With over 800 eateries to choose from, hungry visitors don't need to worry about running out of restaurants to visit in Richmond. But while many people gravitate towards well-known places or establishments, there are more than a few highly authentic, under-the-radar hot spots here that only savvy locals and culinary adventurers might know about.
Hidden gem restaurants are a hot topic for foodies, of course. And while the recently released Netflix show Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner saw chef David Chang and comedy star Seth Rogen falling for the meaty delights of Richmond’s HK B.B.Q. Master—which is tucked inside an anonymous-looking parking garage—there are many additional gems to discover in Richmond. Looking for tips? Here are four tasty favourites to get you started.
Tsim Chai Noodles
#50 - 8251 Westminster Hwy
Located in a city centre strip mall, this fancy-free Hong Kong Cantonese restaurant—think bright lighting, striped wooden tables, and highly efficient staff with little time for chit-chat—offers a huge menu of hearty comfort dishes, all prepared in a busy back kitchen located behind steam-streaked glass panels. Take your time perusing the multi-page menu at Tsim Chai Noodles, but be sure to glance at nearby tables to see what other diners are ordering.
You’ll find countless congee, chow mein, and rice-and-meat options to consider. But it’s the piping hot bowls of noodles that satisfy the hunger pangs of many—especially on chilly days when soupy sustenance is required. Hearty bowl additions include fish balls, beef brisket, and deep-fried pork chops. But it’s all about the soft, delectable wontons that bobble in many of the noodle servings here. In fact, once you’ve drained your wonton-filled feast, add some deep-fried wontons to-go as well…then try not to eat them all on the way home.
Don't miss out on the wontons at Tsim Chai. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
8888 Odlin Crescent
Cash and cards
Metro Vancouver is a haven for sushi and sashimi fans. But while discovering your favourite places for Japanese seafood can be a multi-year quest, many conclude their search after finally finding this celebrated husband-and-wife-operated spot. Keep in mind that Sushi Hachi only open from 6:00pm to 9:00pm Tuesday to Saturday, and its handful of tables and counter seats are typically full: book ahead or arrive before 6:00pm and take your chances (weekdays recommended).
It’s worth the wait, though, for a richly authentic experience rarely found in North America. The menu is dominated by exceptionally fresh, expertly sliced sushi and sashimi options that include glistening sushi slivers of squid, scallop, and tuna belly (toro) plus generous sashimi portions of mackerel, seabream, geoduck, and more. First timer? The Chef’s Choice sushi combo (10 pieces plus one roll) is a good idea, but be sure to order some exotic, lesser-known seafood items as well for a rare culinary adventure that’s hard to top in Metro Vancouver.
Two of the Chef's Choice combos. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
Parker Place Food Court, 4380 No. 3 Road
Richmond’s food courts are stuffed to the brim with hidden gems. If you haven’t already discovered them, take some time to find out what’s on the menu at Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre, President Plaza, and more. But don't miss Parker Place. One of the city’s most authentic food counter destinations, it has a tempting array of great-value mom-and-pop operations covering a wide variety of Asian comfort foods.
Among the most popular is Lai Taste, a friendly Vietnamese stand that is almost enveloped by an oversized wrap-around photo menu showcasing multiple dishes, most of them priced below $8. From noodle bowls to spring rolls to curry on rice, it’s easy to tackle your hunger pangs here. But don't miss their Vietnamese subs. From breaded fish to pork cutlet to grilled sausage fillings, your $6 price tag also includes a cup of Hong Kong-style tea or coffee.
Try the Vietnamese subs at Lai Taste. | Photo: John Lee
Richmond Public Market Food Court, 8260 Westminster Highway
The Richmond Public Market is ideal for adventurous foodies. Aside from exploring Asian-focused ground floor vendors specializing in fish, meat, and bakery goodies, you can also head upstairs and discover a popular food court. You’ll find 20 or so counters here serving everything from fresh-cooked dumplings to hearty rice bowls and from heaping Chinese combos to hand-pulled noodles. Choosing what to eat will be your biggest challenge.
But whatever main course you select, save time for a beverage or dessert from Peanuts. This bustling Taiwanese counter serves freshly prepared bubble teas, fruit smoothies (mango recommended), and more. But don't leave without sampling their near-legendary wheel cakes: soft, round confections with a warm batter casing and fillings such as coconut, chocolate, cream, and red bean. Don’t expect the full selection to be available (they can barely keep up with demand at times) but take you chances and try a few: you’ll soon be back for more.
Wheel cakes from Peanuts. | Photo: John Lee