Dished Neighbourhood Gems: Vancouver's West End

Oct 13 2022, 4:00 pm

Vancouver is home to some amazing gems, longstanding classics, and under-the-radar establishments when it comes to stellar food and beverage. 

We’re doing the digging for you by highlighting the best local destinations to check out in each city (if you haven’t already).

Here are our Dished Neighbourhood Gems for the West End.


The West End is defined by Robson Street to the North, Beach Avenue to the South, Burrard Street to the East, and the edge of Stanley Park to the West.

This diverse area was one of the earliest residential neighbourhoods in Vancouver, and one of the most high-density neighbourhoods due to the boom of high-rise apartments in the 1960s and 1970s.

From Davie Village (a vibrant community all its own, and one that will have its own Dished Neighbourood Gems guide soon!) to Robson Street to Denman Street, this downtown neighbourhood is one of the most-visited by tourists to the city.

While this fact might detract some locals from hanging out in the area, that shouldn’t be the case: the West End has some of the best food and drink options in Vancouver.

The West End also just made Time Out‘s list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, snagging the 25th spot – further proving that this neighbourhood is the place to be.

From Korean karaoke hangouts to specialty markets to hand-pulled noodle spots, the West End is rife with gems that you should check out.

Here are some of our top spots.

Fresh pasta: Tavola

 

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This neighbourhood Italian restaurant is just tucked away enough to make it feel like a secret that no one else knows about. On Robson Street just off of Denman, Tavola has some of the best hand-made pasta dishes in the city – plus, the patio is a cozy spot for some great people-watching.

Address: 1829 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-606-4680

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Beef noodle bowls: Noodle Arts

 

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Serving authentic Lanzhou-style beef noodle bowls made with noodles hand-pulled on-site, Noodle Arts really does highlight the art of the noodle. Head here for a warming bowl in an unpretentious setting.

Address: 1739 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-673-5688

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Gem-like sashimi: Kingyo Izakaya

 

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Head to this Denman Street spot for beautiful Japanese small plates, like uni miso udon, wagyu and O-Toro bowls, and sashimi platters.

Address: 871 Denman Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-608-1677

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Ukrainian groceries: EuroFood Plus

 

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Tucked along Bidwell Street, just off of Robson, is a little deli and grocery selling hard-to-find Eastern European goods. From sweets to preserves to deli items, EuroFood Plus is a fun spot to pop into and pick up some new additions to your pantry.

Address: 818 Bidwell Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-688-0959

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Okonomiyaki: Guu With Garlic

Part of the Guu restaurant franchise, Guu With Garlic is a Robson Street spot with a heavy focus on our favourite allium: garlic. Head here for dishes like mochi shrimp gratin, takoyaki, and Okonomiyaki – best paired with one of this restaurant’s several sake varieties.

Address: 1698 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-685-8678

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Stuffed chicken wings: Michi Craft Kitchen

 

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This Asian fusion spot, specializing in “stuffed wings,” is a good-time place to check out with friends. You must try its signature michi, a deboned chicken wing stuffed with things like fried rice then breaded, fried, and topped with everything from cheese to bonito flakes.

Address: 1680 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-558-1966

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Wild donut flavours: Nukid

 

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Nukid is a Korean bakery and sweets shop with wild donut flavours (think cheddar cheese twisted and tiramisu twisted) as well as Basque cheesecakes, cronuts, fruit smoothies, and soft serve ice cream. Plus, the space itself is very cute, with a bright yellow and blue theme that instantly boosts the mood.

Address: 1660 Robson Street, Vancouver

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Jjajangmyun: Book Kyung Ban Jeoun & BK Karaoke

 

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This is a dinner spot and nightlife destination all rolled into one. Go for the Jjajangmyun (noodles in black bean sauce) and deep-fried dumplings, stay for the party karaoke rooms.

Address: 1638 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-629-8822

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Silvanas: Khaykery Bakery

 

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This Filipino bakery specializes in Silvanas – a frozen cookie made with layers of buttercream, cashew-meringue wafers, and cookie crumbles. Khaykery also has other treats, like ube flan cupcakes, whole cakes, and dessert drinks.

Address: 1610 Robson Street #108, Vancouver
Phone: 604-801-5429

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Rainbow dumplings: Nine Dumplings Nine Dishes

Tucked inside the Robson Public Market is several hidden gem food spots, including Nine Dumplings Nine Dishes. This little counter-service spot has some of the best dumplings in the city, including the stunning Rainbow Sampler – nine different-coloured dumplings, each representing a different filling, all for $9.99

Address: 204-1610 Robson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 778-246-1199

Hand-pulled noodles: Legendary Noodle

As the name would suggest, this place really does have legendary noodles. With noodles hand-pulled right in front of your eyes and a menu packed with both noodles in soups and Gan-Ban-Mian (noodles in sauce), this is a true noodle-lovers dream come true.

Address: 1074 Denman Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-669-8551

Falafel platters: Babylon Cafe

 

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Looking for food for a beach picnic at nearby English Bay? Pop by Babylon Cafe for a huge range of Mediterranean food. From generously-sized falafel platters to Shawarma wraps, this long-time hole-in-the-wall always hits the spot.

Address: 1156 Denman Street, Vancouver
Phone: 778-689-4680

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Cocktails and a view: Bayside Lounge

 

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We’ve talked about our love for the Bayside Lounge before, and so of course this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the 1970s’-era bar. With a sunken central bar, amazing views of the ocean, and really solid drinks, this is our number-one choice for drinking in the West End before heading out for a night at Davie’s bumping gay nightclubs.

Address: 1755 Davie Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-682-1831

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If you have a neighbourhood gem in or around the city that you want to shine a spotlight on, let us know at [email protected]

Daryn WrightDaryn Wright

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