CityMash.com - Vancouver is a well known foodie haven. From brunch to bars and everything in between, we’ve got every style of cuisine at every price point. But what about something a bit more out of the ordinary? Where do Vancouverites flock when they want a unique dining experience?
Check out 10 unusual spots in Vancouver that will change what you think you knew about restaurants.
Dark Table might be the perfect place for a true blind date. Why? The restaurant is completely pitch black! Before going into the dark dining room, you’ll place your order in the lit lounge. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can opt for the surprise meal where the chef picks your entree. From there, a waiter will lead you into the dining room where you won’t be able to see a thing. Enjoy a meal without your eyesight and laugh when you can’t find your fork and end up eating with your hands (everyone does it). Most of the waitstaff at Dark Table is blind or visually impaired, making them the perfect guides for this unusual dining experience.
The Afghan Horsemen restaurant was the first Afghani restaurant in Canada when it opened n 1974. Since then, the restaurant has been thriving in Vancouver and consistently serving up award winning food. This is the place to come for Afghani and Middle Eastern food. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat in one of the special dining rooms where chairs are replaced by cushions on the floor. We suggest ordering a few platters if you want to try a bunch of different things. And if you’re feeling particularly thirsty, order the Mega Mighty Horseman. It’s served in a flower pot and comes with six long straws so your friends can help you out.
Kingyo is one of a few delicious Izakaya restaurants that call Vancouver home. Izakaya is Japanese tapas, meaning most of the dishes at Kingyo are small and meant to be shared with a group. We recommend the Stone Grilled Kobe Beef or Beef Tongue which is cooked tableside on a large hot rock. Fans of Japanese food will love the fun twists on classic sushi and seafood dishes. And don’t be alarmed if you hear the waitstaff or kitchen staff yelling phrases back and forth – it’s part of the Izakaya charm!
Storm Crow is the ultimate nerd bar. Everything is on theme so don’t be surprised to find references to Doctor Who, Middle Earth or Dungeons and Dragons throughout the menu. The best part about Storm Crow is their huge selection of board games that are yours for the playing while you enjoy your food and drinks. If you really want to get into the games, Storm Crow has an infamous 20 sided die that you can roll to determine the toppings on your burger, selection of beers for a beer tasting or random shot. Are you feeling lucky enough to give the 20 sided die a roll? Try it out at Storm Crow Ale House in Kitsilano or Storm Crow Tavern in East Van.
The Elbow Room
The Elbow Room is known for its legendary breakfast and even more legendary staff. And by legendary, we mean rude, sarcastic and insulting. Usually, when we talk about servers being rude and insulting, we’re not recommending the place. But at The Elbow Room, it’s just part of the charm and fun of it all! If you can take a joke, you’ll love getting brunch at The Elbow Room. Don’t worry, they have a list of rules posted at the front so you don’t accidentally anger an already angry server. But they’re not all bad at The Elbow Room. If you don’t finish your meal, you are asked to donate to A Loving Spoonful, a charity that provides meals to persons living with AIDS.
Top of Vancouver
Talk about a meal with a view! Head to Top of Vancouver for the ultimate picturesque dining experience. That’s because you’ll be eating in a restaurant 553 feet up in the air. Top of Vancouver is located in Harbour Centre Tower and offers views of Vancouver, the ocean and mountains. Think they sat you on the wrong side? Don’t worry! Top of Vancouver is a revolving restaurant so your view will be changing soon enough. The restaurant finishes a complete rotation every 60 minutes. A beautiful view and top quality fine dining? Sounds like the perfect date night to us!
As their website promises, The Eatery is hands down the funkiest place for Japanese food in Vancouver. The Eatery is all about over the top bizarre decor like their life sized Astro Boy that hangs from the ceiling, giant sea creatures, children’s toys and unique lighting. But nothing at The Eatery is more unique than their delicious menu offerings. Try the Japanese Fortress roll that features spicy tuna, cucumber and yam fries or Miss Piggy roll with bacon, scallops and asparagus. Add a funky cocktail, like a Sake Jalapeno Margarita, or crazy dessert, like the Mars Attack that is made up of deep fried Mars bars with a few scoops of ice cream. You’ll definitely have a unique experience dining at The Eatery!
EXP Restaurant & Bar
EXP Restaurant & Bar is a gamer’s paradise. Everything at this place is game themed and caters to the video game and board game lovers of Vancouver. For example, their share plates are called Multiplayer and their fries can be found under the Legendary Potato Round. EXP is best known for their events like trivia nights, Smash Brothers tournaments and SALT (Super Awesome Live Tuesdays) where patrons can play a huge variety of fighting style video games against one another. Check out their calendar of events to see when they’re hosting your favourite game.
Japadog is one of Vancouver’s most well known dining options. But who would’ve thought combining Japanese flavours with America’s favourite baseball game snack would turn out so well? Not us! But it works. It works so well that Japadog now has four carts, two trucks and two restaurants in Vancouver. They also have two carts in California. If you have never tried Japadog, you’re missing out. We recommend the signature Japadog: Terimayo, with teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed. You can also get a Japadog topped with noodles, kimchi or croquettes. And if you’re craving something sweet, order the Age Ice: a deep fried bun filled with vanilla, mango, strawberry, matcha or black sesame ice cream. For more on Japadog, check out these fun facts.
Great Han Mongolian BBQ
Great Han Mongolian BBQ is the perfect place to go if you want complete control over your meal. Because the meals here are 100% make it yourself. Fill a bowl with your choice of meats, vegetables, noodles and sauces from their wide selection. Once you’ve made your choice, hand it over to the chef who will cook it in front of you on top of a hot grill. It doesn’t get much more personalized than that! Gone are the days of ordering noodles that come with too much sauce or not enough vegetables. You now have the freedom to craft a noodle bowl that is perfect for you! If you’re feeling really hungry, Mongolian BBQ also offers an all you can eat option.
Which one of these unusual dining experiences has caught your eye? Please let us know in the comments below…