10 More Vancouver Restaurants That Have Stood the Test of Time

Vancouver’s food scene changes so swiftly, even the fastest sous chef couldn’t keep up. But we’ve collected another 10 mainstays worth a visit

Credit: Fets

Part two of our roundup of classic Vancouver restaurants still serving up tasty dishes after 20 years

Remaining relevant after 20 years in the restaurant business is no easy feat. Many of Vancouver’s long-standing eateries can credit a combination of great location and fine food for drawing in the faithful year on year. Here are 10 more local haunts (a sequel piece to our original 21) that continue to cook up great value.

Credit: Flickr / Mark Faviell

Roundel Cafe, opened in 1964

The Roundel proudly declares itself a “fresh food diner,” and pledges to compost everything they can and go organic wherever they can, but fear not – that doesn’t impact the size and variety of their dishes. Flavoured with local seasonal ingredients, the meals at this East Vancouver restaurant showcase a considerate focus on vegetarian and vegan options, plus the typical diner fare you expect but with exciting, modern twists.

Don’t-miss dish: For brunch? The salmon Benny

2465 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Credit: Flickr / Geoff Peters

Simpatico, opened in 1969

Thanks to its lengthy history, Simpatico has faithful fans that span generations and still return to the same spot in Kitsilano for heaping plates of Greco-Roman cuisine. During its 45-year tenure on 4th Avenue, the restaurant – renowned for reasonable prices – became the first to offer whole wheat pizza dough anywhere in the city and still features a menu that has remained remarkably similar for decades. Tried and certainly true.

Don’t-miss dish: Sweet basil spareribs – baked in their garlic-y tomato sauce

2222 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Credit: Le Crocodile

Le Crocodile, opened in 1984

No one can accuse Le Crocodile of compiling a boring list of fans. Everyone from former Prime Minister Jean Chretien to supermodel Cindy Crawford has dined in this elegant spot just off Burrard in the heart of downtown. Serving the finest French fare for 30 years this spring (and still staffed by some original team members), the restaurant was the brainchild of Michel Jacob, a Strasbourg native, who strived to pay tribute to the cuisine of the famed Alsace region of France.

Don’t-miss dish: You needn’t actually order them, but delicious chocolates in the shape of the namesake reptile will accompany your bill

100–909 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Credit: flickr / MartialArtsNomad.com

Bishop’s, opened in 1985

After working under the tutelage of famed local chef Umberto Menghi, John Bishop took a leap of faith and opened this sophisticated, self-titled Kitsilano dining establishment. The white linen charm of Bishop’s could easily be overshadowed by the prolific career of its namesake – with credits ranging from best-selling author to media personality – but the extraordinary and well-considered menu choices have always represented the very best of West Coast cuisine.

Don’t-miss dish: B.C. cod, mostly for the accompanying touches of bacon and black truffle

2183 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Credit: Fets

Fets, opened in 1986

They are self-described as “southern inspired and whisky influenced.” Fets has been popular on Commercial Drive since the mid-80s, but their collection of whiskies from around the world has an even more storied history, with the oldest of the 500-plus bottles on their shelves boasting a label from 1972. The menu is thoughtful and creative, mixing their beloved beverage into recipes that both liven up old standbys or birth completely unique creations like pan-fried cod with miso whisky butter.

Don’t-miss dish: Ribs – in a 40 Creek Whisky sauce – with extra napkins

1230 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Credit: Flickr / Rudy Eng

Horizons, opened in 1986

At many well-located hot spots in town, you pay for the view alone – but with Horizons, you also get incredible food. The 360-degree perspective of all of the Metro Vancouver area – from the eatery’s perch at the top of Burnaby Mountain – is impressive, but fans have returned year after year for the seafood-heavy menu of West Coast favourites. In fact, not one but two salmon dishes grace the classic entrée list and a skewer of grilled prawns can be selected from the delicious menu of sides as an addition to anything you order.

Don’t-miss dish: The tender gnocchetti – with “forest foraged” mushrooms – or the eclectic seafood cioppino

100 Centennial Way, Burnaby

Water Street Cafe, opened in 1988

Gastown’s Water Street Cafe is the perfect spot to stop and take in the district’s famed steam clock. With an unrivalled view of the tourist attraction just across the road at the corner of Water and Cambie, the eatery has been serving busy office workers at lunch and delivering dinner to tourists since the late ‘80s. The menu has a decidedly Italian influence and is a popular choice for those walking the brick-lined streets of the surrounding neighborhood.

Don’t-miss dish: Smoked salmon risotto

300 Water Street, Vancouver

Credit: Flickr / Cameron Maddux

The Teahouse, opened in 1988

A favourite of tourists and blushing brides alike, Stanley Park’s Teahouse features a picturesque setting that serves as the perfect backdrop for keepsake photos. The restaurant – now owned and operated by the Sequoia Group – debuted in the late ’80s, but the tree-hugged spot was originally built as a locale for afternoon tea in a 1950s era Stanley Park.

Don’t miss dish: The eclectic tasting boards, laden with cheeses and meats or your choice from their other small bites menu

7501 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Credit: Ouisi Bistro

Ouisi Bistro, opened in 1994

With a penchant for sushi and salads, Vancouver diners are not often associated with Cajun and Creole. In the mid-90s, Ouisi Bistro in Vancouver’s sleek South Granville neighborhood changed all of that. Generous specials highlight the libation list and spicy New Orleans fare populates a menu that celebrates the south in every dish. From jambalaya to jerk chicken, dinner is always a feast of flavours, best washed down with a fine bourbon of course.

Don’t miss dish: Ale Marinated Chicken Thighs and Hot Smoked Duck Sausage Gumbo

3014 Granville Street, Vancouver

Solly’s, opened in 1994

The bagel is an oft-debated staple of the starch family. Cakey? Doughy? Salty? Sweet? Preferences abound and Solly’s has them covered. Launched on East 27th Avenue in the spring of 1994, the business has expanded to three popular locations; their original home has shifted four blocks north down Main Street, but their legendary cinnamon rolls remain unchanged. It truly is, as their own signs declare: “Jewish baking at its finest.”

Don’t miss dish: Chocolate babka

Yukon: 368 West 7th Ave., Vancouver
Up Main: 4071 Main St., Vancouver
Kitsilano: 2873 West Broadway, Vancouver