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Dining room at The Sedgwick with a big sparkly chandelier, a plush couch, and tables with bright blue chairs.
Dining room at The Sedgwick
Rachel Pinsky

20 Food-and-Drink Destinations in Vancouver, Washington

Local spots offering everything from Cincinnati chili to Georgian wine

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Dining room at The Sedgwick
| Rachel Pinsky

Before the pandemic, the food scene in Vancouver was thriving. Places like Little Conejo, Rally Pizza, and Smokin’ Oak raised the bar for dining in Portland’s neighbor to the north and dispelled outdated Vantucky stereotypes. Fortunately, all of these stellar restaurants have survived, and have been joined by a crop of exciting new spots. Some Vancouver institutions like Lapellah and Tommy O’s in downtown Vancouver closed, leaving space for new places like the Sedgwick to spring up as COVID-19 restrictions relaxed.

During the same time, the Vancouver Waterfront, filled with endless Washington wine tasting rooms and regional chain restaurants, drew new visitors to the area. Local businesses like Kafiex Coffee Roasters and Dos Alas Latin Kitchen and Tequila Bar later joined them, adding more Vancouver-specific representation. Nonetheless, it’s downtown Vancouver, only a few blocks away from this shiny new development, which remains the beating heart of this city and the place where most of its essential dining spots reside. These are the Vancouver restaurants, food carts, and bars — new and old — that have become the crown jewels of the city, from Hazel Dell to Fisher’s Landing.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Southern Girl Delights

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Dorothy Golson recently celebrated two years of serving Southern food inspired by her childhood favorites at this red-and-white-checkered food truck in Hazel Dell. The daily menu includes classics like shrimp and grits, fried catfish, pimento cheese sandwiches, and sides like crispy disks of fried okra — tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. Golson often adds specials such as smothered pork chops with cabbage and roasted potatoes or sweet potato pie. Everything is made to order, so wait times for food can be long; it’s worth the wait. Orders can be placed ahead of time by phone.

C'est La Vie

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Keri Buhman’s Hazel Dell cafe and creperie offers savory crepes like the figgy piggy with prosciutto and goat cheese topped with fig jam and peppery tendrils of arugula, as well as Monte Cristos and the cafe’s take on “fondue” — cubes of grilled cheese served with tomato bisque for dipping. The store attached to the cafe houses charcuterie board fixings like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and cured meats like mole salami from Elevation Meats, as well as take-and-bake meals like kalua pork on coconut rice with vegetables.

Su Casa Marquez

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This homey restaurant tucked into an International District strip mall serves Mexican favorites like carne asada platters, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as Salvadoran pupusas. Made-to-order pupusas come with fresh masa and melted mozzarella cheese, combined with fillings like asada, jalapeno, mushrooms, and loroco, or edible flower buds. Cheese-filled birria tacos served in fresh, grilled tortillas with a side of warm beef consomé are a standout.

Bleu Door Bakery

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After closing indoor dining for two years, Bonnie Brasure’s uptown cafe has reopened and expanded into the building next door. A sunflower-filled mural inspired by southern France fills the new space, known for it weekday lineup of soup, salads, and sandwiches as well as Bleu Door’s own pastries. On weekends, brunch favorites like beignets, shrimp and grits, and biscuits and gravy (vegan and otherwise) are complemented by mimosas and bloody marys.

Thirsty Sasquatch & Hungry Sasquatch

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The Thirsty Sasquatch feels like a summer camp-like retreat for adults. Fake-grass-covered walls, neon signs, and large day-glo murals of Sasquatch fill the indoor and outdoor spaces. At the Thirsty Sasquatch, bartenders shake and stir drinks like La Granja, with mezcal, black currant, blackberry, cinnamon, and citrus. The pizza parlor side of the business, called the Hungry Sasquatch, serves enormous slices of New York-style pizzas like “the fungus,” with a seasonal mushroom blend, roasted garlic, and onion. In between the pizza parlor and bar sits an arcade with artificial-grass-covered walls filled with pinball machines and classic video games. Minors can dine at the Hungry Sasquatch and play in the arcade until 10 p.m. On Tuesdays, Goon Burger takes over the kitchen serving smash burgers and fries from 4 p.m. until they sell out.

A slice of pizza with pineapple and jalapeño and a draft cocktail at the Thirsty Sasquatch.
A slice of pizza with pineapple and jalapeño and a draft cocktail at the Thirsty Sasquatch.
Rachel Pinsky

La Bottega Cafe Deli Wine Shop

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La Bottega has offered a rotating menu of antipasti like roasted tomato bruschetta, fresh salads, and Italian entrees like lasagna bolognese with beef, veal, and pork since 2006. In addition to Italian classics served in a cozy space, La Bottega boasts an extensive deli counter, wine cellar, take-and-bake meals, and imported pantry items for easy at-home dining.

Amaro’s Table

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The bar at this downtown spot offers the best seat in the house. These coveted stools provide the perfect perch to dine on classics like medium-rare New York strip steak doused in chimichurri with a mound of mash potatoes, or a crisp wedge salad topped with bleu cheese and a thicket of thinly sliced onion rings. Amaro’s also hosts a rotating menu of draft cocktails like the Season of the Witch, a rum punch spiked with Meletti, ginger liqueur, mulled apple cider, and both chai and bergamot tea. Meals should end with creme brulee or fluffy ricotta doughnuts.

Ella Bakh and her son and co-owner, Nico, opened this bright, cozy space to share the food of their native Tbilisi. The restaurant’s menu features comforting Georgian favorites like khachapuri adjaruli, a boat-shaped bread with fresh cheese, and khinkali, plump Georgian dumplings filled with beef and pork or mushrooms. Any visit should include both, as well as a few fresh salads and a small clay pot of a creamy bean stew called lobio. Dediko’s excellent wine list includes some Georgian wines made in the classic style, fermented in underground ceramic pots called kvevri. Miniature versions of these wine pots are scattered throughout Dediko, giving a traditional Georgian flair to this modern space.

Elements Restaurant

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Chef Miguel Sosa’s inspiration for his eclectic menu at this downtown spot stems from his French training, the Mexican culinary influence of his mother and grandmother, a passion for locally sourced produce, and an insatiable curiosity. The rotating menu at this intimate space ranges from Spanish octopus a la plancha with harissa and avocado mousse to a porcini-dusted Kurobuta bone-in pork chop in a port beurre noisette with sweet potato mousseline. Chef Sosa sources produce from local farms like Red Truck Farm, Flat Tack Farm, and Wobbly Cart Farm. Other menu items comes from Mayer’s Custom Meats in Ridgefield and PNW Wild Mushrooms. Reservations are available through Resy.

The Sedgwick

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Tim and Melissa McCusker, of Feast 316 in downtown Camas, opened their updated speakeasy in the heart of downtown Vancouver at the tail end of the pandemic. The menu ranges from smaller bites like harissa-roasted cauliflower or duck fat fries with manchego and a duck-fennel-peppercorn gravy, to larger plates such as a decadent coffee-and-coriander-crusted Delmonico steak with sauces like pine nut mustard puree. The Sedgwick also offers a daily yakitori menu and desserts like a make-your-own s’mores platter served with skewers and a small fire pit to roast marshmallows.

Slow Fox Chili

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Former Screen Door chef Derek Saner opened this downtown food cart as an homage to the chili parlors he visited during his childhood in the Cincinnati area. Slow Fox’s Cincinnati 5 Way Chili starts with ground beef, tomato, and onion with cinnamon, allspice, clove, and chocolate, slow-cooked, then mixed with a bowl of spaghetti and beans, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese and diced raw onions. Another stellar dish, Louie’s Lentils, comes cooked to creaminess with tomatoes, onions, peppers, yam, and kale.

The Grocery Cocktail & Social

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This intimate hideaway tucked from the traffic of Main Street offers a rotating seasonal cocktail list and a well-executed slate of pub fare. Dishes range from seasonal salads to the hedonistic Grocery burger, a Cascade Natural beef patty with bacon jam, sweet onions, garlic mayo, and American cheese on a potato bun served with hand-cut fries.

This photo shows the bar and people drinking cocktails and talking.
The Grocery Cocktail & Social.
Rachel Pinsky

Little Conejo

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When Noble Rot’s Mychal Dynes and Nodoguro’s Mark Wooten opened this palace of mezcal and tacos in September 2017, it quickly became a destination. The menu ranges from tacos with fillings like oyster mushrooms and frico’d cheese to crispy carnitas as well as hefty tortas like the brisket americano with braised beef and melted American cheese. Smoky mezcal cocktails accompany the food menu, with an impressively long mezcal list.

A Little Conejo taco topped with avocado sits on a plate with a lime.
A taco from Little Conejo.
Sue O’Bryan

The Smokin' Oak

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This upscale barbecue spot serves bonafide Central Texas barbecue based on family recipes from co-owner Bryan Rodgers. ‘Meat butter’ best describes the velvety texture of Smokin’ Oak’s tender smoker brisket; other standouts include pulled pork, chicken, sausage, and pork spare ribs, smoked until the inside is tender and the outside is pleasingly crisp. All of the above go great with traditional sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread as well as smoky whiskey-based cocktails from the well stocked bar.

Rally Pizza

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Ken’s Artisan Pizza alumni Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham opened this shrine to pizza and frozen custard several years ago, when it seemed unthinkable that chefs from Portland would start a restaurant in the formerly run-down strip mall. The menu includes fresh salads, pizzas, frozen custard, and customer favorites like meatballs and greens, all featuring locally grown produce from farms like Wobbly Cart, Red Truck, Flat Tack, and lamb from Reister Ranch in Washougal. Reservations are available through Open Table.

Rick Gencarelli’s pasta palace recently opened on the Vancouver Waterfront, serving fresh pasta in shapes from bucatini to rigatoni in sauces ranging from meaty Sunday pork ragu to cherry tomato pomodoro. Wine by the glass or bottle as well as craft beer and cocktails are available to sip while gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Columbia River. The house red, a blend made by Coopers Hall winery in Portland, pairs well with the red sauce pastas.

Bowls of fresh pasta and meatballs at Grassa.
Fresh pasta and meatballs at Grassa.
Rachel Pinsky

Dosalas latin kitchen + tequila bar

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Entering Dosalas Latin Kitchen and Tequila Bar feels like a visit to a distant sparkling otherworld. The large glittery chandeliers, enormous bar, and cushy white leather-covered booths overlooking the water provide a bit of Vegas glitz mixed with flourishes of old Hollywood glamour. The menu includes a variety of small plates like ahi tuna tostadas and a deconstructed Mexican street corn with chipotle cream, cotija cheese, and Peruvian spice over tostadas, as well as large shareable plates like ancho-spiced lamb chops or bone-in tomahawk rib-eye. Showy cocktails like the Purple Rain with gin and St. Germain infused with a combination of butterfly pea powder and gold glitter flow from the sleek bar. Reservations are available through Open Table.

Ruse Brewing Crust Collective

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Ruse Brewing owners Shaun Kalis and Devin Benware, as well as general manager Seth Black, headed to the Motor City to places like Buddy’s, Louie’s, and Michigan & Trumbull to research Detroit pizza. Their menu at the Crust Collective gives the Motown rectangular pizza a distinctive spin by adding things like arugula, truffle salt, and Impossible Beef to the classic brick-cheese-topped, anodized-steel-cooked crust. They’re available alongside snacks like smoked salmon dip and roasted beets with burrata.

Pho Vi Van

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Pho Vi Van, found in an unassuming space in an East Vancouver strip mall, consistently serves a wide range of fragrant pho. Pho Vi Van’s vegetarian pho comes with a rich and complex broth filled with rice noodles, puffy fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and a rainbow of crisp vegetables. Other highlights include a spicy bún bò Huế — thick swirls of rice noodles and tender meat in a luscious broth — and a comforting egg noodle soup with plump pork wontons.

La Sorrentina

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La Sorrentina Pizzeria — which received high praise from Portland Monthly food critic, Karen Brooks, for their Neapolitan pizzas at their Hazel Dell food truck — opened its brick-and-mortar restaurant in a strip mall off 164th Avenue in the midst of the pandemic. Owner and chef Daisuke Matsumoto bakes fire-roasted red sauce pizzas like the classic Margherita, as well as white sauce pies like the Terra Mia with eggplant parmesan, sausage, mozzarella, pesto, and basil on traditional or gluten-free crusts. The specials menu varies based on chef Matsumoto’s whims. Past offerings range from black truffle and wild porcini mushrooms served with freshly made tagliatelle to delizia al limone, a lemon pastry with fresh whipped cream from Sorrento, Italy, where chef Matsumoto trained with celebrated international chef Biagio Longo.

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Southern Girl Delights

Dorothy Golson recently celebrated two years of serving Southern food inspired by her childhood favorites at this red-and-white-checkered food truck in Hazel Dell. The daily menu includes classics like shrimp and grits, fried catfish, pimento cheese sandwiches, and sides like crispy disks of fried okra — tender on the inside, crispy on the outside. Golson often adds specials such as smothered pork chops with cabbage and roasted potatoes or sweet potato pie. Everything is made to order, so wait times for food can be long; it’s worth the wait. Orders can be placed ahead of time by phone.

C'est La Vie

Keri Buhman’s Hazel Dell cafe and creperie offers savory crepes like the figgy piggy with prosciutto and goat cheese topped with fig jam and peppery tendrils of arugula, as well as Monte Cristos and the cafe’s take on “fondue” — cubes of grilled cheese served with tomato bisque for dipping. The store attached to the cafe houses charcuterie board fixings like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and cured meats like mole salami from Elevation Meats, as well as take-and-bake meals like kalua pork on coconut rice with vegetables.

Su Casa Marquez

This homey restaurant tucked into an International District strip mall serves Mexican favorites like carne asada platters, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as Salvadoran pupusas. Made-to-order pupusas come with fresh masa and melted mozzarella cheese, combined with fillings like asada, jalapeno, mushrooms, and loroco, or edible flower buds. Cheese-filled birria tacos served in fresh, grilled tortillas with a side of warm beef consomé are a standout.

Bleu Door Bakery

After closing indoor dining for two years, Bonnie Brasure’s uptown cafe has reopened and expanded into the building next door. A sunflower-filled mural inspired by southern France fills the new space, known for it weekday lineup of soup, salads, and sandwiches as well as Bleu Door’s own pastries. On weekends, brunch favorites like beignets, shrimp and grits, and biscuits and gravy (vegan and otherwise) are complemented by mimosas and bloody marys.

Thirsty Sasquatch & Hungry Sasquatch

The Thirsty Sasquatch feels like a summer camp-like retreat for adults. Fake-grass-covered walls, neon signs, and large day-glo murals of Sasquatch fill the indoor and outdoor spaces. At the Thirsty Sasquatch, bartenders shake and stir drinks like La Granja, with mezcal, black currant, blackberry, cinnamon, and citrus. The pizza parlor side of the business, called the Hungry Sasquatch, serves enormous slices of New York-style pizzas like “the fungus,” with a seasonal mushroom blend, roasted garlic, and onion. In between the pizza parlor and bar sits an arcade with artificial-grass-covered walls filled with pinball machines and classic video games. Minors can dine at the Hungry Sasquatch and play in the arcade until 10 p.m. On Tuesdays, Goon Burger takes over the kitchen serving smash burgers and fries from 4 p.m. until they sell out.

A slice of pizza with pineapple and jalapeño and a draft cocktail at the Thirsty Sasquatch.
A slice of pizza with pineapple and jalapeño and a draft cocktail at the Thirsty Sasquatch.
Rachel Pinsky

La Bottega Cafe Deli Wine Shop

La Bottega has offered a rotating menu of antipasti like roasted tomato bruschetta, fresh salads, and Italian entrees like lasagna bolognese with beef, veal, and pork since 2006. In addition to Italian classics served in a cozy space, La Bottega boasts an extensive deli counter, wine cellar, take-and-bake meals, and imported pantry items for easy at-home dining.

Amaro’s Table

The bar at this downtown spot offers the best seat in the house. These coveted stools provide the perfect perch to dine on classics like medium-rare New York strip steak doused in chimichurri with a mound of mash potatoes, or a crisp wedge salad topped with bleu cheese and a thicket of thinly sliced onion rings. Amaro’s also hosts a rotating menu of draft cocktails like the Season of the Witch, a rum punch spiked with Meletti, ginger liqueur, mulled apple cider, and both chai and bergamot tea. Meals should end with creme brulee or fluffy ricotta doughnuts.

Dediko

Ella Bakh and her son and co-owner, Nico, opened this bright, cozy space to share the food of their native Tbilisi. The restaurant’s menu features comforting Georgian favorites like khachapuri adjaruli, a boat-shaped bread with fresh cheese, and khinkali, plump Georgian dumplings filled with beef and pork or mushrooms. Any visit should include both, as well as a few fresh salads and a small clay pot of a creamy bean stew called lobio. Dediko’s excellent wine list includes some Georgian wines made in the classic style, fermented in underground ceramic pots called kvevri. Miniature versions of these wine pots are scattered throughout Dediko, giving a traditional Georgian flair to this modern space.

Elements Restaurant

Chef Miguel Sosa’s inspiration for his eclectic menu at this downtown spot stems from his French training, the Mexican culinary influence of his mother and grandmother, a passion for locally sourced produce, and an insatiable curiosity. The rotating menu at this intimate space ranges from Spanish octopus a la plancha with harissa and avocado mousse to a porcini-dusted Kurobuta bone-in pork chop in a port beurre noisette with sweet potato mousseline. Chef Sosa sources produce from local farms like Red Truck Farm, Flat Tack Farm, and Wobbly Cart Farm. Other menu items comes from Mayer’s Custom Meats in Ridgefield and PNW Wild Mushrooms. Reservations are available through Resy.

The Sedgwick

Tim and Melissa McCusker, of Feast 316 in downtown Camas, opened their updated speakeasy in the heart of downtown Vancouver at the tail end of the pandemic. The menu ranges from smaller bites like harissa-roasted cauliflower or duck fat fries with manchego and a duck-fennel-peppercorn gravy, to larger plates such as a decadent coffee-and-coriander-crusted Delmonico steak with sauces like pine nut mustard puree. The Sedgwick also offers a daily yakitori menu and desserts like a make-your-own s’mores platter served with skewers and a small fire pit to roast marshmallows.

Slow Fox Chili

Former Screen Door chef Derek Saner opened this downtown food cart as an homage to the chili parlors he visited during his childhood in the Cincinnati area. Slow Fox’s Cincinnati 5 Way Chili starts with ground beef, tomato, and onion with cinnamon, allspice, clove, and chocolate, slow-cooked, then mixed with a bowl of spaghetti and beans, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese and diced raw onions. Another stellar dish, Louie’s Lentils, comes cooked to creaminess with tomatoes, onions, peppers, yam, and kale.

The Grocery Cocktail & Social

This intimate hideaway tucked from the traffic of Main Street offers a rotating seasonal cocktail list and a well-executed slate of pub fare. Dishes range from seasonal salads to the hedonistic Grocery burger, a Cascade Natural beef patty with bacon jam, sweet onions, garlic mayo, and American cheese on a potato bun served with hand-cut fries.

This photo shows the bar and people drinking cocktails and talking.
The Grocery Cocktail & Social.
Rachel Pinsky

Little Conejo

When Noble Rot’s Mychal Dynes and Nodoguro’s Mark Wooten opened this palace of mezcal and tacos in September 2017, it quickly became a destination. The menu ranges from tacos with fillings like oyster mushrooms and frico’d cheese to crispy carnitas as well as hefty tortas like the brisket americano with braised beef and melted American cheese. Smoky mezcal cocktails accompany the food menu, with an impressively long mezcal list.

A Little Conejo taco topped with avocado sits on a plate with a lime.
A taco from Little Conejo.
Sue O’Bryan

The Smokin' Oak

This upscale barbecue spot serves bonafide Central Texas barbecue based on family recipes from co-owner Bryan Rodgers. ‘Meat butter’ best describes the velvety texture of Smokin’ Oak’s tender smoker brisket; other standouts include pulled pork, chicken, sausage, and pork spare ribs, smoked until the inside is tender and the outside is pleasingly crisp. All of the above go great with traditional sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread as well as smoky whiskey-based cocktails from the well stocked bar.

Rally Pizza

Ken’s Artisan Pizza alumni Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham opened this shrine to pizza and frozen custard several years ago, when it seemed unthinkable that chefs from Portland would start a restaurant in the formerly run-down strip mall. The menu includes fresh salads, pizzas, frozen custard, and customer favorites like meatballs and greens, all featuring locally grown produce from farms like Wobbly Cart, Red Truck, Flat Tack, and lamb from Reister Ranch in Washougal. Reservations are available through Open Table.

Related Maps

Grassa

Rick Gencarelli’s pasta palace recently opened on the Vancouver Waterfront, serving fresh pasta in shapes from bucatini to rigatoni in sauces ranging from meaty Sunday pork ragu to cherry tomato pomodoro. Wine by the glass or bottle as well as craft beer and cocktails are available to sip while gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Columbia River. The house red, a blend made by Coopers Hall winery in Portland, pairs well with the red sauce pastas.

Bowls of fresh pasta and meatballs at Grassa.
Fresh pasta and meatballs at Grassa.
Rachel Pinsky

Dosalas latin kitchen + tequila bar

Entering Dosalas Latin Kitchen and Tequila Bar feels like a visit to a distant sparkling otherworld. The large glittery chandeliers, enormous bar, and cushy white leather-covered booths overlooking the water provide a bit of Vegas glitz mixed with flourishes of old Hollywood glamour. The menu includes a variety of small plates like ahi tuna tostadas and a deconstructed Mexican street corn with chipotle cream, cotija cheese, and Peruvian spice over tostadas, as well as large shareable plates like ancho-spiced lamb chops or bone-in tomahawk rib-eye. Showy cocktails like the Purple Rain with gin and St. Germain infused with a combination of butterfly pea powder and gold glitter flow from the sleek bar. Reservations are available through Open Table.

Ruse Brewing Crust Collective

Ruse Brewing owners Shaun Kalis and Devin Benware, as well as general manager Seth Black, headed to the Motor City to places like Buddy’s, Louie’s, and Michigan & Trumbull to research Detroit pizza. Their menu at the Crust Collective gives the Motown rectangular pizza a distinctive spin by adding things like arugula, truffle salt, and Impossible Beef to the classic brick-cheese-topped, anodized-steel-cooked crust. They’re available alongside snacks like smoked salmon dip and roasted beets with burrata.

Pho Vi Van

Pho Vi Van, found in an unassuming space in an East Vancouver strip mall, consistently serves a wide range of fragrant pho. Pho Vi Van’s vegetarian pho comes with a rich and complex broth filled with rice noodles, puffy fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and a rainbow of crisp vegetables. Other highlights include a spicy bún bò Huế — thick swirls of rice noodles and tender meat in a luscious broth — and a comforting egg noodle soup with plump pork wontons.

La Sorrentina

La Sorrentina Pizzeria — which received high praise from Portland Monthly food critic, Karen Brooks, for their Neapolitan pizzas at their Hazel Dell food truck — opened its brick-and-mortar restaurant in a strip mall off 164th Avenue in the midst of the pandemic. Owner and chef Daisuke Matsumoto bakes fire-roasted red sauce pizzas like the classic Margherita, as well as white sauce pies like the Terra Mia with eggplant parmesan, sausage, mozzarella, pesto, and basil on traditional or gluten-free crusts. The specials menu varies based on chef Matsumoto’s whims. Past offerings range from black truffle and wild porcini mushrooms served with freshly made tagliatelle to delizia al limone, a lemon pastry with fresh whipped cream from Sorrento, Italy, where chef Matsumoto trained with celebrated international chef Biagio Longo.

Related Maps