Richmond’s Food Court Face-Off: Parker vs. Yaohan

By Visit Richmond BC

Chowing down at a food court in Richmond is somewhat different compared to the typical North American mall food court; you’ll find incredibly unique mom ‘n pop stalls serving tasty curries, warming noodle soups, creating mouth-watering dumplings, barbecuing meats – you name it, you’ll probably find it in Richmond. Each and every food court in Richmond has a hidden treasure waiting for you to discover it.

It can be slightly overwhelming on your first visit; there are so many options to choose from that you may not be able to decide. To help you out, here are some insider tips about two popular Asian malls and their food courts, including where to go for the best eats and how they compare to each other in the ultimate face-off!

Food options at Parker Place
Food options at Parker Place

The Contenders

 

Parker Place
Established in 1993, Parker Place Mall has become a shopping landmark in downtown Richmond. At this mall you can dine on the tastiest cuisine and shop for the trendiest fashion, the coolest toys and gadgets.

Yaohan Centre
Yaohan Centre is one of the earliest Asian Malls developed in Richmond. You’ll find over 80 stores selling fashion, health and beauty products, art and gifts; both the Osaka Asian supermarket and food court sell an array of dishes.

Yaohan Centre vs. Parker Place

 

The Mall: First Impressions
Easily accessible from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station, both malls are just a five minute walk in either direction (north for Yaohan, south for Parker Place). Both malls also have large parking lots offering free parking, making it easy to stop in for a quick bite.

Each mall has a few different entrances, but both food courts are easy to find. Parker Place has lots of Asian stores selling various items from rice cookers to fresh fish. Yaohan is home to Osaka Supermarket; if you have not been to an Asian supermarket before, this is a good one to look around and grab some cooking sauces, teas and candies.

Parker Place food court
Parker Place food court

The Food Court
Parker Place’s Food Court is long and narrow with food stalls on both sides and seating running down the centre. They have big tables, ideal for groups of friends and family and it is light and airy, making for a comfortable dining environment.

Yaohan Centre’s Food Court is quite spacious compared to Parker Place’s food court, with food stalls on three sides and plenty of seating in the middle. They have a nice path to walk around and view all food stalls.

The Food Stalls | Parker Place – Our Favourites:

 

Parker Place Meat & BBQ

While not formally in the food court, we would be remiss to leave this off the list of favourites. Found at unit 1020, Parker Place BBQ Meats is a small butcher shop selling freshly barbecued meats (chicken, duck and pork) as well as a variety of ready-to-go BBQ meals for under $10. Arguably serving up the best BBQ duck in Richmond, there are often long line ups so patience is necessary – we promise that the BBQ meats will be well worth the wait!

Lai Taste
This unassuming Vietnamese food stall offers tons of items including a huge selection of noodle soups and lemongrass dishes, but the star at this stall are the foot-long Vietnamese subs, or Bahn Mi, available for under $5, including tea. The buns are light and crispy and our top picks are the fried fish and pork sandwiches.

Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen
For those looking for a traditional bowl of beef noodle soup and a side dish of onion pancakes, or some savoury beef wraps, Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen serves up traditional Taiwanese fare in generous portion sizes. The value here is fantastic, with every dish available for under $10.

Honorable Mentions:

 

Shanghai Goodies
Has a good choice of noodle and rice dishes, desserts and Shanghai snacks. We recommend you try their Tan Tan noodles.

Rainbow Café
Visit this stall for sweet treats and bubble tea. It’s the best place for bubble waffles and a delicious treat made in-house, the dragon’s beard candy.

Food options at Yaohan Centre
Food options at Yaohan Centre

Yaohan Centre | Our Favourites:

 

Curry House
Curry House’s Laksa is one of the best in town. Not too spicy, not too creamy and with a good amount of noodles, chicken, egg and tofu puffs, this laksa is sure to fill any curry cravings you might have. They also serve up delicious Malaysian dishes for under $10, such as curries, Hainanese chicken, char kway teow and roti.

Wah Yuen Noodle House
This place offers almost every kind of congee, noodle, noodle soup, and noodle with meat combo possible. The wonton and BBQ pork noodle soup is always good – pair that with a Chinese donut or Chinese donut wrapped in rice noodle and you’ll have a very tasty lunch/dinner for under $10.

Chun Hing Cuisine, Golden Rice Bowl and Pak Tak
These three stalls are next to each other and offer a smorgasbord of Chinese dishes. You can choose from two or three dishes with rice or noodles from $6.99. They pile the plate so high, you’ll have enough to feed a family of four. All three stalls offer similar dishes, so take a look and see which one tickles your taste buds. Insider tip: go after 6pm and you’ll be able to get FOUR items plus rice or noodles for a mere $5.50.

Yaohan Centre food court
Yaohan Centre food court

Honorable Mentions:

 

Little Bean Tea Station
Serving bubble tea, shaved ice desserts and other sweet treats including Wheel Cake, which is filled with red bean or custard – your choice.

Datang BBQ
Head here for tasty BBQ meats, including duck, pork and quail. They have a variety of mix and match combos.

Our Verdict

 

Although both food courts serve up staple dishes and desserts you’d expect at a Chinese eatery, each have their own highlights. You won’t find barbecued meats as succulent as the ones at Parker Place Meats & BBQ serves up, but if you’re looking to feed a family, the three food stalls at Yaohan offering triple decker combos will beat any offering from Parker Place’s food court.

Having said that, we think both food courts are well managed. The stalls are diverse, with a lot of Asian cuisines represented. Each one has their own highlight and go-to dishes. Both are well worth a visit and both offer amazing value for their food. Our suggestion? Have lunch at Parker Place and dinner after 6pm at Yaohan to help stretch your travel budget.