Phone: (604) 440-8781 Website: lepetitbelge.ca Hours:
Mon – Fri at 8am – 3pm Sat – Sun at 8am – 4pm
Sadly, Scoozi’s is no more. This fond breakfast place in Vancouver, BC closed sometime during the pandemic, and in its place is Curry Hut Indian Bistro. I will one day try, but as for why–that’s because I loved the ambience the space represented. Fortunately, Le Petit Belge is a terrific replacement, especially if you love waffles. Unfortunately, it’s located nowhere close to the Vancouver Convention Centre. It’s a fair walk away for those going to this city for events there. But if you’re here for a concert, it’s a hop and skip away from BC Place!
I was back in the big city for Fan Expo Vancouver, which brings nearly everything pop culture related under one roof. My convention report can be read here. This event packs a bit of everything into the large hockey-ring sized gymnasium located in the West Convention Centre building. Unlike that sport, there’s no stadium seating. On the three days I went, it felt jam packed! When compared to restaurants operating at full capacity, finding a chair is based on how long you’re willing to wait. There was a small recharge lounge within the convention though, so thankful people have a spot to unwind.
Hours: Sun to Sat 11a.m.–11p.m.
Phone: (604) 564-9595
Hello Nori is a relatively new operation that opened in Vancouver’s Robson Street strip during the pandemic, and since they’re both dine-in and takeout, the difference is in whether or not the rolls are cut up for you. However, the taste will be slightly different based on how fast you eat them. The selling point is in how crunchy the sheets of seaweed are. I spotted a butane torch in the preparation area and it’s used for their aburi dishes rather than standard rolls. There are also daily sashimi offerings to which I shouldn’t have passed on. After seeing how they looked at a few bar seats away, I knew I’d have regrets.
However, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the fish were caught Ikejime style or West coast. I suspect it’s the latter (this is BC after all), so what’s offered isn’t necessarily ‘authentic’ Japanese and more designer style to convince patrons in.
Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake
1151 Robson St
Hours: Open every day from 10am to 8pm
Phone: (604) 265-4087
The best time to ensure the best selection of Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake is to stop by late morning, as they are fresh from the oven. This franchise operation makes a surprisingly fluffy and delectable cake to which I finished two successive days. I doubt it could keep its texture beyond that, but after tasting this delight, it’s a stop I’ll have to make every time I’m in Downtown Vancouver. Sorry Cartems, but I think you’ve been beat out for which sweet cake I like to partake in. Even the various Beard Papa operations are out as I’ve found the quality inconsistent.
On my latest trip to the mainland for Fan Expo Vancouver, I explored the West End and visited Kingyo. Getting here isn’t that bad at night, but I’d still recommend taking a cab or Uber if safety is a concern. The stroll back along Robson Street to your hotel will help burn the calories.
This smaller sized operation is like Maneki Restaurant in Seattle’s International District; the external decor hides a warm and welcoming interior. Their daily specials have a wider variety of seafood and protein offerings than the usual fixings. It’s rare to see any place offer truffle in this style of cuisine. Next time, I’ll be back for their Pork Miso Carbonara–a pasta dish that uses the black fungi as a garnish.
Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba 551 Seymour St
Hours: 11a.m.–10p.m. Phone: (604) 559-8872
When Japanese tradition gets nouveau, it’s time to hit the Kokomo! Japanese Chef Takuma Ishikawa invented the mazesoba dish and has expanded the franchise out to Vancouver. I’ve been busy of late with my other preoccupation (fandom/comic conventions) and when hunger strikes, I still pay attention to my foodie desires. This large diner has been the talk of the town since it opened two years ago. When I heard fellow Fan Expo Vancouver attendees talking about where to go for ramen, my ears perked. A hop, skip and jump of about four blocks had me faced with the difficult choice of which one of the three dishes should I have? Should I have ramen, a don or mazesoba?
Tap & Barrel Convention Centre Location 76-1055 Canada Place Vancouver, BC
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Phone: (604) 235-9827
The Tap and Barrel is a contemporary pub located to one corner of the Vancouver Convention Centre and it’s conveniently placed for hungry visitors to any event, namely Fan Expo Vancouver, to hit. Even after summertime shows like Anime Revolution (taking place Aug 9 to 11), I’m sure this place is bustlin’.
The prices are very reasonable for the standard staples that feed budget minded con-goers. There’s hamburgers, fish and chips and sandwiches. For a quick breakfast, I got all the fuel needed to tackle the said convention without having to venture far. Until the organizers decide to switch buildings, this eatery is a less than a stone’s throw away.