Vancouver is one of the best cities.
With beautiful scenery, tons to do, and amazing food from all over the world, a day in Vancouver will not leave you feeling satisfied. You will want to spend more time in this beautiful Canadian gem.
How should you spend your day? If you only have one day in Vancouver, everyone is going to recommend the same activities to you:
They’re all beautiful, affordable, a ton of fun, and honestly those three activities could take up your whole day!
But what should you eat? Vancouver has so much going on with its food scene- from local coffee shops to sustainable food to seafood to cuisine from around the world. Here’s what you should eat if you only have a day in Vancouver!
Note: If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how I came up with this list. I’ve been to Vancouver like 8 times, but on short day or weekend trips, since it’s so close to Seattle. My family there is all food obsessed, and when I go with my friends, we always plan really specific food trips. These are some of my favorites of the places we’ve been to. I added links for more restaurant ideas too from local writers!
Also note: There are way too many amazing food experiences in Vancouver. This list doesn’t cover it all, because you can’t do it in a day!
Dim sum for breakfast
Want some of the best dim sum in your life? Head to Richmond, a smaller city right outside of Vancouver.
No really, it’s a running joke that when someone asks where the absolute best dim sum place is in Seattle, you say “in Vancouver.”
I love all dim sum, so to truly find “the best” dim sum places, local guides like this will help you better. And getting here from Vancouver is really easy- you can just take the train!
Vancouver has great brunch options not involving dim sum if you do choose to do that instead. But you can find great brunch everywhere. You can’t find great dim sum everywhere!
Ramen for lunch
In the Pacific Northwest, I think the amazing ramen craze really started in Vancouver. Like personally, my response to “where do you find the best ramen in Seattle?” was always “go to Vancouver!” — until all the best Vancouver ramen spots started opening up in Seattle too!
Assuming you haven’t eaten out as much in Seattle, you need to eat ramen in Vancouver!
Ramen Danbo is one of my favorite places. The ramen is amazing, and you can customize everything– even how fatty the broth is. Ramen Hokkaido Santouka is another great spot, but they have more locations around the US now. If you haven’t been there yet, make sure you go in Vancouver!
For a more thorough overview of best ramen places in Vancouver, check out this list.
Note: This is a picture of ramen in San Diego, because I don’t have any good ramen pictures from Vancouver!
Gelato for snack
Amazing gelato is a thing in Vancouver. Maybe I went to the wrong places in Italy, but I actually liked the gelato places in Vancouver more. Like, you have to check out Bella Gelateria, a spot that consistently makes it in best gelato, ice cream, and restaurant lists in Vancouver. It’s one of my favorite gelato spots.
Another popular spot is La Casa Gelato, which has over 200 creative flavors. Yes, it makes it overwhelming to decide, but you can get samples to help!
Seafood for dinner
Vancouver is in the Pacific Northwest, which means there’s amazing local seafood, with many sustainable options as well. From sockeye salmon to Dungeness crab- you can’t miss out!
While not an exclusively seafood restaurant, I absolutely loved The Flying Pig, a super popular, New Canadian restaurant. There will probably be a line, unless you go early. If you like high quality meats, you’ll like this place too.
Their salmon seafood sampler is perfect to try different types of delicious salmon at once. It comes with smoked salmon, salmon cakes, and candied salmon.
You could also just get the salmon crab cakes because they’re that amazing.
Even if you’re on a budget, you can still try good affordable sushi at least. Check out Sushi Den– my cousin in Vancouver showed me this spot as her favorite affordable sushi and I loved it too!
Craft Beer Flights for fun
What food focused trip would be complete without a craft beer flight?
One of my Airbnb hosts was obsessed with Steamworks Brewery and said it was her favorite spot. We liked it, but my favorite spot for beer was probably Alibi Room–even though it’s a bar and not a brewery, they have 50 taps of different mostly local beers! And for a total and complete list of Vancouver breweries, check out this guide.
And that’s it! What are you most excited to try? What else would you add? Is this enough food for you if you only have a day in Vancouver??? Let me know in the comments!