"After a long shift in the Tacofino kitchen, I normally head over to The Greedy Pig. It’s a great late-night spot if you’re looking for comfort food in Gastown. I always order the braised pulled pork sandwich, which is delicious and tender, and the barbecue sauce is insanely good. You can’t go wrong with any of the pot pies either."
Recommended by Aidan Keenan, Alden Ong and Ethan Choi, Royal Dinette
"After we finish a dinner service at Royal Dinette, the first thing we want to do is grab a bite to eat at Damso. We usually order the Korean beef tacos, kalbee osso buco (braised short rib) and the pork sausage ddockboki (spicy rice cake). The food is hearty, flavourful and has just the right amount of chili. The beers and sake are cheap too, which is another reason we’ll keep going back."
"All of the kitchen team at AnnaLena try to make it out to Supermarine whenever possible. We think its a great spot; a very laid-back environment with good drinks and food. It’s a local go-to for us at the end of service."
"I always head to Kosoo on Cardero, just off Robson. I go there 'cause the food is fantastic. The chef there, Han is a friend of mine. They do great food and they’re open till 2 a.m. on the weekends—best chicken wings in the city of Vancouver! They’re crispy and Koreans know what they’re doing when it comes to chicken wings. And they have my favourite dish in the city too; it’s a sablefish in a light dashi broth with mochi balls—so fantastic!"
"My go-to place is Lolita’s on Davie Street. I love the cantina concept and the south-of-the-border feel. It has a great late-night vibe: it’s quiet on the street, and then you open the doors to a space packed with people and great music. It’s also the only time I ever have a beer—they have a great selection of imports, and I usually grab an Alhambra (Spanish beer), some pulled chicken and pork tacos and a tortilla soup."
"I love to hit up Maenam after work for its authentic Thai cuisine–and the vegetables are fantastic. The bar area is great and the atmosphere is always alive and energetic. A Halibut Green Curry with holy basil, wing beans and aubergine with a cold Singha beer is the perfect cure to unwind after a long day behind the sushi bar."
"Your neighbourhood probably has a place like the Buckstop, a cozy local watering hole serving barbecue, burgers and fries. But it’s probably not as delicious, nor will it have the talented chef Jodie in the kitchen or the gracious owner Fiona Grieve at the bar. This Southern-inspired saloon is a gathering spot for off-duty chefs, industry folks and night owls looking for simple, well-prepared if not spectacular dishes. Need a bite that’s a literal sponge for alcohol? Try their amazing hush puppies and cornbread served with silky honey butter. Dinner is served until 2 a.m."
"After service, we go to Suika, Kingyo’s sister restaurant on West Broadway. We like the inviting vibe, the staff and of course the food's pretty good too. I get the Hell's Chicken because I'm a glutton for punishment. It’s a a super-spicy dressed karaage, like Japanese buffalo wings."
"Late night we always go to Guu on Thurlow. It’s loud and fun and you can share all the food—and bottomless pitchers of beer! The pork jowl is great, we love the oden and the beef tongue; those are our staples, every time we go we order those three for sure and then whatever’s good off the fresh sheet. Oh, I also love Pidgin, their wings are friggin’ addictive."
"Late-night eats for me means Local in Kits. I like to go and have the crispy chicken sandwich... it’s pretty awesome. I love everything about it; it’s a big piece of chicken, really crispy and so well-balanced. It’s exactly what you need after you’ve finished work. They’re open till 1 a.m. most nights and 2 a.m. on the weekend. You know what, the fish and chips and fish tacos are also pretty good."
"We like going for a burger after work at Upstairs at Campagnolo on Main Street. It’s near our shop and we always have the Dirty Burger. We love it and I get it extra-dirty; there’s just no other way. I love the freshness, that they grind the meat in-house every day, and just how messy it is. It feels like a proper burger. It’s nice to get your hands dirty with something juicy."
Vancouver's top cooks and chefs reveal their favourite late-night dining spots
Spoiler alert: going out for late-night eats doesn’t have to be a shame-spiralling session of bad-decision burgers made with ‘what was I thinking’ mystery meat; although, hey, no judgement from me if that’s exactly what you wanna do once in a while! But there are much more delicious alternatives. You can hit up some legit spots in the city that will slake your hunger with thoughtfully prepared food made with quality ingredients, not something suspect from a can.
We asked some of the city’s top cooks and chefs where they go after service to feed their face. Make a note of these 12 fine spots and transform your late-night dining game.
Nikki Bayley is an award-winning travel writer, guide book author and spirits and cocktail journalist whose work appears in National Geographic Traveller, The Globe and Mail and the Difford’s Guide. A cheese fan, hula hooper and all-round word nerd, she writes regularly for BCLiving about food, drink, spas and everything else that makes life worth living.