Living on the north bank of the powerful Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, has been a foodie's paradise for me, blending the simplicity of a small town with the vibrancy of a big city.
I've been constantly captivated by our city's food scene, which mirrors our diverse cultures, commitment to locally sourced ingredients, and our inherent Pacific Northwest ethos.
Sitting just across the river from Portland, Oregon, Vancouver serves up an incredibly varied spectrum of culinary experiences.
Whether you're inclined towards the elegance of fine dining or prefer the homely feel of casual, comfort-food establishments, the culinary landscape of Vancouver, Washington, is a sensory feast that demands to be savored.
Now let's look at the best restaurants in Vancouver, Washington:
Slow Fox Chili
Last week, I decided to visit Slow Fox Chili after hearing so much about it from my friends.
It was a chilly evening, and I was craving delicious comfort food.
The moment I entered the place, I felt welcomed by the cozy atmosphere and friendly staff.
The restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating options.
I chose to sit outside in their courtyard, which was well-equipped with heaters and large picnic tables - perfect for a relaxed evening.
I ordered Ray's Red Chili with cheddar cheese and couldn't have asked for a better meal.
The chili was packed with flavor and had the perfect amount of spice.
The cheddar cheese added a creamy layer of goodness, making each bite irresistible.
To accompany my chili, I tried the Portobello "steak" sandwich.
The sandwich was incredibly juicy and flavorful, with the light, fluffy bread complementing the hearty mushroom filling perfectly.
The Cove Restaurant
The marina views and seafood dishes at The Cove Restaurant are just too tempting to resist.
As soon as I entered, I started with a margarita on the rocks, which was very good, with a generous amount of tequila.
For appetizers, I shared the Seafood Fondue and Five Spice Tempura Prawns with my friends.
The fondue was a delicious mix of cheese, prawns, and crab, served with house-made focaccia.
The tempura prawns were perfectly fried and just the right amount of spicy.
One of my friends had a cup of seafood pasta and said it was excellent.
For the main course, I opted for the Seafood Bucatini, which was amazing.
An abundance of fresh sea scallops, prawns, and crab topped the house-made bucatini pasta.
The white wine sauce and pesto complemented each other perfectly, making for a light and delicious dish.
I stumbled upon Pho Divine when craving something warm and comforting - and was intrigued by the fact that it's a home modeled into a restaurant.
As soon as I entered, it felt like walking into someone's house, and the aroma of spices in the air only added to my hunger.
I started my meal with tofu salad rolls and crab cream puffs, which were both amazing.
I couldn't resist digging into the crab cream puffs immediately, and they were served with six pieces.
For my main course, I had the grilled pork bánh mì and beef pho, paired with jasmine tea and Vietnamese coffee.
The bánh mì had crispy bread, and the beef pho was incredibly comforting with flavorful broth.
It was great to see that they also offer vegetarian pho and broth options for those with dietary restrictions.
Mi Casa Pupuseria y Mexican Restaurant
As a huge fan of Latin American cuisine, I can't believe I just discovered Mi Casa Pupuseria y Mexican Restaurant in Vancouver.
This eatery offers a wide selection of Latin American dishes, desserts, and vegan options.
Trust me; you'll want to put this place on your must-try list.
My first visit to Mi Casa Pupuseria y Mexican Restaurant started with an order of fish, shrimp, and carne asada tacos.
Each one was bursting with flavor, and the smoky taste from the salsa on the shrimp and fish tacos was simply superb.
I couldn't resist indulging in their rebueltas pupusas and sopa de pata.
The sopa was filled with fresh, perfectly cooked vegetables, making it a healthy yet delicious choice.
I also opted for a combo meal, which allowed me to sample various dishes.
The meal came with rice, beans, chips, and salsa, making it an incredible deal.
I can assure you that if I lived closer, I'd be a regular at this hidden gem located off the main road in a small strip of businesses.
Falahi Bro's Middle Eastern Cuisine
I have always been a fan of Middle Eastern food, and Falahi Bro's Middle Eastern Cuisine never disappoints.
I recently attended a baby shower where they provided catering, and the food was excellent and affordable.
As someone native to Egypt, I can confidently say that Falahi Bro's is my go-to spot for Middle Eastern food in Vancouver.
When I dine in or take out, I usually order the Chicken Shawerma Wrap, which is always delicious.
The chicken is juicy, and the pickled veggies and sauces complement it perfectly.
I also love the Eggplant-Cauliflower Wrap - the grilled eggplant, combined with other pickled veggies and sauces, is amazing.
One of my favorite things about Falahi Bro's is the freshness and presentation of their dishes.
Everything is beautifully plated, and you can truly taste the quality and care that goes into each meal.
DEDIKo is a cozy little Georgian restaurant that we'd been hearing so much about.
The moment we walked in, we felt welcomed by the warm atmosphere and friendly staff.
The family-owned restaurant had a simple yet charming interior, which made us feel right at home.
We started our meal with the cheese boat, also known as khachapuri, which was absolutely divine.
The cheese-filled bread was warm, gooey, and bursting with flavor.
Next, we tried both meat and mushroom dumplings or khinkali.
The meat dumplings had a delicious soup inside, while the mushrooms were flavorful.
Both were amazing, and we couldn't get enough of them.
For our main course, I opted for the ojakhuri with pork, a traditional Georgian dish made with meat and potatoes, and my friends went for the lobio pot.
The ojakhuri was cooked to perfection, and the flavors melded together beautifully.
The lobio pot was also a hit, with its rich bean stew and perfectly cooked vegetables.
We also ordered a side of stuffed mushrooms, which were a delightful addition to our meal.
Amaro's Table Downtown is a chandelier-lit hot spot that caught my eye with its unique wallpaper and classic bistro menu.
I was excited to experience their renowned original cocktails and delectable dishes.
Upon entering, I was warmly greeted by the friendly staff, and their attentiveness continued throughout the evening.
I didn’t have a reservation, but the place was bustling, so I recommend making one in advance.
For my appetizer, I decided to go with their popular Brussels sprouts, and I immediately understood why they were a crowd favorite.
The crispy texture and flavor-packed seasoning blew me away, making it the perfect start to my meal.
As a main course, I followed the recommendation of a fellow diner and ordered the signature fried chicken.
The dish exceeded all expectations, with perfectly cooked chicken that was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
The accompanying side dishes were equally impressive, with the French dip being a standout.
To quench my thirst, I tried one of Amaro's original cocktails.
The expertly crafted concoction was refreshing and delicious, making it the ideal accompaniment to my meal.
I checked out Say Ciao! Columbia River Tap Room and Eatery for lunch the other day after hearing some great things about their food and atmosphere.
It's a cozy neighborhood spot with 13 taps of local beers and cider and a small wine list.
I ordered the turkey sandwich and fries, which were delicious.
I noticed other patrons enjoying their soups and salads, and I'm already looking forward to trying more of their menu items next time I visit.
I also appreciated that they have a daily lunch menu with sandwiches, soups, and salads.
What caught my attention, though, was their Friday night offering.
They have live music from 5 pm to 8 pm and happy hour from 2 pm to 5 pm, which I can't wait to experience.
From what I understand, they also have a full-service catering business, and judging by the quality of the food I had, I wouldn't hesitate to use their services for a special event.
Dulin's Village Cafe
One of my favorite breakfast spots in town is Dulin's Village Cafe.
Their homestyle comfort eats never disappoint, and I appreciate how the light-filled, spacious dining room offers a welcoming atmosphere.
I've been here multiple times and never had a bad experience.
I remember my first visit when I ordered Megan's Special, a delicious potato-based breakfast dish.
It was honestly one of the best breakfast meals I've had at a cafe in a while.
My wife tried the Rancheros, and our friend went for the Eggs Benedict – both raved about their dishes as well.
On another visit, we decided to give their weekend specials a try.
The Dungeness crab and fresh asparagus Benedict was divine, and the Belgium Waffle with fresh strawberries was a delightful treat.
They also have a full bar with Mimosas, Irish coffee, and house-made Bloody Mary's, perfect for a leisurely brunch.
The menu also includes plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options, so there's something for everyone.
Thai Wok Kitchen
One of the best Thai places I've tried recently is Thai Wok Kitchen.
The contemporary decor and clean environment make it a pleasant dining experience.
I decided to try their Duck Pad Thai, which is hard to find in other Thai restaurants.
The portion was large enough to last for two meals, and the flavor was spot on.
I also ordered Thai iced tea, which perfectly balanced sweetness and thickness.
On top of that, they have a wide range of dishes to choose from, including curry entrees, stir-fries, and seafood.
What stood out for me was the ingredients' quality in their dishes.
The pad Thai and drunken noodles were perfectly cooked, and the garlic duck left a lasting impression on my taste buds.
Little Conejo is a cozy, rustic restaurant that serves the tastiest tacos made from local ingredients, served on housemade tortillas.
And to top it off, they have an extensive selection of over 80 mezcals to choose from.
Upon entering the restaurant, I was immediately impressed by the inviting atmosphere and friendly staff.
The bar area caught my eye, but since I was with my kids, I had to admire it from afar.
I headed to the ordering counter, and though the line was long, they had an efficient number system in place, making it easy for me to keep track of my order.
While waiting, I couldn't help but notice the incredible aroma of the fresh salsa, which made me excited to dig into my meal.
I decided to go with the nopales tacos, a personal favorite of mine, and a hibiscus margarita to wash it all down.
The tacos were simply divine - juicy and bursting with flavor.
And the margarita was the perfect balance of sweet and tart, adding a refreshing touch to the meal.
I also appreciated that they had self-service options for water and silverware, which made it convenient and easy for me.
Look no further than Petra House for an authentic Mediterranean meal.
I had heard great things about this place and was excited to finally try it.
As soon as I walked in, I was amazed by the artful setting, complete with banquettes and pillows.
The ambiance was warm and inviting, and the staff was super hospitable.
For starters, I went with their popular Mezza for two.
The dish was a colorful and delicious medley of flavors, and I couldn't help but notice the freshness of the ingredients used.
I later learned that the restaurant prides itself in using only the freshest ingredients and halal and kosher meats, which was evident in the taste.
For the main course, I decided to try their Lamb Shank.
The meat was so tender that it fell off the bone, and the flavors were vibrant and satisfying.
I also had a bowl of Lentil soup, which was perfectly seasoned and comforting.
What made the entire experience even more special was the traditional floor seating option.
It added an authentic touch to the dining experience and made me feel like I was transported to the Mediterranean.
Being a local, I have always been a fan of Elements Restaurant's modern American cuisine with global influence.
What sets Elements apart for me is their use of local seasonal ingredients from the bounty of the Northwest and their European techniques.
My visit started with making a reservation, which I highly recommend, especially on busy weekend nights.
Upon arrival, I noticed the cheery and intimate ambiance of the space, making it perfect for a special night out.
Our dining experience began with the Crab and Brie Fondue.
Served with thinly sliced bread, this appetizer was truly delightful.
The combination of the Brie and other cheese made it a perfect starter for our meal.
For drinks, I tried their "Some like it Hot" Spicy Margarita, which had just the right amount of spice to enjoy with each sip.
For our main courses, we chose the NY Strip au Poivre and Sea Scallops.
The NY Strip was cooked to perfection - hot sear on the outside and medium rare pink on the inside.
The addition of smoked leek butter truly elevated the flavor of the steak.
The creamed farro, mushrooms, and delicata squash were the perfect accompaniments to the dish.
Sharing dishes with my partner allowed us to savor every bite of the culinary experience.
Abhiruchi Indian Cuisine South & North
My experience in Abhiruchi Indian Cuisine South & North, I must say, was nothing short of delightful.
As soon as I stepped in, I noticed the simple yet charming ambiance of the place, which seemed to be a popular spot for both dine-in and takeout.
Their menu offers a wide variety of Indian fare, and I was particularly impressed with their Vegetable Samosas, which had great texture and flavor without being too oily.
I also decided to try something new, the Rava Masala Dosa, which turned out to be a fun and delicious experience.
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Saag Paneer.
The house-made cheese and fresh vegetables made for an exquisite dish that left me wanting more.
Mighty Bowl - Downtown is an intimate cafe that offers health-minded bowls with proteins and veggies and salads, juices, and smoothies.
As someone who appreciates nutritious and delicious food options, I was quite impressed with their menu.
I ordered The Mighty Bowl, which had beans, brown rice, avocado, salsa, olives, cilantro, sour cream, and cheese.
I chose the peanut sauce to go with my bowl, and it was a great decision, as the sauce added an extra layer of flavor to the dish.
The ingredients were fresh, and the portion size was generous, leaving me satisfied and fueled for the rest of the day.
Another highlight of my visit was the outdoor seating area, which provided a comfortable and clean space to enjoy my meal.
The atmosphere was inviting, and the prices were quite reasonable, especially considering the quality and portion size of the food.
Kenji's Ramen & Grill
To satisfy my ramen cravings, Kenji's Ramen & Grill is my go-to.
This airy, atrium-like eatery offers a variety of creative ramen bowls, Japanese mains, poke, and more.
The broth is made fresh every day and cooked for 12-14 hours, with the pork chasu simmered to perfection and a perfectly cooked egg to top it off.
During my last visit, I decided to create my own ramen, opting for gluten-free and dairy-free options.
I chose kimchi, garlic spinach, jalapeño, and chicken with gluten-free noodles and chicken broth.
The result was delicious, healthy comfort food that I couldn't get enough of.
I also noticed that their menu caters to vegetarian and even vegan diets, which is a major plus for those with dietary restrictions.
Aside from the mouth-watering food, the ambiance at Kenji's Ramen & Grill is truly unique.
From the amazing art on the walls to the cute lanterns hanging from the ceiling, there's always something to catch your eye.
And if you ever find yourself craving something other than ramen, their other dishes are just as scrumptious.
I once tried their bulgogi rice bowl and Lychee Green tea, which were both finger-licking goods.
Pork fries are another popular dish that I often see my fellow diners enjoying, sometimes even as a main course.
El Gaucho Vancouver
From the moment we walked into El Gaucho Vancouver, we were greeted warmly by the staff and escorted to our beautifully set table.
The atmosphere was elegant and intimate, with dimly lit lights and smooth jazz playing in the background.
It truly set the mood for a memorable evening.
The menu at El Gaucho Vancouver offers an array of high-end classics and popular dishes, like Angus beef and tableside Caesars.
I decided to order the filet mignon, cooked medium well, and it was absolutely delicious.
The Dungeness crab cakes were seasoned to perfection, and the lobster mashed potatoes were heavenly.
The wine selection was impressive, and the sommelier's recommendation paired wonderfully with our meal.
The tableside baked potato preparation and the chocolate torte for dessert were also scrumptious highlights of our meal.
Another lovely touch was that the restaurant provided cards and roses for those celebrating special occasions, making it even more memorable.
Kiawe Island Bistro
For a quick casual lunch, Kiawe Island Bistro has become my go-to Hawaiian place in town.
When I stepped in, I felt like I was in a mom & pop store with a comforting, homey atmosphere.
They even have a self-service water station that adds to the friendly corner shop vibes.
I decided to try their curry katsu, which was a fantastic choice.
The katsu was rich and flavorful, with the breading remaining crispy even after being covered in the delicious sauce.
I couldn't help but notice the care they put into selecting their ingredients, as stated in their business information.
All the meats are sliced and prepared in-house, ensuring consistency and quality throughout their dishes.
While there, I also tried their Japolo and garlic chicken.
Both of them were cooked to perfection, achieving that perfect balance between crispy breading and flavorful sauce.
Gustav's Pub & Grill
We've always loved the traditional German fare and imported brews on tap at this festive outpost.
As we arrived at around 5:15 on a Sunday evening, Gustav's Pub & Grill was bustling with patrons.
We decided to try a variety of dishes, including a cabbage roll served with gravy and mashed potatoes, pork and apple schnitzel with German potato salad, and a sausage plate that included sausages, sauerkraut, red kraut, and German potato salad.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their selections, and we couldn't help but share the brownie dessert, which was huge and had the perfect amount of sweetness.
On top of the delectable food, we also enjoyed some drinks.
My husband chose the Hofbrau Hefe-Wiesen beer, while I opted for their superb blackberry margarita made with Sauza Silver Tequila, blackberry purée, triple sec, and fresh house-made margarita mix.
Shaken and poured over ice, it was absolutely delicious and a must-try for anyone visiting Gustav's.
Apart from the mouthwatering food and drinks, one thing that stood out during our visit was the amazing service - especially considering a party in full swing in their banquet room.
Hudson's Bar and Grill
I finally decided to try Hudson's Bar and Grill near my home.
As soon as I walked in, I was amazed by the beautiful Christmas decorations in the Heathman Lodge lobby.
The rustic-yet-refined dining room was incredibly inviting, with massive basalt fireplaces, rich northwest timber, and hand-hewn logs.
I started my meal with the Gorgonzola Cheesecake, which was simply amazing.
The Caesar salad with grilled chicken was also excellent, and my friends had nothing but good things to say about their Chicken Oscar and Italian Sausage Cassarecce.
The drinks were also on point, with the Pomegranate martini and Spanish Coffee being the highlights.
The high-quality dishes like the Double RR New York Steak, Porcini Crusted Scallops, and their signature Seafood Stew showcased their dedication to sourcing the best ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
Living in Vancouver, Washington, has truly been a delightful experience, especially when it comes to the diverse and exceptional dining options.
From the rich flavors of traditional Thai cuisine at Thai Wok Kitchen to the mouth-watering German platters at Gustav's Pub & Grill and the cozy atmosphere at Amaro's Table Downtown, there's something to satisfy every taste bud in this vibrant city.
There are always new places to discover and old favorites to return to, and each visit to these 20 best restaurants never fails to leave me craving more.