6 Vancouver Lunch Spots That’ll Make Your Midday

Escape the office with lunch at one of these Vancouver favourites

Credit: Flickr / qasic

A lunchtime escape to one of these Vancouver establishments will turn noon hour into your favourite part of the day

Show your desk the door and take a seat at the lunch counter. Walk away from meetings and emails to visit one of Vancouver’s best midday haunts. These six local eateries – spread throughout the city – excel at lunch service, thanks to efficient prep, high-style ambience or some of the area’s most unique cuisine.

Cannibal Café – 1818 Commercial Drive

One of the more recent additions to Commercial Drive’s food-centric stroll, the Cannibal Café is certainly not as menacing as its name. Part roadside diner, part pop culture hall of fame, this eclectic eatery features some of the city’s most succulent burgers, using three different cuts of beef – brisket, chuck and short rib – ground by hand on-site daily. Customize your order by selecting your own toppings or choose one of their popular specialties, including nods to Montreal smoked meat and Korean BBQ. Still nervous? Don’t worry. They pledge: “The chances of you becoming the daily special are slim to none.”

When to dine: Opens weekdays at 11:30 a.m. for lunch

Minami – 1118 Mainland Street

Minami has made a name for itself in Yaletown by combining the best of both Japanese and North American cuisine, showcasing the same flame-seared technique oft-noted at its sister restaurant Miku (which recently moved to a stunning viewpoint overlooking Canada Place). The “aburi” prep style turns already-impressive sushi into a unique treat and the attentive service adds admirable charm. Ruled by the theory of “ningenmi” – which translates roughly to “find joy in yourself by bringing pleasure to guests” – diners know they are being well-cared for even during a meal crunched by time.

When to dine: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays

Tractor – 1903 West 4th Avenue

Get a jump on your healthy re-fueling each day at Kitsilano’s Tractor. Opening at 11 a.m. for early snackers seven days a week, this fresh food fave offers delicious sandwiches and soups, but it’s truly known for amazing salads, including veggie or protein options. Indecisive? You can also pick your favourite vegetarian dish – we recommend the quinoa with Portabello, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese – and then top it off with your choice of protein.

When to dine: Opens everyday at 11 a.m. for lunch

Meat and Bread – 1033 Pender Street and 370 Cambie Street

Meat and Bread‘s name says it all: hearty sandwiches that put the focus on fresh breads and succulent meats (or perfectly prepared veggies). The “porchetta” – stuffed with their trademark boneless pork roast – is a staple at both busy downtown locations: one just steps off Victory Square and the other slightly west on Pender Street. Don’t get too attached to any single menu though as their lists are always in flux and – more importantly – always stacked with incredible options. On Pender, a special vegetarian creation is featured weekly while, on Cambie, a daily special pops up every morning when the doors open for business.

When to dine: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays (though the Cambie Street location remains open ‘til 5 p.m. for any late comers)

Credit: Trafiq

Trafiq – 4216 Main Street

Transport yourself from the funky charm of mid-Main to the elegant air of Europe’s most welcoming restaurants in just an instant – and be sure to save room for dessert! Trafiq’s sandwiches are just the first course at this bakery-café that specializes in stunning cakes and other sweets that will easily fuel the rest of your afternoon with the most delicious of sugar rushes. They proudly declare, “We’re cake people.” If you get a little too comfy, grab a coffee, read a magazine and spend a few more hours relaxing as they’re open until the end of the office day.

When to dine: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily (8 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays)

Credit: Farmer's Apprentice

Farmer’s Apprentice – 1535 West 6th Avenue

You’ll need to skip the Monday meal plans, but  every other weekday the Farmer’s Apprentice serves up only what is local, fresh and fantastic. It’s been deservedly acclaimed by critics and organizations across the country in just its first year, with multi-course spreads comprised of ingredients sometimes not even decided upon until their local suppliers make deliveries. Lunch crowds are in for an added surprise as menus are always evolving, with recent fine bites including coconut roasted chicken and tomato and buffalo mozzarella gnocchi.

When to dine: 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. Tuesday to Friday