The whole of Vancouver offers a fabulous selection of great restaurants and all manner of cuisines to choose from, so much so that visiting tourists often have a hard time choosing the best place to eat. The number of choices can be overwhelming, but as someone who has visited Vancouver as a tourist on several occasions I have found the best way to choose is to narrow down your choices! Last time I visited the city of mountains and water I opted for dining out in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.
Focusing on Gastown did narrow down our choices but still left us with dozens! This is because Gastown is actually one of the city’s hotspots for dining out, but with all the restaurants focused within just a couple of blocks of streets it makes it quite easy to go from one to the other and check out the menus.
I came along with my husband and parents, so finding a restaurant that suited all of us was going to be a challenge as we do have differing tastes, but we were very happy with the one we ultimately settled on.
Accessed via a side street off of the main Gastown thoroughfare called Water Street, is, in my opinion, a hidden gem. Though getting into this restaurant seems a little odd, any doubts we had quickly disappeared as we came out into the main dining area and found a very warm and inviting atmosphere with terracotta floor tiles, arches breaking up the space, and attractive artwork on the walls.
The restaurant I’m talking about is Al Porto Ristorante and as you may have guessed it’s an Italian restaurant. Going Italian seemed like a great compromise for us, considering the variety of dishes they have on the menu. The dinner menu was packed full of delicious looking dishes from pizza to salad, seafood, pasta, red meats and poultry, and all of the choices we made went down very well.
Prices here are reasonable for the setting and level of service you get (which by the way was excellent); it’s not cheap, but then it’s not stupidly expensive either. In fact, for Vancouver the prices were really pretty good! We hadn’t pre-booked by the way, and although the restaurant was very busy they were able to fit the four of us in quickly and efficiently, though next time I think I would reserve a table in advance to be on the safe side!
Al Porto Ristorante is at 321 Water Street in Gastown, Vancouver. See their website for menus and more information.
Article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com