This is a completely superficial rundown of my first visit (actually 9 days) to Vancouver.
Stayed downtown, so breakfast was either Caffe Artigiano or Templeton. Templeton is great: much of it is organic, free range, etc., perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, good diner coffee. And cheap, especially compared to the crap at the hotel. Wife had blueberry banana pancakes most times, which she raved about. An absolute gem.
Various lunch highlights: great burgers at Elbow Room; variety of gyoza at Gyoza King; poutine at Belgian Fries; duck salad at Nu; curry and pork chop at Guu; a variety of dishes at Rangoli. A couple of times when I was very lazy, and exhausted from too much walking I got take out at a dumpy little place called SushiMaki on Hornby, where the food, though somewhat sloppily presented was fresh, flavourful, and cheap.
Dinners - part of the week it was just my wife and I, who are both very adventurous but she is allergic to seafood; other times choices were made based on other people's tastes/dietary restrictions.
My favorite dinner for 2 was 5 course tasting menu at Fuel. Appreciated that they didn't expect both of us to have the same dishes, so I got to eat a lot of seafood, while she got (and therefore I got to sample) land critters, including a tasty venison tongue. Wife would probably say Bin 941 was her favorite. The phyllo wrapped tenderloin is incredible, as is the duck. Went there twice, as it was just arond corner from hotel. Once just the two of us, once a group of 5 - format works better for two. We sat at the little bar at the edge of the kitchen so we saw how everything was put together. Very entertaining.
Dinner for 7 at Nu was enjoyed by all. The chairs suck though! Not a comfortable place but food makes up for it. And far less expensive than I expected. When wife and I were there for a late lunch (around 2:30 pm), there was an organic produce salesman there giving a presentation to a group of chefs, so we got to listen in. At least as entertaining as watching the gulls.
Two people at Sanafir: interesting concept to do 3 dishes with one protein, regionally inspired Med, Indian, Asian. With each trio, one was amazing, one OK, and one needed to be completely rethought/discarded. Dessert was yummy though (actually, desserts everywhere I tried them were winners - Bin 941 cheesecake was incredible...).
Steaks at Gotham - I guess it's a good steakhouse...if you are into steakhouses. Not something I would have chosen, but the more carnivorous of our group were thrilled.
On one night I was alone for dinner, I went to Tojo's. Expensive, but absolutely delightful. Intricate dishes, delicate flavours, beautiful presentation. My only criticism would be the pacing - a bit too quick, would have liked more time to linger.
Only dissapointment was that we didn't get into Vij's. Tried for dinner one night, got there around 6:30, too hungry to wait for 2 hrs for a table, so ate at Rangoli instead. It was very good - maybe the best samosas we've had, and good enough that we brought a group back for lunch a couple of days later.
Overall, I would most of what we had was very good to great; nothing I would absolutely say no to if offered again.
Places I am disappointed I didn't get to: West, Cobre, Hapa, Guu for dinner), Cru...oh well, there's always next time.