Have you ever been to Richmond BC? Perhaps you’ve passed through on your way north from Seattle to Whistler, or maybe you’ve had a flight from Vancouver airport and stayed overnight here somewhere, or maybe you, like me, also know that this is a gem of a city and it’s worth a stay all on its own. I am lucky enough to have a sister who lives in Richmond so I sometimes pretend I’m local, but because we always go to the same places together it was really nice to visit with Tourism Richmond and get the lowdown on new places to visit and where to find yummy Chinese restaurants in this beautiful Canadian city.
I usually hang out in a part of Richmond called Steveston with my family. We visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, we grab pizza from the Steveston Pizza Company or sushi from Ichiro’s. We always stop at the Sweet Spot for pastries and we love getting coffee from Rocanini because there is an amazing park across the street that my kids have loved to play at for the past 8 years. (In the summer it has an incredible water feature too!)
When I hung out with tourism Richmond, I stayed in the heart of the city and I visited for Chinese New Year so many places were festively decorated. I loved how Aberdeen Center was decked out in beautiful colors and full of people bustling around and Richmond Center Mall had gorgeous hanging lanterns. We stopped by the International Buddhist Temple and it was stunningly decorated too.
One of my favorite restaurants we visited on this trip was one called Silkway Halal. There were so many interesting dishes, like this one with beef that you stuffed into pita-like pockets to eat. I eat mostly vegetarian with my family so I really appreciated the vegetarian dishes at this restaurant too-they were very flavorful and I have never eaten Chinese food like this before. I learned over the course of my trip that there are so many different types of Chinese cuisine.
Of course, one of my must-tries in every cuisine is the dessert. My sister hung out with me one night and we stopped in at Mango Yummy. I first tried them as a food truck at the Richmond Night Market last summer and this visit I found that there were too many things that looked unique and tasty in their store. We took our treats back to the Vancouver Airport Mariott where I was being hosted and I especially enjoyed the mochi waffles we picked up. Mochi needs to show up in more baked goods-in waffles the mochi gave the most incredible chewy texture and I am still craving this taste and need to revisit. I know my kids would love the shave ice here too.
I also enjoyed having dim sum at Fisherman’s Terrace at Aberdeen Mall. I have heard this place gets REALLY busy and lined up and I can totally see why. The food here is incredible and with dim sum it’s so nice that you can try so many tastes during one meal. I love the sharing culture of food-people’s eyes light up when they talk about their favorites and when you eat together with strangers sometimes it feels almost like you end up as family by the end of a meal.
I really want to take my family back to the Golden Paramount because this truly felt like a family restaurant. When I visited, the whole place was full of people eating but it still felt so intimate at the big table I was sitting at that I could have been dining with friends in someone’s home. The food was gorgeous and delicious too. I was lucky enough to sit next to a Vancouver-based food writer named Lee and I know I’ll have to try some of his other Chinese Restaurant suggestions in Richmond and Vancouver next time I visit.
On my drive into Richmond, I noticed a building called the “Richmond Public Market” and because I love markets and it was a short walk from my hotel I was totally intrigued. Someone at one of our dinners told me I needed to try Peanuts for some red bean filled buns they make. Went I visited, it was too early for the buns but I grabbed a bubble tea and made a breakfast from a tofu and eggplant take out dish from another stand. If you have time to stop in at this market there is a lot of interesting things to see and many foods to try. I was enthralled with the hustle and bustle of the market as it opened and I watched the stalls wake up one by one.
The most beautiful dish I tried on this whole 4-day trip to Richmond was this perfumed barramundi dish from a place called Golden Sichuan. I was apprehensive because Sichuan cuisine can be quite spicy but the food here is delicious and so beautifully presented. I’m glad I stretched my food boundaries and tried new things-I feel like my world completely expanded.
We also tried some kind of egg crepe type dish from a place called O Tray Noodle. I think it was called a Tian Jin Wrap and I liked how it was a savory crunchy crepe.
And the dish I thought might be overrated but was absolutely decadent was a pineapple bun from a little cafe called Lido Restaurant. This place too can get super busy and lined up, but we stopped in when a table was miraculously free and had coffee/tea (yes, mixed coffee and tea that tastes quite delicious) and Pineapple buns. They do not have pineapple in them, just a humongous pat of butter that makes the bun melt-in-your-mouth divine. They are perfect.
Tummies can only eat so much before they pop, so I now have a few places I’m dying to try for my next visit. I heard raves about Chef Tony from everyone on my trip so it will be my mission to go on my next visit. I also want to stop in at Sourkraut Fish because we passed by a few times and it hadn’t opened yet and L’Otus Cake Boutique, a place that has a dessert that looks like it has a million layers because I do love cake.
I learned so much from this visit and I will have more to share about other places we stopped in Richmond soon. You can also check out my instagram for pictures I took while I was there. What I learned by visiting Richmond with a group of food writers and professional connoisseurs is that even in a familiar place, there is always a new experience that can shape you. I hope I can remember this lens the next time I visit my sister-my Richmond restaurant repertoire has been vastly broadened and I can’t wait to see what we’ll discover here next time!
(PS. As I mentioned above, I was a guest of Tourism Richmond for this trip, but the thoughts and opinions expressed in this piece and on my blog are my own.)