Oh, Canada! Your city of Vancouver is a Mecca for foodies. Certainly, I ate with gusto at spots like Oru and Goldfish Kitchen. But I quickly learned that you don’t have to spend a bundle to eat like royalty in this fair British Columbian city. Oh, no. Just walk the streets and you’ll find all manner of excellent food–places that might not look like much from the outside but offer food like nothing else.
When I first arrived in Vancouver, I was starving after a long flight. But I arrived in that in-between time–you know, that space between 2:30pm and 4:00pm when many restaurants close between the lunch and dinner rushes. After checking into the charming Sunset Inn and Suites, I asked the helpful staff where I might find some good food, even during that annoying in-between time. Without skipping a beat, they told me to head on over to Thai Basil.
With a faded green awning and only a handful of tables squished into a small space, I probably would have walked on past if not for the recommendation. But once I opened the door, the smell of basil, garlic and curry told me that I made the right choice.
Thai Basil is a casual joint. You order at the counter–and you barely have room to squeeze into a table. And the clientele is as likely to include a well-dressed businessman as a homeless-looking hipster from around the block. But the menu, though small, is fantastic. I went with a bowl of Pad See Ew, thick rice noodles with chicken and broccoli, and was delighted with each and every bite.
It’s probably no surprise that my first trip to Thai Basil was not the last. I found myself drawn back when I wanted a quick, quiet meal during my trip. I look forward to when I can return again.
1215 Thurlow St
Tel. 604 685 6754
Photo courtesy of Kayt Sukel.