You can't go to Vancouver and not have sushi! Vancouver seems to have as many sushi places as Starbucks cafes, and that's saying something.
For a truly amazing and mouthwatering experience, go to Guu, which has three locations: 838 Thurlow street, 1698 Robson and another one in Gastown. They're always hugely busy so expect to sit for a while with an Aloe Vodka cocktail (trust me, very yummy) before being seated. Your shoes will be taken from you and returned when you leave. The food is outstanding. Toothpicks and mouthwash are provided in the excellent loos.
For a more standard, West-Coast sushi experience, SushiBang at Burrard and Cambie has a wonderful special which will fill up even the most hungry, and Samurai Sushi on Davie Street just west of Burrard is also excellent, and has very fast and efficient service. Prices at both will astound anyone accustomed to what we pay for sushi here in Britain.
All downtown within walking distance.
A lovely cafe in Downtown Vancouver, right across from the Art Gallery's Hornby entrance. It has the best muffins around, made with maple syrup (of course) and little containers of maple spread are free at the till. Excellent prices too, considering the location. And right next door is a place that sells the best lattes in town.
769 Hornby Street (between Robson and Georgia);
Morena Bar in Kreuzberg serves the best breakfasts in Berlin, massive plates of meat, cheese and fruit with freshly squeezed juice and a bowl of coffee for about €6. It's also a great bar for drinks in the evening, always nicely busy with an interesting crowd. Great for sitting outside too.
Wiener Strasse 60, U1- Gorlitzer Bahnof
One of the finest seafood restaurants I've ever eaten in. Try the Crustacean or Mixed Platter. You need to take a taxi and don't be disappoitned at the outside, just go in and taste their wide selection of fish. Reserve a table because it is very popular. Great atmoshere and not to be missed.
Canary Quay 500 and Eastern Mole Road, Cape Town Docks.
Tel to book:+27 (21) 447 5471
This is a great place for traditional German food and atmosphere. You sit alongside strangers on wooden tables and the waiter continuously brings you glasses of beer, until you ask him to stop....most men's idea of heaven!
As far as the food is concerned, I'd recommend the sausage and bratkartoffeln (basically sauteed potatoes) that I had and the schnitzel and sauerkraut both looked pretty good too.
The Germans might not be renowned for their cuisine, but Peter's will definitely make you change your mind.
Cologne old town, on one of the little streets that heads up from the Rhine
The combination of an eye-catching wine list, friendly service and great food makes this place your home away from home in Riga.
As you walk through the glass entrance that provides the only natural light to the restaurant, you enter a warm world of wood, stone and glass. The potential unfriendliness of bare brick and rough plastered walls is successfully offset by exposed wooden beams, ventilation running through polished wooden conduits, and locally hand crafted stained glass lampshades.
A carved wooden partition separates the smoking and non-smoking areas and provides some intimacy for those who end up with tables in the center of the restaurant. The overall effect is of a warm and comfortable environment.
10, Aldaru Street. The restaurant is located in the very heart of Vecriga (Old Riga) in the medieval warehouse building next to the only remaining bit of the city wall and one of the main tourist attractions - Swedish Gates.
In the older Sachsenhausen district, this traditional hostelry serves the local cider, apfelwein, by the jug, and also cooks up delicious local dishes.
Perfect for wiling away a summer's afternoon (and evening!) as it is open daily from 11am to midnight.
Sachsenhausen, Schweizer Strasse
Tel: +49 69 61 25 65)
Joe's Grill is the one of the best breakfast/brunch places I've ever been too. The service is quick and friendly, the prices are cheap, the portions are big and most importantly, delicious!!
It's a perfect place to sit and watch the world go by, read the papers or eat away a hangover!!
1031 Davie St.
Tel: 604 682 3683
This incredible food market is packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, ice creams, pastas, cakes and much more. You can enjoy a huge variety of cuisine so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach or you'll be missing out. While the guide books tell you to take a bus or ferry, the walk along the waterfront from Science World is a pleasure.
Situated in False Creek, #50 bus
The highly atmospheric district of Kreuzberg was famed for its squat scene, punks and alternative culture (which was partly due to its status on the very edge of West Berlin). Now that the wall has come down its status as an 'alternative' district has diminished considerably. But despite encroaching gentrification, particularly in the west, it still has its own special character.
For an overview of Kreuzberg take U-bahn line U1 from Schlesisches Tor to Gleisdreick. Trains run along an elevated section. West Kreuzberg is traditionally more upmarket, whereas the east is still more down-at-heel.
The main sights include the Jewish Museum and the Transport and Technical Museum. Typical Berlin tenements survive in Kreuzberg, and there are particularly interesting blocks at Chamissoplatz and Riehmer's Hofgarten, between Yorckstrasse and Hagelbergerstrasse.
Kreuzberg is also a good area for budget accommodation and has decent bars and restaurants.
Kreuzberg begins immediately south of Checkpoint Charlie so it's within walking distance of the centre. U-bahn lines U1, U6 and U7 run through the district, as do S-bahn lines S1 and S2.
Its a market and entertainment area. You can pick up fresh seafood (including live lobsters and crabs!), look at exhibtions or go for a drink. It also has an organic market with a lot of choice - its an amazing place and good value for money
Accessible by bus, train, car, boat, bicycle or on foot;
Meander through this peaceful public park with its huge green spaces and shady trees to a fabulous beer garden where you can choose food and beverages from different booths: sausages, fish and chips and beers or if in recovery mode, tea and huge sugary doughnuts.
U-Bahn lines 3 and 6, alighting at Universitat or Giselastrabe
If you want to see artists and bourgeousie come together in what used to be a down and out area, try Main st/Mt. Pleasant. There's a cluster of hipsters, boutiques, coffee shops and ethnic restaurants that give the atmosphere of the way Vancouver once was: countercultural.
Main St. spans from our 'skid row' area on Hastings up to an Indian district. There's everything in between, including expensive character homes.
Commercial drive is a piece of unique heritage in an area of the world that is dominated by chain stores and coffee shops. The Drive is bucking franchises in favour of amazing shops and stores that are complete one offs.
Start by stocking up with fresh breads, fruits, herbal remedies and more, punctuated by a few coffee breaks along the way in one of many of the NON franchised coffee shops. Then finish your experience in one of the fantastic restaurants (many with outdoor heated patios) dotted along Commercial.
La Grotta del Formaggio is a treasured local purveyor of the best new-world Italian Deli sandwiches and cheeses. If you like kitsch then Urban Empire is the place for you - a shop filled with wonders and surprises. Havana is a great restaurant for good (if not traditional) Cuban food and it has a great photo gallery at the back. Waazubee is also a good rest stop or even better dining experience with a wide range of veggie dishes.
This all comes from a person who doesn't even live in Vancouver. Guess it must be great eh?
Between Broadway and Venables;
A superb little Indian restaurant in the South Granville area, run by a charming man with a spooky photographic memory. The food, atmosphere, crowd and bar are all stylish but low-key and unpretentious. Around the corner from Vij's is the Stanley Theatre, formerly an Art Deco picture palace and now the flagship venue for the hopelessly middlebrow Arts Club Theatre Company. Vancouver's restaurants help to make up for the city's appalling lack of a cultural life.
1480, West 11th Ave;
tel: 604 736 6664;
Main Street south of 49th avenue to about 55th is lined with shops selling wonderful Indian fabrics, foods and jewelery. Fabrics are beautiful, authentic and extremely reasonably priced, and the clothes are unique and beautiful.
Farther north on Main is also lovely, but quite different. Between about 33rd and 16th it has plenty of antique shops, second hand stores and cute little stores selling home furnishings and accessories (no chain stores). Between 16th and Seventh it's more eclectic, with some very good second-hand stores (the Salvation Army is on 12th just east of Main) and cafes. Urban Source, at 16th and Main, is a fantastic resource for craft supplies: they recycle industrial leftovers, and the results and the offerings are irresistable.
The strange triangle between Fraser, Main and Broadway is known as Dysfunction Junction, and hosts 2 outstanding second-hand bookstores, literary cafe Our Town, a pool hall, a neon art cafe, and several hole-in-the-wall galleries and restaurants. The Jem gallery is a particular gem; a recent exhibit featured the work of I.Braineater, an outstanding local artist.
Farther north again, Loomis arts and crafts superstore is an awesome place for paper junkies. Just to the west is the Seawall; you can go on the south side all the way to Kitsilano, or you can take the north side and go up to Yaletown, English Bay, and Stanley Park. If you know some tricks you can connect with Portside Road and skate all the way from Science World (near Loomis) to Stanley Park and back to the foot of Main street, a loop of about ten miles if you don't also skate around the park itself. And it's all on the Seawall, away from traffic, except for a mile along Portside Road.
North along Main is Chinatown, and then at the very foot of Main street is the Viaduct which will give you a fantastic view of the mountains, North Vancouver, and Downtown. It will also take you to Crab Park (closed after 10pm) which is the only beach on the Downtown Eastside, and features nesting eagles and hawks, seals in the water, and a marvelous break from city noise.
Nearby, on Alexander just west of Main is the Alibi Room, a very arty place with a very hot crowd, very good food, and very original (and tasty) cocktails. Open late, and for great Saturday brunch, but the DJ might be a bit loud if you're hungover. Not that I would know what that's like.
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