Looking for some Vancouver 2013 ideas, now that winter is upon us?

Well, here’s what Josh and I have visited lately:

Dai Tung
#108 1050 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC Canada V5V 3C6

Dim sum is very similar to that which you’d find in Hong Kong. We went with some Hong Kongers, and they agreed, the dim sum is pretty authentic! We found Sweet Soups, including Josh’s favorite Dan Nai egg milk custard. He was so excited, he ordered two — after we’d already stuffed ourselves on the dumplings!  We’re definitely going back.

Bella Gelateria
1001 West Cordova St
Vancouver, BC V6C 0B7

Vancouverites know gelato, and there are several gelaterias around the city. When we visited Vancouver, it was toasty, so we were grateful that there were so many of these air conditioned shops around. I like to try unique but dependable flavors, like hazelnut combinations, pistachio (because we made a modernist dairy free one at the lab, so I’m always curious), and desserts like tiramisu and macron. I was quite pleased. And ice-creamed out.

Sun Yat-Sen Garden

This peaceful garden is a nice reprieve during the long touring around cities. Large Koi, frogs, and turtles can be found sunning themselves on large lily pads, and the pagodas and pathways criss-cross the gardens. Definitely a nice place to visit.


This is a popular Chinese banquet hall and dim sum place. It’s on the top floor of a small mall in the heart of Chinatown. While the dim sum is good, and while they serve haggis har gau during the New Year, I would still look for smaller, hole-in-the-wall places for a place to go to regularly.

Stanley Park

Rent a bicycle and ride around the park. The winding path is sun-drenched and pleasant. You will spy people lounging, romancing, and playing. There are so many pockets and hidden treasures around. Josh and I try to stop there each time and enjoy the expansive views, soft sand, and relaxing environment.


It’s reminiscent of Pioneer Square in Seattle, though busier and larger in terms of square footage. The streets are filled with antique shops, boutiques, bars, and little shops. I enjoy it, but it’s a neighborhood that I’d probably walk through than sit and stay for any stretch of time.


This seems like Vancouver’s shopping district, and it’s packed with national and international brands including popular American brands like Anthropologie and Banana Republic and high end brands like LV and Ferragamo. You’ll also find popular Canadian brands Roots occupying a large block.  It’s always filled with teens and tourists and is a fun way to browse shops. Cafes and coffee shops are sprinkled among the retail shops, so you’ll never be far from sustenance.

Granville Island
La Baguette & L’Echalote 
1680 Johnston Street
Vancouver V6H 3S2

I was really excited to find this shop, which was packed full with customers. The sweet and yeasty smell of croissants and baguettes wafted wherever the wind would carry it, and it encouraged a craving for a nice traditional croissant like I rarely have.  We settled on large macaron cookies and an almond horn, since they were wheat free, but the rate at which the croissants were sold, you’d probably not regret it. It’s on the edge of a little grassy area, perfect for picnicking, and in the summers, you’ll proably find musicians contributing their talents to the already festive atmosphere.

1488 West 11th Ave
V6H 1L1

I’ve wanted to visit Vij’s and Rangoli ever since I first heard about them. Chef Vij and his wife had visited Portland’s Pok Pok restaurant while we were there, and Chef Vicky had a copy of Vij’s cookbook when I went through her 3rd quarter class.  Chef Anjana had also recommended it. The restaurant was really full when we stopped by, so I decided to test out the packaged (retort pouch) Indian dishes they offered in Rangoli’s mini quasi-shopette. The flavors were good, but the meats weren’t designed for ultra-high temp cooking and weren’t as good as the fresh versions.  Then again, if you were craving Indian food at home, I would recommend Vij’s over any of the equivalent versions in the grocery stores.