Comfort food is awesome and Vancouver has some of the best restaurants, ice cream stores, burger joints, and pho spots in the world. I’ve put them all in a delicious list for you.
I know that many of you will completely disagree with me, and that’s good. I understand that you have your own tastes and food preferences, however, in my mind, you’re wrong.
In, and around the city there are tonnes of awesomely created dishes, each with plenty of fanciness and culinary frills. When I sit down to eat, I don’t want a fuss. I’m not one for pomp or fanfare. I like truly delicious food that doesn’t cost the world but tastes like it could.
Here are my top picks for the best comfort dishes in Vancouver. The Best Comfort Food in Vancouver
Best Ice cream sandwiches in Vancouver
Yum Candy Shop, Main Street. Full to the brim with candy, toffee, gobstoppers, gummies, and more, this candy shop also has the best ice cream and ice cream sandwiches in town.
The vintage-designed Main Street must-visit dips their ice cream sandwiches in chocolate, sometimes caramel, sometimes both. They’re big, they’re delicious, and they’re delicious. I know I said that twice, but they earned it.
Best Cakes in Vancouver
Purebread, W. Hastings street. This is a no-brainer. Everyone who walks through the doors says either “wow” or “YUM!”. There are piles upon piles of different cakes, pastries, baked delights, and temptations.
Somehow they’ve managed to create something for every taste and make them all taste like a sugar-filled dream. I’m still working on trying one (or a few) of each one for science, obviously.
Best Coffee shop in Vancouver
Matchstick Coffee, Main Street.This was a tricky one. There are some really great coffee shops in Vancouver. From Elysian to JJ Bean, Small Victory to Bump n Grind, but my favourite has to be Matchstick Coffee on Main street and 32nd. It’s spacious and quiet enough, the food is great, but the coffee is something else. They always have a great selection and the baristas really know their stuff without being pretentious about it. Side note, their avocado toast is amazing.
Best Burgers in Vancouver
White Spot – The BC Burger. I know that there are a lot of people who will be passionate fans of smaller venues, more artisanal creations, and fancier creations. However, the BC (bacon cheddar) burger at White Spot has been around for years and has the perfect crunchiness from the pickle and bacon, the sauce compliments the saltiness of the meat but doesn’t make the bread soggy. Oh, and it comes with bottomless fries. They got it right and kept it.
Best Donuts in Vancouver
Lee’s Donuts, Granville Island Market. The closest competitors are either way too sweet or a bit dry. I don’t want to name names but they aren’t even close to the incredible Lee’s Donuts. It’s an institution here in Vancouver and is simply a must-visit. Ask for the freshly made honey-dipped. They’re light and sweet and when you bite into them, they have a mouth-feel that isn’t cakey, it’s more sumptuous and a bit hard to describe. Either way, buy one and eat it with a cup of coffee. Then go and get another and pick a few up for me, please.
Best Pho in Vancouver
Joyeaux Café & Restaurant, Howe Street. Before coming to Vancouver I’d never tried Pho, and now I love it. It’s so wonderfully aromatic yet richly flavoured. It feels like it’s simple food but there is a beautiful art to it. It balances itself with textures and flavours that are perfect on cooler Fall days or for getting through the long Vancouver winters. Joyeaux Cafe has some of the best in the city, with friendly staff and reasonable prices.
Best Pizza in Vancouver
Don’t Argue, Main Street. Wow! Main street is killing this list! The pizza from Don’t Argue is simple, rustic, perfectly flavoured, and tastes just like it’s meant to. There’s no nonsense, no grease and certainly no “Chicago style deep pan”, which by the way, isn’t pizza. If you want to taste proper pizza, go here.
Best Fresh Bread in Vancouver
Traffiq, Main Street. If you show up early on Saturdays, you can get a loaf and bring it home for a lovely weekend breakfast. They bake their bread in-house and bring it out to their customers. You can also pre-order a loaf of whatever they’re baking. Pro-tip: Sometimes they have jars of homemade marmalade which is just perfect on a fresh piece of their buttery toast.
Best Breakfast in Vancouver
Jethro’s Fine Grub, Fraser Street. This was easy. I really didn’t have to think too long about this category as Jethro’s has the best, THE BEST pancakes I’ve ever had. The Grandma’s pancakes have apple compote in them with streusel on top. They’re huge but they give you an oven-proof container for reheating after you’ve gone home and had a nap.
If you need more convincing, just imagine sitting down while looking out of the window. All you see is driving rain, leaves falling, and people rushing to get home. You brush yourself off while the friendly server pours you a piping hot cup of coffee. Moments later, you’re digging your fork into a stack of delightfully large pancakes, dripping with maple syrup. It’s going to be a good day.
A few other worthy mentions came via the SocialDad Facebook page from Michael Kwan. Hit ‘See more’ for his full list:
If I didn’t pick your favourite, tell me in the comments. I always love finding a new spot in town so don’t keep it a secret.