Unique Restaurants in Vancouver: 12 Incredible Vancouver Eateries

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Vancouver
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Vancouver, famous for its stunning landscapes, is also a city for amazing food. The unique restaurants in Vancouver offer special moments that are truly one-of-a-kind. Imagine dining in complete darkness, or enjoying a meal while slowly rotating above the city skyline for a 360-degree view. Vancouver’s food scene is remarkable!

Welcome to Vancouver! As a food enthusiast who’s explored corners of this vibrant city, I’m excited to share with you some of the most unique dining experiences it offers, all infused with that Canadian charm.

In this guide, I’ll include my favorite spots that stand out for their uniqueness. From eateries where the ambiance is as compelling as the menu to places where the food tells a story, each recommendation promises something beyond the ordinary.

Are you in search of unique restaurants in Vancouver? You’re in for a treat. This city is home to dining experiences that are as diverse as they are memorable. Whether it’s a hidden gem tucked away in a bustling neighborhood or a high-end restaurant that’s the talk of the town, Vancouver’s culinary landscape is rich with unique finds.

And for those who love to combine fun with food, fun places to eat in Vancouver are plentiful. From themed restaurants to quirky cafes, each spot I’ve selected offers not just a meal, but an experience to remember. Without further ado, here are 12 of Vancouver’s best restaurants that you simply can’t afford to miss!

The top restaurants to visit in Vancouver right now
This article on the unique restaurants in Vancouver will certainly surprise you

Unique Restaurants in Vancouver: 12 Memorable Places in Vancouver to Eat

Ready to explore the best restaurants in Vancouver? There’s a whole array of exciting places waiting for you, from luxurious dining experiences to charming, offbeat spots. Join me as we discover the best places to eat in Vancouver.

Are you in the mood for an extraordinary dining experience, like eating in complete darkness? Or perhaps you’d prefer a meal served in a setting that takes you back in time? No matter what kind of unique dining adventure you’re looking for, Vancouver has it all. Here’s your essential guide to the most unique restaurants in Vancouver. Prepare to make your dining experiences unforgettable!

1. Dark Table

Have you ever considered dining in complete darkness? Dark Table in Vancouver offers just that – a meal where sight takes a backseat, and your other senses lead the way. It’s one of the most unique restaurants in Vancouver for an unforgettable sensory adventure.

My first visit to Dark Table was an exercise in sensory surprise. Without the ability to see, each flavor and texture becomes a mystery to unravel. The menu is kept under wraps, adding to the excitement. Despite the secrecy, expect each dish to be a burst of delightful flavors, crafted from high-quality ingredients.

But Dark Table is more than an extraordinary dining spot. It’s a venue that challenges your perceptions, guided by incredible visually impaired staff. This experience not only offers a unique culinary adventure but also shines a light on the capabilities of the visually impaired community.

Advance booking is essential here. This one-of-a-kind experience is highly sought after. While it might be a bit of a splurge, it’s an investment in a dining experience that goes beyond the plate. For those on the hunt for unique places in Vancouver to eat, Dark Table is a must-visit!

Dark Table is one of the unique restaurants in Vancouver.
Dark Table in Vancouver offers dining in complete darkness, a unique sensory adventure.

2. Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant

Experience dining at new heights at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. As the restaurant slowly rotates, enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city. It’s one of the most scenic places in Vancouver to eat, hands down.

The menu features a range of dishes, catering to various tastes. Enjoy fresh seafood, expertly cooked steaks, or vegetarian options, all while gazing at the city skyline. It’s a feast for your eyes and your palate!

Located in the heart of downtown, this restaurant is perfect for special occasions or a night out. The revolving view means every seat is the best seat. Remember to book in advance, as it’s a popular destination.

Dress as you like for this sky-high adventure – casual or formal, you’ll fit right in. The focus here is on the experience and the views.

Top of Vancouver is a standout choice for those looking for unique Vancouver restaurants. It redefines dining with its moving panorama. Ready for an unforgettable meal with a view? This is the place!

Enjoy a 360-degree city view as you dine at Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.
Enjoy a 360-degree city view as you dine at Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.

3. Kissa Tanto

Kissa Tanto stands out as a treasure among Vancouver’s best restaurants. It’s where Japanese and Italian cuisines blend, offering a unique dining experience. Located in the heart of Chinatown, this spot is a fusion dream come to life.

The moment you walk into Kissa Tanto, you’re enveloped in an ambiance that mixes Tokyo’s 1960s jazz vibes with Italian elegance. The setting is both nostalgically retro and refreshingly contemporary. But the highlight here is the innovative menu. Dishes like Tuna Carpaccio with an unexpected twist or the playful Japaroni pasta are a celebration of flavor.

Each visit to Kissa Tanto promises something new. With a menu that changes regularly, it ensures a novel dining experience every time. It’s a place for those who appreciate the art of food, where each dish is a fusion of cultures.

The pricing at Kissa Tanto offers great value, balancing high-quality dining with reasonable costs. Believe me, eating here is an experience that fuses worlds in a uniquely Vancouver way.

Kissa Tanto is a Japanese-Italian fusion dining gem in Chinatown.
Kissa Tanto is a Japanese-Italian fusion dining gem in Chinatown.

4. Gringo Gastown

As one of my personal favorite places to eat in Vancouver, Gringo Gastown is a vibrant splash in the city’s dining scene. This lively spot in the historic Gastown district offers a fun, laid-back atmosphere with a menu that’s all about bold flavors. It’s a perfect pick for cheap eats in Vancouver.

Step into Gringo and you’re greeted by a colorful, quirky interior that’s as lively as the food. Here, it’s all about enjoying good times with great food. The menu features affordable yet delicious tacos, burritos, and more, each packed with zesty flavors.

Gringo isn’t just about great value, though. It’s about enjoying a relaxed, friendly vibe. It’s the kind of place where you can unwind, laugh, and savor every bite. Whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or hanging out with friends, Gringo makes every visit a party.

With its budget-friendly prices, Gringo is a gem for those who love flavor without the fuss. It’s a casual spot that proves great food doesn’t have to be expensive.

Ready for a fun, flavorful feast? Gringo Gastown is your go-to spot in Vancouver!

Gringo Gastown is a vibrant spot perfect for affordable eats.
Gringo Gastown is a vibrant spot perfect for affordable eats.

5. Chambar Restaurant

Chambar Restaurant is a beacon of exquisite food in the heart of Vancouver. Known for its exceptional Belgian-inspired cuisine, this spot is a favorite for those seeking fine dining in Vancouver. It’s where elegance meets culinary excellence.

At Chambar, the ambiance is as refined as the menu. The setting combines chic decor with a warm, inviting atmosphere, perfect for a romantic dinner or a sophisticated night out. The restaurant’s commitment to quality is evident in every dish.

The menu at Chambar is a showcase of creativity and flavor. Indulge in their signature moules-frites, a Belgian classic, or explore other exquisite dishes crafted with local ingredients. Each plate is a work of art, promising a memorable dining experience.

Chambar also boasts an impressive wine list and innovative cocktails. Trust me, it’s a haven for connoisseurs! The attentive staff ensures a dining experience that’s both luxurious and comfortable.

For a special evening in Vancouver, Chambar Restaurant is an unparalleled choice. It’s a culinary gem that offers an experience to savor.

Chambar Restaurant offers exquisite Belgian-inspired cuisine, a favorite for fine dining.
Chambar Restaurant offers exquisite Belgian-inspired cuisine, a favorite for fine dining.

6. Afghan Horsemen Restaurant

Next up on our list of the most unique restaurants in Vancouver is Afghan Horsemen, the city’s first Afghan dining spot. If you’re a fan of trying new cuisines, you won’t want to miss this place.

The restaurant’s ambiance is a tribute to Afghanistan’s rich heritage. With traditional decor and comfortable seating, it offers an authentic and inviting atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot for those looking for an exotic dining experience.

The menu at Afghan Horsemen is a showcase of Afghanistan’s flavorful cuisine. Enjoy dishes like succulent lamb kebabs, aromatic pilafs, and rich stews, each a testament to the country’s culinary traditions. The food here is a celebration of flavor and heritage.

Whether you’re planning a family gathering or a distinctive date night, this restaurant provides a warm and welcoming setting. It’s an opportunity to explore new flavors and learn about a fascinating culture.

Afghan Horsemen Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone seeking to experience the essence of Afghan cuisine in Vancouver. Are you ready for a dining experience that’s as enriching as it is delicious?

Afghan Horsemen is one of the unique restaurants in Vancouver.
Afghan Horsemen is the city’s first Afghan dining spot.

7. Salmon n’Bannock

Salmon n’Bannock brings the essence of Canada’s indigenous cuisine to Vancouver’s food scene. It’s a place where traditional dishes shine, offering a unique dining experience.

The atmosphere at Salmon n’Bannock is warm and inviting, with a focus on creating a space that celebrates First Nations culture. Their signature dish, the salmon, is a must-try. Prepared using age-old methods, it’s a delightful mix of smoky flavors and rich textures. But that’s just a glimpse. Their menu is a treasure trove of indigenous specialties, from bannock bread to game meats, all prepared with a touch of tradition.

This restaurant is a standout for offering some of the best food in Vancouver with an indigenous twist. It’s perfect for those eager to explore Canada’s original flavors in a contemporary setting. The prices are reasonable, which makes it accessible for a wide range of diners.

At Salmon n’Bannock, you can usually find a table easily. However, I’d recommend making a reservation, especially if you’re going for dinner. It’s a popular spot for anyone looking for a meal that’s both meaningful and delicious.

Salmon n’Bannock showcases Canada's indigenous cuisine for a unique dining experience.
Salmon n’Bannock showcases Canada’s indigenous cuisine for a unique dining experience.

8. Hawkers Delight Deli

No exploration of Vancouver’s best restaurants would be complete without a stop at Hawkers Delight Deli. This unassuming spot is where authentic Southeast Asian street food comes alive in Vancouver.

As you enter, you’re greeted by a casual, no-frills setting that’s all about the food. The walls are adorned with colorful posters, and the aroma of spices fills the air. It’s a humble yet inviting space, perfect for a laid-back meal.

The menu at Hawkers Delight is a celebration of flavors. From Malaysian laksa to Singaporean noodles, each dish is a burst of authenticity. I personally love the Hainanese chicken rice – a simple yet flavorful dish that’s a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine. Don’t miss it!

Hawkers Delight stands out as one of the coolest places to eat in Vancouver, offering a genuine taste of street food at wallet-friendly prices. It’s a must-visit for those who crave bold, unpretentious flavors.

There’s usually no need for reservations here. It’s a walk-in kind of place. But be prepared for a crowd – this deli is a hit with locals and visitors alike. Ready for a flavor-packed journey to Southeast Asia?

Hawkers Delight Deli brings authentic Southeast Asian street food alive in the city.
Hawkers Delight Deli brings authentic Southeast Asian street food alive in the city.

9. Meat & Bread

Meat & Bread turns a simple meal into an extraordinary experience. Located in Vancouver, this spot is all about robust flavors and a vibe that’s as straightforward as its name. It’s a place where minimalism meets gastronomy. It’s one of the fun places to eat in Vancouver!

The decor is sleek and modern, with an emphasis on clean lines and an open kitchen. It’s a space where the focus is firmly on the food. Each sandwich here is a masterpiece of balance and flavor, crafted with care and precision.

The menu, though concise, packs a punch. The porchetta sandwich, with its crispy skin and tender meat, is a crowd favorite. It’s not just about meat, though. It’s about crafting a dish that elevates the humble sandwich to something memorable.

Meat & Bread is perfect for those who appreciate the art of a well-made sandwich. The prices are reasonable, offering gourmet flavors without the gourmet price tag. It’s a standout among cheap eats in Vancouver for a quick yet satisfying meal.

It’s a popular spot, so popping in early is a good idea. Get ready to sink your teeth into some of the best sandwiches in Vancouver!

Meat & Bread offers robust flavors in a straightforward vibe.
Meat & Bread offers robust flavors with a straightforward vibe.

10. Hail Mary’s

Hail Mary’s in Vancouver is not your typical dining spot. It’s a place where food and faith collide in the most delightful way. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most unique restaurants in Vancouver. This restaurant takes you on a culinary pilgrimage, offering a heavenly twist on classic dishes.

When I first stepped into Hail Mary’s, I was struck by its unique theme. The decor is a playful homage to religious iconography, creating an atmosphere that’s both reverent and whimsical. It’s a space that invites conversation and curiosity.

The menu is a showcase of creativity. From saintly starters to divine desserts, each dish is a revelation of flavors. Their ‘Last Supper’ platter, a mix of their best offerings, is a communal feast that encourages sharing and indulgence.

Hail Mary’s stands out as one of the best Vancouver restaurants for those seeking a dining experience that’s out of the ordinary. What’s more, the prices here are moderate, which makes it accessible for a range of budgets.

Booking in advance is a good idea, especially on weekends. This spot is a hit for those looking for a meal served with a side of playful reverence. You’ll remember eating here for life!

Hail Mary's is where food meets faith, offering a heavenly twist on classic dishes.
Hail Mary’s is where food meets faith, offering a heavenly twist on classic dishes.

11. Havana Vancouver

If you’re on the hunt for fun places to eat in Vancouver, Havana Vancouver is a must-visit. This restaurant transports you straight to the vibrant streets of Cuba, right in the heart of Vancouver. It’s a place where the spirit of Havana comes alive, offering a dining experience that’s as colorful as it is delicious.

Inside, Havana Vancouver’s walls are adorned with Cuban art, and the air is filled with the rhythms of salsa music. It’s a lively atmosphere that captures the essence of a Havana street scene.

The restaurant is led by Chef Andrew Hounslow, who brings a taste of Cuba to your table with a modern twist. The menu features classic Cuban dishes like Ropa Vieja and Tostones, each bursting with authentic flavors and fresh ingredients.

Havana Cuba often hosts live music and cultural events, which makes every visit a celebration of Cuban culture. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to add a dash of excitement to their dining.

As for the price, it’s surprisingly affordable, considering the immersive experience. Havana Vancouver stands out as one of the best restaurants in Vancouver for those seeking a unique, culturally rich dining adventure.

Havana Vancouver offers a taste of Cuba, a colorful dining experience.
Havana Vancouver offers a taste of Cuba, a colorful dining experience.

12. The Bunny Cafe

As we round off our list of unique restaurants in Vancouver, The Bunny Cafe stands out as a whimsical wonder. This cafe isn’t just about savoring delicious food. It’s an enchanting experience where adorable bunnies hop around, adding a touch of magic to your meal!

From the moment you enter, you’re enveloped in a cozy, inviting atmosphere. The decor is charming, with bunny-themed art and soft, warm lighting that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook. It’s a place where the outside world fades away, and all that’s left is comfort and joy.

Dining at The Bunny Cafe is a delight. The menu offers a variety of tasty treats and beverages, perfect for a light lunch or a sweet snack. But the real stars are the bunnies. Watching them play and interact as you dine adds an unparalleled level of charm and warmth to the experience.

This cafe is a haven for animal lovers and those seeking a unique dining environment. It’s one of the coolest places to eat in Vancouver, combining the love of animals with the pleasure of good food.

The Bunny Cafe is a whimsical dining with adorable bunnies adding magic.
The Bunny Cafe is a whimsical dining with adorable bunnies adding magic. | Source: https://www.bunnycafe.ca/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in Vancouver

Searching for more information to help you decide where to eat in Vancouver? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Vancouver’s best restaurants.

What food is unique to Vancouver?

When you’re in Vancouver, you must the Japadog. This is a Japanese-style hot dog that’s a fusion of classic American street food with Japanese flavors. Seafood is also a highlight in Vancouver, with local specialties like wild salmon, spot prawns, and Dungeness crab. Don’t miss the chance to try the city’s fresh sushi and Pacific Northwest cuisine, which are among the best food in Vancouver.

Where do celebrities eat in Vancouver?

Celebrities in Vancouver often dine at high-end spots known for their exquisite food and ambiance. Places like Hawksworth Restaurant, Blue Water Cafe, and Vij’s are popular among the stars. These restaurants are not only famous for their celebrity sightings but also for their exceptional menus. For a more casual celebrity spotting, try visiting trendy spots in Gastown or Yaletown.

Hawksworth Restaurant features modern decor, elegant table settings, and a softly lit ambiance.
Hawksworth Restaurant features modern decor, elegant table settings, and a softly lit ambiance.

Is Vancouver a foodie city?

Yes, Vancouver is widely recognized as a foodie city. Here are some key aspects that make Vancouver a haven for food lovers:

  1. Ethnic Diversity: Vancouver’s food scene is incredibly diverse, reflecting its multicultural population. You can find excellent Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Southeast Asian cuisine, among others. The city is particularly famous for its sushi and has been dubbed as having some of the best Asian cuisine outside of Asia.
  2. Seafood: Given its coastal location, Vancouver is known for its fresh and high-quality seafood. Local specialties include wild salmon, spot prawns, and Dungeness crab.
  3. Farm-to-Table Movement: There’s a strong emphasis on locally-sourced and organic food in Vancouver. Many restaurants focus on farm-to-table offerings, showcasing the best of local produce and meats.
  4. Innovative Dining: Vancouver is home to a range of innovative restaurants where chefs experiment with different cuisines and fusion concepts.
  5. Street Food and Food Trucks: The city boasts a vibrant street food culture with numerous food trucks offering a variety of cuisines, from traditional Canadian dishes to international flavors.
  6. Coffee Culture: Vancouver has a thriving coffee culture with many independent coffee shops and roasters, emphasizing high-quality, artisanal coffee.
  7. Craft Beer and Local Wines: The craft beer scene in Vancouver is robust, with many microbreweries offering a wide range of beers. The nearby Okanagan Valley also provides a great selection of local wines.
  8. Markets: Public markets like Granville Island Market are popular for both locals and tourists. They offer a range of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and artisanal products.

How do you tip restaurants in Vancouver?

When dining in Vancouver, it’s customary to tip between 15% to 20% of the total bill before taxes, depending on the level of service. Tipping is an important part of the culture and is expected in most dining establishments. If you’re at a casual eatery or a coffee shop, a tip of around 10% is common. Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for good service, so feel free to adjust according to your experience.

What are the 2 main foods commonly eaten in BC?

Two main foods commonly associated with British Columbia (BC), Canada, are Pacific Salmon and Spot Prawns:

  1. Pacific Salmon: BC is renowned for its wild Pacific salmon. It’s not only a staple in the local diet but also a significant part of the region’s culture and economy. There are several species of Pacific salmon found in BC waters, including sockeye, chinook, and coho. Salmon can be prepared in numerous ways – smoked, grilled, baked, or even enjoyed as sashimi.
  2. Spot Prawns: BC spot prawns are a local delicacy and highly prized for their sweet, delicate flavor and firm texture. They are the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp found on the west coast of Canada. Spot prawns are typically available fresh during their short harvesting season in the spring, and they are celebrated in various culinary events and festivals across the province.

These two foods are not only popular in local cuisine but also reflect the rich marine resources of British Columbia’s coastal waters. They are often featured in the menus of many restaurants across the province, showcasing the region’s commitment to fresh, locally-sourced seafood.

Is it expensive to eat in Vancouver?

Eating out in Vancouver can range from affordable to expensive, depending on where you dine. The city offers a wide range of dining options to suit various budgets. You can find cheap eats in Vancouver at food trucks, casual diners, and ethnic eateries, offering delicious meals without breaking the bank. On the other end, there are upscale restaurants and fine dining establishments where prices are higher, but they offer exceptional culinary experiences.

Unique Restaurants in Vancouver: Recap

After exploring the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of Vancouver, it’s clear that this city is a paradise for food lovers, nestled within the beautiful places in Vancouver. Each restaurant on our list offers a unique experience, from dining in the dark at Dark Table to the revolving views at Top of Vancouver.

If I had to pick one restaurant that truly stands out, it would be Kissa Tanto. This place combines a unique fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisines, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

For travelers and locals alike, these unique restaurants in Vancouver are more than just places to eat. They are destinations in themselves, each telling a different story and offering a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you fly to Vancouver for fine dining or to discover hidden gems, the city’s culinary scene has something for everyone.

The top restaurants in Vancouver for all types of travelers
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