Vancouver is home to an array of excellent eating establishments, from fine-dining restaurants to greasy spoon joints. While some occasions warrant while table cloth service, others demand a whopping burger and a good old fashioned milkshake. For these comforting treats there’s no better place to chow down than in the cozy surrounds of a diner.
With locations serving a combination of diner-inspired meals and sporting a decidedly retro feel, here is a list of Vancouver’s best diners that are worth checking out.
Lucy’s Eastside Diner
This 24-hour greasy spoon joint is known for their heaping portions of burgers and fries, as well as their stellar milkshakes and classic cocktails. Decked out with retro-style furnishings, think stainless steel counter seats, coral-coloured table tops, and comfy booths, Lucy’s Eastside Diner is a warm and inviting space, which screams of yesteryear.
Address: 2708 Main Street
With their original Main Street location sitting on the border of Downtown Eastside and Gastown, Deacon’s Corner serves up classic diner food and all-day breakfasts. Inspired by Southern-style, comfort-driven food, Deacon’s Corner boasts an array of enticing offerings like Carolina-style pancakes, pulled pork, biscuits, grits and more. Helpings are generous and the service warm.
Address: 101 Main Street
Address: 3189 West Broadway
Save On Meats
Don’t let Save On Meats’ somewhat questionable location fool you. This charming vintage-style diner is home to a warmly lit narrow bar, comfortable booth-style seating, and a solid list of diner-esque meals and drinks. Featuring a range of brekkie plates, in addition to sandwiches, burgers, fried chicken, soda floats, shakes (classic and alcohol-infused), and sundaes, Save On Meats is sure to leave patrons satisfied.
If you’re after a healthy dose of 1950s nostalgia, you can’t go past Moderne Burger on West Broadway. Boasting a classic 50s diner-style interior (checkered flooring, vinyl booths, a soda bar and juke box) Moderne Burger has absolutely captured the essence of the quintessential diner, not only that but the retro joint also serves up juicy burgers, fresh-cut fries, malt shakes, pie and more.
Address: 2507 West Broadway
Sophie’s Cosmic Café
Service is quick and casual at Sophie’s Comic Café — a Kitsilano institution that has been in operation for over 25 years. With brightly coloured, kitschy décor, Sophie’s Comic Café pulls a crowd for both its eccentric interior (gizmos and gadgets cover the eatery’s yellow walls) and sizable meals.
Address: 2095 W 4th Avenue
The Wallflower Modern Diner
This laid-back eatery in Mount Pleasant offers patrons a relaxed dining affair. While the restaurant does not flaunt the cliché characteristics of a 1950s diner, per se, it does convey a similar vibe, in that the setting is comfortable. Catering to vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters, The Wallflower offers appetizers, salads, wraps, burgers and sandwiches.
Address: 2420 Main Street
The Red Wagon
Located on the corner of East Hastings and Garden Street, The Red Wagon is an unpretentious neighbourhood joint, with a distinct roadside diner feel. Indeed, tarnished signs and a blackboard of specials hang on the walls, while friendly servers pour free-flowing coffee. Dishing up a mouthwatering variety of temptations like pulled pork pancakes, chorizo meatball sandwiches, and grilled cheese with smokey tomato soup, The Red Wagon attracts a crowd of hungry eaters seven days a week.
Address: 2296 East Hastings Street
The Templeton Restaurant
Parked at the foot of Davie Street in Yaletown, The Big Dogs 1950s-inspired mobile diner (a custom-renovated 1962 Airstream trailer), offers a street food-focused menu. Look out for playful retro touches like the black-and-white tiled floor, the old fashioned menu board, and a tabletop jukebox perched on the patterned formica counter.
Address: 1100 Marinaside Crescent (at the foot of Davie Street), Yaletown