When at noon the grand clock chimes, it’s lunchtime! Along the picturesque scene of cobblestoned sidewalks, Victorian-style architecture, old-timey streetlights, and of course, the famed steam clock, the historical district of Vancouver’s Gastown offers many dining options to complement your afternoon of strolling, sightseeing, and shopping. From classic comfort food to the more adventurous choices, there’s something for every visitor who craves a taste of the Pacific Northwest’s diverse cuisine. The next time you find yourself venturing through this downtown Vancouver neighborhood, check out these recommended places for a memorable munch.
Address: 15 W Cordova St., Vancouver, BC
If you’re surfing Gastown in search of a good taco find, you’ll want to ride that wave over to Tacofino for their Baja-styled twist on Mexican food. Take a detour through Blood Alley and enter the taco bar, where you can sit down and enjoy their full offering of salsa and guacamole starters, starter plates (such as the not caesar kale salad), and a variety of tacos. If you’re in a hurry, continue onwards to the burrito bowl take-out counter, where you can grab your burrito (or burrito bowl) lunch to go. The crispy chicken burrito boasts THE BEST chicken I’ve ever gobbled down—bar none.
Address: 12 Powell St., Vancouver, BC
Spice up your lunchtime at this totally awesome Asian-fusion street food joint! As soon as you strut in, you’ll be hit by (you’ll be struck by) their smooth, hip, and chill atmosphere, as indicated by the bumpin’ R&B music which pulsates throughout the space. Bao Down specializes in steamed bun sandwiches (baos) with ingredients that range from steak to pork to tuna (with soy and fish and other sauces galore!) Each bao has been bestowed with a cheeky and clever name that pays tribute to pop-culture references, such as the Bao Chicka Bao Bao, the Wu Tang Clam Chowder, and the Phresh Prince. You’ll be bowing down to Bao Down’s mash-up of unique flavours and good time vibes.
Address: 3 Alexander St., Vancouver, BC
Forget about Netflix and chill—lunch and chill at Chill Winston is where the action’s at in Gastown! This cool and conscious gastrolounge prides itself on its sustainable fare, including vegetables that are locally sourced and protein that is organic, antibiotic and hormone free. If chilling with a party of pals, their shareable platters, including the earthwise platter and the beast plate, is the plan of attack. The outdoor patio facing Maple Tree Square is perfect for people watching on a nice day. And if you’re over the fascination surrounding the steam clock, you can opt for a prime viewing spot of the statue of local legendary hero Captain John “Gassy Jack” Deighton right across the road.
Address: 162 Water St., Vancouver, BC
Built in 1910, this establishment is rich with antique furnishings, killer cocktails, and appetizing meals. During lunch hour, you can take advantage of their lunch special, which includes one sandwich (options range from beef brisket to portobello mushroom), one side, and one beer, all for $15. Quite the steal! Their signature entree—the Pourhouse burger—is a popular favorite and considered to be among one of the best burgers in the city (and all that jazz). Be sure to add in a fried egg to top things off.
Address: 2 Water St., Vancouver, BC
For Southern hospitality in metro Vancouver, come and get your smokin’ hot BBQ at this Carolina-styled barbecue joint. Peckinpah is a proud supporker of the swine arts (briskets and ribs and bacon, oh my!) and holds no beef with beef brisket. To add some variety to the meat-y smorgasbord, I highly recommended the creamy mac and cheese dish, the salt and peppered french fries, and their two best sides, the hush puppies and the fried pickles. Giddy up!
Address: 317 Water St., Vancouver, BC
Nestled within the bustling block between Waterfront Station and the steam clock, Silvestre is a true hidden gem in Gastown. This family-run Peruvian deli and bistro provides authentic sides and mains, from cilantro soup to spicy empanadas to chicharron sandwiches, fulfilling a need for a rare cuisine that’s hard to come across, even in Vancouver. To complete your meal with even more international flair, the multicultural restaurant also serves Italian gelato at its entrance. Buen provecho and buon appetito!
Finally went to Silvestre Deli to try their Peruvian food w/ Noelle... @cookieshorts, we found their chicharron sandwich and picarones tasty, but not quite as authentic as we remembered it! Prices were expensive (I guess you can expect that w/ a restaurant located in Gastown), but will have to go back and try their other dishes for authenticity!
Address: 55 Powell St., Vancouver, BC
Your Gastown experience is not complete without sipping on a warm cup of a west coast-roasted caffeine beverage. The Birds & The Beets is a fresh and flourishing addition to the local coffee scene. Replete with your standard selection of coffee drink choices and daily specials featuring globally-inspired roasts, B&B has nourishing salads, sandwiches (the turkey is a must-try), and pastries to complement your cup of joe. The aesthetically-pleasing, floral-inspired inner decor is reminiscent of a countryside garden in the springtime, which makes the cafe a lovely place to spend a delightful afternoon in the most vivacious city of Vancouver.
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Do you live in Vancouver or visit often? What are some of your favorite places to grab a bite to eat in the Gastown neighborhood? Let us know in the comments below.