This silly summer season has arrived. We linger a little longer, lap up the sunset and consume a bit more than we usually would. Nobody’s judging. But should you suddenly find yourself stranded on Granville Street late at night with no nourishment in the belly (other than tonic water), may we offer salvation from the A&W Mozza Burger?
Much like you, we don’t claim to be experts at post-midnight scarfing (or, at least, not lately). But we do have many friends with more fortitude, and others who work late hours in the hospitality industry. According to our night-owl panel, the options for dining in the wee hours are better than we’d think. You just have to search a bit harder
1685 Yew St. (Kitsilano), Vancouver; 604-739-4677 Abigailsparty.caHours:Monday-Saturday until 2 a.m.
Can’t stop thinking about that sexy sommelier who blew your mind with a Slovenian pinot gris and charred octopus pairing? She may be hanging out after her shift at this cozy beachside nook swarming with hospitality industry folk, where the seasonal Canadian comfort food is surprisingly good and reasonably priced. Our sexy sommelier panel member recommends the pork-belly slider and bacon-wrapped dates or Big Al’s burger with a side of kale.
Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina
1326 Davie St. (West End), Vancouver; 604-696-9996 Lolitasrestaurant.comHours: Monday-Sunday until 2 a.m.
Sticky summer days turn into hot tiki nights at this laid-back Mexican-South Pacific hybrid hideaway. Many a prestigious winemaker has been seen winding down here with an ice-cold Pacifico during the International Vancouver Wine Festival. Regular night owls may enjoy a crispy taquito washed down with a mango margarita.
891 Homer St. (Yaletown), Vancouver. 604-687-6107 Subeez.com.Hours: Monday-Wednesday and Sunday until midnight; Thursday until 1 a.m.;Friday-Saturday until 2 a.m.
Dark, moody and dripped with candle wax, this downtown boîte offers a chilled-out respite from the madness of Granville Street. The menu entices with many seasonal bites, but regulars swear by the short-beef sliders and garlic-mayo fries.
Congee Noodle House
141 E. Broadway (Mount Pleasant), Vancouver; 604-879-8221.
Hours: Monday-Thursday until 1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday until 2 a.m.
It’s a Chinese dive with a typical late-night da lang snack menu. If you’re into congee, they offer a myriad of styles (pork cheek, century egg and Hong Kong style with crispy peanuts are all worthy). If rice porridge isn’t your thing, soft scrambled eggs with shrimp and wide ho fun noodles will probably be more effective than Tylenol.
Landmark Hotpot House4023 Cambie St. (South Cambie), Vancouver; 604-872-2868 Hours:Monday-Sunday until 2 a.m.
Another Cantonese stalwart with da lang specials. But the seafood here is apparently top-notch, as is the tea-smoked duck. The stir-fried glutinous rice and congee with fish tofu puffs have both won Chinese Restaurant Awards. It’s hard to ask for more at 2 a.m.
LATE LATE NIGHT
House of Dosas
1391 Kingsway (Kensington-Cedar Cottage), Vancouver. 604-875-1283. Hours: Monday-Thursday until 2 a.m.; Friday-Sunday until 3 a.m.
Batter up! Join South Indian ball fans at cricket-viewing central, where spicy chicken 65 nuggets make a swell last call with a bottle of Kingfisher beer. The paper dosa – a massive, curry-stuffed fermented bean crepe – sure beats 7-Eleven’s bean-and-cheese burrito.
Pho Thai Hoa
1625 Kingsway (Kensington-Cedar Cottage), Vancouver. 604-873-2348. Phothaihoa.com. Hours: Friday-Saturday until 3 a.m.
A steaming bowl of noodle soup helps the lemon-drop shooters stay down. This generalist Vietnamese restaurant, festively draped in Christmas garlands, is best known for its pho, but also grills great meat. Try charred beef tenderized in sweet lemongrass marinade and served on toasted bahn mi.
Hamburger Mary’s Diner
1202 Davie St. (West End), Vancouver; 604-687-1293. Hamburgermarys.ca. Hours: Monday-Thursday and Sunday until 3 a.m.; Friday-Saturday until 4 a.m.
It looks like a diner from the 1950s and it feels like been around almost that long. If you went to high school in Vancouver between then and now, you’ve probably enjoyed one of their late-night burgers (even if the memory is hazy). The younger generation loves them too.
Hou Lok Restaurant
8231 Cambie Rd. (Golden Village), Richmond; 604-279-8896. Hours: Monday-Sunday until 4 a.m.
You’re still in Richmond in the wee hours of the morning; we’re not asking why. We’re just saying that this low-key Cantonese restaurant serves the best sizzling hot honey-garlic spareribs outside Guangdong. Crispy skinned pork intestines are not for the faint of stomach. But they may be less painful than tomorrow’s head spins.
Lucy’s Eastside Diner
2708 Main St. (Mount Pleasant), Vancouver; 604-568-1550. Lucyseastsidediner.com. Hours: 24/7
Grab a swivel stool, if you can. Some weekends it’s standing room only at this retro 1950s diner that never switches off its chrome-plated pendant lights. The mac & cheese hoagie bun topped with pulled pork is a late-night fan favourite. And a thick, malted chocolate milkshake soothes a pending hangover. But unless you really need your frozen veggies, avoid the fried chicken dinner. (Rigid batter cracks off the drumsticks like a hard walnut shell.)
2724 Fourth Ave. W. (Kitsilano), Vancouver; 604-738-7151. Thenaam.com. Hours: Monday-Sunday 24/7
No, you’re not wobbling. That’s the warped wooden floor. Well, maybe you are a little woozy. But now you can repent with a macrobiotic dragon bowl piled high with sprouts, steamed veggies and brown rice. A local vegetarian institution for 30-plus years, the Naam also serves a groovy plate of hippy fries and miso gravy.
1883 Cornwall Ave. (Kitsilano), Vancouver; 604-737-8151. Siegelsbagels.com. Hours: 24/7
Anticipating the sweet smell of hot bagels before dawn? Sorry to disappoint. The bakers sleep normal hours and the selection may be limited. But the day-olds are still pretty darn tasty when spread with Winnipeg cream cheese and lox. Just a short taxi ride across the Granville Street Bridge, this Montreal-style bakery excels at smoked meat sandwiches and an all-day breakfast benny.
No. 9 Restaurant
5300 No. 3 Rd. (Lansdowne Shopping Centre), Richmond; 604-278-7700. Richmond9.com.Hours: 24/7
Richmond’s all-night Chinese diner is not highly recommended by our night-owl panel. In fact, one local warned us away. But imagine it’s 4 a.m. and you’re heading home from Bumbershoot in Seattle. Sober, of course. Yet somehow still craving spicy Szechuan yin-yang prawns. Your choices are limited. And chances are that at this time of night, even this shopping mall stalwart’s Kraft macaroni and cheese (I kid you not) will slide down fairly easily.