Railtown is a neighbourhood unlike any other in downtown Vancouver. All brick and wood, it’s the ‘hood that time forgot and most of the area still resembles the early 1900’s when the Japanese community that settled here thrived. But like other neighbourhoods before it (Gastown and Yaletown come to mind) this slice of history is changing as new development moves in and the focus moves east of Main Street. Here are our top 5 food destinations in this hidden gem of a neighbourhood.

  1. St. Lawrence – 269 Powell Street

Photo Credit: @stlawrencerestaurant

Located in the historic Komura Building and taking over Big Lou’s Butcher Shop, this establishment has been voted one of the top new restaurants in the city. Co-owner and chef, J.C Poirier is going back to his Quebec roots and is serving up delicious French inspired cuisine including tradition tourtiere and sugar pie. Poirier sister restaurant Ask For Luigi is just a stone’s throw away, another great addition to Railtown.

2. The Uncommon Cafe – 477 Powell Street

Lisa & Luc are a husband-and-wife duo that opened this quaint cafe, cooking school, and commissary kitchen over 2 years ago. A must try here are the house-made meatballs, a pork and beef combo packed with tons of fresh herbs like mint and stuffed with gooey brie cheese. Also a great place to pick up local products that are made in the commissary like coffee, hot sauce, and shrubs. 

3. Dosanko – 566 Powell

Photo Credit: @offtheeatentrack

The newest restaurant to open and a new tour partner on our Railtown Urban Eats Food Tour, we love this throwback to the Japanese heritage of the neighbourhood. Railtown, once known by it’s Japanese name Nihonmachi, was home to thousands of Japanese Canadians until the outbreak of World War II. The room is sophisticated and the food is modern and delicious! 

4. The Mackenzie Room – 415 Powell Street

Photo Credit: @themackenzieroom

Recently listed as one of Vancouver Best Restaurants, this trendy space across from Oppenheimer Park has beautiful seasonal dishes. Want to try everything on their menu? Well if you have 4 friends you can go ahead and order the I Want It All menu where you get every dish they have to share. Yes please! 

5. The Settlement Building – 55 Dunlevy Ave

Located in a converted steel factory, the Settlement Building is a 3-in-1 business venture including Vancouver Urban Winery, Postmark Brewing, and The Belgard Kitchen. An amazing space and the best place in the city to get BC Wine, seasonal craft beer, and a nice meal. We use this stop on two of our food tours, the Railtown Urban Eats tour and our Gourmet Ice Cream & Pizza Tour!

Join our Railtown Urban Eats Tour Monday-Saturday 1;30-3:30 where we will explore 5 small businesses including Dosanko, The Uncommon Cafe, The Settlement Building and more. Learn more about the Japanese history, see some of the oldest buildings in the city, and get to know the best kept secret of Vancouver!

Click HERE for tickets and more info on our Railtown Urban Eats Tour.

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