ROAD TRIP TO VANCOUVER: A FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDE

Elisa on capilano bridge

 

Vancouver, B.C., our neighboring metropolis city, known as the Hollywood of Canada. A melting pot of diverse cultures and social climates immerse into one amazing place. Densely populated with over 5,400 people per square kilometer and named one of the top five worldwide city for “quality of life”.

It can’t get any better than that! Basically it’s a kick ass city when it comes to everything I travel for: EAT, PLAY & STAY

Now, don’t get it confused with Vancouver, Washington. (Yes it exist!) There is NO comparison. 

With the help of Nexus passes for the family, it’s just a few hours away from Seattle. It’s our favorite quickie family road trip. We usually stay an average of one evening and two days, enough time to get a few meals in our belly.

There’s tons to do and the culinary experience is top notch. Something for everyone.

OK! LET’S GO!

 

elisa and kinsley

 

EAT:

I’m going to honor the truth. I LOVE TO EAT! Especially Cantonese food, which I cannot get anything descent in Seattle.

After 1997, there was a slew of Hong Kong people immigrating to Canada and brought their best chefs with them. Most had opened restaurants and residing in Richmond, B.C., a city 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, where ALL of the good food is.

Not to be bias, but most of my recommendations will be Chinese food. Hope you’re ok with that!

Dynesty Dumpling XLB

 

CHINESE FOOD:

Dinesty Dumpling House: Our family loves xiao long bao (aka XLB or soup dumplings) and this restaurant serves many options, including our fave crab filling. YUM! Other traditional Shanghai dishes were delicious, such as the scallion pancake and pork buns.

TIP: They don’t take reservations, so best to be there when they first open.

Redbeef Noodle Kitchen: Peter is a huge fan of beef noodle soup, a traditional Taiwanese comfort food. I found a new place we all haven’t tried and left with our stomachs very happy. We all had our own bowl and I ordered the beef with tendon noodle. Super tasty, but needed to add hot sauce. If you’re a lover of beef noodle soup, this place is said to be a contender for the best in Vancouver!

 

dungeness crab sticky rice

Cantonese BBQ: It was my birthday weekend, so I wanted to go splurge on my appetite, when it was time for dinner. I requested the lobster sticky rice and this one came with dungeness crab. The presentation itself blew our mind, when the waiter lifted the bamboo steamer lid. Under all the steam revealed the best dish I’ve ever had. It was a feast and you need to bring a crew (we had 10 people) to eat it along with other dishes. I’m still drooling over it…

 

 

Chef Tony: I have high standards when it comes to dim sum. I grew up eating this culinary past time with my family and I won’t accept anything less than good. Well this place is exceptional and few and far between. Their most popular signature dishes has truffles infused into them. Not very traditional, but the addition to the truffle on sui mai, ha gow and the oil chicken (see photo) works! It’s not cheap, but probably still less expensive compared to other cuisines. Make a reservation! This place gets packed, even on a Monday!

Lido Pineapple Bun: My fave childhood treat EVER is pineapple bun (see photo)! Usually served in Hong Kong diners and bakeries. The correct way to eat it, is to cut it in the middle, and insert a slab of butter. Make sure to get the ones that comes right out of the oven, so it melts the butter then into your mouth.

And this place is legit!  Stepping into this diner, is like being in Hong Kong. Everyone speaks Cantonese and has a chip on their shoulder. I love it! Reminds me of home! There are long lines and no reservations available.

Tip: 1/ Accepts cash only. 2/ Buy a half  dozen of the buns to snack on your way back home.

perverted ice cream sign

Elysian Coffee shop inside

OTHERS:

Perverted Ice Cream: Not your typical ice cream shop. The name says it all, serving soft serve with cheeky names such as Brand Spanking or Beg For S’more. All delicious and definitely instagrammable enough to go pay them a visit.

Elysian Coffee Roasters: Located conveniently next to our hotel in Downtown Vancouver, with four other locations. They served the best almond croissant with raspberry filling. The crust was crispy and the filling was not too sweet. Just how I like it. Their coffee was on par, but definitely coming back for their breakfast bake goods.


Peter and Kinsley capilano bridge

PLAY:

Capilano Bridge: This was the main attraction of our trip. We’re not usual the type to play tourists, but I had wanted to visit for the longest time. From the beautiful photos I’ve seen, I figure we make this a nice family outing. At least the hike worked up an appetite for our next meal expedition.

We went on a Sunday afternoon, and it was busy. Every corner we turned, we were encounter with tourists from around the world. It’s a captivating place with a gorgeous view of nature and fun things for kids to do. Luckily the weather was amazing that day, which made it a pleasant visit.

The tickets are not cheap, with a whooping CAD $50 per person. Children under six was free. We spent about 2.5 hours there. Not a bad price to let the kids run around and treasure hunt. We all had a pleasant time and the kids loved it!

elisa capilano bridge pink short white tee

Capilano bridge view

 

Richmond Night Market: We only had an hour to explore, but we did as much as we could with the short time. We had bubble tea, fresh squeeze lemonade and bubble waffle. Next time, we’ll just have dinner there and checkout all the fun stalls, rides and games. 

Vancouver AquariumIt’s one of the best aquariums in Canada, hosting many aquatic animals from dolphins to jellyfishes. They have a play area for kids and fast food treats. Our fave is the dolphin show! A must watch. All in all, it’s a great place to let the kids run around and entertained. It took 2 hours to see everything, so allow time on your schedule to fit this in. Tickets are CAD $38 for adults, CAD $21 for kids (4-12 yo)

Elisa in blue dress at hotel

 

STAY:

June to August is the best time to visit, which also means it’s their high season. Key is to book ahead of time to get accommodations at a reasonable price.

Westin Grand and Sheraton Wall CentreTrust worthy and convenient chain hotels located in downtown Vancouver with clean rooms and nice beds. What more can you ask for!

Airbnb: Best option when traveling with a large group, especially with family and the kiddos. You can rent an entire townhome or apartment and let the kids go wild. We did this when my brother and his family came to visit. Made it logistically easier, to do things together.

When we moved to the PNW, Peter had promised, we’d visit Vancouver once a month to get my “Chinese” fix. It didn’t take much convincing, because I can see how much I would love visiting this dope city. However, we don’t get to visit that often. But whenever the craving for pineapple bun kicks in, we’re full speed ahead up north!

Do you have any fave places in Vancouver you’d like to EAT, PLAY & STAY?

Please share on below comments.

 

Xx, E.

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