Where Local Celebrities Go For Comfort Food

Local personalities reveal their favourite comfort food restaurants and dishes

Grant Lawrence, CBC Personality

Meat and Bread

“The stacked, pulled pork pancakes that drip with whiskey-infused maple syrup at the Red Wagon are pretty awesome. So are the bursting ling cod burritos from Tacofino Gastown – so heavy they feel as if you’re lifting a barbell to your mouth… but my favourite Vancouver fall comfort food has to be the sandwiches found at Meat and Bread (Gastown location). Affordable and filled with fresh, juicy, meaty flavour, these simple and delicious sandwiches are as good as it gets in Vancouver. They’re so delicious that I actually have to limit myself to one sandwich a week. The diced porchetta with salsa verde is my favourite, followed closely by the daily specials, like the one pictured above: chicken Parmesan with lemon rosemary aioli, herbed bread crumbs and watercress salad. If Meat and Bread ever added chocolate chip cookies for dessert, I’d never leave.”

Jillian Harris, Former Bachelorette and Co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver

Joe Fortes

Joe Fortes is my go-to spot for comfort food. I love the dirty martinis and fried pickles with avocado ranch… the dip is to die for.”


Credit: Kaitlin Hargreaves

Todd Talbot, Co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver


“It’s easy to admit that my favourite comfort food is the stringy grilled cheese from JJ Bean. Or a mouth-watering burrito from Tacofino. Or even a soup and a warm slice of Irish soda bread from Savary Island Pie Company, but… I want to get ahead of this story before it breaks on TMZ. Last night I was caught red-handed, having a little late night lovefest with a Big Mac… there, I said it! Now, be honest, your taste buds are tingling a little.”

James Sutton, Radio Personality, 102.7 The Peak FM

Green Lemongrass

“There’s really only one thing I want when fall hits: a large bowl of spicy, salty, meaty, noodle-y goodness. My go-to pho (this week) is Green Lemongrass on Kingsway. P6 with rare beef and and beef balls is what it’s all about. This was supposed to be a picture of a full bowl of soup but, you know, I ate it.”

Shawn Hook, International Recording Artist


Fritz European Fry House is my go-to comfort food spot – their specialty is poutine. What makes their poutine better than the other poutineries out there is the variety of toppings and dips you can get to accompany the perfectly fried hand-cut, Canadian-grown potatoes. I go for the vegan option, mushroom gravy and Diya curds. If you want to go all out, you can top off your fritz with pulled pork, Montreal smoked meat, marinated chicken, crumbled bacon and/or beef chili – yum!”

Fiona Forbes (right), Host on Shaw TV (with Mary Zilba, TV Personality/Recording Artist)

Blue Water Cafe

“People don’t usually consider a dirty martini and sashimi comfort food but I sure do – it’s one of my go-to favourite treats. Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown has the best sushi in town and conveniently, they also make a delectable dirty martini. My go-to is an extra dirty martini with extra olives and the salmon or tuna sashimi (or a bit of both). Absolutely delicious!”

Erin Ireland, Food Reporter


“There’s nothing like diving into a big, warm, absolutely-stuffed-with-goodness veggie burger on a rainy day. Heirloom makes one of my favourite in the city: the Haystack. Its thick, moist patty is topped with a crunchy onion ring, beet chips, pea shoots and, of course, a wealth of creamy sauce. The yam fries on the side might be as comforting as the burger itself – they are sweet, savoury and extra seasoned. Prepare to get messy though: this beast of a sandwich requires sleeves rolled up, two hands and possibly a bib.”

Karen Khunkhun, Morning Show Host, The Jeff O’Neil Show on 99.3 The Fox

Mangia E Bevi

“If I am going for the ultimate fall comfort food, I have to pick Mangia E Bevi on Marine Drive in West Vancouver. You have to start with the melt-in-your-mouth Caprese Di Bufala: Buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, basil and cold-pressed olive oil. It’s the perfect dish to share. Everything on the menu is mouth-wateringly delicious but you have to try the Mushroom Ravioli (Ravioli Ai Funghi E Salvia): mascarpone, ricotta, white truffle oil and topped with sage brown butter. Did I mention white truffle oil? I dream about this dish and yes, it’s definitely worth the spin classes! Another plus: the restaurant is very low-key and cozy, the perfect spot for a crisp autumn night.”

Tommy Europe, Celebrity Trainer

West Oak

“We are very lucky to have so many options when it comes to restaurants in Vancouver, and I have a long list of my go-to establishments. Now, I don’t get out as often as I did BK (Before Kids), but I have managed to poke my head into a few spots. One of my favorite restaurants for comfort food is West Oak located in Yaletown. The vibe is energizing and the food fits the bill. If you scan my plate, you’re likely to find the sautéed calamari and beef short ribs.”

Susie Wall, Style Expert and Media Personality

La Buca

“If we’re talking serious comfort food against a simple but chic backdrop, nothing beats a cozy family dinner at La Buca. I’d start with the roasted beets caprese salad with bufala mozzarella – and the crisp roast chicken with olive oil mashed potatoes and fresh herbs with roasting juices is one of the best comfort-me dishes around. What I love about La Buca is that it smacks of some of the best bistros abroad – like Cherche Midi in Paris – because it’s intimate, elevated without the pretense and has that true heart-of-the-neighbourhood vibe that big city dwellers so deeply appreciate. And would I finish with the house-made spiced donuts just because? You bet.”

Nira Arora, Morning Show Host, 94.5 Virgin Radio

Pho Extreme Xe Lua

“My favourite Vancouver restaurant for comfort food is Pho Extreme Xe Lua on Broadway. I love pho! Especially if I’m under the weather, feeling rough after a kid-free night with the girls, or just feeling a chill from a traditional rainy Vancouver day, I order up the chicken pho #18.”

Shaun Verreault, Singer/Guitar Player, Wide Mouth Mason


“When things turn cold, dark and wet outside and I don’t feel like cooking, I often find myself thinking peaceful thoughts. Peaceful Restaurant, that is. There’s nothing more comforting than ordering up their takeout. Their Peaceful Beef Roll (pictured right) is a marvel of umami goodness. Forget pumpkin spice lattes, these are the edible representation of the spicy, crisp, aromatic autumn air and golden sun I want at this time of year. The spicy, tangy dumpling soup is a deft balancing act of warmth and acidity that makes one feel cozy from the inside out. Their hand-spun noodles are the stuff of legend (pictured above). I opt for the standard ones in the stir-fried beef noodle dish and the big flat ones with the mu shu pork. Is there a Chinese word equivalent for al dente? The texture is really pleasing, just firm enough but not heavy. This restaurant is aptly named as I always feel at peace and full after ordering their yummy food.”

Ryan Dahle, Musician, Mounties/Limblifter/The Age of Electric

The Greedy Pig

“There is an underrated spot inside an old building in Gastown called The Greedy Pig. The high ceilings, wood and brick make you feel like it could be 101 years ago. I haven’t tried everything on the menu because the pulled pork is on repeat for me, but there are some great vegetarian and salad options. It’s not overly lit so it’s less noticeable when you select too many whiskeys from the extensive list. It’s been there for 10 years, so it’s not the new trendy spot, which keeps the crowds to a minimum and the service fast and friendly.”