Never a dull moment when it comes to the restaurant scene in Vancouver. Doors close, and doors open, and when you're craving something new and now, the city is more than happy to oblige.
While some new spots make quick work of transforming their digs, others can take a year or more, with plenty of time for potential fans to work up quite an appetite. Among those up and running are a quirky downtown "strudel bar" with drinks and share plates, a take-out joint specializing in Japanese sandos, and a new destination for Trinidadian doubles on the Drive.
We're also keeping close tabs on a few Vancouver restaurants that should be "opening soon." Hopefully, that means it won't be long before we can check out some Singaporean street eats, the "King of Ramen," a fresh French bistro and much, much more.
Here are some new Vancouver restaurants that are open now, and a few that should be opening soon.
Spam cans and being "cheeky" are the calling cards of Shameless Buns, the Filipino jeepney-inspired food truck that first revved up on the streets of Vancouver a few years ago. Now Shameless Buns has set up shop in its first brick-and-mortar, a small space on Fraser St in south Vancouver that is a beacon for food fans across the region. Roll on up to get your hands on their buns (Filipino sandwiches), loaded fries, and comforting desserts.
Address: 5772 Fraser St.
While the traditional strudel is indeed the heart of the concept of this just-opened downtown Vancouver spot, Honeybrew positions itself as an eclectic, welcoming gathering space. Here you can order up strudel and other sweet treats (cookies, brownies, danish) as well as share plates like spicy sausage or hummus, and dishes like flatbreads, sandwiches, and avocado toast. They're pouring cocktails, soft drinks, wine, and coffee beverages, too.
Address: 785 Davie St
A new spot for Trinidadian roti and doubles (basically a sandwich made with flatbreads loaded with a curried chickpea filling) has just opened up on Commercial Drive. The venture opened its doors Aug. 15 in the longtime previous home of Jamaican Pizza Jerk.
Address: 2707 Commercial Dr.
You'll find all kinds of waffles - unsurprisingly, since it is WaffleLand. This Gastown cafe took over the former Ampersand Bistro & Bar space, and is in its "Grand Opening" phase, serving up Liege and Norwegian waffles with numerous topping options along with decadent dessert drinks (think mounds of whipped cream and frosty glasses).
Address: 32 Water St.
Yuzu (take-out/delivery only)
Vancouver has a new spot for Japanese sandwiches (aka sandos) and sweets, and like the name implies, they do use yuzu, an iconic Japanese citrus, in many recipes. Sandos include katsu (fried pork belly), tamago (egg), and chicken teriyaki on sweet, fluffy white bread, with sweets like puddings, cupcakes, and panna cotta. Currently Yuzu is operating as take-out and delivery only, though you may enjoy your breakfast, lunch, or snack time eats on their side patio.
Address: 3096 Cambie St.
We'll be able to enjoy French bistro-style dining at downtown's Hotel Le Soleil soon. Back in November 2020, Copper Chimney announced it was shutting its doors once again, having closed in the spring and re-opened in October due to the coronavirus pandemic, and renovations have been ongoing all year to create Alouette, the new concept that is poised to open any day now.
Address: 567 Hornby St.
Kozak Ukrainian Eatery - Gastown
With humble roots as a bakery operation setting up at the farmers' market, Kozak has grown over the years to include a New West bakeshop eatery, a Vancouver restaurant on Victoria Drive, and now a more upscale restaurant in a storied Gastown location. The restaurant, specializing in Ukrainian fare, has been testing out the menu and has indicated on social media the doors will be open "soon." Bring on the babka!
Address: 1 W Cordova St.
Linh Cafe - Vancouver House
The second outpost of Vancouver's French-Vietnamese favourite Linh Cafe is in the final stages of prep at its new downtown digs at Vancouver House. Chef/owner Tai Nguyen, who moved to Vancouver 20 years ago, trained under several respected French chefs and pastry chefs locally at spots like La Régalade and Thierry. But Linh Cafe, named for his wife, brings together "the two loves of his life," which are "French foods and his family."
Address: 1428 Granville St.
We've been waiting for this one a long time - the breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant from the team behind North Van's successful Lift Breakfast Bakery. Here we can expect to find approachable eats with a refined European influence; chef/owner Jane Young previously spent time working at Michelin star restaurants in coastal Spain. The Kits space has a lovely patio - it's the old Blue Martini spot. Soon, they say, soon.
Address: 1516 Yew St.
All hail the King of Tsukemen: Some consider it the "most famous ramen restaurant in Japan," and Menya Itto has had us waiting for just about a year for its Vancouver debut on Robson's "ramen row." Tsukemen is the "dipping noodles" style of ramen - that's when you get a bowl of cold noodles served with a bowl of broth for dunking those noodles into. Their sign and website say "coming summer 2020" but we're thinking they meant 2021; back in May the restaurant appeared to be gearing up to soft open, but ramen fans are still keeping an eye for the doors to open.
Address: 1479 Robson St.
Specializing in Singaporean street snacks and wine, Nancy Go Yaya is the project of the celebrated Bao Bei and Kissa Tanto. The restaurant appears to be planning to offer more casual counter service by day and a more refined table service at night. According to their Instagram, the "cafeteria" restaurant in Chinatown is opening soon this summer.
Address: 265 E Pender St.