One of the things I love about downtown vancouver is the abundance of good, cheap eateries. I’ve grown quite averse to large chains (too much subversive reading, I guess), so I’m pleased to see thriving neighborhood places that offer good food at good prices.
Now that it’s been in the paper, Caffe Artigiano on West Hastings is hardly a “find”, but it’s still a source of very high quality food. The only thing that I don’t like there is their hot chocolate. Everything else is good or very good.
Nuba is a lebanese hole-in-the-wall on West Hastings with a funky atmosphere, great basic middle-eastern food (the lamb plate is my favorite), and the best baklava I’ve ever tasted. Absolutely stunning, imported from Detroit and Montreal. I enjoy the turkish coffee as well, although it pays to be moderate with it.
A block from Nuba, still on Hastings, is Tacos Mexico Delicioso, the best “working-class” mexican restaurant in the city. Basic mexican food, done right. My favorite: the Sopes con Chorizo.
A block away, on Pender, is my latest find: Finch’s coffeehouse, which specializes in baguette sandwiches and salads. The owner, English and of “restaurant background”, couldn’t resist opening up the place when he saw the space was available. The menu varies with the availability of ingredients. I’ve been there 6 times or so, and I’m quite pleased. My egg salad sandwich was particularly good, thanks to first-grade ingredients. The somewhat weird thing about the place is that apart from the owner (who hasn’t been visible the last few times), I tend to be the only male in the place.
Across the street from Finch’s is Cassis, definitely higher-end fancy-lunch place, including crepes, pizzas with truffle oil, fancy deserts etc. I wasn’t thrilled by the pizza I had (the crust was way too “healthy” and un-Neapolitan for my taste), but I’ll try it again. It seems quite popular, and I must hope it’s not just because it looks hip.
(forgot to post this months ago)