Reader Suggestions: What’s Not To Be Missed In Vancouver?

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I’m back again asking for your tips!

I’ve turned to my readers before for suggestions in Boston, Buenos Aires, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, and Washington D.C. and readers came up big time (as you can tell from my subsequent trip notes from Boston, Buenos Aires, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, and Washington D.C.).

Is it bad that I’m as excited to fly on Cathay Pacific once again as I am about checking out a new city? Their 747 first class that we flew on to Hong Kong was the best flight experience I’ve ever had in the sky, though they only fly a 777 between JFK and Vancouver.

-What activities shouldn’t we miss and what should we skip? (Stroller friendly is always a good thing!)
-What do the local kosher restaurants make best?

Hit the comments and let’s hear your thoughts!

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57 Comments On "Reader Suggestions: What’s Not To Be Missed In Vancouver?"

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shar

Maple Grill — delic!!!!

Jack

Travel magazine rated vancouver island best island in north America! Who’d a thought that.
I’m really looking forward I seeing your awesome pictures.

chaim

was just there last week , whistler is absolutley beautiful but no stroller friendly.Grouse mountain really nice , more stroller friendly and close .stanley park is nice , granville island ,alot of fun.capolino suspension bridge is expensive , we went to lynn canyon park , free, nice hiking ,and fewr people but not stroller frindly
maple grill is good food but was realy slow when we were there , they gave us 20 percent off and freee desserts.omnitsky has a decent smoked meat sandwhich .how long are you going for and where are you staying . i was just there so let me know if you have any questions

hudi

Why you so excited to go may I ask?

ChineseScouse

We always enjoy Granville Island, Yaletown are favourites.

Moshe

Stanley Park in Vancouver is beautiful, rent bikes there like 10 in the span of 1 block. We flew into Seattle with Jetblue (best airline by the way) and there’s a kosher falafel and shwarma in downtown.Shamash.org has all the restaurants. Vancouver is a mix up of every nation, very little people fluent English. Any more questions about Seattle or Vancouver email any time.

Suzy

Hi Dan – When will you be in Vancouver? We spend 4-1/2 months here (escaping the FL & NY heat). Would be happy to give you the walking tour, etc. It’s a great walking city so bring comfy sneakers/shoes. Stanley Park is great. We are here till Sept 30. We flew the same Cathay flight in first and surely good reason to be excited (except the flight is too short to get a long sleep in). If you are in first, the dinner at the BA First Lounge is great and then you have extra time to nap. Where are you staying? Downtown? Doesn’t appear to be lots of kosher restaurants downtown. http://dinehere.ca/r/vancouver/kosher
Feel free to email me for any Vancouver info.

Bobby

Hi Dan,
Here are some of the coolest things.
– Capilano Suspension Bridge: 450 ft (137m) long, 230 ft (70m) high
– Grouse Mountain: Panoramic views of the city, ocean and mountains
– Pacific National Exhibition: Fair: Runs from Aug 20th to Sept 3. This is like CNE in Toronto
– Stanley Park
– Science World – specially for the kids
– Whistler (Although 3 hrs drive but worth it specially in winter for ski)
– Granville Island – Family fun
– Kitsilano Beach

Let me know if you need any further info.

Cheers 🙂

Canuck

Maple grill is great!! stanley park is beautiful, rent bikes for a few hours right near by. Of course, in vancouver Grouse mountain is a must and a day trip to whistler is worth it.

Ari

@shar: ill second that. the staff are super friendly. their sliders are not to be missed

Ari

Whales
Whale watching was overrated. I am a whale/shark fanatic and was super excited to go see the orcas. problem was that I waws used to the humpbacks of Hawaii where they are huge and so abundant and you get so close. I departed from Victoria and we saw one pod of 3 orcas but they kept so far away (and we were on a smaller speed boat too). So it may be relaxing to do a couple hour cruise out of downtown vancouver but dont expect much killer whale action.

Whistler
Absolutely awesome. This was not a family trip though, it was more action than you might like for a baby on board. in my one day on whistler (I took a roundtrip float plane to save time) we did Ecotours’ ziplinig as well as white water rafting. there is a ton of info on http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/family/index.aspx

Even if you dont book directly there, it will give you lots of ideas for Whistler.

Victoria
The oldest shul in Canada was established there and still exists. (Its not orthodox, but its still nice to see)

Capilano Suspension Bridge
(close to downtown Vancouver)
Supposed to be something not to miss (I missed it 😉

Stanley Park
Should be great to explore with your son. They have a trolly ride in the park.

Eating
There is a Jewish Center that has a milchig place inside with a reliable hashgacha, its about 10-15 minutes outside of downtown.

As indicated above, Maple Grill was awesome and about 5 minutes from downtown.

Any specific question hit me up on forum (kingsfan33)…
Have fun!

Ari

One more thing:
I mapped out some of my destinations and kosher restaurants as well as the sheraton wall centre in downtown. I input it all into a google map:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=214295458670886388351.0004a5bb9b1dac4d9f616&msa=0

dale m

Take the Seabus, cheapest non-tourist but touristy 🙂 thing you can do — just scooting across the harbor and back – their version of the Staten Island Ferry, wonderful views, a nice little zone to stroll on the “other” side.

Also, the Aquarium makes for a nice visit and purposeful trip in to Stanley Park.

Rent a bicycle for the trip to Granville Island.

Great, friendly city !!

e

theres a much cheaper or free suspension bridge than the capilono cant remember what it was called or if it was just cheaper or free. maybe someone else knows what I am talking about

e

when i was there the milchig place in the JCC had this salmon sandwich that I really liked

Kirsten

I don’t often tell people what not to do but the Capilano Suspension Bridge is definitely WAY overpriced for what it is. Please look carefully at the poor reviews on other websites and believe them. We didn’t and spent too much money for a lackluster experience. I felt like I wasted my money but the fault was mine…people tried to warn me!

Yoni

Maple grill is amazing. Rivals anything on the west coast. In the summer of 2011 they had a great dinner special on Tuesday nights. Something like the talias steakhouse fixed price deal. Call to see if they still have that. Omnitskis has good meat sandwiches but it’s literally bread and meat, no condiments. They also have some groceries but beware: cholov yisroel products were outrageously expensive. Overall one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You’ll have a great time

Ari

The sandwich to get at the JCC is the Cajun salmon burger sandwich.
The Tuesday night deal at maple grill was $50 for a couple- included all 3 courses. Great deal. Call ahead to see if it’s still on.

Suzy

The free suspension bridge is Lynn Canyon/Lynn Valley.
From their website: The Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge is one of Lynn Valley’s best kept secrets. The 50 meter high bridge stretches accross a beautiful canyon boasting raging waters, waterfalls and deep pools below. The bridge is a popular attraction among tourists and locals alike, the best part is that it is free of charge for all to see.

Yoni

Forgot to mention. Maple grill also has uniquely good drink menu, including stuff you typically can’t get at kosher restaurants – try the mojito’s. Also, for a great place to hang out if it’s nice weather- the convention center downtown is on the water and there is a huge outdoor pavilion with lots of places to sit where you can look out onto a seaplane terminal right in front of you. We spent hours just sitting in the sun, soaking in the view of the mountains and watching seaplanes takeoff an land. Definitely recommended on a sunny day. Stanley park has miles of nicely paved walking paths – easy for the stroller 🙂

@Yoni: @Yoni: @Yoni:

sammy

granville island
walk the seawall in stanley park
take gondola up grouse
walk around downtown especially waterfront/canada place area
maple grill is great as well as falafal plus in downdown

Sara

@e:

You’re probably talking about Lynn Canyon.
Stunning place to hike! Clear water rapids that you can cross on foot (via the rocks!)Suspension bridge…etc. AMAZING place to go!

Also, as a native Vancouverite, you can’t miss out on Deep Cove – gorgeous and kayaking/boating rentals onsite.

yudig

Food – Maple Grill….service can be slow…try and go before rush hour. Onion rings were not bad as were the sliders. Their hamburgers and soup are good.

Sabra’s – stick to the falafel, salads and baked goods.

Zaatar – just hit the menu running…very nice management

Falafel+ – try the shwarma and falafel

Nava – in the JCC next to Chabad, there is a cafe that had some very good and interesting sandwiches and baked goods.

Go biking (you might be able to rent a bike that can seat a baby in the back) in Stanley Park and nearby there is a store called Cowboys and Angels where you choose a ceramic dish and paint…was a great activity.

Granville Island – some quaint stores to peruse and on weekends they have street shows that were quite good.

there were alot of ideas in the DDF trip reports thread for YVR…

Shmuel

If i may change the subject, i would like to know what not to miss in Rome for 1 day in november

Chas

Take a boat ride to Victoria Gardens! Take jackets..it get’s cool there.
Capilano’s expensive but absolutely not to be missed. Once you cross the bridge you literally walk through the tree tops.
There’s a small burger place in Vancouver with decent steak, burgers and a reliable Hechsher. Not much for aesthetics but good food.
Enjoy your trip.

been there

1) capilano suspension bridge is just amazing highly recomended
2)if your up for a challenge grouse mountain has a hike called the grouse grind 2800 steps up he mountain for stunning views with resteraunt (nothing like an ice cold beer after a hike) there is also a cable car ride there is also a windmill with observation deck
3)whistler is an obvious one but what you might miss is on the road to whistler shannon falls is a nice stop for pictures and a short scenic walk

Hudi

I was there for 3 years in Yeshiva and this is what was awesome when I was there:
Restaurants- Maple Grill (broadway and maple) is definitely the nicest place. The main dishes probably have changed but honestly the onion rings were amaaaazing. No joke. Great ambiance, not too expensive but not cheap either. There is Omnitsky’s which is basically a deli. You can get sandwiches, soups, different noodles etc. They also have meats and chickens you can buy along with some grocery items. There is also Sabra’s (oak and 22nd) not too impressive. Sometimes they had chinese but mainly an Israeli type place with shwarma (not too good) and other Israeli type things. The stuff is not too fresh sometimes. There is Pini’s (16th and willow) which has pizza and some groceries. There is Falafel Plus (Cambie and 8th) Amazing Falafel, great pizza. This is a great place for lunch or a cheaper dinner. Small, a few tables and stools, but great food. Pizza may be by the pie only. The JCC (Oak and 41st) has a cafe inside with sandwiches and drinks (soft drinks and hot drinks).
Places to visit-
-Vancouver Island and Whistler are by far the most beautiful places to go. To Vancouver Island you take a ferry (you can bring your car on) and it’s a beautiful ride both ways. There are the Butchart Gardens which are really beautiful and I would be surprised if it wasn’t stroller friendly. I am sure there are other things to do on the island. I have gone caving, and done other outdoorsy things but nothing I can recommend. Whistler is also fabulous. The drive there is just spectacular with year round snow capped mountains just off the side of the highway can’t be beat. Just a beautiful drive! There are always activities to do like mountain biking, white water rafting, skiing, pending on the time of the year.
-Granville Island is right near downtown, lots of walking around and nice shops to check out. Lots of interesting things going on, a unique place.
-Stanley Park is also a really nice place. It is pretty large with lots of grounds to do whatever you want. You can “walk the wall” which is walking along the water with the mountains in you background- doesn’t get much nicer than that. You can rent bikes etc.
The three local mountains Grouse, Cypress and Seymour are really nice to drive up to, especially at a half an hour drive! You can picnic viewing the city, snow-tubing, skiing, again pending on the time of year. They all have really nice hiking routes as well.
Top Picks:
Restaurants- Maple Grill, Falafel Plus, Omnitsky’s
Sightseeing- Vancouver Island, Whistler, Granville Island, Stanley Park
Oh and just to warn you, there are lots of homeless people in parts of downtown. Just to give you a heads up. Feel Free with any questions. I know lots of people their who can probably help you with anything you need.

Reuvenhunt

Have fun!!
how did you come by the tickets?

shea

was there 2weeks ago maple grill is a good place to eat grous mountain was beautiful including a cute show on top of the mountain capilano suspension bridge is pricy but you should do it for the thrill

stanley park is georges bike it around a few times the aquarium in the prk is nice but not 100% worth it the $ you pay to go in dont forget the best thing is the weather there

New At Flying

The drive to Whistler is stunning. You can drive halfway to Squamash and return. Its called the sea to sky highway route 99. Nice new highway made for the olympics.

David Dreytser

Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge is just as nice as the other one, but free!

While Vancouver is great, if you are able to, take a car ferry day trip to Victoria. Strolling downtown Victoria is quite nice and Butchard Gardens (Botanical Gardens) while pricey are worth every cent of admission and more!

Ac

You might want to consider a kiddie backpack. That way you don’t have to worry about stroller friendly venues for traveling. You will also build up some extra muscles!

MilesCollector

Does the link still work to get 1000 miles for opening a new BMI account?

David

Im thinking of going as well after the Yom Tovim. Is the weather very cold/rainy in November? Would luv to go on a 2-3 night cruise from Vancouver to Alaska..but i cant find one. All teh ones offered are 7 day i dont want to go cruising on shabbos.

Andrew

I live in Vancouver, and would be happy to give anyone custom advice, if you wish to contact me, check my website.

Here are my top 5 (Not to be missed hidden gems)
La Casa Gelato http://www.lacasagelato.com/
Lynn Valley Canyon Suspension Bridge (Free)
Richmond Night Market (Trinkets and Food, There are 2)
Grouse Grind or The Chief Hike (1-2 hours)
Walk or Bike the Seawall of False Creek

Top 5 Tourist stops (worth seeing at least once)
Grandville Island Market
Stanley Park – Must See 1x
Gastown+Chinatown
Robson and Denman Street Shopping and Dining
Deep Cove Kayaking

Be sure to ride the skytrain “Canada Line” from YVR Airport to the city, cheaper and faster than car. Passes can be purchased at 7-11 in the airport.

CX889 JFK-YVR is a great flight, I highly recommend using AA Miles for F is available.

Shimmy

Stanley Park was nice – I rented a bike there. I wonder if they have kid seats for bikes.

Falafel Plus is a great pizza place. It’s out of town, though, so expect to wait a while. My favorite part of Falafel plus – when I was there (years ago), only one guy was working in the whole place. When he went out to deliver, he closed the store! I love out of town.

And Vancouver is the only place you have Chabad and Chofetz Chaim in the same building! 🙂

Enjoy your visit to “the ‘couv”.

Andrew

November-April = Rain every other day. But it is never a downpour, just a drizzle.

June=August = Best weather on earth.

Interesting reading these comments btw, I know most of the suggestions as I live here, but glad to see new dining suggestions.

shmaya

as of a year ago, not everything in nava’s was cholov yisroel

frum vancouverite

Food:

Falafel plus no longer does pizza, just falafel and shwarma. Not very good.
Sabra (Oak & 22nd) has a milchig section and a fleishig section- excellent falafel and schwarma and delicious pizza. Also good pastries but those are expensive
Omnitzky;s has great deli sandwiches and hot dogs.
If you want raw chicken/meat to cook yourself, Superstore (grocery store on main St & SE Marine Dr) now has Glatt Kosher (chassidishe schechita from Toronto) meat and chicken- VERY reasonable prices.
Garden City Bakery, in Richmond, makes amazing bread and pastries. Small selection, but everything they make is delicious.
Beware- the cafe at JCC is NOT cholov yisroel.

Activities:

As mentioned by everyone else, biking at the Stanley Park Seawall is a must, and yes, the rental places do rent baby seats (front or back).
Granville Island is also beautiful- go on a Sunday, if possible, so you can catch the street shows.
Capilano is expensive, and Lynn Canyon is free and just as nice.
Grouse Mountain is great- nice gondola ride up, and a few great shows at the top.
Robson Street, downtown, is a really nice place to walk around and shop- I’m sure your wife would love it 🙂 Great Zara

Whistler is, obviously, a MUST. It’s not a 3 hour drive, as someone else wrote, it’s about 1.5 hrs. You can stop on the way up at Shannon Falls for a BBQ- gorgeous water fall. In Whistler, a lot of the activities are extreme sports that may be hard to do with a baby but there are plenty of family-friendly things there. No kosher food, though.

Hopefully you can make it to Chabad while you’re there as well- beautiful building. (41st Ave and Oak St)

frum vancouverite

@frum vancouverite:

forgot about one food place! Za’atar, new falafel place downtown! It’s really awesome. Food is super fresh and delicious. Try the shakshuka.

REBYID

Dan,
Maybe you can host a seminar while in NY? Maybe in the JFK chapel?

Chaim

The NEW business class on their 777’s are amazing, not really worth 100,000 miles to go first for a 5 hour flight

frum vancouverite

I’m not sure about Maple Grill though, they are now closed for a while due to a fire in the kitchen

Anonymous

@Andrew:
La Casa Gelato looks amazing. Andrew, is it your store? I spend the summers downtown till Sept 30 and I will have to try it.

Vancouver Boy

@frum Vancouverite, Maple grill was open the day of the fire, The fire was upstairs in the shul it did not affect the restaurant. ( except for a slight smoky smell) Was just there last night and the food was delicious as always.

@Dan, I will PM you with my phone number if you need some tips orhelp around the city.

Andrew

@Anonymous It is not my store, (but I should be paid for how many tourists I send there.) It is hidden in an industrial area of strathcona near Commercial Drive. It is always busy and open to 12am daily. A cone is about $4, samples are free. Try Durian for sure. (J/K, durian is smelly) The owner set it up in 1982 and is a soft spoken Italian man and family. I can not vouch for it’s kosherness, but I know it tastes great!

Yitz

Definitely take the sea to sky highway up to Vancouver. It’s a gorgeous route!! And if you’re into bungy jumping, check out Whistler Bungee. I did it and it was awesome!

Dan

Wow. Just wow. So much great info here!
I’ve even gotten half a dozen dinner invitations via email…you guys are too kind!

Still undecided about Whistler though. It seems like mostly activities that would be impossible to do with a 13 month old. Is it really worth driving up there if I only have 3 days in Vancouver?

Vancouver Boy

@Dan, Definitely not…there are closer mountains with nicer views. Whistler is mostly a ski/bike resort for outdoor activities. Not much fun if you just want to walk around with a child and see the sights.

chayie

must do: drive along Sea to Sky Highway. absolutely magnificent

chaim

i was in vancouver for 3 days and i did the drive to whistler it was unreal , with a kid though it might be hard , i was just there last week so let me know if you have any questions dan

Suzy

@Andrew:

Oops…forgot to put my name. Thanks Andrew. I am downtown at the Shangri-la and will make a point to try it out. Kosher is not an issue for me.

Suzy

@Dan:

You can pass on Whistler and save it for your next trip when your child is older. What month are you going to be in Vancouver. Expect rain if it’s after September.

TT

6 fairmont hotels.

NotDati

Grouse mountain grouse grind hike.

GoCanucksGo

@Dan: Dan, You should know that, over the years, you have saved us Vancouverites lots of $. Back in the day we used to have to pay for those Cathay flights! 🙂

Lonnie

@NotDati: The Grouse Grind is not worth it (no views, extremely gruelling)especially with a child. There are way nicer hikes in Vancouver for eg: Lynn Valley, Seymour.

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