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These exciting Vancouver restaurants provide a stellar experience that is all their own
Every major city has a handful of restaurants that stand out from the crowd. They’re the ones that spark conversation, and deliver not only great food, but also a truly memorable experience. Vancouver is one of those cities.
Whether you want to experience a meal in the dark or you’d rather step into a video gamer’s fantasy, this is a city of spectacular dining experiences.
BCLiving has compiled a list of restaurants that you’re sure to leave full and happy.
RAW Canvas is your classic wine bar and tap house, serving delicious tapas in a cosy environment. There’s only one small difference – you can take that glass of wine and head down to the painting pit to explore your inner Picasso.
RAW Canvas offers a range of canvas sizes and prices, starting from $55-$170, or a reusable tote bag for $60, and provides you with all the paint and supplies you’ll need, including a crew to provide encouragement and inspiration.
All their paints are made locally by Karma Artist Acrylics on Granville Island, and their refillable paint system is zero waste, meaning you can feel extra good about the art you’re creating. Plus, spice up your love life and share a medium canvas on Date Night Wednesday.
With a menu that’s dedicated to sustainability, an art gallery and live music every Thursday night, there’s no better place to express your creativity.
1046 Hamilton St., Vancouver
Heighten all your senses by eliminating one: your sight.At Dark Table, the experience is in the name. You arrive to a lit lobby – the only room in the restaurant with lighting – and choose your desired dish or go for the surprise option. You’re then led to your table by a blind or visually impaired server. Here, your dark dinning experience begins.
If you have trouble adjusting to the pitch black, the guide servers at Dark Table are more than happy to help you. And if you have to take a trip to the bathroom, your server is there to show you the way.
At a restaurant where you can’t even see your own hand, you won’t have to worry about looking like a messy eater as you make your way through a first-class dish. If you want to go the extra mile, try sharing a bite of food or a dessert with your dinner date.
2611 West 4th Ave., Vancouver
As stated on their Facebook page, EXP Restaurant and Bar is a sophisticated restaurant for the grown-up gamer. This all-ages venue, with a designated lounge area for those who are 19-plus, is a restaurant suitable for the Vancouverites who still have a passion for Mario and Call of Duty. In the evening, the lights dim and the array of televisions and projectors take the stage. The walls are plastered with posters and photos of gaming characters, pulling you into the virtual world.
EXP hosts a variety of weekly events, such as social mixers and Q&A sessions, allowing you to meet other gaming fanatics.
There is an extensive drink menu with an array of cocktails that have been inspired by, you guessed it, video games. Try the Fairy Fountain or the Red Dead Lemonade to start off your night of virtual fun.
309 W. Pender St., Vancouver
This isn’t your everyday, preservative-filled, don’t-want-to-know-the-ingredients-hotdog. The dougieDOG food truck serves up 25 different all natural hotdogs that are free of hormones, preservatives and additives, made only with premium, local meat. Your taste buds will go wild with dougieDOG’s extensive, gourmet hotdogs, paired with their very own butterscotch rootbeer.
But this food truck takes hotdogs the extra mile with their Dragon Dog. This decadent dog is made with Kobe beef, lobster, cognac, truffle oil and spices. At $100, it’s the most expensive hotdog in the world. It’s not often you get to say you chowed down a hotdog that holds a Guinness World Record.
A Canadian company through and through, you can follow their schedule online to see where they’ll be on your next lunch break. Or get dougieDOG to cater your next event. Just make sure you reserve the Dragon Dog for someone extremely special.
Vancouver Food Truck
Step into East is East and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another continent, dinning amongst natural wood elements, embroidered pillows, atmospheric lighting and Persian rugs.
This Canadian company integrates local and organic food into their menu, and has even gone as far as harvesting sustainable materials for the restaurant décor, creating a space where guests will feel as if they’ve taken a trip to the East.
A second location, East is East Chai Lounge, includes a stage that features artists from all over the world, including India, Iran, Romania, Spain, China, and Canada.
An extensive chai drink menu is available, featuring a variety of traditional chai blends for that classic Eastern experience.
East is East 3243: West Broadway, Vancouver / 604-734-5881
East is East Chai Lounge: 4433 Main St., Vancouver / 604-565-4401
With four locations in the heart of Vancouver, and two others in B.C, you may feel that Guu lacks originality. On the contrary, this Japanese chain has assured that every one of their restaurants has a different menu and décor style. This lets you have a different cultural experience each time.
Guu Kobachi abides by a “no regular menu” mantra. Only the freshest ingredients are served, and with the dishes changing daily, your taste buds will never get bored.
Also in Vancouver, Guu with Garlic sneaks garlic into their dishes wherever possible. The restaurant itself is serene, with wood elements and sleek lines for a Japanese vibe.
Guu with Otokomae has a rustic interior, but the menu is more modern than its brothers and sisters. This location focuses on making more contemporary tapas in order to serve a large variety of customers.
Finally, visit Guu Original to experience where it all began. Offering the most authentic Japanese dishes of them all, this is where everything started.
Guu Original: 838 Thurlow Street, Vancouver / 604-685-8817
Guu with Garlic: 1698 Robson Street, Vancouver / 604-685-8678
Guu with Otokomae: #105-375 Water Street, Vancouver / 604-685-8682
Guu Kobachi: 735 Denman Street Vancouver / 604-683-0735
Distinct Vancouver Dining Experiences