In Vancouver, it’s as easy to spot a sushi joint as a Starbucks, but some ethnic eats are much harder to track down. If you’re tired of Thai and super-saturated with sashimi, it’s time to eat outside the box.
Canada’s first Afghan restaurant has been offering Vancouverites authentic shish kebabs, badenjan borani (baked eggplant) and dahl palaw (lentil stew) since the ’70s. Diners sit on floor cushions and eat at low tables, Khyber-style. 202 – 1833 Anderson St., 604-873-5923.
Rinconcito Salvadoreño: El Salvadoran
This friendly, family-run spot on the Drive welcomes diners with salsa music and a tropical vibe. Pupusas (handmade corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans and pork) are owner Herrera’s specialty and a must-try. Mojarra (fried fish) sells out fast, but yuca con chicharron (fried cassava root and pork) is a tasty backup. 2062 Commercial Dr., 604-879-2600.
Café Kathmandu: Nepalese
Start with tipan tapan (small plates), including bhutuwaa (spicy marinated goat) and aaloo achaar (lemon potato salad), which come with chiuraa (a crunchy beaten rice), before choosing from the menu of eight Tarkaari (curries). Namaste. 2779 Commercial Dr., 604-879-9909.
Transylvanian Flavour: Romanian
Eat like a knight at this medieval-style dining room. The Knight’s Platter for two includes kiftele (meatballs), mamaliga (polenta croquettes) and mititei (Transylvanian sausages). 2120 West Broadway, 604-730-0880.
Indulge in modern Indonesian fare, including mainstays like ikan bali (fried fish) and rendang sapi? (beef brisket) or order from the chef’s menu, which changes monthly. Finish strong with the chocolate and avocado parfait. 3488 Cambie St., 604-709-8150.
Image courtesy of roboppy.