If you ever come to Vancouver, skiing in Whistler is just one out of many exciting things to do there. The city itself is a great cultural bubble, so be sure to plan 2-3 days (by foot and bicycle) for the downtown area, only – and explore the food scene. For example the Japanese. For obvious reasons, Vancouver has a large Japanese community and some of the best ethnic restaurants.
My favorite is definitely Guu. There are three Guu Izakaya restaurants in Vancouver alone, so be sure to make a reservation at 838 Thurlow Street. It is the first and most original place, not only famous for its dishes, but also for some very extraordinary habits, like masquerade day, when all staff members wear masks, or the shouting from the bar, a warm and energetic loud greeting to patrons. Give an extra tip and you will be rewarded with a choir of shouting bartenders on your way out – in Japanese, of course (www.guu-izakaya.com/original).
Another great place is Meat & Bread. They also serve an awesome vegetarian sandwich, but people stand in line during their lunch breaks mainly to get a share of the Porchetta Salsa Verde, or of one of the daily specials. Soup and salads are also extraordinary, but make sure to leave some place for their special chocolate bar – it may be the best you ever had. Meat & Bread has two locations in downtown Vancouver, both small but very chic. An innovative version of Italian goes West Coast.