Recommended food places

I like to run anime convention presentations, but I also like to check out new places for food both locally and abroad. This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are my favourite places to go to along with some notes on specific places.

British Columbia

Greater Vancouver

Oof, this one is tricky as I live in Metro Vancouver and been to so many restaurants. I will need to turn this list into a separate page, heh.

  • Aiyaohno Cafe (“Aiyaohno”) - Japanese-inspired pastries, drinks, and “404 meat not found” meals from a lovely husband-wife duo (Bev and Greg).
    • This is my favourite cafe (let alone, place for food in general), because Bev and Greg aren’t afraid to use their kitchen as a playground to bring their ideas to life and make those ideas tasty - my favourites are the (iced) royal milk tea, the teriyaki “chicken”, and the now-retired “hambagu” donburi.
    • I like how Bev can/will easily build a rapport with her customers, where I’ve had the chance to know about her and Greg’s adventures beyond (and before starting) the cafe.
    • If any of you received shortbread from me during out-of-BC cons (starting with Otakon 2023, where I dropped one to the con’s programming director), they come from here. Aiyaohno may not be prestigious, but the shortbread is durable while highlighting Japanese culture in Vancouver.
  • The Tannenbaum Restaurant (“Tannenbaum”; vielen Dank Keichoro!) - Homestyle German fare with the most extreme customer service I’ve seen in my life going to restaurants.
    • This is the best clue-in that I’ve received. I’ve been dying to check out this place since Keichoro posted his birthday meal on Instagram, and I’m glad that Mira (the owner) made it worth the wait…AUF DEUTSCH!
    • I’ve enjoyed the Jägerpfanne, the Wiener Schnitzel, the cheesecake, and the seasonal turkey meal.
  • Petite Bao - An Asian twist on your usual hamburgers (bao burger buns). Love their char siu bao burgers.
  • AKD Kitchen (thank you Jesse!) - Local ramen chain whose miso “ajitama” ramen hits the spot.
    • This place was my original post-haircut lunch spot (as my salon is also in DT New West) before Tannenbaum/Mira OHKO’d it out of that spot, but wouldn’t mind returning back to meet up with someone.
  • Mello - Compared to Lee’s, I like the texture (soft brioche!) and flavours more. They’re also satisfying to have during a train ride to Seattle for Sakura-Con.
    • My favourite flavours are cereal milk and strawberry cream.

(Giving a honourable mention to Notch8’s brunch buffet. It’s your typical upscale brunch buffet so you know what to expect. But my mom’s side of the family and I are huge fans of both Raluca and Adrian; they’re super entertaining and Notch8 is lucky to have them as servers!)

Victoria

  • The Bubble Tea Place (thank you Tsukino-Con Programming) - This is a textbook example of how you don’t need to have Asian owners to successfully sell bubble tea. The pearls have the right chew and I like how they disregard authenticity where they turn to cocktails for their lineup’s inspiration.

Sunshine Coast

  • Coastal Crust Pizza (thank you Jarvis!)

North America

Seattle

  • Salt & Straw
  • FOB Poke Bar (thanks Emily!)
  • Maneki
  • Beanfish
  • Momiji (thanks Lee!)

Toronto

  • COPS Donuts (thank you Chloe!)
  • Craig’s Cookies

Baltimore

  • Mera - Middle Eastern and Mexican fare that hits the spot after a long flight to the city.
  • Ice Queens - Black-women-owned snowball place with friendly and chatty service.
  • Ramen Utsuke

Washington DC

  • Prost! - German food a couple blocks away from the Otakon venue. The chicken schnitzel benny (as much as it’s a crime itself) is solid.
  • Reren Lamen (thank you AniTwitter!)
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl (thank you Mike!)
  • Captain Cookie and the Milkman

Asia

Philippines

Metro Manila

  • The UCC cafes (specifically Clockwork at Ayala Vertis North)
  • Bizu (high tea)

Metro Cebu

  • Ginza