Power lunching in Vancouver has its perks. The City of Glass has taken often underwhelming mid-day hotel fare to a whole new level. Seafood and farm-to-table cuisine rule. Price points range from impress foreign executives to indulge in down-home comfort. And, those with special dietary needs are warmly accommodated.
Because whether big deals are being made or you’re getting to know your long-distance colleagues, a reliably great meal always makes things go a bit more smoothly. The following nine Vancouver power lunch destinations are all within a 16-minute or less walk from the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre Seaplane Terminal.
So, don’t skip lunch. Make sure to savor a bite, even if you’re only visiting for the day.
Heritage Asian Eatery
This Financial District hot spot isn’t fancy. It’s an order-at-the-counter kind of joint, complete with communal tables and a billboard menu. But whatever Heritage Asian Eatery lacks in tableside service, it more than makes up for in flavor-packed comfort food that’ll make even the most estranged of colleagues bond.
What to Get: Pork belly bao topped with kimchi daikon and crispy onions. Duck rice bowl with Peking sauce, crispy onions, and a slow-cooked marinated egg.
Walk Time: 4 Minutes
Cactus Club Café
Located directly above the terminal, the Cactus Club Café offers a great vantage point for watching seaplanes come and go. On a sunny day, snag a seat on their breezy patio. With an extensive menu, they offer something for everyone. But, it's their tasty selection of health-conscious choices that particularly shine.
What to Get: Modern Bowl. With a hearty mix of tabbouleh, pineapple salsa, roasted veggies, fresh greens, and jasmine rice, it comes topped with miso carrot ginger sauce and your choice of protein.
Walk Time: 1 Minute
With its back-alley vibe, Gringo is the kind of place you take a colleague or client who’s not afraid to get their fingers dirty. Prices won’t wow, but the ultra-tender smoked pork butt is the kind of satisfying taco filling that’ll make anyone feel like they’re on vacation – if only for a quick lunch break.
What to Get: Tacos. All the tacos. Wilbur (smoked pork but with pickled onions) is a consistent favorite.
Walk Time: 16 Minutes
When the food’s as good as the view, you know you’re in for a treat. Miku overlooks Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains beyond. It sports an open kitchen where blowtorch-wielding chefs expertly finish the restaurant’s famed aburi (flame-seared) sushi with a bit of charcoal smoke.
What to Get: Miku Zen – a selection of four chef-selected seasonal items, five pieces of Aburi sushi and miso soup.
Walk Time: 8 Minutes
Modern elegance inspired by nature is paired with exceptionally attentive service. The Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Botanist features a light and airy dining room, open kitchen, and food worthy of a lingering lunch. Beautiful plating is almost too pretty to eat, while an extensive wine menu won’t disappoint those interested in a mid-day cocktail.
What to Get: Halibut with cauliflower and spring peas.
Walk Time: 2 Minutes
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Old-school white linens with top-notch service don’t keep this downtown seafood and chop house from being warm and inviting. Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House makes fine dining unpretentious, right down to their blue plate lunch special ($11.95).
What to Get: Joe’s Seafood Caesar, loaded with marinated mussels and clams, grilled salmon and prawns, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan.
Walk Time: 10 Minutes
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s inventive twists on west coast seafood features bright and fresh combinations. Particularly delightful and impressive are the seafood towers (for two or four). A substantial mix of shrimp, tuna, mussels, Dungeness crab, snow crab, and oysters – are sure to satisfy any seafood lover.
What to Get: Seafood towers, for those with an appetite who are willing to share. Albacore tuna, loaded with avocado, sesame sriracha mayo, and Asian slaw.
Walk Time: 14 Minutes
While this Vancouver gem may be frequented by Vancouver’s fashion, PR, and media elite, don’t expect a fussy collection of trendy ingredients. Hawksworth Restaurant delivers a seasonally inspired menu you can pronounce. The staff is professional. The three distinct dining areas are elegant. And, the chef is happy to accommodate dietary restrictions with advance notice.
What to Get: Scallops in parsnip risotto with maitake mushrooms and pearl onions.
Walk Time: 13 Minutes
YEW seafood + bar
In a refined sliver of Pacific Northwest elegance, the Four Seasons’ YEW seafood + bar features soaring ceilings, rough wood beams, and a tall stone fireplace. To balance the woodsy interior, its menu showcases the best in sustainable seafood.
What to Get: Lobster salad sandwich, topped with crispy bacon, tomato wasabi mayo, and a fried egg. Roasted scallops with asparagus and morels.
Walk Time: 13 Minutes
If the rugged mountainside and modern technology had a love child – Vancouver would be the result. Fondly nicknamed ‘The City of Glass’ this British Columbia metropolis sports a plethora of outdoor parks; a love for local, sustainable cuisine; and a passion for protecting Mother Nature. Literally – the Vancouver Sun recently published a veritable ode to a 600-year-old tree.