If dining out in Vancouver is your idea of a good time, then The West End is your ideal neighbourhood. Converging between Davie, Robson, and Denman, The West End’s supply and diversity of restaurants, pubs, cafes, patios, and eateries is a buffet of flavours.
Whether you’re in the mood for tacos or sushi, elevated west coast dining or messy BBQ ribs, The West End delivers every cuisine you crave.
With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to pick where to eat first. To get you started, here are our top 5 best restaurants in The West End.
With four locations in the city, Nook is a neighbourhood micro-chain serving Italian dishes such as antipasto, housemade pasta, fresh salad, and classic Neapolitan pizza. The cozy atmosphere, combined with delicious Italian comfort food, make it the perfect restaurant for both date night and gathering with friends. Try the orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage, rapini and fennel seeds, the unbeatable Margherita pizza or stunning mushroom pizza with porcini cream, pancetta and roasted mushrooms, and seal the meal with an order of classic tiramisu.
Many restaurants serve up tapas, which are small plates designed for sharing. Few do it as well as Espana. This cozy restaurant is situated on Denman Street in the heart of The West End. You’ll have no problem navigating the Spanish wine list or array of tapas authentic to the many regions in Spain with their exceptional service and friendly staff. Order 2-3 dishes per person, starting with the Spanish octopus conserva with toast, patatas bravas with both spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli, bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches), and chorizo pea paella balls. You’ll leave feeling full, satisfied, and like you’ve just come home from a vacation in Spain.
Vancouverites love their ramen, so it says a lot about the lineups outside Kintaro Ramen in The West End – one of the best ramen restaurants in Vancouver. Inside, the interior is fondly reminiscent of small ramen restaurants you might find in Japan: unpretentious, jam-packed, and smelling like delicious noodle soup. Despite its popularity, Kintaro remains an affordable ramen hot-spot to enjoy huge portions of classic dishes such as shoyu, shio, and miso ramen, or more specialty soups like cheese and cold ramen. Just be sure to get there early and arrive with an empty stomach!
If you’re looking for a place to have a drink and a downhome meal in The West End after a day of shopping on Robson, “the buck stops here.” Buckstop is a Memphis style BBQ joint located just off Robson Street, specializing in southern Memphis style cuisine. Popular dishes include smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, mac and cheese, housemade sweet pickles and bar nuts, hushpuppies, coleslaw, and tempura bacon. Tuck into a booth in the back for a cozy and atmospheric meal, or sit up front in the bay windows and watch the vibrant community of The West End pass by.
If you’re searching for a more refined West Coast dining experience, look no further: you’ve found Forage. Seriously local and committed to sustainability, Forage offers contemporary Canadian cuisine featuring ultra-local ingredients in creative ways. Whether you’re sitting down for a casual Sunday brunch or a Friday night out with friends, Forage is guaranteed to impress. With a menu that changes seasonally, some of our favourites are the award-winning BBQ duck chowder with Dungeness crab and shrimp toast, roasted mushrooms and fiddleheads, smoked duck breast with rhubarb and maple “butter,” and halibut and seafood bouillabaisse. Paired with their extensive local beer, wine, and cider options, Forage is the restaurant to truly taste Vancouver.