Pho is arguably one of the BEST things to eat in Vancouver during the rainy winter months (that, and ramen!) to warm you up while it pours outside. (The sun is coming, don’t worry.)
Even if it isn’t raining, who doesn’t enjoy a good bowl of beefy soup with the unique Vietnamese spices boiled for hours extracting the nutrition and flavor paired with glassy rice noodles with just the slight bite to it that can easily be slurp down added with the important bean sprouts packing the right crunch and how can you forget the slow cooked beef brisket or medium-well beef sirloin! Mmm.
That’s what good pho should be. Not the MSG loaded, artificial soup you might find. We took to finding the BEST pho in Vancouver and think you’ll like it very much! Take a look and comment bellow if you agree or disagree with our recommendations at VancityAsks. Share your favourite pho spot as well for a chance to win $50 gift card (Contest ends 1 month from initial posting date – October 31, 2017 to November 31, 2017).
Here are the FIVE Best Pho in Vancouver:
We’ve taken great lengths to find the best pho in Vancouver. After hours of surveying locals, checking online reviews, and trying countless pho restaurants (wasn’t that difficult actually), we’re confident these are the best pho in Vancouver. Give it a try and comment bellow your experience, thoughts, or suggestions!
1) Pho Japolo:
Address: 244 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z7
2) Café Phin and Pho:
What you need to know about Cafe Phin & Pho – Delicious pho. NO MSG. Family-owned and operated. Fast-casual dining. Good prices. Friendly staff & self-service. Located five minutes from English Bay. (Beach walk after pho?)
Cafe Phin and Pho easily lands on the top 5 recommendations for the best pho in Vancouver. Flavorful broths made by boiling beef bones with no MSG. Generous portions of meat and perfect proportion of rice noodles. Friendly service, clean interior, and plentiful seating makes for an excellent pho restaurant in downtown Vancouver by English Bay. If you’re looking for pho in downtown Vancouver, Cafe Phin and Pho is where you want to find yourself a steaming hot bowl of brothy goodness with generous servings of rare beef (cooked in the soup) or a trio of cooked brisket, rare beef, and beef balls.
The prices are also excellent for downtown Vancouver pho restaurant with a bowl of rare beef pho only setting you back $10.50! The portions are generous and the broth is truly home-made with no MSG. It is a self serve restaurant.
Phuoanganh Nguyen put it nicely when he said the following on Google Reviews:
“The food here is just simply awesome. If you want to know how Northern Vietnam cuisine taste like, this is the perfect spot for you” – Phuoanganh Nguyen
What’s good? The pho is easily the best pho you’ll taste in Vancouver. Everything is made with care void of MSG. It shows as the broth is hearty but doesn’t leave you thirsty after as many pho restaurants in Vancouver. The house special which includes beef balls, strip-lion, and rare beef for $10.75 is excellent as well the rare beef pho at $10.50 with generous portions of rare beef. They are rumored to also have excellent chicken curry.
What’s bad? Nothing so far but perhaps the canned drinks?
Address: 976 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2M1
3) Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine:
What you need to know about Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine – Small take-out Vietnamese restaurant on Robson Street. Good pho but has MSG. Cheap pricing for pho. Excellent Vietnamese subs. Self-service. Reasonable portions.
Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine is a small Vietnamese restaurant in the downtown core of Vancouver that serves delicious pho and viet subs. Started in July of 2009, Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine has been a favourite of locals since almost a decade ago. In their earlier days, they had a line up going out the door with locals eager to savour their Vietnamese pho and subs.
Their food is good, their service is quick, and their price is cheap. Not much more you can ask for if you’re looking for pho in downtown Vancouver. They have two locations both on Robson Street; the original store is located at 520 Robson Street which is more central to downtown Vancouver offices and residences. Their newer store is located at
The pho restaurant is located conveniently on Robson Street. (Have you looked at the rent for retail shops on Robson Street recently? It’s ridiculous, like $40,000/month for 1000 sqft.) Surprisingly, despite being located on the iconic Robson Street, the prices for Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine is still very palatable. Perhaps, due to the fact that they begun serving pho in Vancouver as early as 2009 (probably locking in a more reasonable rent), where their pho were only $6.45, Viet Sub has continued offering cheap prices for pho in downtown Vancouver. We’re looking at $7.75 for a Rare Beef Pho and $4.75 for their Deep Fried Pork/Chicken Sub. (definitely not kosher) If you’re looking for pho in downtown Vancouver, I would highly recommend you consider Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine if you’re looking for quick, cheap eat or take out.
We have to concur with Mason W. on Yelp:
“Oh my god!! This place is definitely a hidden gem among hidden gems. I stumbled upon this place during my trip to Vancouver and I immediately fell in love! Both the pho and the subs here are delicious and the service is excellent! The price is also super cheap (Only $4 for a bahm mi what the heck!!!!). This place will definitely be my go to place whenever I visit Vancouver!” – Mason W.
What’s Good? Rare Beef Pho is quite the staple. If you want something more diversified then try the House Special. Viet Sub Vietnamese Cuisine as its name suggest is also known for their Vietnamese sandwiches which are said to be delicious and cheap at just $4.50.
What’s Bad? Not exactly bad but not the best option on their menu, many diners did not (myself included) like the salad rolls which lacked a little flavor compared to their delicious pho.
Address: 520 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7
4) Pho Hong:
5) Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen:
Thanks for reading our recommendations for the best pho in Vancouver. We’re confident these pho restaurants in Vancouver will hit the spot and satisfy your cravings!
Vancouver Pho Rating: How do you know what good is unless you have a rubric of sorts? Our definition of good may be far different from yours; although tastes is indisputable. Here are some quick considerations we made when looking for the best pho in Vancouver so you know how we rated these pho restaurants in Vancouver.
- MSG? We’re looking for the real deal. MSG isn’t necessarily unhealthy for you in small amounts but save it for your instant noodles. If you’re going out for pho, you better make sure you’re getting the real home-made goodness of pho. A good stock made from beef bones boiled for hours delicately spiced with star anise and ginger for the pleasant aroma. You want the nutrition as much as the flavor here when looking for the best pho in Vancouver. If you’re going to go for MSG powder, you may as well go buy that instant noodle pho packets and make it in your room.
Try the BEST Vancouver Pho & comment bellow:
Now that you know where the BEST pho is in Vancouver, BC – go and try it! Pho tastes great on a rainy day in Vancouver (Most of October to April in case you’re not a local Vancouverite.) and it tastes even better with friends! Go alone or go with a friend but you MUST try these Vancouver pho restaurants.
Once you’ve tried these 5 pho restaurants in Vancouver, comment bellow what you thought about our recommendations for the BEST pho in Vancouver.
Do you have a favourite that we haven’t mentioned? Comment bellow to share any good pho restaurants that you think we’ve missed out! The recommendations is subject to regular updates base on feedback and quality checks.
BONUS – Make your own Pho:
Eating pho at these restaurants is certainly the most convenient and preferred option. Still, sometimes cooking can be a stress reliever and immediate gratification to savour your own works or see the enjoyment of your family and friends.
Should you decide alternatively to make pho at home in Vancouver, BC… Here is a simple pho recipe that you can follow to make pho in your own home! Caution, this isn’t the short-cut option so you would actually have to boil the beef bones for upwards of 10 hours!
The pho recipe above is taken from the following sites. We’ve adapted several recipes to form this which we think tastes great. (Yes, I made pho with this recipe – it is delicious!)
Here are some more pho-goodness reading if you are looking to read more about good pho in Vancouver.
More Pho in Vancouver:
Part of being in such a multi-cultural city like Vancouver where food is celebrated means there are plentiful delicious pho restaurants in Vancouver among other international cuisines. Yay!
It was hard to select just five of the best pho restaurants in Vancouver so we’ve decided to share other good pho restaurants in Vancouver that you may wish to consider if you’re around the area. (Definitely try the five best pho mentioned above even if you may need to travel. These Vancouver pho listed bellow are excellent options if you’re around the area.)
These other delicious pho in Vancouver deserves a mention as well.
More Pho restaurants in downtown Vancouver:
Here are some other pho in downtown Vancouver that are excellent choices.
Chef Lien – 1331 Robson Street (Downtown Vancouver Pho Restaurant)
Chef Lien Vietnamese Cuisine is one of the best pho restaurants in downtown Vancouver towards the Westend of downtown Vancouver on Robson Street. Their pho broth does contain MSG but also has a nice herbal flavor; it is notably less MSG than most pho restaurants. The portion sizes are also reasonable and the price range around $11 per bowl of pho makes Chef Lien one of the better value spots in downtown Vancouver. With this said, the pho is not remarkable that it warrants to be in our top 5 best pho in Vancouver which is why it didn’t quite make the top 5 highlight.
Pholicious – 550 West Hastings Street (Downtown Vancouver Pho Restaurant)
Pholicious is a family-owned and operated pho restaurant in downtown Vancouver right across from SFU’s downtown campus. This is precisely the hole-in-the-wall local family business that we like to highlight on VancityAsks. The unique local eateries with delicious food and sometimes amazing value. We wanted very much to recommend it in our top five best pho restaurants in Vancouver but it fell short of expectations. The service is minimal albeit friendly. The space is cramp but if the pho is good, take-out is always an option. The main problem we have with the pho at Pholicious is the preparation and perceived quality of the food at Pholicious. Notably, they use a plastic (dollar store) bucket to scoop soup from their heated pot. This is a big no-no as the plastic may leak into the boiling soup. Further, they use a big red bucket to process ingredients which is a hygiene concern. The broth itself was acceptable but a little under flavored (watered down likeness). They do not use any MSG at Pholicious which is an important plus however there is room for improvement with food preparation and hygiene. It may also be considerable adding fattier pieces of meat (like knee bones) or bone marrow to thicken the broth and add a little more flavor to the pho broth. However, if you’re looking for a good family-run pho restaurant in downtown Vancouver, Pholicious deserves patronage and consideration. The value is unsurpassed in downtown Vancouver, perhaps catering to the students at SFU, a bowl of pho at Pholicious in downtown Vancouver only rings in at $7 to $8. That by-far is the cheapest pho of pho you can find in downtown Vancouver comparable only to Viet Sub. Another gripe we have about Pholicious is the roasted chicken doesn’t seem to be very fresh chicken, it is likely bought in and kept throughout the day. The chicken is very typical roasted chicken.
Le Do Vietnamese Restaurant
Pho Goodness – Best Pho in Downtown Vancouver Westend
Pho Goodness almost came in #1 on our recommendations of the best pho in Vancouver, however, they fell short due to reports of bad customer service. While they have excellent pho broth and very minimal MSG within their pho, many customers have consistently shared their displeasure with their experience at Pho Goodness. Generally insidious and ill-willed replies without reason for offence.
The prices are very standard at Pho Goodness with a bowl of house special pho (rare beef, brisket, beef balls, and tripe) ringing in at $10 while a bowl of rare beef pho (Pho Tai) – also what I usually go for at pho restaurants – is only $9.50. The broth at Pho Goodness is hearty and minimal effects of MSG found in the aftermath of enjoying good pho in Vancouver. They also have very good rolls for appetizers such as the Goi Cuon Nem (ground pork salad rolls) costing $6.75 for two rolls… very reasonable prices for downtown Vancouver Vietnamese food.
The interior is also welcoming and clean which is important observation when choosing pho restaurants in Vancouver. The only drawback and why we have not mentioned them as #1 best pho in Vancouver is due to the consistent feedback of unpleasant experience with service staff. Precisely being called service staff, they should emphasize on service but what is regrettable is the food is worth trying Pho Goodness if the service is improved. Then again, some people travel to Hong Kong to experience the rude cafe experience, so maybe, try that in Vancouver at Pho Goodness and enjoy good pho in the process?
Little Saigon – Yaletown MSG-Free Pho Restaurant:
Little Saigon in Yaletown is one of the few pho restaurants in Vancouver that does not use MSG in their pho. It costs
Le Petit Saigon – East Hastings Pho Restaurant:
Le Pho Vietnamese Restaurant – Hastings/Sunrise Pho Restaurant:
Cafe Mai Mai – Marpole Pho Restaurant:
Linh Cafe – Fushion French & Vietnamese Restaurant:
Linh Cafe is located in Vancouver’s hipster neighborhood of Kitsilano. Right on 4th Street and Macdonald Street, this French-Vietnamese fusion draws a loyal following of customers. They have a very diversified menu from breakfast eggs & bacon, poutine, lobster, or house made sausage. Generally, when a menu is that large and diversified, it’s a bad sign (because that means the ingredients won’t be very fresh due to turn over as well that they do not specialize sufficiently on one menu item to differentiate or stand out). However, don’t be fooled, because the pho at Linh Cafe is actually very good with little or no MSG. You can also choose to add bone marrow or striploin rare beef to your pho bo. Served throughout the day, the pho bo at Linh Cafe is available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Not sufficient to make it into our top 5 best pho in Vancouver but reasonable pho in Kitsilano. It is pricey as well so not very value orientated; a bowl of pho at Linh Cafe sets you back $15 (and probably smaller portion or food quality than other specialty pho restaurants like Little Saigon in Yaletown.)
Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro – English Bay Pho Restaurant:
Ha Long Bay – Downtown East Vietnamese Restaurant:
My Chau Restaurant:
Where do you find the best poke in Vancouver? We’ve got the list! We’ve gone through the reviews, tried countless poke stores in Vancouver, and talked with poke experts/enthusiasts alike to find you the best poke in Vancouver. (This wasn’t a recommendation built from /r/Vancouver.)
A Hawaiian native, poke is one of those delicate meals that tantalizes your taste buds serving proportions of carbs, proteins, and raw vegetables to nourish your day.
Poke sits very well with health-conscious Vancouverites and has been dubbed sushi 2.0 by some.
Here are the best poke in Vancouver where you can choose to build your own bowl (customize it however you like!) or choose one of their many specialty creations for ease. (avoid that decision fatigue and have a professional chef compose your bowl of goodness.)
What makes good Vancouver poke?
This begs the question, what is good poke? Here are some points we’ve considered in finding Vancouver’s BEST poke.
- Poke: evidently the poke has to be good. The fish importantly has to be fresh. The fish (be it salmon, tuna, or octopus) should be well marinated with soy sauce or the likes to be considered poke!
- The toppings: Now, generally poke is eaten by itself in Hawaii. However, we Vancouverites and much of the mainland appreciate the variety of health and flavorful toppings like cucumbers, avocados, seaweed, crab salad, or whatever your preference is! (Jalapeno?) Perhaps not quite as authentic but more nutritious and delicious; change is good right?
- Rice: The rice has to be well cooked, gently seasoned. Brown rice is always healthier and being able to get perfectly cooked brown rice is a bonus. Most good poke stores in Vancouver have this nailed! Being able to mix your rice and salad as the base is considerable too, reduce your carbs intake.
- Service: You want good service that’s quick to make you feel good. No one ever goes out to seek a bad experience (well, maybe if you’re like some Americans.) Generally speaking, fast-casual food and restaurants are as much about service as they are about food.
- Ocean-wise & eco-friendly poke: Well, because we’re Vancouverites, we care about our seafood and we care about our ocean. Having fish that is sustainable is much appreciated. Many poke restaurants in Vancouver will carry sustainable seafood and wild seafood (generally healthier than farmed seafood but farmed seafood can be more sustainable.) A few poke restaurants in Vancouver also seek to get the officiated certification. (Honestly however, so long as the food is sustainable pursuing a certification is just more costs and likely a marketing ploy.) Basically, it’s nice to know what you’re eating and your impact on the environment.
The 5 best poke in Vancouver:
1) The Poke Guy:
Of all the poke restaurants we’ve tried in creating this list of the best poke in Vancouver, The Poke Guy, comes up top by an inch. (We’ve got some great choices for poke in Vancouver with more up coming. It’s becoming more apparent that Vancouver’s fascination with poke is liken to a sushi 2.0 craze.)
What makes The Poke Guy poke so irresistible? Firstly, their location is conveniently nestled in downtown Vancouver (towards Gastown actually.) Secondly, they are the only Ocean-Wise certified poke restaurant in Vancouver; they care about our environment and ocean as much as you do as a Vancouverite. All this wouldn’t mean much if the poke, the fish wasn’t fresh, or if the flavors were mediocre; but the fish is fresh (usually) and the flavors are like a symphony in your mouth. It’s good poke and you can dress it as you like.
There are a few gripes we have about The Poke Guy but bar none, it is the best poke in Vancouver. (My first experience with The Poke Guy was actually negative but went back and after trying a variety of poke restaurants in creating this list – it is truly the best where it comes to variety, poke, and flavors.) It is the only poke restaurants you can get pork cracklings on top of your poke as a garnish with the ever popular furikake.
What to expect at The Poke Guy: Non-pretentious poke, lots of toppings, fresh fish. With salmon selection, they only serve wild sockeye salmon with their poke; there is no farmed Atlantic salmon available. They serve their poke to-go in a cool compostable cardboard-like rectangle container, or you could have in a ceramic bowl in store.
The Poke Guy prices: $10.95 for the big bowl (really big bowl) but poke is extra. (quite a different approach from the rest of the Vancouver poke stores that include poke in their prices to be transparent.) It ranges from $2-$2.50 per scoop of poke which are quite generous portions. They generally recommended five scoops of poke for the big bowl. Unlimited toppings for the big bowl and The Poke Guy has a wide availability of toppings.
Address: 420 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z4
2) Westcoast Poke:
Westcoast Poke almost edge out on top for value, quality, and service, if not for the recent experiences. Your typical poke done right with various health food options like bone broth. A good variety of toppings available including avocado at no charge (if they haven’t run out of it.)
The fish is reasonably fresh unless you come towards to end of the day it seems and they allow a choice of two bases with brown rice, white rice, and vegetable mix available. It’s good Hawaiian poke with a Westcoast spin. They even have bacon aioli. Service and quality varies on occasion however. If you get a newer staff versus a more experienced and friendly staff.
Westcoast Poke is conveniently located just minutes from the popular West Broadway street. You’re no more than a two minutes walk to Whole Foods (great opportunity to grab a bulletproof coffee with your poke) and a four minutes walk to the Broadway-Cityhall Canada Line station. It’s a great spot for healthy take-out and their poke is solid. You may appreciate trying their spicy shoyu or the bacon aioli for something different. (I really wanted to love their poke and for a long time; it’s great to have fast-casual food that emphasizes on health and raw foods. I considered it one of the best poke personally because of the convenient location, fresh and health food, and quick take out. However, it seems recently their quality has gone down a little and easily edged out by The Poke Guy. The fish – specifically salmon – hasn’t been very fresh and service is slower. Dollar for dollar, you also get much larger portions at The Poke Guy. The real benefit with Westcoast Poke however is that avocado is not an extra charge – but they were out of avocado the last time I went. Fair warning, AVOID their Wonton chips; the wonton wrappers soaked in oil, so while crispy spew out oil with each bite. You may as well be drinking oil; now it wouldn’t be that bad if they fried it in olive or coconut oil but it’s likely canola oil.)
What to expect at Westcoast Poke: Fast service, occasional line up, convenient poke store. Healthy poke selections. Usually fresh fish. Vegan fish available and free avocado topping. (If they’re not sold-out.) Healthy food like bone broth. Unique Westcoast spin like the Westcoast classics. Comfortable and minimalist seating available. Poke minutes from downtown Vancouver if you’re looking for something a little better than the standard Poke Time and Pokkerito (which are still excellent poke choices in downtown Vancouver.)
Westcoast Poke prices: $10 for snack size (which is actually quite sizable – about 2 scoops/oz of protein.), $12.50 for medium, $15 for big bowl. The poke toppings and garnishes are included, even avocado and mangos, but limited – seven mix-ins, five toppings, two premium toppings, and seven finishes. Bone broth cup for $5. They also do order online and delivery.
Address: 463 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3Z5
3) Pacific Poke:
Pacific Poke is a staple for many Vancouverites. One of the later poke restaurants to hit Vancouver, Pacific Poke is going strong with two locations currently (the first at Chinatown Vancouver, and the second at UBC Vancouver) …for good reason. First opened in December 2016, they have amassed a loyal following of poke fanatics. They serve fresh fish with their poke; their poke toppings are quality stuff; their sauces are home-made; their slaws and salads to top your poke is extraordinary. Their portions are slightly smaller than other poke restaurants in Vancouver you may be accustomed to (like Westcoast Poke or The Poke Guy) and their prices are what you would expect for poke.
When you enter Pacific Poke Chinatown, you’re greeted by a minimalist, refreshing, and clean interior design – reflective of its poke. You’re also met with a friendly team to serve you wholesome food. Pacific Poke mission has been stated to provide healthy and wholesome food that’s tasty. Every Vancouverite is familiar with the plethora (I know, overused word haha) of poke restaurants that has popped up across Vancouver over the past two years. Still, Pacific Poke differentiates itself with a variety of chef-inspired sauces made in-house complemented by salads and slaws that wow the palate. One of the duo behind the Pacific Poke concept was a formerly at Tractor and its influence could be seen. They serve the classic poke but also seeks to innovate, evidence by their poke panini (I’m not betting it tastes as good as the usual poke however.) They also serve up other flavors like musubi – a Hawaiian sushi with spam as the star. (However, staying true to their Pacific Poke concept, musubi at Pacific Poke takes a different spin – loaded with a variety of slaws, vegetables, and creative sauces only to be crusted with wasabi peas and red topping.)
The claw-back with Pacific Poke is the inconvenient location of Chinatown. Some have indicated their concern about the neighborhood safety and parking availability. With this said, they have good poke! You can also have it delivered if you’re lazy unless you want to see the variety of poke toppings in person, or enjoy eating-in at Pacific Poke – check out the ambiance. Pacific Poke is just three minutes from Crackle Cream, so if you’re craving something luxurious, it’s worthwhile hopping over to Crackle Cream for some cute macaroons or their infamous creme brulee. (Even people from Victoria, BC who visit Vancouver, intently visit Crackle Cream for the creme brulee.)
What to expect at Pacific Poke: Good poke in Vancouver! Fresh fish – they process their own fish, whole. Smaller portions than other Vancouver poke restaurants but high quality ingredients. They have unique sauces made in-house by experienced chefs. Try as well their Coco Panda drink (coconut milk with pandan) and Yuzu Lemonade (refreshing ice lemon tea). It sounds awful but if you want carbs, go for their poke panini. (Guess we’ve had sushi, poke, sushi burrito, sushi donuts, poke panini, what’s next?)
Pacific Poke Prices: Regular poke with 2 proteins and 3 toppings for $12. Large with 3 proteins and 4 toppings for $14. Chef-inspired poke at Pacific Poke for $12 – The Veggie, $13 – The Cali, $14 – The Keefer, $14- The Main. Main and Keefer are the most popular. Coco Panda drink $4.50, Yuzu Lemon Tea $3. If you’re bold enough, poke panini for $9.80 is available ($5.80 half).
Address: 625 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2V4
Pokkerito has two branches in Vancouver; both of Pokkerito stores are located in downtown Vancouver. The owner, Jung Moon, used to be a sushi chef in Vancouver. They are very proud of their in-house made sauces (So too is any reputable poke restaurant in Vancouver, something about poke restaurants that they love their in-house made sauces.)
Pokkerito offers five signature poke. The most popular and favourite of customers is the Diamond Head which contains spicy tuna, green onion, sweet onion, cucumber, lettuce, spicy seaweed salad, crabmeat, jalapeno, ginger, masago, crispy onion, furkake, chili flake, sweet chili sauce. Another popular choice is the North Shore which contains their signature umami sauce. Of course, they also have the classic build-your-own poke options. Much like WestCoast Poke, you can even order your poke through Foodora.
Their original location was at 558 Dunsmuir street just across from 7-11 and adjacent to Peaceful Restaurant however a newer location is at 991 Hornby Street besides Tim Hortons. It is not absolutely fantastic poke but it is acceptable, a notch up from Poke Time if you like comparisons. What is a draw-back with Pokkerito is they provide less topping options and less toppings. What is good about Pokkerito is the consistency and the unique sauces. If you’re looking for a poke experience then you would have to go to The Poke Guy or WestCoast Poke where they really emphasize on the Hawaiian poke experience. Pokkerito is just another fast-casual, health food, poke restaurant that’s convenient located in downtown Vancouver capitalizing on the health food craze or sushi 2.0. They got two locations for added convenience.
What to expect at Pokkerito: Fast service, reasonably fresh fish, your typical good poke with convenience. They have poke burrito however I can’t imagine that’d be enjoyable. They seem to really emphasize on capitalizing trends/craze such as umami + poke + burrito. A sushi chef taking an opportunity on the trending poke craze.
Pokkerito Prices: Signature pokes at Pokkerito are $11.95 for a regular size with a $3 up-charge to make it large. Prices are the same for build-your-own poke bowls. Their regular BOYB allows for two protein choices with five mix-ins, one sauce, two sides such as seaweed salad or crab meat, and five toppings. Their large BOYB poke spots the same options with three protein choices. A “poke burrito” can be chosen for the same price if you’re looking for a bite to-go.
Address: 991 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3G4
5) The Poke Shop:
We’ll likely be replacing this with The Pokeman after a few months when Pokeman has been tested for consistency. The Poke Shop is owned by Brian Leung who started with a teppanyaki store in Aberdeen centre. This was his next venture which means they are also trying to capitalize on the poke craze in Vancouver.
Is it good poke? Well, they try to keep the ingredients fresh in metal containers instead of the usual plastic containers. They have very interesting themed interior. They have a reasonably wide variety of toppings and they even serve ramen.
It’s acceptable by Vancouver’s poke standards but there are better options for poke. Generally, people who get into the poke restaurant business because for the trend keep the flavors and shop very cookie cutter we’ve noticed. Those that started early with a passion for poke from their experiences in Hawaii try a little harder to keep the inspiration there (like WestCoast Poke, The Poke Guy, and Pacific Poke – the earlier entrants to poke craze.) The latter entrants who came in because they thought it was popular (like Pokkerito and The Poke Shop and Poke Time) offer good and reasonable poke but are like your standard poke restaurants, nothing spectacular. We put The Poke Shop at $5 for two main reasons (1) they have 27 toppings and you choose all 27 toppings if you wanted (2) they have reasonable good poke with interesting base options. The prices are higher than other poke restaurants however. I like it when poke restaurants give you choices with your toppings instead of limiting and being shrewd with toppings. Yes, perhaps original poke isn’t filled with such toppings but it is healthier. (and I like options personally much like those unlimited toppings pizza.)
What to expect at The Poke Shop: Great services. Ramen. Higher prices. Good poke. They have zucchini noodles (zoodles) available for your poke. Lots and lots of toppings available. Different take on poke.
The Poke Shop Prices: $14.50 for regular poke bowl with two scoops of protein, 27 toppings to choose from, and seven sauces you can choose. $17.95 for large with three scoops of protein. Interesting drinks available such as Roasted Macadamia Milk Tea or Matcha Green Tea with Honey for $4.50, or $3 if you get poke.
Address: 306 Water St #2, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2
More poke restaurants/options in Vancouver:
We’ve tried many poke Vancouver options before compelling this list. While we have chosen to recommend only the top 5 poke restaurants in Vancouver, there are still many other poke option that hits the mark….they just fell a little bellow these other great poke stores in such a competitive environment! These Vancouver poke restaurants will still wow your taste buds and keep you coming back for more. These poke stores are still worth trying out if you happen to be around the area.
Poke Time – Ah, the brand synonymous with Vancouver poke. One of the first poke restaurants in Vancouver. They have three poke locations all centrally located in downtown Vancouver. They don’t have quite a variety as the best 5 poke in Vancouver, however. Also, in our opinion, offering morning corn flakes as a poke topping seems to make the poke seem cheapened – maybe change that to pork cracklings for crunch or home-made croutons to elevate it.
Carp – The way poke should be. There is no build-your-own poke bowls here but you get the chef’s special. Smaller portions but a good price. Excellent, excellent poke. Just not your traditional poke restaurant – they sell sushi but their poke is available as a meal or a snack. There aren’t any fancy vegetable toppings, you get it as it was designed and prepared!
Shishinori – There are three poke restaurants around the Broadway-Cityhall Canada Line station alone! One great (Westcoast poke), one good (Shishinori), and one to avoid (Poke Station). Shishinori serves Hawaiian fushion Asian food and they also have a large variety of pre-designed poke menu that are pretty good in their own.
Daddy’s Kitchen – A newly opened poke restaurant in Vancouver that serves everything from Thai milk tea to a variety of sushi. The poke are reasonably priced with an option to build your own poke bowl as many other poke restaurants; the caveat is freshness may vary on when you visit. Conveniently located on “the Drive” – for non-Vancouverites, it refers to the neighborhood on Commercial Drive – the locality also has many Italian food (and pizza restaurants).
The Pokeman – Nestled between in the Dunbar and Sasamat neighborhood, this Vancouver poke restaurant is making quite an impression among poke enthusiasts. This poke restaurant in Vancouver just might find itself on the top 5 in time. The Pokeman truly source local; they even use fresh farmer’s market corn by season. They offer Sockeye salmon, local tuna, and chopped tuna toro for no up charge which is incredible value and evidently emphasize their focus on quality. The Pokeman just opened in August of 2017; we hope the quality keeps up! Opened by three partners who are local Vancouverites with a love for poke and Japanese cuisine. What differentiates The Pokeman from other poke restaurant is the high quality, fresh ingredients and their 8 grain rice for the base, along with super crunch mix to top off their poke. Prices are very reasonable and on par with other poke restaurants in Vancouver with higher quality factored in.
Hoke Poke – A recent addition to the poke scene located on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano that replaced a former ice cream store (guess it was too much competition when Rain and Shine came in) Not to be confused with the Poke Guy which is our pick for the #1 best poke in Vancouver. As with most poke restaurants in Vancouver, expect fresh fish and delicious mix of toppings available. They use decompose-able bowls and poke lovers love their poke.
Avoid these Poke restaurants in Vancouver:
It’s not the norm to provide negative comments on local businesses. We just want to positively share with you the best of Vancouver. However, when it comes to poke, the cost of having bad fish is very high. Further, in trying various poke stores, one store was so horrendous with service, portions, and quality that it absolutely required the attention as some people still surprisingly recommend it. (articles written from people who haven’t tried it! looking to add variety.)
Poke Corner – No kidding, the WORSE poke I’ve had in Vancouver. The fish wasn’t fresh – it was warm, they didn’t probably keep it chilled. The portions were stingy; literally, the person numbered the strains of carrot she was putting. The service was dismal; you’ll get better service anywhere else. The person who was presumably the owner (older individual in her 40s) was handling the order and she was the worse person I’ve met; did I say worse enough times? Had to repeat my order several times. You’re limited to 7 toppings which includes if you choose masago and nori. (Nori is usually an included toppings referred to as finishes at other poke restaurants.) The younger girl behind evidently felt sorry and embarrass about the unbelievable experience customers got. Prices are the same as Westcoast Poke but quality and portions were largely bellow par. They literally counted the number of carrot strains (appears they use big China carrots – it was tough carrots and dry – and julienne them.) It’s no coincidence they have plentiful negative reviews. Please do yourself a favor and avoid Poke Corner if you’re looking for good or edible poke.
Poke Station – Many customers have complained about the freshness of the fish and the customer service experience at Poke Station. When it comes to poke or any raw fish, you don’t want to take your chances if food safety is not adhered to diligently. Consistently, Poke Station patrons have mentioned of mushy fish and questionable cleanliness. They say, if you want to know how clean a kitchen is, look at their washroom – it appears you don’t need to look much farther than their front of house here. Skip yourself the disappointment and head over to WestCoast Poke just three minutes from Poke Station.
Unfortunately, these poke restaurants are the main ones conveniently located on the popular Broadway intersections. Don’t worry, if you’re craving poke while on Broadway street, there’s a great poke restaurant just minutes from Broadway-Cambie Canada Line station – Westcoast Poke! They came very close to #1. You should most certainly try poke at Westcoast Poke if you haven’t.
How many Poke Restaurants does Vancouver have?
You may be curious, how many poke spots does Vancouver currently have? In making this article about the best poke in Vancouver, we’ve scoured to find every poke in Vancouver, sort out the best, and then confirm it with a taste-test and a deeper look.
In the process, we’ve sorted through 15 poke restaurants – these are eateries in Vancouver that only sell or specialize in poke. There are also a variety of other restaurants and eateries that offer poke on their menu but are far from being specialized in poke. This even includes restaurants like Earls (who offer Ahi Tuna poke on their menu) and casual eateries like Hime Sushi (that offer poke salad on their menu) and Urban Sushi (offering poke bowls and “sushi burrito”) even completely random cafes like Island Cafe now offer poke!
You may also like to know that in creating this article endeavoring to find the best poke in Vancouver…over 50 pages of content were consumed, poke shops considered, and hours spent finding, filtering, and tasting poke! It’s safe to say we’ve truly found the BEST poke in Vancouver. (this wasn’t just some list created using reddit as some journalists do.)
There are a total of 20 poke stores in Vancouver, 10 of which is downtown. Some brands have several locations within the city of Vancouver – Poke Time has 3, Pacific Poke has 2 …which one is a franchise ran entirely by UBC and very different in quality+experience+service, Pokerrito has 2, Westcoast Poke is planning to open their 2nd which will be in Richmond…not Vancouver. However, there are many other restaurants and eateries ranging from bars, social eateries, to sushi restaurants who serve poke as well.
Poke is certainly the new trend in Vancouver. You’ve got even restaurants like Craft Beer Market and Bao Down Gastropub cashing in on the poke craze with their variations of poke (and fusion dishes) on their menu. Never knew poke could be pub food but I suppose it is now!