Seafood in Vancouver

Credit: Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

 

There are a lot of perks to having the ocean as your backyard, and one of our favourites is the abundance of seafood. With restaurants in Vancouver promoting fresh and quality ingredients, sampling local seafood is easy to do. The best part is the many different kinds of seafood available, from sushi to fish and chips, that can be found around the city. Both locals and visitors will love this new post since we list some of the best (and our favourite) places we recommend to get seafood in Vancouver, for every budget!

Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe

If you want to meet a local then Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe is the place to go. A popular restaurant on the famous Granville Island that offers a huge selection of seafood, including some great fish and chips. Add in the fact that they are reasonably priced, give large portions, have a take-out window, and have friendly staff, means Tony’s is always on any list of places we recommend to guests.

Credit: @kanakana29 via Instagram

Miku

Most locals have either heard of or been to Miku. Located on the harbourfront at Canada Place, Miku specializes in Aburi sushi, where nigiri sushi is flame-seared on top. They combine both local ingredients and traditional Japanese methods to make some of the best sushi in the city.  Enjoy their lunch or dinner menu as you watch the cruise ships come into the harbour. 

Credit: Miku Restaurant/Tourism Vancouver

                                                                   

Blue Water Cafe

The Blue Water Cafe in trendy Yaletown is found on many of the top restaurant lists. Their diverse menu offers seafood in various forms such as sushi or from their live tanks. The Blue Water Cafe offers guests one of the premier seafood experiences in the city.

Credit: Blue Water Cafe

 

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

If you’re looking for the surf and turf experience in a place with personality, then Joe Fortes is a Vancouver classic. Providing a San Francisco style experience, when you eat here you get a selection of fresh seafood and perfectly prepared steaks. You are in goods hands at this award-winning restaurant.  

Credit: Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

Rodney’s Oyster House

With two locations, one in Gastown and one in Yaletown, Rodney’s offers a casual atmosphere with top quality menu items. Enjoy fresh oysters, clams, mussels as well as four different types of chowder. Sit at the bar and watch the staff prep your oysters, and they make darn sure you only get the good ones. As this spot is popular with locals, don’t forget to make reservations, because Rodney’s is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights.

Credit: Brianna Alexander

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio offers a blend of Japanese and Peruvian delicacies with Vancouver views. Having recently opened in 2015, Ancora offers unique dishes that have left their customers wowed, not only from the food but from the artistic design of the restaurant as well. 

Credit: Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

                                                           

Go Fish Ocean Emporium

You don’t have to be a restaurant to serve up amazing seafood. Go Fish is a small seafood shack that offers some great fish and chips, burgers, wraps and more right by the water. Open all year round, Go Fish supports local fishermen and the protection of our oceans. Sit back and relax, and watch the boats come in as you enjoy your lunch.

Credit: part_time_traveler via Instagram

 

Hopefully, this post leaves you hungry and wanting to try some of the best seafood Vancouver has to offer. If we missed a restaurant that you feel should be on this post then feel free to let us know and we’ll be sure to check them out!                                               

The Landsea Guide to Government Street

Credit: Tourism Victoria 

 

The Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour is a favourite for many of our tour guides. From a scenic perspective, it’s easy to see why. Unlike so many cities where historic architecture has begun to crumble under the pressures of time and gentrification, Victoria has maintained and preserved their vibrant Victorian buildings seen along both commercial and residential streets. Government Street, in particular, is especially known for its awe-inspiring moments.

It doesn’t matter which map you look at when visiting Victoria, it’s plain to see that Government Street connects you to almost anything you could want downtown. Generally, whenever a Landsea tour guide conducts a Victoria tour, we drive up Government Street turning into Chinatown to get back to the wharf. Even though our guides try to point out their favourite places, it’s hard to catch everything. Most maps only include the main attractions and can’t fit all the details. So here is a list of some of the best spots on Government Street.

History’s Corner

One of my favourite moments whenever I visit Victoria, is turning onto Government Street. You can also hear how excited visitors get once you make that turn. That’s because, within this little corner of British Columbia’s capital city, you not only get to see the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum, and the provincial parliament buildings, but also a breathtaking view of the water. In fact, if you image search the words “Victoria BC,” all you see are various photos of these four things. It’s easy for time to fly by when you’re snapping photos here.

                         Credit: Tourism Victoria

Never Leave Without a Souvenir

Government Street is basically ‘main street,’ for Victoria; lined with restaurants, stores, and galleries. Multiple souvenir shops are located here so no one misses a chance to buy a gift for themselves or for others. If you happen to want a one-of-a-kind piece to remember your visit, I would recommend the following stores:

  •      Out of Ireland: the perfect place to pick up handcrafted, imported Irish clothing, art, or jewellery
  •      Cowichan Traders: a go-to spot for those looking to own some First Nations artwork
  •      Rogers Chocolate: it’s hard to leave this beautifully-stained glass storefront filled with sweet chocolate, and rich with history
  •       Munro’s Books: a book lovers’ dream in an enchanting historic building; this store has been ranked as the third best bookstore in the world in 2016
  •       Murchie’s Tea and Coffee: also has a café, but has a great selection of teas and china for that “Victorian” feel

 

                                    Credit: Out of Ireland and Munro’s Books

Foodie or Fast Food

With Landsea Tours, we also arrive in Victoria around noon – which means lunch. Now whether you are a culinary adventurer, looking for unique local dishes, or if you’re instead wanting a family restaurant that serves chicken strips, then Government Street has something for you. Some places we always tend to recommend include:

  • Sam’s Deli – great if you want to grab a sandwich and eat by the water
  • The Soda Shoppe – perfect place to grab an ice-cream, especially in the summer
  • Frankie’s Modern Diner – good family restaurant with local/seasonal favourites
  • Bard and Banker – historic Scottish Pub (great place for fish & chips lovers)
  • Irish Times – historic Irish Pub (I will personally recommend the forest mushroom pizza)

Don’t worry though, if you want to stick to what’s familiar, there are also quite a few chain restaurants located on Government Street (and yes there is a Starbucks too).

                        Credit: Brianna Alexander                               Credit: Victoria Pub Company/Tourism Victoria

Chinatown

Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America and always deserves a visit. As long as you aren’t claustrophobic, try visiting Fan Tan Alley – the narrowest commercial street in Canada. Containing both history and culture while being a cute bucket list spot, Chinatown is usually as far as we recommend tourists go and we find few guests wander farther north beyond this point.

                        Credit: Brandon McGeachie/Tourism Victoria

For the Person Who Wants to See it All

If you find yourself with a few extra minutes to spare on your trip, there are a few other places that are worth visiting that can be accessed through Government Street.

  •      Bastion Square – leads to Wharf Street and is lined with public art
  •      Market Square – a tucked away corner that is off Yates Street filled with some neat stores
  •      Wharf Street/Johnston Street – follow along with the water and see the colourful Victorian buildings (ie. Snap your Instagram photos here)

                                 Credit: Tourism Victoria

 

While this post offers the highlights of what can be seen, we personally recommend visiting for yourself. With a harmonious blend of Victorian sophistication mixed with a modern appeal that rivals European cities, Government Street offers travellers a way to explore the vibrant highlights of British Columbia’s capital city.

 

A Day in the Life of a Landsea Tour Guide

Being a tour guide in Vancouver is a little different from guiding in other Canadian cities. First, and most obvious, Vancouver doesn’t experience those famous ‘Canadian Winters’. Tours in Vancouver are conducted all year round. I suppose they can happen all year in other major Canadian cities, but you are far less likely to have to manoeuvre a bus through 10 feet of snow in Vancouver. I can’t say the same for the rest of the country during the winter. Secondly, what so many locals love about Vancouver is that within twenty minutes of driving from downtown you can be at the ocean, or even on the mountains. This means that visitors get to see way more with less travel time between stops than most other cities in the world.

With all Vancouver has to offer, being a tour guide is one of the best jobs you could ever have. With that in mind, I wanted to share what a day in the life of our tour guide might look like. Every year at Landsea Tours & Adventures we continue to grow (11 new buses coming this summer, the first of which is named Chase seen below).

We are currently training new tour guides and still have a few spots for anyone who might be interested in applying. Some of you may have seen our ads on social media, but to give you a real sense of what’s involved we felt that a blog post would be the best way to describe how you can have the best summer ever. Thus, here is a day in the life of a Landsea Tour Guide.

Your day starts with picking up your supplies from the office. Landsea has a rotating work schedule policy, which means that everyone gets a different set of days off each week. So you can still enjoy a work/life balance even during the summer months. This also means that you get the opportunity to meet all your awesome colleagues who works at the company.

When you get to the office, you grab your attraction vouchers, parking passes, hotel list, and your bus for the day. A fun fact about the company is that we name all our buses after different places in British Columbia. This helps our guests remember which bus they are on for the day. After doing a quick inspection of the bus, you are on your way to pick up your guests.

Driving one of our buses downtown may seem daunting, but we have some amazing driving instructors on staff whose job it is to ensure you are up for the challenge. Through our industry recognized training program, our driving instructor team is there to help you learn and ultimately earn your Class 2 British Columbia driver’s license and have you hit the road with confidence.

After greeting all your guests with the standard Landsea handshake and learning all their names, you introduce yourself to the whole group, inform them of the stopping points for the day and start the tour. Or if you’re like me, since I’m only five feet tall, I also had to assure guests that I was in fact tall enough to reach the pedals. With so much to see downtown, you can usually start the commentary wherever you are. As you head towards your first stop, you test out a few jokes (often jokes are “borrowed” from other guides), making sure that your guests are awake. While we help train our staff on commentary, we allow creative freedom; in fact, it’s encouraged! Personal stories and experiences help add a unique flare to each tour.

Your first stop is where you showcase your professional photography skills, especially important if you have solo travellers, or people who might be too shy to ask. You’ll also be tested on your Vancouver trivia at many of the stops. Anything could be asked from, “What’s Vancouver’s population?” to “How far away is Alaska – in miles?” My favourite to date is “Do they let the bears wander around free on Grouse Mountain?”

Most importantly, stops are where you can get to know your guests. With this job, you get to meet some amazing people from so many different backgrounds. Overwhelmingly, this is what we love most about the tourism industry. You get a mix of people together who normally would never have met. We’ve had everyone take our tours: from world travellers to those just starting their adventures. For Landsea employees, there is no “correct” way to travel. In fact, I once met someone whose annual vacations included taking their child on Disney Cruises. They had been on eight cruises when I met them.

If the stop is a longer one, like at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, then you have the opportunity to get to know your fellow tour guides. Senior guides have a ton of experience and advice, with great stories to share. Part of the reason why we have some people who’ve been here for years is because they not only love what they do, but they love our company culture. Not to mention you get to spend the day touring around Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish, or Whistler. Few office jobs compare to getting paid to socializing on top Grouse Mountain or grabbing a bite in Granville Island.

During the year, we also try to plan a bunch of different staff events from giving back to the Vancouver community to watching baseball games together. The most popular event is the annual Landsea Cup Competition, where the employees are put into teams and compete in a series of games. We even have a trophy to preserve the memory of each year’s champions, and its proudly displayed in our office.

One of the best things about being a tour guide is that you never know who’ll end up on your bus, and with seven different tours, plus private charters, no day is ever the same. After your guests have seen all there is to see, you start making your way back downtown. As you start to drop people off, you say your goodbyes and thank them for joining the tour. A quick fill up on fuel and you’re headed back to the office. Ending another day as a Landsea Tour Guide.

If you are interested in becoming a tour guide, Landsea Tours & Adventures want to hear from you. Spend the summer loving your job! Visit our employment page for more information.

 

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