This ever-evolving list is the anchor of a new Scout series that seeks to map out Vancouver’s best and most legendary comfort foods. Expect to see new items added every week. We encourage readers to steer us towards their favourite Vancouver comfort foods in the comments or by using the hashtag #ScoutYVR on social media.
The enjoyment of food is a wholly subjective pursuit. Your perspective, experience and palate will be different than mine, as might your idea as to what constitutes comfort food, so take this map and guide with as many grains of salt as you need. If I’ve missed something awesome, let me know. This feature was designed to grow, just like our bellies! Now dig in…
Gambas al Ajillo at The Sardine Can
A popular sharable in the heart of Gastown. The shrimp are flash-seared in spiced olive oil with garlic, sherry, plenty of paprika and a parsley/lemon finish. Great with a cold, crisp glass of beer or sips of Sauvignon Blanc. Don’t neglect the leftover sauce at the bottom of the dish. Get some crusty bread and go to town!
Honey Dipped Donut at Lee’s
Best when still warm, these chubby discs of awesome are one of the most dependably delicious things about life in Vancouver. A Seth Rogan favourite.
Tourtiere at St. Lawrence
The dense but flaky golden brown crust and deeply meaty flavour make this wintry Quebecois treat irresistible. Bonus: miniature Habs flag on a toothpick.
Lemon Pepper Wings at Phnom Penh
These crispy, tangy, garlicky beauties are one of the chief reasons why this Cambodian restaurant in Chinatown is always sporting a line-up. Legendary. (Also of comfort food note: butter beef and Chinese sausage fried rice.)
La Mezcaleria’s Queso Fundido
The ultimate Mexican comfort food! Submerge your fork into the volcanic stone bowl and pull up a stringy prize of molten hot cheese and chorizo bits. A side of fresh tortillas awaits.
So simple and satisfying. The Thuringer sausage is the way to go. Just make sure you don’t skip the house ketchup for the full effect.
These authentic carnitas tacos with real deal corn tortillas are like a loving hug on a cold or otherwise shitty day. For best results, ask for campechano – a mix of pork shoulder and belly.
Bells and Whistles’ All-Day Breakfast Sando
Arguably Vancouver’s ultimate breakfast sandwich sees a maple sausage pork patty smothered in American cheese with golden brown hashbrowns, special sauce and a fried freakin’ egg. Just, wow.
Cinnamon Bun at Grounds For Coffee
These things are the ultimate indulgence. Thick, dense, gooey, sweet and unforgettably cinnamon-y, they are a total pleasure to fork and un-swirl.
Beer Battered Halloumi at Acorn
These crunchy slabs of squeaky deliciousness are arranged on a bed of lemony smashed peas with mint yogurt and a potato/zucchini pancake (and they might just be the fanciest thing to ever make this ever-evolving list).