Poke – a new crop of food establishments is taking Vancouver by storm, sweeping past the downtown core and into neighbourhoods like Mount Pleasant and Fairview.
While you may be familiar with the poke salad, a marinated fish salad indigenous to Hawaii, you may have also noticed a recent popularity spike when it comes to poke places opening up in Vancouver.
Often small in size, many shops are recognizable for having the word “poke” in their name and appear to have sprung up onto the scene in a short period of time – many establishments opened their doors only a few months ago! And they’re already attracting a devoted following as a healthy fast food fusion alternative.
It’s too early to say whether Vancouver’s smitten infatuation will stand the test of time, but for now, Vancouver’s under the spell of the craze. Whether it will succeed in its quest to colonize sushi and salad lovers, time will tell.
Here is where to get poke in Vancouver.
Vancouver’s first poke shop, located on Robson Street, offers poke in all its possibilities, including poke on rice, as salad, nachos and burrito. For the adventurous, the shop also offers inside-out burritos that come with extreme flavours like Spicy Cheetos and Wasabi Peas. Delivery and catering options are also available. The good news is you don’t have to live in downtown to get a bowl delivered to your doorstep, but the delivery fee does go up the further out you are.
On Dunsmuir and Richards, Pokeritto serves Hawaiian poke with a Japanese twist offering gluten-free sushi burritos, signature rice and salad bowls and customizable options to create your own bowls. As one of the earliest poke places in Vancouver, it’s earned high praise for its quality ingredients, fast service and fair prices.
At this restaurant, it is all about the classic poke bowl with all the mix-in’s, crunch bits, proteins and toppings. And, who can forget the house-made sriracha sauce? A build-a-bowl experience where the price is defined by the number of protein scoops in each bowl. In addition, they also offer signature poke salads and locally brewed kombucha.
Billed as Canada’s first and only Poke restaurant to partner with Ocean Wise, The eatery serves sustainable poke salad using Ocean Wise suppliers. All salads here are made from wild seafood not farmed fish, so those that believe the fish is the best part of the salad will do themselves a service and check out the joint. There are two sizes to choose, Lil’ Guy and Big Guy, with ample proteins to choose from.
They recently opened in Chinatown and offer poke packed with bold flavours. Whether you choose to build your bowl or try one of their chef inspired creations, all of the toppings are subtly seasoned to bring out the fresh flavor of the fish. What’s unique about this restaurant is that they offer poke Panini creations as well that comes with gluten-free option for the sandwich bread.
Look right across the street from the Steam Clock and you’ll spot this shop. You can customize your bowl here with an unlimited number of toppings including fruits like pomegranate and vegetables like pea shoots. If you’re in need of a drink, milk tea is a refreshing beverage. An uncomplicated menu that keeps things short and simple, the shop brings a little bit of Hawaii into Gastown.
The appropriately named station is located right near the Broadway-City Hall stop, making it easily accessible for commuters to pick up a bowl on their way home after work. The establishment keeps things basic, offering patrons the option to customize bowls, making it a good spot for those who already know what they want.
Situated on Broadway, located in Fairview Slopes and South Granville, they offer bowls in three sizes, snack, regular and large, that you can mix up with different bases, proteins, toppings, crunch bits and sauces. For protein, they offer chicken, beef and unagi in addition to the fish selection. For those who like to try themed bowls, they also offer a couple of unique creations that include a vegan option.
Did we miss a place? Let us know in the comments section below.