Friday, January 29, 2010

Top 5 Food Courts in Vancouver

When you’re in a hurry and want something quick and cheap, food courts are an ideal choice.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and there’s usually a large variety of cuisine, from sushi to burgers to salads. While there’s no shortage of food courts all over the city, there are a few that keep me coming back, be it due to the good food or the convenient location. Here, therefore, are my top 5 food courts in Vancouver.

5. Pacific Centre
Pacific Centre is a popular shopping mall located downtown, sprawling over Robson and Georgia and linked to the Hudson Bay and both Skytrain lines. As such, it’s well situated for both shoppers and commuters to drop by and have a bite. As there will be plenty of Olympic visitors downtown for concerts, shopping and watching the games on the big screen, this will be a very convenient venue. It doesn’t hurt that the food court itself is clean and comfortable, and that the food is very nice.

4. Aberdeen Centre

An airy and modern mall in Richmond aimed at a local Asian-Canadian market, Aberdeen Centre has won quite a bit of acclaim for its food court. It offers an unusual variety of restaurants not found in many other malls, with a definite Asian theme. Besides Chinese, Japanese and Korean stores, there are also several unique cafes and drink parlours, as well as desserts and even some new takes on Western cuisine. I haven't had the chance to eat here very often, but I've always enjoyed it when I do, and its popularity with many Vancouver foodies makes this my #4 choice.

3.  Vancouver Airport
In a rush to eat before passing the security gates for your flight? Happy to while away a few minutes people watching and taking in the sights of other countries? The food court at Vancouver International Airport is right up your alley. A large open court lined with popular franchises like Burger King along with sushi, Chinese and pizza places, it's a great place to watch travelers and well-wishers as they come and go. Best of all, there's a large screen TV showing beautiful videos of tourist destinations all over the world, as well as British Columbia itself. My family has seen off many a visitor from this food court, and they've all said it's been a lovely way to end the trip.

2. Metrotown
Metrotown is Vancouver's "mega-mall." Located out in Burnaby on the Skytrain line, it's a very popular shopping destination for young people and families, with plenty of boutiques and chain stores. The food court in the upper floor of the mall is very spacious, clean and airy, with large windows, catwalks and views into the lower levels. It's also one of the more varied food courts, with at least one or two restaurants for every taste and country. A great place to eat in a great place to shop!

1. Granville Island Public Market
I've already gushed about this place once, and I will gush about it again at length next week, but this really is one of my favorite food courts. The spectacular views over False Creek combined with the high quality ingredients and authentic tastes of the various restaurants makes this a wonderful place to eat, whether you're in a major rush to get somewhere or just want to savor your food as you look out over downtown.


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