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.
Here are 10 new places to have lunch in Vancouver.
Chef Trevor Bird and the team behind Fable in Kitsilano have headed east and set up a casual, cozy, contemporary diner on the ground floor of Mount Pleasant’s historic Lee Building. The all-day menu melds breakfast staples, signature diner eats, and modern casual, made of fresh, local ingredients and often with a creative twist. Save room for a milkshake.
Address: 151 East Broadway, Vancouver
Family-style Vietnamese classics are served up in an inviting, modern space at Main and 18th. Anh + Chi–which means “sister and brother”–brings the legacy of Pho Hoang back for the next generation, through its next generation, siblings Vincent and Amelie Nguyen. Fresh rice paper rolls burst with leafy lettuce, skewered meats sizzle with off-the grill flavour, and you’ll want to watch what everyone else is ordering…because it all looks (and tastes) so good.
Address: 3388 Main Street
Acclaimed Vancouver chef David Hawksworth is known for his meticulously executed and innovative contemporary west coast cuisine, and it’s no wonder that his second venture, Nightingale, is itself meticulously executed restaurant. The all-day menu is split into five categories, sorted from lightest to most substantial and, while diners can easily take the traditional starter-main approach, the plates are perfect for sharing, and food fans can tailor their own perfect sampler for the meal.
Address: 1017 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Prefer breakfast for lunch? It’s no problem at Jam Cafe, where the morning meal is served into the afternoon (plus they’ve got a tempting lunch menu of its own, too). The food at Jam Cafe is top notch, as anyone who willingly waits in line for a table will attest, too. Big, beautiful plates take breakfast to a fresh level of fun, melding the most important meal of the day with culinary staples. Dig into a Charlie Bowl, Pulled Pork Pancakes, or their Fried Chicken Eggs Benny.
Address: 556 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Sometimes you just need a burger and fries for lunch. CaliBurger, the US-based chain that takes its cue from the iconic In-N-Out burger, offers up loaded burgers and paper boats of fries with what they call a “California” flair. True, In-N-Out loyalists are scoffing, but burger lovers can still tuck into a greasy, meaty feast at CaliBurger.
Address: 830 Thurlow Street, Vancouver
Main Street’s Cascade Room has recently added lunch for the first time menu, and that means Mount Pleasant has a chill new spot for a British-inspired midday meal. Created by Executive Chef Tim Evans (a Brit himself), the Cascade Room’s new lunch offerings runs the gamut from a Full English Breakfast to hearty entrees (with a few light bites and gastropub grub selections in between.
Address: 2616 Main Street, Vancouver
The second location of the popular Mr. Red Cafe is in Kitsilano. Opened earlier this year, the restaurant allows the owners more space to offer weekend “family style” menus, as well as more food from their native Northern Vietnam. Look for steaming, pungent bowls of pho, sticky rice dishes, banh mi, and always plenty of spice.
Address: 2680 West Broadway, Vancouver
The second outpost of Main Street’s vegan and veg haven MeeT on Main is the aptly named MeeT in Gastown. They opened up in February this year, with a menu of plant-based gems that satisfy even the most enthusiastic carnivores. Mains run the gamut from the more health-conscious tofu-veggie-rice bowls to the seriously oozy Mac’N’Cheez Burger, which packs the punch of pickled jalapeños, chipotle mayo, and their signature vegan “Mac’N’Cheez” and house-smoked meatless burger. Keep an eye out for lots of gluten-free items, as well.
Address: 115-12 Water Street
Awww, shucks: There’s a new place that’s all about oysters, oysters, oysters (and fresh, local seafood). Fanny Bay Oyster Bar serves up succulent oyster dishes featuring shellfish straight from the purveyor, which means the bite is in your mouth, not your wallet. Located on the edge of the Stadium District in downtown, this is a great day-off lunch spot, or perfect for your next lunch meeting.
Address: 762 Cambie Street, Vancouver
House Special is a modern Vietnamese restaurant that pairs popular Vietnamese street and market foods, with craft beer, wine, and cocktails. For their lunch menu (different from dinner) House Special showcases more street food fare. Find steaming bowls of pho, Banh Canh Ga (Fried Chicken Noodle Soup), rice bowls, and vermicelli here.
Address: 1269 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
- Eat your lunch out: Gastown
- Fable Diner: Trevor Bird and team reboot the classic diner concept
- Eat your lunch out: Mount Pleasant
- Hawksworth's Nightingale takes flight