Richmond has an incredible smorgasbord of tasty food courts to dive into, many of them serving authentic international dishes and offering great value for your dining dollars. But while the courts at Aberdeen Centre, Lansdowne Centre, CF Richmond Centre, and Parker Place have lots of fans, some locals (and savvy visitors) regularly beeline to the lesser-known President Plaza.
Just steps from Aberdeen Canada Line Station, this small, fancy-free upstairs food court is a hidden gem, complete with seven mom-and-pop-style independent stands serving a diverse array of dishes and snacks. With time to spare and a yawning appetite to sate, we dived in and sampled some of the best options. Still hungry? On your departure, save time for a cream puff or two from the wildly popular Little Fox Bakehouse on the first floor.
Northern Chinese is the approach at this stand, located just to your right as you step off the escalator. And while the menu––with dishes from noodle soups to a succulent little beef-packed burger––has handy English translations, the friendly staffers are also more than happy to recommend some of the dishes that regulars have come to love.
Don’t miss: the utterly delicious jianbing is a warm, savoury pancake wrap with crispy edges that was originally created as a regional breakfast staple. Flavoured with chopped green onions and sweet and spicy sauces, then folded in on itself (they’ll also slice it into sandwich-like triangles if you’re sharing), it’s an eggy comfort food classic that quickly wins over many first-timers.
JI XIANG VEGETARIAN CUISINE
In recent years, Metro Vancouver has seen a surge of vegetarian eateries that are just as enticing and satisfying to meat-eaters. But this unassuming, Buddhist-themed stand has been effortlessly achieving the same result for much longer with a huge array of dishes made with veggie ‘beef’ and veggie ‘chicken.’ Not sure which dish to try? Check out the handy gallery of photos dominating the counter.
Don’t miss: the vegetarian BBQ ‘pork’ and ‘beef’ stir-fry dishes are popular here but the golden mushroom with tofu skin hot pot is one of this stand’s top sellers for good reason. Hearty, brothy and echoing the fortifying consistency of Ukrainian cabbage rolls, it’s the perfect dish if you’re starving or there are two of you sharing.
CHEF CONG CONG
A busy, Beijing-flavoured food stand (there are often line-ups here during the lunchtime peak), this one specializes in northern Chinese comfort cuisine. And while the menu includes congee, dumplings, and steamed buns, the trick is to always add a fried bannock-like Beijing doughnut as a tasty side. Keep in mind that if you’re sharing, there will likely be a fight over the final bites of this chewy bread treat.
Don’t miss: the perfect accompaniment to your Beijing doughnut bread, the silken tofu soup here has a delightfully velvety texture and is suffused with a wide array of flavours––including soy, cilantro, pickled vegetables and black fungus. It’s a fortifying treat, and you might want to add a second doughnut to mop it all up.
Tucked towards the back of the food court, this comparatively new counter is framed by menu posters written entirely in Chinese characters. But don’t let that put you off; the staffers here are friendly and happy to explain your options––usually by pointing to the large noodle photo on the back wall. Rather than the brothy bowls most Richmond diners are used to, though, this stand specializes in hot dry noodles, a traditional cuisine from Central China. Spicy, flavourful and surprisingly filling, add some mini, sesame-flavoured Chinese doughnuts to-go.
Don’t miss: dive into an $8 bowl of hot dry noodles here. The tangle of thick noodles is served in a deliciously savoury soy, sesame and chili sauce––while chunks of crunchy pickled vegetables add some brilliantly sharp flavour notes.
Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by Tourism Richmond