April 21, 2024

Prime restaurant in Canada is quirky diner in South Vancouver

Just what does it take to be named the absolute best must-try out cafe in all of Canada?

If you are the household powering a humble South Vancouver diner that’s been close to considering the fact that the toddler growth, it absolutely requires a whole lot of coronary heart. And you will obtain this beloved breakfast and lunch location in a most strange place, to boot.

In January, veteran no-frills diner Northern Café & Grill, run by the Mah family, took the selection one particular place in Yelp’s once-a-year position of the Leading 100 Sites to Take in in Canada. 

Courting again to 1949, Northern is 1 of the city’s oldest dining places however in procedure, and judging by its enduring level of popularity, it can be simple to see how it has sustained its standing as a staple for “greasy spoon” eats (and a bit of Chinese fare, also).

Diner found off the crushed path in South Vancouver

Northern Café is positioned on what may look to quite a few a no man’s land – that location south of the railroad tracks and on the financial institutions of the Fraser River at the southern edge of the town around the Knight Avenue bridge. This is a major industrial spot, and the quite definition of “off the crushed route” as considerably as city eateries go that is simply because the modest diner is perched on a 2nd stage in an previous setting up tucked within a lumber yard.

Once you pick your way gingerly as a result of the filth and puddles, the scent of fresh-lower lumber offers way to the distinct aroma of breakfast meals on the grill. Following hanging a right and pushing open up a basic door, the grunts and beeps of lumberyard automobiles fade as Beatles and Sintatra tunes fill the place. Your eyes will not deceive you the flooring are sagging and crooked. 

The walls are protected in handwritten notes from guests from all around the world from Iowa to South Korea, patrons gush about the good foodstuff and congenial provider.

Jimmy and Connie Mah took above operation of the diner in 2008, and their two sons are aspect of the group, too. Raymond, a Crimson Seal-qualified chef, is at the stove, even though brother Richard functions the flooring. 

Café serves all-day breakfast, classic diner lunch plates, and Chinese staples

As the restaurant fills up early a single the latest Friday early morning, the Mahs greet lots of of the company with a warm familiarity it can be clear that for lots of this is a repeat take a look at. Even now, as initially-timers, my 9-yr-previous son and I are designed to feel appropriate at house. We settle in and order up some basic diner grub: French toast with scrambled eggs and bacon for the kiddo, and a veggie omelette with hash browns and toast for me.

“We’ll have to occur again at lunch to consider the other things,” implies my son, and I concur. In addition to the all-day breakfast, Northern is serving up burgers and sandwiches and Chinese staples, like wonton soup, chow mein, and combo plates showcasing sweet and bitter or dry garlic pork. 

Our breakfast order will come out speedy and hot, and with a smile – particularly what you want as you fuel up on a Friday early morning. The food stuff is easy, hearty, and unfussy. 

Northern Cafe is a distinctive location that would seem really irreplaceable. It truly is not so considerably that you go away contemplating you’ve got just experienced the ideal breakfast you have at any time eaten, but that you depart wondering that was simply one particular of the most effective eating out encounters you’ve got probably had in a even though. They are not kidding when they say “our property is your household,” on their web-site – it just feels like a cozy house. The crooked flooring, the old diner structure, and the basic tunes all increase up to a vibe that cannot be produced – not with this kind of pure authenticity. Instantly all those people constructive Yelp assessments that pushed Northern to the top of the nationwide heap make perception. 

As we shut out our bill at the counter, Jimmy Mah phone calls out to my son from the kitchen. “No university currently?” he asks. No, we confess, we are participating in a tiny hooky. The elder Mr. Mah grins. “We’ll see you once more soon?”


Northern Cafe & Grill is found at 1640 E. Kent Ave in Vancouver and is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be sure to be aware the restaurant will be shut for spouse and children holiday seasons from Feb. 26 to March 15, 2023.

Enjoy: Breakfast at the quantity just one-rated Canadian restaurant 


@forkingawesomevia How did this quirky place end up range one particular? We uncovered out. 🎙️ @LindsayWR #forkingawesome #vancouverbc #hiddengems #diner ♬ you are stunning – <3


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