You can debate till the cows come home about the merits of living in the burbs’ and living downtown. But as an urbanite who loves food, there’s nothing better than the accessibility, convenience, diversity and affordability of my local food spots when I don’t feel like cooking.
Within a 3 block radius of my apartment, I have access to sushi, burritos, curry, chow mein, Vietnamese Pho and Shwarmas. These are authentic international dishes – not some fabricated dish made to look like the original. We are so spoiled in Vancouver as there is so much quality International cuisine – and I’m reminded of that every time I travel to the States. Below I thought I’d profile some of my favourites from the Robson corridor…
1. Coco Noodle – when I’m desperate and just want a plate of fried spicy noodles, this Chinese noodle spot will do. Don’t bother with the noodle soups – the stock is very bland.
2. Ebi Ten – this place rocks for take-out sushi that is quite fresh and good, plus they have ma-po tofu with ramen miso noodles (think spicy minced pork with tofu – topped up with green onions) – comfort!
3. India Gate– this Indian restaurant is quite good – I’ve only ordered the Chicken Tikka for take out – but it definitely did the job of spicing up the taste buds.
4. Viet Sub– this Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall serves tasty Pho Noodles (beef noodle soup) and bbq subs. The subs are kinda small and not the best, but the Pho soup is quite authentic. A little pricier than the other Pho restaurants on Main, Seymour or Davie, but the convenience of walking is worth the extra buck. For a Pho showdown, check out Pholicious (a blog about Pho in Vancouver).
5. Red Burrito– this has become a chain of burrito shops – I’ve seen them on Broadway and also on Commercial – but the chicken and beef are both flavourful, use fresh ingredients for toppings, and you have the option of going “burrito in a bowl” (sans tortilla). My trick is to order half and half of chicken and beef (crunch of the chicken, juicyness of the beef). More tex-mex than Mexican – it still hits the spot.
6.. Falafel Maison– don’t plan on a date after this meal, the intense garlic of the hummus will scare most of the cast of Twilight. Huge portions, tasty plates of Falafel or Chicken Shawarma served with hummus and Tabouleh. Perfect with beer and watching “You don’t mess with the Zohan” (fizzy bubbly!!).
The next time you’re not in the mood to cook, please don’t go to Subway, your palette deserves better.
Do you have a favourite hole-in-the-wall neighbourhood spot you frequent for cheap ethnic eats? I’d love to hear about them.
ps. check out Degan’s blog, “Ethnic Eats“, where she’s profiled and reviewed a ton of Vancouver ethnic restaurants.