There is a vibrant food scene happening now in Vancouver, WA restaurants. Yes, there is another Vancouver and it is in the U.S. Many don’t know any other Vancouver than the Canadian city with the same name.
With the opening of the new waterfront, Vancouver, WA has become a destination of its own- out of the shadow of the larger city across the Columbia River. The waterfront and downtown areas draw folks down to wine, dine, and wander amongst the miles of walking trails.
These restaurants in Vancouver, WA are five of my favorites. There is a selection of flavors, something for most everyone’s taste buds. Try them out for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I’m sure you will agree.
5 Must-Try Vancouver, WA Restaurants
777 Waterfront Way, Suite 101 // 360- 718-7701
One of the most recent additions to the Vancouver Waterfront and already a favorite amongst locals, WildFin offers sustainable seafood from the waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska as well as choices of steaks, chicken, burgers, and sandwiches.
The range of seafood is impressive. You may choose from salmon, halibut, snow crab, scallops, mahi-mahi, cod, and scampi. Idaho trout is also featured. Steaks, chicken, and burgers are also offered.
There is also a large selection of appetizers. Choose from a large selection of Oregon and Washington wines and craft beers to complement your meal. Also available are Growlers to Go.
Try the garlic prawns appetizer – jumbo White Pacific Prawns with a delicious garlic cream sauce and artichoke hearts and tomatoes alongside. To enjoy the sauce, cubes of rosemary potato bread are included. Scrumptious.
The Mixed Seafood Grill is a popular entree. Featuring scallops, prawns, and Alaska salmon flavored with lemon garlic vermouth butter and avocado basil lime Verde, it is one of the best seafood restaurants in Vancouver, WA.
Seating is varied, both indoor and patio seating. The views from the waterfront and breezy marine air add to the atmosphere. There is also a large window behind the bar that can open up to the fresh marine air.
WildFin partners with Smart Catch, the James Beard Foundation that promotes sustainable seafood. With so much of the world waters in peril from overfishing, this is important for our planet’s healthy survival. The label Smart Catch thus identifies restaurants that serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.
801 Waterfront Way, #105 A // 360-450-6211
Calling all wine connoisseurs and small plate fans, Maryhill Winery has become a favorite for wine tasting and small bites. Maryhill offers great food, award-winning wines, and enchanting views of the waterfront.
Perfect for lunch or a light supper, the menu offers a variety from charcuterie boards, salads, sandwiches, and a variety of seafood including prawns, clams, and crab. Finger foods include spicy olive mix and Marcona almonds.
My favorites are the Dungeness crab cakes and Mediterranean sizzle prawns. The crab cakes are without a doubt, the nicest crab cakes I’ve tasted. Thick with juicy crab, very light coating and covered with lemon aioli, they seem to melt in your mouth. Then we heard the sizzle of the Mediterranean prawns coming to our table. A feast for the eyes, the shrimp are dressed in Maryhill white wine and accompanied by olives and lemon. They are cooked to perfection.
The tasting room overlooks the waterfront and has both inside and patio seating.
Maryhill is a tasting room to come to learn about Washington wines. They source the grapes from various areas in the state. The soil varies considerably and affects the taste of the grapes. The wine steward is very knowledgeable and gives a background for each bottle in the flight. Maryhill Winery has won numerous awards and has been named PNW Winery of the Year.
If you are interested, memberships are available. Check into the Cool Club, Taste of Maryhill, or Premium Club. There are distinct benefits to each. Maryhill also offers specials on Memorial Day Weekend (their birthday) and Thanksgiving Weekend.
Just minutes away from the waterfront, the chef at Grey’s is serving some spectacular dishes using ingredients from local farms and gardens. Stop by after a visit to the Farmer’s Market – just a block away.
The menu has a variety of dishes including beef, chicken, seafood, and pork.
My favorites are the small plates – whether for lunch or dinner.
Begin with a delicious soup – either the soup of the day or tasty deep-dish onion soup topped with gruyere. Seafood small plates include molten crab dip, blackened prawns, or seared scallops. The molten crab dip with artichokes, mushrooms, and cheese is served with baguette and chickpea crackers.
My favorite is the blackened prawns – Pacific white prawns lie on a bed of cheddar potato cake and greens, then topped with a roasted butternut cream sauce. Seafood fans also check out the seared scallops. This dish started as a Valentine’s Day Special and has grown into one of the signature dishes. You can also enjoy a large selection of locally crafted beer and wine.
Check out also the unique salads and veggies. New dishes arrive, filled with unexpected surprises. Roasted baby carrots are featured in a delicious dish with a sauce of Greek yogurt, honey, sumac, and pistachios. The salads delight the eyes as well as the taste buds. Ingredients such as pickled beets, Caracas oranges, and candied pecans topped over frisée lettuce impart a wow factor!
If you are more into steak, try one of the Natural Northwest Steaks at 1600 Degrees – offering your choice of top sirloin, New York, rib eye, or tenderloin.
Located in the Vancouver downtown Hilton, Grey’s offers a variety of seating options including inside, overlooking the beautiful Esther Short Park, patio seating and private dining rooms seating between 12 – 18 guests. There is also a bar menu and happy hour specials.
233 W 11th St. // 360-695-7786
Also in the downtown hub, Thai Orchid has long been considered a favorite place to eat in Vancouver, WA. For over 15 years, the family-owned restaurant has been a staple for Thai food. They pride themselves on serving fresh and authentic Thai food.
The extensive menu offers appetizers, soups, salads, stir-frys, curry dishes, noodles and traditional dishes such as pad Thai, Gai E-San (Thai style barbecue chicken) and Pla Tod Rad Prik (shrimp). Appetizers range from spring rolls, salad rolls, fried wontons, vegetable tempura to calamari fries and prawns.
In the soup section, try Tom Yum (Choice of meat/seafood in spicy sweet and sour soup) or Tom Kha (Choice of meat/seafood in coconut milk soup. One of my favorite entrees is the Pad Thai: chicken, shrimp, tofu, onions, bean sprouts, and rice noodles in Pad Thai sauce and garnished with ground peanuts.
Check out also the wide selection of sushi a-la-cart: from squid, salmon roe with quail eggs, tuna, octopus to red snapper and eel. There is also a large selection of house special maki: sushi rolls- cut into 6-8 pieces. The caterpillar roll is a favorite: cucumber, crab, avocado wrapped with salmon and tuna. Topping is spicy mayo and sweet sauce.
There is so much to choose from that you might just have to make several visits!
The setting is relaxed and family-friendly Thai Orchid also offers catering and a private party room. The happy hour receives rave reviews!
101 E. Columbia Way // 360-693-9211
Located within a stone’s throw of the waterfront and downtown, Joe’s Crab Shack is my Canadian family’s favorite when they visit Vancouver. Located alongside the I-5 bridge, there are great views of the Columbia River.
You will chuckle as you peruse the extensive menu. Entrees are listed in various categories: Stay on Shore, Surf & Sand-wiches, Sea Sides, Steam Pots and Crab Buckets, So-Fish-Ticated, Shack Snacks, and Chopped and Souped. The first category, Stay on Shore, offers chicken, steak, and pasta Alfredo. Surf & Sand-wiches offers chicken, steak, shrimp, Mahi-Mahi in sandwich or taco forms. Interested in salmon, catfish, redfish n’ lobster, crab cakes, or Mahi-Mahi? Check the So-Fish-Ticated section.
Our favorites are the SteamPots and Crab Buckets. Joe’s Classic tops the list with Dungeness crab, sweet snow crab, shrimp, and smoked sausage. It is a feast fit for a queen. Tie up the bib offered to you and indulge! The Cajun Steampot is our second favorite: snow crab, cold water lobster claws, shrimp, mussels, and smoked sausage. There are also Crab Buckets offering various sizes of Snow, Dungeness, and King Crab.
With a tiered elevation, each floor has an unobstructed view of the river – it is very pleasant. The atmosphere is fun! We last celebrated a birthday here and the birthday gals were given a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. The staff goes all out to entertain. There is also a fun gift shop.
Which of these Vancouver, WA restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Jo-Anne Bowen is a freelance travel/food writer currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. She was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. As a young professional, she made her first overseas trip with a 6-week university class in Italy. That ignited her love of traveling! Since then, she has traveled extensively to Europe, Asia, South Pacific, Central America, Mexico as well as most states/provinces in both the United States and Canada. She is a member of ITWPA, Travel Massive, and TravMedia. Check out her website: Journeys with Jo-Anne and/or Instagram.