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
This cozy, old school diner joint on Granville Street is full of iconic diner paraphernalia and furnishings. Thoughtful details like the restaurant’s retro colour scheme, black-and-white checkered flooring, stainless steel stools, soda shop style bar and juke box have created a space with a positively diner feel. Come not only for the diner vibe but also for the eatery’s breakfast favourites, organic burgers and classic shakes.
Address: 1087 Granville Street
Big Dogs Mobile Diner
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