Guide: The 15 best Asian restaurants in Chinatown
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Chinatown is arguably the most diverse neighbourhood in Vancouver, and that’s reflected in its ever-changing food scene as well. Old standbys are now down the street from some of the newest, trendiest spots in the city. Fortunately, those that have stood the test of time are as busy as ever, while recent additions attract new people to the area.
Since there are so many restaurants, the focus of this guide is only on Asian cuisine. We will get to the rest of the neighbourhood sometime in the future.
Here are the 15 best Asian (or Asian fusion) restaurants in Chinatown.
Snacks and Pastries
These guys have been serving up classic Chinese street food for close to 40 years. Your best bets are the BBQ Steamed Buns with a couple of apple tarts for dessert.
Hours: Daily, 6:30AM-8:30PM
Where: 148 E Pender Street
Another spot that has been serving up Chinese pastries for years. Try the Hong Kong style French Toast or grab one of their club sandwiches to-go, which is the best thing on the menu in our opinion.
Hours: Daily, 7AM-7PM
Where: 532 Main Street
Ba Le Sandwich Shop
An institution of a spot that offers some of the cheapest banh mi in the city. Is it going to knock your socks off? No. Are you going to walk away knowing that you got great value for a tasty snack? Absolutely.
Hours: Daily, 8AM-6PM
Where: 633 Main Street
When you’re wholesaling to T&T, it’s pretty safe to assume you’ve got the best value on the market. Fortunately for us, Kam Wai Dim Sum operates a deli that offers ready to eat dim sum in Chinatown. Want to impress your friends with your knowledge of authentic Chinese cuisine? Take them here.
Hours: Everyday, 9AM-6PM
Where: 249 E Pender St
Japanese spot serving up delicious, homemade bento boxes. We’ve got friends that have been going here for lunch for like 2 months straight and swear by it. That’s a good enough vouch-system for us, tbh.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11AM-8PM, Closed Sunday
Where: 288 E Pender Street
An underrated spot (in our opinion) that has some delicious options. While you can get regular old tonkotsu ramen, we suggest trying out their tsukemen version. Dunking noodles in a broth so heavy that it’s practically a sauce is our idea of heaven.
Hours: Daily, 11:30AM-3: 45 PM and 5PM-9: 30 PM
Where: 515 Abbott Street
Owned by the same group that does Maenam in Kits, Fat Mao brings together a variety of Thai noodle dishes. Our go to here are the braised duck noodles, but you won’t regret trying the laksa or the hot and sour soup either.
Hours: Daily, 11:30AM-9PM
Where: 217 E Georgia Street
Another delicious ramen spot, and affiliated with the very popular Japanese chain Menya Kouji. These guys have some great, interesting flavours, and you should try them out during their happy hour.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11AM-2:30PM/5PM-9: 30 PM and Friday to Sunday, 11AM-9: 30 PM
Where: 223 E Georgia Street
Arguably the best place for Chinese BBQ in Metro Vancouver. Head in there, get a plate with some duck, pork, maybe a little soya sauce chicken and some rice. Eat it, and wonder what all that fuss about Texas and the Carolinas really stands for.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM-8PM, Closed Monday
Where: 130 E Pender Street
Although a relative newcomer, having only opened their Chinatown location last year, DD Mau has proven itself as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city. Banh mi, pho and bun dishes dominate this menu that has everything you would want from a Vietnamese meal. And don’t forget to grab their incredible coffee on the way out.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11:30AM-10PM and Friday/Saturday, 11:30AM-12AM, Closed Sunday
Where: 145 E Pender Street
Like we’d forget about Phnom Penh. Not much to say except that if you’ve not yet had their wings, the butter beef and beef luc lac with egg then you haven’t even lived. Don’t want to wait in line? Get it to go like a true local.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10AM-9PM, and Friday to Sunday, 10AM-10PM
Where: 244 E Georgia Street
Unassuming, family-run Chinese restaurant specializing in Hong Kong dishes. Grab some seafood congee or a wonton noodle soup with a Hong Kong style milk tea for a classic lunch dish.
Hours: Daily, 10:30AM-10PM
Where: 88 W Pender Street
Fusion and Upscale Dining
Asian fusion spot that has a variety of cuisines inspiring their dishes. Great for large parties and get-togethers, with a bar underneath the restaurant for a nightcap. The building is fun too, having been built way back in 1925.
Hours: Sunday/Tuesday to Thursday, 5PM-12AM, and Friday/Saturday, 5PM-1AM, Closed Monday
Where: 158 E Pender Street
One of our favourite restaurants in the city. Seasonal menu that blends Chinese and French cuisines, with an interesting cocktail list to match. Great date spot, and you can’t go wrong with the menu.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 5:30PM-12AM and Sunday, 5:30PM-1AM
Where: 163 Keefer Street
Same ownership as Bao Bei, but with a little bit more refined menu that combines Italian and Japanese. Your best bet here is grabbing a reservation a couple weeks before and saving up the money to really explore the menu.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 5:30PM-12AM, Closed Sunday and Monday
Where: 263 E Pender Street
And there we have it! The best Asian spots in Chinatown. Know you know where to swing by the next time you’re looking for a snack or a full meal. Enjoy it!