Vancouver has an incredible culinary scene, recognized with a Michelin guide for the first time last year. The city is full of amazing sustainable seafood, baked goods and local produce prepared by talented chefs with diverse culinary styles.
Luckily, if you're cruising to Alaska with a stop in Vancouver, there are so many great places to dine within walking distance from the Canada Place cruise terminal. The food aboard your cruise might be free, but it's worth stepping off the ship for the day to explore the city, and here are some of the best places to dine that are just a short leisurely stroll from your vessel.
Café Kitsuné – This adorable cafe is right next to the famous Gastown Steam Clock and a great spot for hot and iced coffee and matcha drinks, plus grab-and-go sandwiches and pastries, including Japanese-inspired treats like black sesame roll cakes.
Giovanne Caffè – You're guaranteed a strong espresso at this Italian coffee bar, along with ciabatta breakfast sandwiches, biscotti and other cookies and cornetti. On a hot summer day, try an affogato, made with fior di latte gelato from sister gelateria Motoretta next door.
Botanist – Located at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, the two- or three-course weekend brunch includes a glass of sparkling wine and a cocktail in the prix fixe price and portions here are generous for fine dining. Butter poached lobster benedict, lamb belly poutine and brioche French toast with buffalo ricotta are just a few of the tempting indulgences.
Miku – Lunch is served here until 5 p.m. daily and this Japanese sushi restaurant's claim to fame is aburi oshi sushi – pressed and torched sockeye salmon, house-cured mackerel or prawn nigiri. The bento set lunch is a great deal, including 10 pieces of traditional and aburi oshi sushi along with sushi rolls, appetizers and miso soup. If you don't like raw fish, the chicken katsu and Kyoto saikyo miso sablefish are excellent too, and they'll even happily whip up a special menu for vegetarian and vegan diners.
Pourhouse – This cocktail bar serves great pub fare at lunch including the best burger in Vancouver and comfort food classics like steak frites, beer battered fish and chips and a signature Scotch egg stuffed with fennel sausage that never leaves the menu. Kids and adults alike will fight over the baked to order chocolate chip cookies stuffed with rich hazelnut ganache.
Mott 32 – Vancouver's best Chinese food can be found in Richmond, but closer to the Canada Place cruise terminal is this fine dining Chinese gem. They are most famous for their Peking duck, which must be ordered in advance, but dim sum options like garlic prawn spring rolls, crispy BBQ Iberico pork buns, steam black cod dumplings and pork short ribs with black bean sauce are equally delicious.
Five Sails – Dinner here is a romantic affair, with many booths available where partners can sit side by side watching the sun set over Vancouver Harbor and the North Shore Mountains. New executive chef Robbie Robinson is a wizard, leading a talented young team modernizing fine dining in the city. You can order a la carte or enjoy a seasonal six-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
Archer – Chef Sandy Chen's fanciful plated dishes at Archer are almost too pretty to eat, and she's constantly switching up the menu based on the availability of organic seasonal ingredients. Dishes like uni and lardo brioche toast, morel mushroom agnolotti and bone-in ribeye are meant to be shared and a seven-course chef's choice tasting menu is available upon request.