Best Vancouver Street Food

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Day 436: Vancouver, Canada

Street food is one of my biggest passions and something that can make or break a country for me.

I had heard that Vancouver had developed a great street food culture since the Olympics and I had hoped I could eat my way through the best of it.

That didn’t happen.

Because my flight was delayed and the conference was packed tighter than a factory farm chicken coop I was only able to hit up a few places but I still wanted to share them with you.

smoked salmon sandwich

The first lunch I dragged Michael to The Kaboom Box because everyone raved about their hot smoked salmon “salmwich”.

I was really impressed with their sustainable approach, they have committed to only using Oceanwise seafood, try to use as much organic produce as they can and packaging is biodegradable and compostable.

Okay so hippie/environmental tendencies aside I can tell you this place is amazing.

The portion of fish was very generous and worth the $7 price tag and I loved the coleslaw on top.

Japadog

I had heard about Japa dog long before coming to Toronto.

I was desperate to sample the Japanese take on hot dogs and pounced on Dylan’s offer to skip a TBEX session to get one.

So it turns out everyone from Anthony Bourdain to Ice Cube has been to Japadog.

A $5 hot dog is definitely a splurge but you would be surprised how tasty seaweed and Japanese mayonnaise can be on a hot dog.

beef brisket sandwich

My last day in Vancouver I convinced Michael, Gareth, Dylan and Jenny to join me at  Re-Up BBQ, a Southern BBQ style street cart.

After we ordered the beef brisket I lamented that I was hoping to get pulled pork sandwich which I learned was at their other cart around the corner.

Oh well, a bit more beef wasn’t going to hurt me, right?

The most disappointing of it all is that I am excited to return home to Toronto but unfortunately the street food sucks and is limited to standardized hot dog stands with canary yellow buns.

Woe is me.

Pro Tip: If you need to walk off some of the meals check out Lesley’s post with 4 days in Vancouver.

Join the Conversation

  1. I never imagined anywhere in Canada would have street food. But I can’t say it looks particularly appetising!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well that would be my photography because they were all delicious.

  2. Christine says:

    That salmon sandwich. YUM.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Incredible to see a stand offer sustainable seafood that is delicious.

  3. I’ve not been paying attention to street food in our travels (not as much as my wife does anyway)But my most memorable exposure to street food was during my time living in the Philippines – from blood soup to barbecued chicken innards. Suffice to say, I didn’t take to street food well. I’d take Vancouver’s anytime.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Having lived in the Philippines I share your pain, one of my favourite, or not so favourite, memories was discovering that the delicious barbecue chicken on a stick that I had been eating every day was so cheap because it was intestines.

  4. The Travel Chica says:

    Dear God! That pulled pork sandwich looks amazing. I had one in Buenos Aires on Monday (to celebrate my independence of course), but it was oh so disappointing. I should have known better.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Did you go to that new breakfast place, Raymonds?

  5. Yummy

  6. I didn’t catch the first season of Food Truck Wars (I think on the Food Network) but a new season is apparently starting soon. I only have 1 food truck in my town, so the show will have to suffice til I head back to DC for more food truck love.

    Thanks for the food porn!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      One truck is a really great start, what kind is it?

  7. EJ Hunter says:

    All of that stuff looks wonderful! That’s the problem with moving around, never getting the opportunity to experience ALL of the great food there – the tummy’s just not big enough! I live in Atlanta and haven’t experience everything yet.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I heard there were also some great tacos just outside the event but I didn’t have time, such a disappointment.

  8. Philip Johnson says:

    This post gives me hope that the world beyond Mexico isn’t a barren, streetfoodless wasteland (apart from Toronto)…

  9. I love all the environmentally friendly options Vancouver offers, especially coming from Alberta where it’s all about beef (not that I don’t love a good steak now and then either).

  10. Debbie Beardsley says:

    The brisket sandwich is making me hungry even if I would want more slaw on it! Street food is awesome and something I look forward to trying anywhere I am!

  11. And here I used to think the street was for cars. All those options look yummy!

  12. Not sure if you got back to Toronto in time for it, but last weekend the first “Food Truck Eats” festival took place in the Distillery District.

    While we might not be there yet, turns out Toronto loves foods trucks.

  13. Nice photos. Vancouver may not yet have a great street food culture, but hopefully we’re getting there. It’s exciting to have options besides hot dogs!

  14. I hear you on this one… I felt the same way about Austin, Texas when I visited there last year. So many delicious food carts, only one weekend to consume as much as possible!

  15. Roy | Cruisesurfingz says:

    I had no idea Vancouver had all that. Maybe I should move there when I’m done with ships!
    I thought they were working on introducing more diversity to TO’s streetfood, no?

  16. I miss meat. I’m on a red meat free diet forced upon me by my doctor so these photos are painful to look at. One day I shall be able to taste beef and pork again.

  17. I don’t sample enough street food in Vancouver… now you’ve got me jonzing for a Japa Dog!

  18. Natalie T. says:

    I was really impressed with the street food in Vancouver. Your photos made me hungry. Re-Up is now on the list! Actually, there’s a bit of a revolution going on with Toronto street food – Suresh Doss of Spotlight City organized a food truck eats event at The Distillery on Canada Day long weekend. 3,000 people turned up for the event. (Yes, I waited in line for 1.5 hours for a pork belly bun, taco,chicken wings and cucumber-pineapple lemonade.) It was his way of telling the city that we need to get the permits to get the vendors people want to see on the street. The next one is Aug. 20. Hope you are in town for it!

  19. Those ridiculously yummy!

  20. Street food is one reason why I absolutely love living in Austin. The culture there is insanely huge (even Anthony Bourdain commented on how many gourmet carts were owned by young entrepreneurs). These look delish… besides the fact I’m always on the look out for a pulled pork sandwich.

  21. Well, there is a little more street food at Nathan Philip Square than just hotdogs …

    It’s hotdogs and fries .. 🙂

  22. Mmmm, its getting close to lunch time and this has just got me in the mood for food! Looks good.

  23. Vago Damitio says:

    Man…street food in Morocco is just not the same thing. I’m missing North America more after this post… ~Vago

  24. Michael Hodson says:

    you cropped me out!! 😛

  25. Bluegreen Kirk says:

    I have been seen a lot of BBQ and pull pork lately. Its driving me crazy. I really need to go back home to SC so I can get some home cooked pulled pork. I love the street trucks only wish we had more here in South Florida.

    That beef brisket sandwich looks so good.

  26. Drooling now. Need to get me one of each of these, stat.

  27. That “salmwich” looked amazing! I’m hoping that once I get into more developed Canadian area I can get some yummy food. It’s either camp food or bland diner food for now….

  28. Mouth = watering. That pulled pork sandwich really has me wanting to back to TN and get some good BBQ!

  29. I’m bummed I missed Kaboom Box with you!

    Japadog kind of changed my life though… and now I’m thinking about terimayo…. mmm.

    Yesterday on the bus I saw a stand called Dog Japan or something similar (in Seattle) and I was both overjoyed and disappointed. I’m sure it’s no Japadog but it just might be the fix I need!

  30. Dream Travel Vacation says:

    It’s dinner time here and looking at salmwich and bbq beef brisket sandiwch definitely made me hungry!! They look soo yummy! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  31. This is the thing: one never thinks of hot dog vans as “street food” (however much one loves them) just as “junk food”. Interesting how travel’s changed your perspective here — and so glad you’re enjoying the dins there.

  32. Andrew - The Unframed World says:

    Your obsession with food cracks me up while also reminding me how desperately I’m anticipating authentic clam chowder when I go home to Maine, USA next month.

    Have you been to Singapore? Simply put, we’re talking FOOD HEAVEN. Anything you can imagine, from nearly any culture (lacking substantial quality Italian I suppose). If my memory serves me right, on weekends restaurants give out bricks of gold too.

  33. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    wish i’d been with you guys at re-up! can’t believe i was there so long and actually missed it! next time for sure! yum!

  34. Lauren Fritsky says:

    I love salmon sandwiches, salmon burgers, salmon on a bagel — sigh.

  35. Japa dog. Sigh.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You could try to make one at home, japanese mayo and nori on a hot dog? I know not the same but it is kind of close.

  36. Mmmmmmm, street food. Do love it. That japa dog looks interesting. Very different.

  37. Colleen Friesen says:

    There is such a great new truck-foodie scene in Vancouver. This is the year that it finally came together.
    I highly recommend the La Brasserie truck on Granville & Georgia as well as the Feastro Bistro at the foot of Thurlow (near Cordova). I’ve written more detail about them on my blog and Vancouver Magazine just did some food truck profiles as well.
    Bon Appetit!

  38. James Cook says:

    This food looks amazing I love street food as well. My Girlfriend recently posted about Thai street food. Crickets seem pretty far removed!

  39. I live in Vancouver and have to say that our street food often tastes better than what you would get in most restaurants. Its price is just another bonus. I guess for visitors it is better to download a free app called Street Food Vancouver. It is very useful because you can see there which food carts are nearby or sometimes even daily specials.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks for the heads up, I wish I had that app when I was there!

  40. Food looks fantastic great photos. The first image full of healthy green foods does make me feel hungry! struggle to get good stuff here.

  41. One of the best things about building most of these street carts that wound up in Vancouver was being able to go around and taste their food afterwards!

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