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By VisitRichmondBC.com

If you feel like eating some of the best Asian food available but don’t have a car, don’t worry! You can hop on the Canada Line Skytrain, Metro Vancouver’s fully-automated rapid transit line that connects travelers to Richmond’s diverse culinary scene. Bring your appetites because this easy-to-navigate self-guided tour is bound to fill you up!

Richmond Brighouse Station

Located in the heart of Richmond city centre, Brighouse is the first stop on the Canada Line, and it’s also where our tour begins. Your self-guided food tour begins at Pepper Lunch (150-5951 No. 3 Road). With over 200 branches in Asia, this particular Pepper Lunch was the first one to open in Canada. To get there, head for a leisurely stroll north along No. 3 Road for about 1.5 blocks towards Westminster Highway. Located on the west side of the street, you’ll find Pepper Lunch tucked away beside a TD Canada Trust. Shake, stir, mix – it’s that easy to enjoy a sizzling hot teppan plate of steaks, pastas or curry rice. We recommend the beef pepper rice combo ($11.70), which comes with miso soup and your choice of drink. Definitely a stop worth checking out!

Beef Pepper Rice at Pepper Lunch | image by Tourism Richmond
Beef Pepper Rice at Pepper Lunch | image by Visit Richmond BC

Lansdowne Station

Taking the Canada Line one stop north, Lansdowne Station is the second stop on the rapid transit line. Located just in front of one of Richmond’s many excellent shopping destinations, Lansdowne Centre, this particular station is also the one closest to Alexandra Road, which locals refer to as ‘Food Street.’

Food Street | image by Tourism Richmond
Food Street | image by Visit Richmond BC

To get to Food Street, simply head north on No. 3 Road for two blocks, and turn right at Alexandra Road. Known for having over 200 Asian restaurants in a stretch of just three blocks, Alexandra Road has a restaurant for every taste. From dim sum to afternoon tea, to ramen and late night snacks, there’s a restaurant that serves every kind of Asian food imaginable here.

It’s easy to let your taste buds wander here on this three-block stretch, but here are our top two picks for Food Street for a complete meal. Our biggest tip: Bring cash! A lot of the restaurants on Food Street will only accept cash payments instead of debit or credit.

Vivacity Restaurant
110 – 8351 Alexandra Road

Vivacity Restaurant aims to give their diners an experience they won’t forget! Using only the freshest local ingredients, Vivacity offers a dazzling array of dishes for dim sum and dinner services. Featuring Chinese classics with a twist from the co-owner and chef, David Li, Vivacity promises to delight your taste buds. We recommend the char-siu bao, the oyster and century egg congee and their shrimp rice rolls for dim sum.

Bingsoo at Snowy Village Desserts | image by Tourism Richmond
Bingsoo at Snowy Village Desserts | image by Visit Richmond BC

Snowy Village Desserts
2000 – 8580 Alexandra Road

Snowy Village specializes in a photogenic sweet treat that has been dominating locals’ Instagram feeds and fueling their sugar cravings recently. Bingsoo, a Korean shaved ice dessert is the current ‘it’ dessert and a must-eat item. At Snowy Village, when you order a bingsoo, staff pile a metal bowl with a tower of creamy shaved ice that has the texture of fluffy snow. Your snowdrift-in-a-bowl is then crowned with your choice of toppings – mango, strawberry, blueberry, injelomi (sweet rice cake), matcha, oreo, chocolate or cheesecake. Bring a friend – a small size is enough to share for two people!

Aberdeen Station

The next stop on the Canada Line is Aberdeen Station, also known as the centre of Richmond’s thriving Golden Village. Richmond’s three Asian malls, Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre and Parker Place Mall are all within easy walking distance from here.

Don’t be afraid to poke your head into the various strip malls found in the neighbourhood – you’ll find Lido Restaurant (4231 Hazelbridge Way) hidden away in a corner at Central Square, on the corner of Browngate Road and Hazelbridge. Try one of their famous pineapple buns – a delectable Chinese pastry without any actual pineapple – with a slab of butter… or double butter, if you dare.

Aberdeen Centre food court | image by Tourism Richmond
Aberdeen Centre food court | image by Visit Richmond BC

After indulging in one of Lido’s famous pineapple buns, walk off those calories at Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way), Richmond’s largest Asian mall. Still feeling hungry? Head on up to the food court located on the third floor of the mall. Here, you’ll find a huge variety of food stalls serving everything from Chinese street-food snacks such as curry fish balls and bubble waffles, to Singaporean delights such as Hainanese Chicken Rice and Japanese dishes such as sushi and ramen. Wash it all down with a Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea. For more food options, you could also check out the two food courts at Parker Place and Yaohan Centre.

Bridgeport Station

Your tour of Richmond via the Canada Line ends at Bridgeport Station. Not to be mistaken with Brighouse Station where your tour began, this station is the connection point for all trains heading for the Vancouver International Airport or for folks heading to downtown Vancouver.

Head over to the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road) via the skybridge at the station to enjoy The Buffet at River Rock. Located above the casino floor, The Buffet treats guests to a spectacular view of the Fraser River. Offering everybody’s favourite dishes, it has become a popular dining spot for special occasions, resort guests and casino-goers.

Satay at the Richmond Night Market | image by Chung Chow for Tourism Richmond
Satay at the Richmond Night Market | image by Chung Chow for Visit Richmond BC

At night, walk over from the station to the Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road). Follow the bright signs and look for the tents – that’s where you’ll find one of Richmond’s Asian night markets with over 100 food stalls serving everything from Asian street food snacks to inventive desserts, such as the egg waffle parfait. Our top food stall picks at the night market include Chef James’ Meat Skewers, Ohana Poke (pictured at the top of this page), Hurricane Potatoes and Lao Er BBQ Squid. Admission is $3.75 and it’s open on weekends and holiday Mondays this summer through to October 10.

Canada Line in Richmond | image by Al Harvey for Tourism Richmond
Canada Line in Richmond | image by Al Harvey for Visit Richmond BC

By Tim Pawsey

Somehow, amidst the never ending tsunami of trends and the revolving door of openings and closings, the buffet endures. An array of tastes and flavours offered at a reasonable price is tempting to the eclectic diner and to parents of choosy children, but to really be a hit, a good buffet needs to not only offer variety but also be well tended, with dishes kept warm and replenished as needed. Perhaps because it remains a bastion of family dining, frequently served only on weekends, the buffet is the one holdover from times past that we not only tolerate but celebrate. In Burnaby, which neighbours Vancouver with a thriving community of families and multiculturalism, there are many to choose from, with a strong focus on international cuisine.

In Burnaby, Indian buffets rule. Four blocks west of Metrotown, contemporary toned Saffron Indian Cuisine yields both lunch and dinner extravaganzas. A wealth of vegetarian and non-vegetarian tastes ranges from daal and paneer to butter or tandoori chicken, with plenty of rice and naan staples. Salads and desserts abound and spicing is moderate. Lunch buffet is offered daily while the dinner buffet runs Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

Agra Tandoori
Agra Tandoori

Arguably the most unusual, definitely affordable, and one of Burnaby’s best-kept-secrets, Govinda’s Vegetarian Buffet is served only between 12:30 and 2:30 pm. This tranquil little escape operated by ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is adjacent to the Hare Krishna Temple on Marine Way. Healthy, all-vegetarian dishes are offered, with dishes changing daily and dining by donation (suggested $5 for adults).

At Agra Tandoori the weekday buffet (11:30am – 2:30pm, $9.95) reflects the restaurant’s creative, modern approach, with options roaming from tandoori chicken to goat and vegetable curry and more – with plentiful supplies of naan bread, salad and dessert. The setting is comfortable, and the service efficient but friendly.

An all-day Sunday buffet (12:00pm- 8:00pm) is a big draw for ex-pat Eastern Europeans at The Balkan House, which serves an array of southeastern Mediterranean fare, as well as sausages, meats and kebabs in a cozy, traditional hunting lodge setting. ($17.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids.)

For a more westernized take, EBO Restaurant at The Delta Burnaby Hotel offers an impressive Sunday brunch on some days and on holidays (such as Mother’s Day). This sumptuous smorgasbord spans a wealth of worldwide influences, ranging from typical North American breakfast items such as bacon and eggs to local seafood served both warm and chilled, as well as rotisseried meats and Asian specialties.

Next door at Grand Villa Casino, the buffet is on every day for dinner, lunch on weekdays, and brunch on weekends. Italy rules with an Italian spread offered every Tuesday from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, while on Thursdays the theme shifts to sunny Mexico—complete with $5 Margaritas.

If you are looking for a place to appeal to all your friends, your whole family, or just can’t decide exactly what you want, a buffet can be the way to go to sample your way through a meal until you’re satiated… or until you’re bursting full!

By Sheliza Mitha

Six tempting restaurants. Countless culinary experiences. One dynamic venue. Welcome to the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam.

A quick tour of the Hard Rock reveals a world of excitement and opportunity – including casino games, fun memorabilia, live entertainment and some remarkable cuisine. Along with slots, about a dozen table games and live shows (think comedy and concerts), you’ll also find innovative and eclectic restaurants with names that include: Asylum, Chip’s Sandwich Shop, Fú Express, Fuel Café, Roadies’ Burger Bar and (because this is a casino after all) The Buffet at Unlisted.

With a reputation for world-class dining and experiences, it should come as no surprise that Coquitlam’s Hard Rock Casino – the only one in Canada, by the way – delivers at every turn. Here, each of the seven restaurants is focused on sourcing fresh and local as much as possible. The idea is to satisfy your appetite regardless of your craving or preference – all in one place.

Since this is a casino, after all, it would be remiss not to highlight The Buffet. However, this is not your standard unidentifiable, heat-lamped lumps of food couching idly all day long in dull silver-hued bins. Rather, imagine vibrant dishes made from local, seasonal produce and perfectly-prepared cuts of meat and fish.

The Buffet at Unlisted
The Buffet at Unlisted

Visit on a Tuesday, and you’ll be whisked away to another part of the world with The Buffet’s internationally-themed menus. From Greek and Italian to Mexican and Chinese, there’s a world of flavour on offer. On Thursdays, specialty dinners are on the menu (think steak and lobster, and crab boil among other delights… yes at a buffet!) for just $24.99.

The Buffet at Unlisted
The Buffet at Unlisted

The Buffet is priced for lunch at $11.99 and dinner at $16.99 (quite a deal, especially if you are coming from the USA and factor in the exchange rate).   Considering the strong US dollar, there’s almost no better time to dine, play and experience Coquitlam’s Hard Rock Casino. Win or lose, at least you can feast like you’ve just hit the jackpot.

chef

The Hard Rock Casino is easily accessible off Highway 1, located at 2080 United Boulevard in Coquitlam (southeast of downtown Vancouver).

By Tim Pawsey

Only a few minutes from Richmond, YVR or downtown New Westminster, smart and sparkling Starlight Casino blends a range of dining options with everything from Blackjack to Roulette.

Wings at Match Eatery & Public House
Wings at Match Eatery & Public House

If you’re having a tough time leaving your favourite slot spot or roulette table, barely a few paces away, the Buffet at Starlight offers a set price brunch, lunch or dinner, with themed buffets that vary by the day, from Italian to Mediterranean and Mexican. Feeling a need to celebrate those winnings? Cozy in to a booth at the red velvet festooned Redbar Lounge, where you can also cut loose on the dance floor with live entertainment.

Beet salad at Match Eatery & Public House
Beet salad at Match Eatery & Public House

Adjoining the main casino, expansive Match Eatery & Public House offers a friendly welcome, along with an army of taps, featuring a full spectrum of local and imported brews, as well as good pub fare. Pasta, fish ‘n chips, gruyere stuffed meatballs, and nachos are mainstays, along with skillet roasted mussels, beef dip, pizza and plenty more. Moreover, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house if you’re there to watch a game; the restauraunt boasts no less than 27 high definition screens. Outside creature comforts include booths and fire tables, with overhead heaters for winter and misters for when the mercury climbs.

The Caesar at Match Eatery & Public House
The Caesar at Match Eatery & Public House

For a change of pace, all it takes is a short wander next door to Shang Noodle House, with its modern, light-wood trimmed decor and central bar with high stools, perfect for a quick snack. The choices here range from dim sum bites such as Shanghai style, wontons and spring rolls to substantial servings of stir fried ramen with prawn, scallop, chicken and barbecued pork. The house specialty, seven different kinds of nutritious and beneficial Japanese mushrooms are blended into hand pulled noodles and blended into the delicious house broth.

The jewel in the Starlight crown, however, is next door Kirin Restaurant, one of four Kirin across Greater Vancouver, which enjoy a well-deserved reputation for excellent cuisine. The menu is extensive, including a cornucopia of live seafood, and the presentation artfully exquisite. Among the lengthy list of “don’t miss” house specialties: creamy and nutty giant geoduck, sliced and shaved paper-thin; the chilled seafood appetizer platter; salt and pepper spiced Dungeness crab with onion, black bean and chili sauce; roast squab; classic Peking Duck and ‘Love Bird’ fried rice. No wonder, later in the week there’s rarely a spare table in this luxuriously appointed spot with its relaxing mood and polished service.

Starlight Casino
350 Gifford St
New Westminster, BC
www.starlightcasino.ca