Green Door

Welcome to the Vancouver Lexicon. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of the City of Vancouver by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities, places, and other Van-centric things. Full A-Z here.

Green Door | legend/restaurant | A fabled underground restaurant in Chinatown that served cheap and cheerful Chinese food for over 60 years (1930s-1990s). We wish it would one day come back!

The Green Door was accessible via – ahem – a green door in the alleyway behind 111 East Pender Street. The building – now home to Fuling Gifts & Housewares – used to house a gambling establishment and a trading store. During the counter-culture era of the 60s and 70s it proved magnetic to non-Chinese, particularly students and bohemian types (who would largely abandon it when the alleyway, once commonly known as Market Alley, started to draw hard drug users in the 80s and 90s). The door itself has long since been painted other colours; for a while it was blue and now (at the time of writing) it is red.

Note: There were a few other “Door” restaurants in Chinatown (eg. Red Door, Orange Door), but the Green Door lasted the longest and served the best food.

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Usage | “My parents used to tell stories about sneaking beers into the Green Door and feasting big on spot prawns and fresh crab…”


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