Every great vacation begins and ends with amazing food to fuel your sightseeing adventures. There are many great places to dine just steps away from YWCA Hotel Vancouver, where you can grab an Instagram-worthy bite at one of the many local eateries and enjoy West Coast hospitality at its finest. Don't know where to start? We've got you covered with this handy guide to dining options that are no more than a 5 to 15-minute walk from the hotel. Here are our recommendations for amazing places to eat downtown near the YWCA Hotel:
Sciué Roman Street Eatery
Delicious flatbread pizzas at Sciué. Photo source: Sciué
Baked goods, pizzas, soups and a mean cup of coffee, you can sit-in or grab-and-go at this little cozy café. Best visited for breakfast, lunch or a quick bite, Scuié is literally steps away from the hotel and right across from BC Place. Drop by right before your day trip to fuel up.
JJ Bean Coffee Roasters
Source: JJ Bean
If you need to visit a local coffee-chain, this is the one. JJ Bean is a well-loved and well-established local chain that roasts their own coffee beans. Enjoy a casual and friendly atmosphere with quick and attentive service. All pastries are baked fresh every morning and their coffee blends pay homage to areas of the city including Railtown and Vancouver's Eastside. Their muffins are a generous size and your best bet for a filling and inexpensive breakfast. The closest JJ Bean to our hotel is only two blocks – at the CBC Radio Station on 740 Hamilton Street.
Loved by locals:
Source: Jam Cafe
This is one of the busiest breakfast destinations in the city but locals will tell you that the experience is well worth the wait. Jam Café boasts a mouth-watering west coast-style breakfast that gets both locals and visitors lining up for a visit. With warm, industrial interiors and a cozy casual atmosphere, you’ll feel relaxed while savouring your salmon benny. Try creative dishes like green eggs and ham, pork belly benedict or red velvet pancakes paired with a bacon-garnished Caesar, mimosas or spiked Jam coffee in this lively spot. The café is located inside a rustic wood and brick heritage building.
Source: Nemesis Coffee
What locals love about Nemesis is its space and atmosphere - modern, airy and bright, yet cozy. Locals also love to soak up the sunshine and work from the café. In addition, Nemesis offers some famous local pour over coffee, espresso-based drinks and unique food combinations like their breakfast sandwich with duck sausage and the upscale beef and squash hash. They also offer spruced up basics like granola, toast with toppings such as baked beans, mushroom, egg or avocado.
Photo of coffee and waffles at Medina Cafe. Source: Medina Cafe
Boasting traditional, deco-style furnishing and incredibly high ceilings, the popular Medina Cafe is a local favourite that offers tantalizing Middle Eastern dishes with ingredients such as grilled halloumi, lamb meatballs, chickpeas, black olives and tahini dressing. Try the liege style waffles with a variety of toppings including classic dark or milk chocolate or the more adventurous pistachio rosewater or creme de fruit de passion. A cozy and comfortable well-lit space that is great for kids and families.
Photo of a Japadog stand by City Foodsters on Flickr.
A Japanese twist on the classic hotdog and a must-try for many visiting celebrities. A street-side vendor with multiple locations, you can find them around the downtown core. They've also opened a storefront restaurant on Robson Street. Try the 'terimayo' topped with teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise and seaweed, or their wasabi or butter and shoyu flavoured fries.
Straight Outta Brooklyn
Photo from Straight Outta Brooklyn NYC pizzeria.
Seating is limited and service is fast. You’ll be straight out of the restaurant and onto your next excursions in no time. Thin crust, high quality ingredients and generous portion sizes make this Brooklyn-style pizzeria a favourite spot for a quick bite.
Loved by locals:
MEAT & BREAD
Photo of some glorious sandwiches at Meat & Bread. Source: Meat & Bread
Widely recognized as serving the best meat sandwiches in the city, MEAT & Bread offers a simple menu in a chic industrial setting. This is a great casual lunch spot offering meatball, buffalo chicken, grilled cheese and porchetta varieties. There are a few seats inside the store but tons of chairs and picnic spots outside the storefront in the plaza.
Photo of a yummy poke bowl from Pokerrito. Source: Pokerrito.
Another grab-and-go spot with fascinating selections, pokerrito is a fun spot with not your usual offerings. Poke is a colourful Hawaiian-style dish consisting of seasoned raw fish with various toppings. This busy lunch spot serves it in a bowl, as a salad or rolled up in a pokerrito (poke burrito). It’s mmm-mmm healthy and good! Several of their dishes are named after places in the Lower Mainland including Diamond Head, Sunset Beach and the North Shore.
Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market
Photo of a wonderful looking plate of oysters. Source: Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market.
Oysters, oysters and more fresh BC oysters are a must at Fanny Bay. Modern, classy and offering an authentic BC seafood experience, Fanny Bay is part of the Taylor Shellfish family of farms and brings a variety of oysters from British Columbia and Washington State right to your table. There is also a seafood market area right inside this restaurant. Try geoduck sashimi salad, local Dungeness crab or, for the less adventurous, classic dishes like clam chowder and fish and chips.
762 Cambie St. (3 mins from the hotel). Click for directions.
Jinya Ramen Bar
Photo source: Jinya.
A ramen lover’s dream! One of the many beloved ramen spots in Vancouver, Jinya is furnished with a mix of high table tops and large tables. There’s a good chance that you will be offered a “sharing table experience” just like in Japan. They offer pork bone ‘tonkatsu’ ramen and chicken-based broth with the option to add extra noodles or toppings. They also have rice bowls, salads, appetizers, dessert, a kids meal and a happy hour. Don’t forget to try their taco shells and crispy chicken!
Loved by locals:
An amazing spread featuring delightful Lebanese crusine. Photo source: Nuba
Tucked downstairs and easy-to-miss, this little Gastown nook features a cozy, bustling atmosphere and has captured the hearts of Vancouverites. Nuba offers healthy Lebanese dishes with vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options. You can't go wrong with their roasted cauliflowers. Choose from a selection of hot and cold appetizers, share a feast or try one of their main dishes followed by a selection of Lebanese pastries for dessert.
Devil's Elbow Ale & Smokehouse
Photo of a glorious Montreal Smoked Meat burger at the Devil’s Elbow. Photo source: Devil's Elbow Ale & Smokehouse
Considered one of the best spots to visit before and after games at the stadium, the Devil’s Elbow offers a variety of excellent meat dishes including smoked pork back ribs and beef brisket, beer sausages or fried chicken. Patrons will say they have great BBQ dishes and a good selection of beers. The restaurant is named after a popular white water rafting spot on BC’s Elaho River near Squamish.
Fine dining at Chambar. Photo source: Chambr.
A great place to celebrate a special occasion, Chambar offers a rustic, romantic atmosphere with vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls and an outdoor patio. Dishes are meticulously-prepared and consistently worth drooling over. A must-visit for foodies.
Black Rice Izakaya
Aburi style prepared at the table. Photo source: Black Rize Izakaya
One of the most underrated options in the city, this hidden gem is a must-try for sushi lovers. A classy low-lit Japanese bar serving trendy aburi-style sushi, tapas, and wagyu beef in an open, relaxed atmosphere. Always great food with many new takes on old favourites. Special care is given to the presentation of each dish with gorgeous, photo-worthy results. You can always bet on high quality ingredients, perfectly prepared rice and an amazing ambience.
782 Cambie St. (4 mins from the hotel.) Click for directions.
Loved by locals:
Mouthwatering selections from Purebread. Photo source: Purebread
Grab some treats to-go or sit in and indulge in their cozy atmosphere for a quick half an hour. This well-known bakery started in Whistler and has expanded to include several locations in Vancouver. Ask a local and watch their faces light up at the mention of “Purebread”. In addition to offering variety of fresh bread, they have a mouth-watering selection of decadent pastries. Everything from meringues, macaroons, cheesecake, brownies and more! Highly recommended!