What should we do for lunch? Shrug. Same place on the corner? No, had it too much last week. There’s that one place, but it’s too far. I have to be back in 45 minutes for a meeting. I want something healthy, but I could demolish some fries right now. Delivery? I never know what to get.
Thankfully, Vancouver is coming up with easier and better answers to lunch questions with a selection of spots designed to fill you up and get you on with your day.
Best Baguettes: Finch’s Tea and Coffee House
Finch’s Tea and Coffee House is a cozy little shop on West Pender (with a sister location, Finch’s Market, in Strathcona) that offers a small selection of breakfast items, soups, salads, and baguettes—and packs in crowds at lunch. A modest price buys you beautiful presentation, inspired combinations, and great vegetarian options. Stay and eat while watching the pedestrians stroll by at one of the large picture windows (best during rainy days), or take your order to go. If in a rush, call ahead and have the pear, blue brie, prosciutto, and walnut baguette (a customer favourite) waiting for you when you arrive.
Sleek Salads: Field & Social
Specially for the lunch crowd, Field & Social is open for just four hours, five days a week and offers healthy options only in the form of eight carefully prepared hearty salads, a daily soup, and three beverages. The childhood friends who started it call their offerings “fast casual” while striving to feed for the sake of feeling good. The food is local and seasonal, and suppliers include Two Rivers Meats, Cioffi’s, and Grain dry goods. Take out or stay in the clean-lined, 1,600-square-foot shared dining area, enjoying the tunes and the bright light.
Inspired Italian: Pazzo Chow
“Italian food in the heart of Chinatown” is the tagline for Pazzo Chow, which offers fresh meals to go along with complementary packaged food products. Daily specials are seasonal and announced on Instagram each morning for those who like to know before they go. Expect soups like creamy roasted tomato and tarragon, and daily specials like spaghetti with mint basil pea pesto or ham and greens with focaccia. Partnered with Sole Food Farms to provide fresh, local, organic produce, Pazzo Chow also offers ice cream from Vancouver’s Brown Paper Packages. Love its small space? The restaurant offers family-style dinners and small events, customized to fit.
Clean Cooking: Nourish Café & Cooking School
Couple Dan Cheung and Abbey Pires started Nourish Vancouver to offer nutritious, sustainable food to Vancouverites while focusing on a plant-based diet. Daily offerings of salads, soups, sandwiches, and breakfast items are the stay-in or take-out options at Nourish, with an emphasis on vegetarian, organic, and vegan. Nourish is also a cooking school, which aims to start conversations about how to feed ourselves in the best way possible via hands-on learning. Classes vary from hearty Italian and Ottolenghi-inspired veggie preparation to the artistry of hand-painting macarons.
Soul Sister: Dock Lunch
Remember Fried Green Tomatoes? Dock Lunch is a miniature Whistle Stop Cafe. The connection holds up: owner, cook, and bottle washer Elizabeth Bryan has South Carolina roots. This is soul food but with a West Coast nod; specials like short rib and cornbread are announced daily on Instagram and served until they run out. When is the last time you had grits in Vancouver? But do get there early, because this 16-seater fills up fast. Meals and service take you back to grandma’s grilled cheese with the same sense of hospitality and a dash of time travel.
What should we do for dinner, though?