Portland Can Wait

Looks like we made a decision

Never let it be said that the power of the Internet is not so strong that it can't convince people where to go on vacation. Of course, we were already rather enamored with the idea of Vancouver anyway, but it sure helped to hear so many glowing testimonials. You guys should do infomercials or something. Or reviews of eBay sellers. I trust you enough to put my weekend getaway in your hands---why wouldn't I buy a George Foreman grill from you?

So we're off to Vancouver on Friday night after work, and it feels awfully glamorous to be jetting off to Canada for 48 hours. Well, glamorous and perhaps a tad financially irresponsible, but still, I HAD A COUPON. This is how I justify organic produce and this is how I justify spontaneous vacations, so sue me. I just cannot resist a deal. And in case you're wondering where I got this personality trait from, consider this: sometimes I call my mother---in Singapore!---from Safeway to tell her which wines are on special that week. Sean stands idly by muttering "um, you know she can't buy these, right?" But that's not the point. The point is that her favorite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is on sale that week in the North Beach Safeway, AND I THOUGHT SHE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW.

(Once, when my parents announced that they were moving to Singapore from Connecticut, and I was resisting this change with the fury of a thousand fiery suns because I was 21 and thus conditioned to do so---even though I lived three quarters of the year in London anyway---my mother attempted to convince me that I would actually enjoy Singapore by sending me a list of EVERY SINGLE BUS ROUTE that went from our new house to the nearby IKEA. This is how we keep in touch: by pretending we are not living on two entirely different continents.)

So anyway, it's not that we didn't want to go to Portland---in fact, we wanted to go to Portland very much, and we wanted to go to Portland even more when we read all of your fabulous suggestions. Like enormous bookshops that one could spend eight hours browsing! And world-class coffee houses! And copious microbreweries! And no sales tax! Who knew? Certainly not me; I just thought Portland was green and pretty and easy to fly to. But it just seemed this weekend was better suited to Vancouver, and so we shall save Portland for a weekend next year when we can find a cheap flight---or even drive up!---after doing a little more research. Because seriously, I am going to need some time to plan what I need to buy if I'm not going to be paying tax on it. An iPhone? New winter boots? A commissioned his-and-hers portrait done in chocolate syrup? The world is my oyster! My tax-free oyster, of course.

But about Vancouver: I have questions. (Like, where is this shop that sells only crisps, for instance?) Between Stanley Park, English Bay, Chinatown, and Granville Island we have a rough schedule planned out---oh, alright, I lie, I've planned it with military precision; I may actually carry a clipboard on the airplane---but we're still in the market for a) breakfast places for both weekend mornings, b) a nice dinner place for Saturday night, and c) a grocery store where I can browse the aisles for Real Canadian Foodstuffs and fill a suitcase with things to bring home. (On the list: Winegums, Smarties, Flakes, and OXO cubes. And bacon: do you think I can bring bacon in my hand luggage?)

Also, while I've got your attention: should we take a taxi from the airport downtown or take the Airporter shuttle bus? Get money from the Canadian ATM or just pay by card? Also, what is Tim Horton's and is there one in town? Vancouverites, please give me your suggestions. Everyone else, I'm sorry to be such a snooze; I promise you winegums to make up for it. Also, slightly rancid bacon that has been in my carry-on for hours. Yum. You totally can't wait.

1
Aveleigh
Oct 30, 2007

Tim Horton's is Canada's Starbucks... except there is one in almost every small town with a population over 1,000 people and every single one of those people frequents it. Daily. I kid you not, people have made road trips across the country guided only by Tim Horton's. It's good, but I'm pretty sure Vancouver of all Canadian cities has a plethora of coffee/donut/muffin options. Still, if you see one, I would stop in.

2
Adele
Oct 30, 2007

What? Is? Tim? Hortons?

(dramatic pause of horror)

You realise with that question you just gave about a million Canadians a heart attack.

No wait, that was the donuts at Tim Hortons.

All you need to know is for a coffee ask for: Large Double Double.

The strength of the caffeine in the coffee is reputed to make it more addictive than nicotine.

Mmmmm...droool. It's goooood.

(But if you were brought up on English donuts, you won't like Timmy's)

(And now a million Canadians hate me)

3
bohemiangirl
Oct 30, 2007

I used to live in Hamilton Ontario, birthplace of the Tim Horton's chain. I could stand on one street corner and count 3 Tim Horton's. Don't be surprised to hear a Canadian order a double-double (double 18% cream, double sugar). This Canadian is a bit of an espresso snob, so the simple idea of Tim Horton's coffee makes my gut rot (sorry Adele). But hey, it's all about the adventure right? As for Canadian food, while in BC, must try some cedar plank smoked salmon and Nanaimo Bars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar.)

4
NuclearSister
Oct 30, 2007

If you go to Van for the weekend you must go and eat at the best veggie restaurant ever, The Naam. Open 24 hours, yummiest dragon bowls, and once fulfilled a desperate need for pumpkin pie at 4am.

5
Jennie
Oct 30, 2007

When I visited my sister in Toronto, we ate donut holes from Tim Horton's at 2AM. It was easily one of the top five best meals I've ever had. So much better than Krispy Kremes or Winchells.

Enjoy Vancouver!

6
Chelle
Oct 30, 2007

Enjoy your trip to Vancouver!

(bacon in your carryon - hee!)

7
Skeezix
Oct 30, 2007

If you've got room in your carry-on that isn't taken up by bacon you should grab a box of Corn Bran. It is a delicious cereal that is shaped like little pillows. The cereal of my youth, unfortunately they no longer sell it in the US so I have to have my Canadian relatives ship me cases of it.

8
martina
Oct 30, 2007

I have lived in Vancouver, and have visited Portland many times. As a Canadian, I am duty bound to tell you visit Vancouver. It truly is lovely. Head into North Van to take a trip up Grouse Mountain for a fantastic view of the city. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and you can take the ski lift up the mountain. When I was there last in May, there was a freak hail storm and the power went out.

That being said, The coast or Oregon is perhaps the most ruggedly beautiful landscape that I have ever seen. I bought a handmade bracelet in a bead store in Portland when I was 15 (eons ago) that to this day is one of my favourite possesions.

I need to also point out that you may done yourself a disservice by not including Washington in your travel destination options. I cite Washington state as one of my must-visit places for one reason alone: CHEESE Washington State University agricultural department produces the finest cheddar specimen that you will ever encounter called Cougar Cheese.

Also, when in Van, be sure to take the water taxi across to Granville Island. It's touristy, but a must-do.

Oh, and at the risk of betraying my fellow Canadians. Tim Horton's is awful coffee, but the donuts are a sure-fire hangover cure. I also recommend the Maole Danish, one of thier fancier dessert offerings.
Also Canada offers the letter U in many words (colour, honour...) which as a Brit, I'm sure you will appreciate!

Have a great trip, eh!

9
martina
Oct 30, 2007

er, the maPle danish, that is.

10
Sarah Marie
Oct 30, 2007

I love that you got your travel books from the library.

Have fun on your trip! The one thing I didn't do while I was in Vancouver was get dim sum and tea in Chinatown...I was too busy taking pictures.

11
missbeegail
Oct 30, 2007

Hmm, at the risk of sounding obsessed with Granville Island (ok, I am), which I also mentioned in my comment to the where to go post, I will put a plug for eating breakfast there. There is a big market that is great fun to walk around in (oh they have this Italian stand that sells these pizza flavored crackers that are AMAZING, just FYI) and one end of it is full of food stands. Whenever I am in Vancouver I force my travel companion to go with me on a weekend morning to Granville and have coffee and crepes (but there are loads of other options for food). If you can go early (ish) and fight your way into a table near the windows, the view is spectacular. I am sure there are also fancier restaurants on Granville Island (maybe in the hotel?) but I haven't personally eaten in them.

Enjoy yourselves!

12
MetroDad
Oct 30, 2007

My Vancouver recs are totally touristy but I hope you'll like them anyway.

1. Vancouver has the best Chinese food in the Western Hemispere so you have to try it at some point. In fact, their Chinatown even looks a little like old Shanghai. Try Sun Sui Wah, Empire Seafood, Bo Kong, or Boss.

2. Second best burger in Canada? The Red Onion. Be sure to get the white sauce.

3. Check out the Museum of Anthropology. Totally cool.

4. Vancouver is not a great nightlife town but it is a great music town. Be sure to check local listings for next weekend. You never know whose going to show up in town.

13
Kate
Oct 30, 2007

My experience is that if you're not Canadian, Tim Horton's coffee will taste like dishwater. I immigrated here three years ago and have never been able to drink a Tim Horton's coffee without throwing it right back up. The timbits, though, are lovely.

14
Carrie
Oct 30, 2007

And Tim Horton's tea is delightful as well... Also, just for future travel reference, the Bozeman, Montana Albertson's has winegums. And, yes, I've called my mom (who has never had them and has no idea what they are) and told her that. we only live most of a continent apart but still make the grocery store phone calls that prove we're actively involved in each other's lives.

15
alison
Oct 30, 2007

i'm not trying to start a comment war, but are the tim horton's in canada a lot different from the tim horton's in the u.s.? from what i understand, wendy's owns tim horton's (or at least owns the u.s. stores), and tim horton's is just another fast food chain. i've always though it was a lot more like arby's than starbucks. there are two tim horton's within three miles of my house (in columbus, ohio), so i've been there plenty of times, but maybe the u.s. stores are different?

16
Simone
Oct 30, 2007

You'll find a Tim Horton's in the Vancouver airport, so rest assured you won't have to go far to find one.
As for smarties, winegums and OXO cubes, any Safeway will have these (I don't know what Flakes are though. They may not have made it to Canada yet?). Actually, practically any corner store will have smarties and winegums.
I'll let the Vancouverites make the restaurant recommendations.

17
Melanie
Oct 30, 2007

Holly, I've commented twice but your site seems to reset and delete.
did you get either post or should I repost? I live here and have got some helpful info for you!
Melanie

18
Janssen
Oct 30, 2007

You SHOULD buy a George Foreman grill. We use ours almost daily. Mmmmmm. I'm hungry.

19
Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 30, 2007

Melanie, I didn't get either of your comments. The only ones that get deleted are the junk ones, of which there were three in this post. ("So and so wrote an interesting post about blah blah blah....")

20
Erin
Oct 30, 2007

Is there a Tim Hortons? I am still laughing. Is there ever not a Tim Hortons in Canada?
You will know what I mean when you get there. In our small town of 100,000 people we have 20 TH's. It is the power on which Canadians run.
Flakes will be in any chocolate shop downtown and in many convenience stores.

21
Madge
Oct 30, 2007

Delurking to recommend taking the Airporter shuttle - or, even cheaper and barely slower, a transit bus ($3.25 each). Sophie's Cosmic Cafe on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano (not too far from Granville Island) is amazing for breakfast, and there is a specialty candy shop right next door. I bet they have Flakes. Avoid Tim Horton's coffee. Have fun!

22
Carroll
Oct 30, 2007

Ohh, Canadian candy! While you're at it, look for the Nestle-made "Coffee Crisp" bars. Mmmmm, good! Not crisp as in potato chips (to us) but as in crispy coffee-cream-striated wafer bars. I would give an arm or two to find fresh ones around here. Cost Plus World Market does carry them, but they've usually gone stale. Come to think of it, I think they also have Flakes if I'm not mistaken.

And speaking of crisps, the product-dedicated store we passed was on Robeson street -- couldn't begin to tell you where, but I bet any Vancouverite will be able to direct you. It's pretty famous. Might even find it on one of the guidebooks.

23
Melanie
Oct 30, 2007

Ok, I'll try this again. I think that if you are typing a long comment, your site seems to refresh or something and I didn't hit submit, so my looong comments were lost.
I may try this in 2 posts then.

1) I recommend you get a tourist map from your hotel. They are excellent and show the whole downtown area which really isn't that large. If you are used to walking everywhere in SF then you'll be fine here too. You can make it to Granville Island (more about that in a minute), Stanley Park, Chinatown and anywhere else downtown by walking or hopping on one of the local buses for $2.25. Keep your transfer ticket and you can use it again for up to 2 hours.

2) You can catch a harbour ferry from the bottom of Hornby Street over to Granville Island. There are the fabulous markets that sell meat, cheese, breads, fruit and veggies, and there are lots of little stores that sell jewellery, stationery etc. Get a coffee and try the little homemade donut kiosk inside of the market. There are always buskers on the weekend as well that add to the charm of Granville Island. You'll love it!

3) I agree with the other commenters. Avoid Tim Horton's unless you love donuts. Then go there for those but don't bother with the coffee. You'll be disappointed.
Probably the BEST coffee in the city you can find at Caffe Artigiano's. Their website is www.caffeartigiano.com. Try the Spanish Latte which is superb coffee with a bit of condensed milk poured into the bottom and then mixed with the espresso and milk. It's delicious!

I'll put more in another comment in a moment.

24
Kristin
Oct 30, 2007

1.) The cab ride from the airport (Richmond) to downtown Van is a good 40 minutes. I'd totally come and pick you up and drop you off, serious.
2.) All your picks are great but there are also some hidden gems: the view from Seymour, kayaking down Indian Arm, fish and chips in Horseshoe Bay -- and shopping on Robson is the awesome. World class chocolate AND a mind-numbing fashion choices.
3.) Honey's Donuts in Deep Cove village has a brunch that will blow your mind.
4) Granville Island is totally not overrated.
5) Vancouver has some amazing restaurants. Are you into seafood? Or Greek or Indian? Stylish with a view or low key?

OK, that's enough. I need to send you an email instead of taking over your comments.

25
Melanie
Oct 30, 2007

Continued...
1) When you're coming in from the airport, depending on what time of night you get in, I recommend taking a taxi b/c a return airport shuttle ticket for 2 of you will cost the same as a taxi. If you get in late go with the metered fare, but if you're getting in during rush hour ask for a flat rate of about $35.00.

2) For nightlife and drinks and good food, you should take a walk (or cab) over to Yaletown. This is a cute and trendy area in downtown Vancouver with great restaurants and bars and lots of little boutiques (some of which are very overpriced). But the area is cute and has cobblestone streets and it's definitely a popular place to be on a weekend. There are tons of restaurants to choose from in different price ranges (mostly mid to high end) and you can probably walk around and take a look at menus before you decide.
I like the Yaletown Brewpub http://www.markjamesgroup.com/yaletown.html if you want something casual or for something a little bit trendier try Glowbal Grill (www.glowbalgrill.com)
There are lots of westcoast and seafood restaurants too.
And of course you can have a drink in the lounge at the trendy Opus Hotel on Davie Street.
Here is a little website about Yaletown:
http://www.myyaletown.com/

3) As for the candy and OXO cubes, try any Safeway or there is a big London Drugs on West Georgia or Robson Street. They'll have it all there as well.

26
Melanie
Oct 30, 2007

Ok, last post I promise.

For breakfast, there are lots of great places but they are outside of downtown.

I agree that Sophie's is great. Also in Kitsilano, is the Zen Cafe on Yew Street and 1st Avenue. Great cheap breakfast. It's a bit of a hole in the wall, but it's packed all the time. Then you can walk up to 4th avenue in Kitsilano (Kits for short) and look at all the shops. There is fantastic shopping on 4th including yoga wear (lululemon) and little boutiques.
Hell's Kitchen is also good for breakfast and that is also on 4th Avenue in Kits.

If you stay downtown, I recommend you wander down to the West End along Denman Street. There are a few places there but they get packed after 10am. There is always Milestone's on Denman that has great views of the water and pretty decent breakfast. This is a restaurant though not a diner type of place.

I hope this helps. Have a wonderful time and I can't wait to see your photos and hear all about it when you're back.

27
barbie2be
Oct 30, 2007

oh good goddess, tim hortons!!! get the largest coffee they have and savor every drop because when you come home, you will cry when you remember how yummy delish it was. and don't forget to pick me up a dozen tim bits for my birthday next week!!! :)

28
Laura
Oct 30, 2007

I'm so excited you're coming to Vancouver! Which is totally ridiculous because I'm sure I won't meet you (unless you want a ride to and from the airport, as Kristin offered - I'll offer as well!) A taxi from the airport to downtown will be fairly expensive. It's at least a half hour drive.

There are indeed a ton of awesome restaurants here. If you love Indian food, try Vij's (www.vijs.ca) which is probably the best Indian food you'll ever eat outside of India. Or possibly in India. I don't know what sort of budget you're operating on for restaurants so I'm not sure what else to recommend but there are a ton of great restaurants for any budget in Vancouver. One of my other favourites is Aqua Riva downtown on the waterfront (www.aquariva.com). Lots of good seafood and west coast choices. The food is pretty fancy and the prices are above average but still affordable. Zeferelli's on Robson is great Italian pasta; Savory Coast on Robson is also very yummy! I think the suggestion for brunch at Honey's in Deep Cove is great (but a bit out of the way) and Granville Island is good also :) And you MUST go to a Caffe Artigiano's for coffee if you love coffee. SO GOOD.

Honestly you can find all that Canadian candy at pretty much any grocery store! Safeway is a safe bet, it's just a regular old grocery store. Nothing fancy about it. If you want to try a uniquely Vancouver grocery shopping experience, try Capers www.capersmarkets.com or Urban Fare www.urbanfare.com. (A bit more upscale, kind of similar to Whole Foods.)

29
Sar
Oct 30, 2007

I'm not a fan of Timmy's coffee, I like good strong espresso. But there are a million coffee joints around Vancouver, one on Granville island that I don't remember the name... but it is organic and cozy inside with a loft where you can enjoy coffee and pastries while reading newspapers for as long as you'd like. This is a good way to escape the rain if necessary. Also make sure you stop at any pub on Granville and ask for Granville Island Maple Cream Ale - it's a beer, soooo good.

If you have a chance, take a ferry to Vancouver Island. You can explore Victoria; that's where I'm heading to this weekend!

Enjoy!

30
jenny
Oct 30, 2007

You must bring back all kinds of unique flavored potato chips. Like ketchup. Yum!

31
Andi
Oct 30, 2007

We have a million Tim Horton's here in Ohio. I don't like their food or their coffee. Maybe it tastes better in Canada....

32
Lori
Oct 30, 2007

Definitely Sophies (http://sophiescosmiccafe.com/) though the lineup may be out the door. Timmy's will appeal if you find Starbucks coffee too strong. Ketchup chips, dill pickle chips - definitely worth trying. Weather's looking a little dicey at this point so we'll cross our fingers that you get a beautiful day like today. Granville Island is gorgeous in the sun. If you want to hit iconic Canadian stores, go for Lush, MAC, Roots & Lululemon. You're going to love it here!

33
Emily
Oct 30, 2007

Are you guys seriously saying there are no wine gums or coffee crisps in the states???? Why the heck do so many people LIVE there!?!??!?

Coffee crisp is the best chocolate bar you will find. Make sure to squeeze the wine gums before buying them to make sure they're still soft. Actually, go to a local grocery store to see if there are any all-natural wine gums because they DO actually taste better than the Maynards (believe it or not). I'm on Vancouver Island though so I'm not sure if that's just local to us or if the mainland would have them too.

I will be back in a minute, I need to go buy some wine gums...

34
Kerrie from New Zealand
Oct 30, 2007

Oh my god - delurking from sheer excitement - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in Safeway in SF! All the way from little old New Zealand!!!! In America!!!! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but i am extremely excited about this, my favourite drop on the other side of the world!!!!!!

35
polkadot
Oct 30, 2007

Everyone mentioned great stuff, but I will mention some of the general stuff.

-Tim Hortons does not have the best coffee, but the donuts are great. Apple-cinnamon tim-bits (little bite size donuts) are the best. Tim Hortons is the cheaper Starbucks. You go there after you have had four bottles of expensive wine and want some sugar to make the night even better. Students are there because they can afford it.
-Butter Tarts (home-made Canadian pecan butter tarts)
-Canadian Maple Syrup and pancakes
-Dill Pickle, Salt and Vinegar, Ketchup and Bacon flavoured potato chips (crisps)
-The word "eh" - don't point it out, we know we say it. It's built in!
-Coffee crisp and Smarties
-Poutine: fries with cheese and gravy. The best I ever had was in Quebec (beautiful place), but I am sure Vancouver has some of the best.
-The general awesomeness that is Canada

I hope you have a great time in a wonderful city =)

36
lindsayc
Oct 30, 2007

For dinner: Vij's (indian), Il Gardino (tuscan style iialian), Carderro's (west coast fare and local beers) are all favourites with us.

For breakfast: Sophie's Cosmic Cafe (yummy egg's benedict)

Any Safeway should carry all of the things that you are looking for, including Flake bars.

Pass on the Tim Horton's coffee (imho) it is not pleasant tasting unless you have add in's. But the donuts are GREAT.

These are all tips that are probably in the comments above, I just didn't have time to read them all! Have a wonderful trip. And for local weather and news info google NEWS 1130, there is a weather forcast every 10 minutes or so that might help you pack!

37
Alexa
Oct 30, 2007

I hate to make enemies with my friends to the North, especially as I'm in BC quite frenquently for skiing and scuba and such but Tim Horton's coffee. . .I can't stand it. Their donuts however are quite tasty.

I love Vancouver, awesome city. And like someone else said, they have some of the best Chinese food :)

38
Alexa
Oct 30, 2007

Oh and Portland is quite nice, but I think its one of those vacations you should take in the summer when you can visit all the wineries (and visit the ones in WA too) and then go out to the coast. The coast is awesome. Plus if you go to Astoria & Cannon Beach you can say you've seen where the Goonies and Kindergarten Cop were filmed, and as we all know this is vitally important. :)

39
Meg
Oct 30, 2007

I didn't read through all the comments, so I don't know if I'm replicating anything (except Kristin's, because I scanned for my fellow Vancouverite):

Let her pick you up at the airport. Much nicer. And tell her to bring you a Honey's donut, too.

Tim Horton's coffee tastes like cigarettes. I'd say go to Caffe Artigiano downtown for your morning cup. Really nice!

Yaletown has some cute restaurants -- a nice selection just walking about a bit, everything from Pacific fusion stuff to sushi to good Italian. And all these spots are good:

http://www.toptable.ca/index1.asp

Go to Salt Tasting Room in Gastown for a nice glass of wine -- not far from where you're staying.

http://www.salttastingroom.com/

The Irish Heather is a good gastropub in Gastown as well.

http://www.irishheather.com/ih_main.html

For good music in the city:

http://beyondrobson.com/music/

Email me if you need anything when you're here. :-)

40
andrea
Oct 30, 2007

I have to third the recommendation for Vij's, definitely some of the best Indian food I've had.

Stop into any convenience store or Safeway and you'll find all the candy your heart can desire. I am now dreaming of a Coffee Crisp after everyone here talking about them.

Have fun and definitely consider Seattle next time, quite a lovely city, although I am completely biased.

41
metalia
Oct 31, 2007

Ooh, so jealous! Have a lovely trip, Holly!

42
Melissa
Oct 31, 2007

If you enjoy the cupcake, you will be very, very, very, very sorry if you do not go to Cupcakes (http://cupcakesonline.com/). I've only been to the original location at 1116 Denman. They are SUBLIME. They make great breakfast food!

43
Gillian
Oct 31, 2007

wow, from reading and never commenting to two comments in two days! But Vancouver is my home, so I feel I might have something somewhat useful to say...

Sadly, you won't be able to call your mom about cheap wine in Safeway, because we don't sell liquor in our grocery stores...you will find candy, OXO cubes and other good stuff though! As for a place to eat, Las Margaritas on West 4th has truly gorious margaritas (who would've thunk it?!) and great mexican food, Vij's near West 11th and Granville has amazing Indian food, but be prepared to wait for a table on a Saturday night, and the Sandbar on Granville Island is the epitome of west coast casual seafood - and a stellar view. Meinhardt's on Granville and...13th? has great sandwiches if you are looking for a quick bite...

And Please, if you are in the mood for something sweet, never mind Timmy's (gasp! I know!) - GO.TO.CUPCAKES. Denman Street or West Broadway - it doesn't matter. Please say hello to Blue Hawaii cupcake for me, we've been taking a break as of late, but I'm hoping for a reunion soon!

44
Kyla Bea
Oct 31, 2007

Oh! Oh!

If you do one thing, go to a really wonderful restaurant around Kitsilano called The Naam (http://www.thenaam.com/). They are a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant that has been in business for forever and know what they're doing - they've branded and marketed their Miso gravy so you can buy it outside of Van it's so good.

The menu is on the website, check it out if you have time in your schedule!

45
carla
Oct 31, 2007

Delurking to suggest you check out Main Street. There are lots of good little local owned shops and restaurants between Broadway and about 30th Ave. It's a fun neighbourhood.

If you are into sushi, Tanpopo on Denman (English Bay) has excellent all you can eat! And is near the cupcake joint.

Vancouver is awesome, you can't really go wrong.

46
Saucepan Man
Oct 31, 2007

Go for a week. You won't be able to do everything, otherwise...Send Sean to Tim Horton's then you won't waste the price of two cups if you don't like it. (Opinions are too divided.)

47
Janis
Oct 31, 2007

Definitely try the Coffe Crisps candy bars (we used to cross the border and bring a case back from Costco to Seattle).

For a splurge dinner, the tasting dinner at Cin Cin Ristorante on Robson Street is incredible.
http://www.cincin.net

48
Shannon
Oct 31, 2007

Hi,

You have gotten some really great suggestions and advice. I would suggest that if you have time, go for dinner one night to Grouse Mountain. It's a fine dining restaurant and the food is great. The best part though is the view, and you get a nice gondola ride up the mountain (they deduct the price of the gondola ride from your dinner bill). http://www.grousemountain.com/grousemountain-observatory-restaurant.cfm.
You can take the Hop On / Hop Off bus to see most of the tourist sites that you will want to see while you are here, and your concierge should be able to hook you up for most things.
If you don't want to hit Grouse Mountain and if it's too cloudy to get the view, try Joe Fortes or Cardero's for dinner (local West Coast seafood).
Go to Urban Fare grocery store (Bute & Cardero)or in Yaletown, for the items you are looking for, and to see how outrageously priced groceries can be here.
Have a really great weekend.

49
WK
Nov 01, 2007

I was there with my boyfriend in April, and I cannot recommend Raincity Grill enough for dinner the evening you're there. It's romantic, and, best of all, they use local foods as much as possible, and everything just melted in our mouths. http://www.raincitygrill.com/ Have a fantastic time -- the city is beautiful.

50
Wacky Mommy
Nov 01, 2007

Love the Naam, it's yummy -- buy a T-shirt if they still have them. I had the best T-shirt from that place -- wore it til it was tattered.

There is more to Portland than Powell's, fyi. (Feeling surly cuz everyone has been all "Powell's oh it's the best." That Michael Powell needs to share the wealth with his employees!! says the local girl whose friends who work there have been underpaid for years. Maybe his daughter -- who is taking over -- will give everyone a nice big raise.)

When you do make it to Portland, go to the Alibi, the best tiki/karaoke bar around. We have tons of good SE Asian food. Cute bike messengers. Peninsula Park Rose Garden. Movie theater/brewpubs. And me!

51
Allison
Nov 01, 2007

I'm also delurking to say how frickin' excited I am to find you're coming to my hometown!

Couple things...Sophie's on 4th Ave. is GREAT but there's always a line. So, be prepared to wait in line.

The University of British Columbia has an amazing anthropology museum. It's worth the bus ride out there. And if you're feeling daring, you can take a peak at Wreck Beach, Vancouver's famous nude beach on the edge of the campus.

That's all, really. I echo the suggestion to check out Main Street. Great local clothing/designers and antiques.

HAVE FUN!

52
Karli
Nov 01, 2007

For dinner I'm also casting a vote for Vij's. http://www.vijs.ca The food is so beautiful and perfect that I got teary when I ate there. I also agree with Laura about Cafe Artigiano's coffee being the very best. For breakfast I'm suggesting Templeton. It's a 30's style diner with an incredible breakfast menu. http://thetempleton.blogspot.com I also agree that you would enjoy Lush and lululemon. Hope you have an amazing weeked!

53
Richelle
Nov 02, 2007

My girlfriend sent me this link - she lives in Jersey and we come out to NYC constanty...like once every couple months. We keep trying to convince her to come to Vancouver....but alas she hasn't yet. I am sure that you have tons of great ideas above but I haven't read them so I don't want to suggest things that have already been said. Just know that it is beautiful! There is great shopping on Main Street and in Gastown and great food everywhere! West 4th is great for both shopping and food.

I hope you enjoy our fair city.

Email me if you have any specifics you want answered:

stuckinsurrey@hotmail.

Tim Hortons is more legend than it is worth the trip!

Richelle

54
Kaili
Nov 03, 2007

We live four hours from Vancouver and I grew up even closer (an hour away). I suggest you check out Banyen Books, I believe it's on 4th and Dunbar. It's great!
Artigiano's or JJ Beans for coffee!!!
Have fun!