Best Cheap Sushi in Vancouver 2015? You Make the Call!

Photo credit: Alpha | Flickr

Photo credit: Alpha | Flickr

According to a report last year in the Vancouver Sun, Metro Vancouver has no fewer than 600 sushi restaurants (not counting grocery counters serving sushi). By some estimates, the city boasts the most sushi outside of Tokyo.

And, to the delight of local sushi lovers, lots of it is very cheap. Whereas sushi is a luxury food in other cities, in Vancouver it’s possible to get 18-piece boxes for under $10 (actually, under $5 if you know where to look). Alas, much of this cheap sushi is pretty mediocre, if not downright terrible. However, in-the-know sushi-philes generally all have their favourite cheap sushi joint – the mom-and-pop place on the corner where you can get fresh, well presented sushi for a decent price.

So I’d like to hear from you: Do you have a favourite cheap sushi restaurant in Vancouver?  Share your bargain secrets by leaving a comment below.   Continue reading:
Best Cheap Sushi in Vancouver 2015? You Make the Call!

For Budget Wine Drinkers: Top 5 Cheap Corkage Deals in Vancouver

Photo credit: alexbrn | Flickr

Photo credit: alexbrn | Flickr

It’s Vancouver’s dirty little secret: Wine in restaurants can be just a wee bit on the pricy side.

But oenophiles in Vancouver have their own secret weapon: BYOB.  For the last two years, wine drinkers have been able to bring their own bottles to select area restaurants and pay a special “corkage” fee for the right to drink it on premises.

Before you head to your next dinner reservation with your favourite vintage, however, keep in mind that these corkage fees also tend to be rather high, generally in the $20-$30 range.  In other words, in many cases it costs as much to bring your own bottle as to buy one off the restaurant’s wine list.

But there are some important exceptions.   Continue reading:
For Budget Wine Drinkers: Top 5 Cheap Corkage Deals in Vancouver

Got $6.50? Sick of Winter? Take a trip to the tropics, without leaving Vancouver

Photo credit: karen_neoh | Flickr

Photo credit: karen_neoh | Flickr

Ready to escape winter, already?

After a mild fall, cold weather has arrived in Vancouver.  The North Shore ski mountains are open, there’s frost on the sidewalks in the morning and the scarves and parkas have come out of the closet.

If a tropical vacation for the holidays isn’t in the picture, consider another option: Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.  Housed in an enormous 21-metre high geodesic dome, the conservatory is a little bit of the tropics – complete with birds and exotic plants – plopped down in the middle of Vancouver.

Enter through the sliding doors and you’re greeted with a rush of warm, humid air and the smells of the forest.   Continue reading:
Got $6.50? Sick of Winter? Take a trip to the tropics, without leaving Vancouver

Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island

Photo credit: JeremyOK | Flickr

Photo credit: JeremyOK | Flickr

It’s the classic, end-of-summer dilemma in Vancouver. The clouds are rolling in and the window for good weather is closing fast.  You’ve already blown your travel budget on summer adventures, and you don’t have enough vacation days left for a real holiday.  But you’ve got the itch for one more getaway.

Why not Bowen Island? The tiny, heavily forested island in Howe Sound feels a world away, even though it’s just a few kilometres off the mainland.  It makes an easy day trip and, with a bit of planning, a really cheap one.

I checked out Bowen Island on a recent Saturday, when big clouds were gathered over the North Shore mountains.   Continue reading:
Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island

Best Cheap Italian Dining in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Photo credit: Pinuxette | Flickr

Photo credit: Pinuxette | Flickr

When it comes bargain dining, Vancouver is generally the land of plenty.  It’s hard to walk a few blocks without passing a cheap sushi joint.  And the city’s diverse population means that authentic, accessibly priced Korean, Persian, Thai and Chinese food is easy to find.

But bargain hunters often strike out when looking for what many consider the world’s most popular cuisine: Italian.  While on the East Coast mom-and-pop Italian restaurants are staples of the dining scene, in Vancouver they’re hard to come by.  So I thought I’d ask for your help.

Do you have a favourite cheap (or reasonably priced) Italian restaurant in Vancouver?  Weigh in by leaving a comment below. 

Of course, this isn’t to say that Vancouver doesn’t have some great Italian restaurants. Continue reading:
Best Cheap Italian Dining in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Best Cheap Sushi in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Photo credit: awhiskandaspoon | Flickr

Photo credit: awhiskandaspoon | Flickr

It’s no secret that Vancouver is a sushi paradise.  With plenty of fresh fish just off the coast and a health-conscious population that just can’t get enough sashimi, the city supports hundreds (if not thousands) of sushi restaurants.

Real sushi connoisseurs have no shortage of high-end options to get their fix.  Tojo’s on Broadway is widely regarded as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Canada. (In fact, the Emperor and Empress of Japan have eaten there.)  Meanwhile, Yaletown’s Blue Water Cafe puts a trendy, modern spin on things with its swanky sushi bar.

But, as bargain lovers know, the real challenge is finding a great cheap sushi joint.  So I’d like to hear from you:

Do you have a favourite cheap sushi restaurant in Vancouver?  Share your bargain secrets by leaving a comment below.  

Finding fantastic cheap sushi, of course, requires walking a fine line.   Continue reading:
Best Cheap Sushi in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Food Cart Hall of Fame: Chicken Sandwich at La Brasserie

Brass Chicken Sandwich- La Brasserie Cart Vancouver

After making big waves the past two summers, food carts have kind of receded from the headlines in Vancouver.  They’re not such a novelty anymore.  Plus, it’s the middle of winter.  Who wants to stand outside and eat in the drizzle?

But that doesn’t mean ambitious street vendors aren’t out there right now: bundled up in sweaters and jackets and serving up their delicacies.  There are some great street eats to be had this February, including some excellent food carts that deserve a second look.

Like La Brasserie Street.   If you’re a fan of street food and haven’t checked out this little cart that’s parked most days on the corner of Granville and West Georgia Streets, then you should make it your top gastronomic priority.  La Brasserie excels in all the street food criteria: 1) It’s cheap; 2) The food is finger-lickin’ delicious; and 3) In true Vancouver style, the ingredients, preparation and presentation are top notch.
Continue reading:
Food Cart Hall of Fame: Chicken Sandwich at La Brasserie