathcona-area spot is known for their beautiful space, coffee and treats, and lunches. You may known them most for their Avocado Toast (hello, lovely!) but their menu is chock full of options, dominated by their bowls (salad, noodles, veg, proteins) including tons of build-your-own bowl choices.
Address: 686 Powell Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-424-8708
Twitter@edsdaily

Ovaltine Cafe

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Grab a classic lunch of diner fare at one of Vancouver’s oldest restaurants. On the surface, little seems to have changed here over the years, but under newer ownership there’s a bit of fresh life moving around this old familiar spot, with a gently updated menu.
Address: 251 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-685-7021
Twitter@ovaltinecafeyvr

Bestie

Bestie/Facebook

Bestie/Facebook

Bestie’s sausages are the wurst! This German-style sausage spot in Chinatown/DTES serves up beer, brats, currywurst, fries, and daily salads in a fun, retro-vibe restaurant.
Address: 105 East Pender Street, Vancouver
Phone604-620-1175
Twitter@bestiewurst

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Nicli Antica Pizzeria/Facebook

Nicli Antica Pizzeria/Facebook

Some of the city’s best pizza is fired up daily at Nicli Antica on the edge of Gastown. Hand-formed crust is topped and sent to crisp and melt in a 900-degree oven. The result are beautiful Neapolitan pizza pies.
Address: 62 East Cordova Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-669-6985
Twitter@NicliPizzeria

La Mezcaleria

La Mezcaleria/Facebook

La Mezcaleria/Facebook

Recently opened in the space vacated by Nicli’s next door (so that puts it, appropriately, next door to Nicli’s Antica Pizzeria) the Gastown (adjacent) outpost of the popular La Mezcaleria offers much the same as the original Commercial Drive spot. A modern riff on a traditional Mexican cantina, La Mezcaleria offers salads, share plates, ceviche, their signature cheese bowls, and the whole enchilada. Because who wants just half an enchilada?

Address: 68 East Cordova Street, Vancouver
Twitter: @LaMezcaleriaYVR

See also

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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is Daily Hive's National Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA. Previously the EIC of LAist.com, she earned a Master's in English, attended culinary school, and taught English at Cal State LA. Lindsay's first published piece was in 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa.

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