© Amy RosenWith more than 300,000 visitors expected to hit the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, finding a good meal will be its own competitive sport. Here’s a cheat sheet to some local favorites:
Gyoza King: Local chefs come to this hole-in-the-wall izakaya for buttery local mushrooms and monkfish livers with ponzu sauce. Star chef (and F&W Contributing Editor) Jean-Georges Vongerichten likes to stop by when he’s in town checking in on Market, his new restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel. 1508 Robson St.; 604-669-8278.
PAJO's at the Wharf: This decades-old floating seafood shack in Steveston serves deep-fried local cod, salmon and halibut in paper cones, with sides of killer slaw, tartar sauce and fresh-cut fries. If clouds were tender fish, battered and dunked in hot oil, they’d taste like those at Pajo’s. 12351 Third Ave., Steveston; 604-272-1588 or pajos.com.
Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie: The German-born chocolatier worked with Daniel Boulud in New York City and now creates handmade chocolates, spicy hot chocolate and ethereal almond croissants at his two cafés: one in North Vancouver, and a brand new spot in Kitsilano, right beside his old boss’s new restaurants, DB Bistro Moderne and Lumiere. 998 Harbourside Dr., North Vancouver; 604-924-1847; 2539 W. Broadway, Kitsilano; 604-736-1848 or thomashaas.com.
Vera’s Burger Shack: A local institution since its days as a beach concession (circa 1977), today Vera’s has 13 locations serving made-to-order burgers (classic or organic beef, chicken, veggie, lamb or turkey) with its famous secret sauce. Order burgers from the Denman St. location to go for a seawall picnic. 1181 Denman St.; 604-681-5450 or verasburgershack.com.