Searching for sushi in Vancouver
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"There are probably more sushi places than hamburger joints," Stephen Wong, a leading Vancouver chef, told The Washington Post. "Even in New York you don't have as much sushi per capita."
All along the coast of British Columbia, salmon, tuna, crab and shrimp thrive in astronomical numbers, leaving fishermen little else to do other than catch several tons of seafood every day. Because of a strong Japanese community in Vancouver, sushi has taken off over the last decade, attracting raw fish aficionados on rail trips in Canada and around the world.
Tojo's Restaurant: The birthplace of the California Roll
Although this could be a rumor, the popular Tojo's Restaurant may in fact be the birthplace of the California Roll. After arriving in Vancouver in 1971, Hidekazu Tojo was at first dismayed when he could not ship any fish from the fertile waters off of Japan's East Coast.
"When I first came, we couldn't get fish from Japan," Tojo told the news source. "So I decided to use local fish. I used salmon skin in place of barbecued eel, and also tuna, which had never been done before."
The California roll, like so many westernized dishes, combines fresh crab with avocado and cucumber - a refreshing morsel for vacationers watching their weight while taking train tours of Canada.
The moment you sit down in Tojo's, you'll know that your evening will be filled with surprises. Typical of Japanese culinary tradition, the chefs at Tojo's create completely unique dishes based on your tastes. Omakase style, which roughly translates to "leave it up to us," ensures that even if you go here every day, no two meals will be the same.
Eating sustainably at C Restaurant
Vancouver practices sustainable fishing methods, which are fully on display at C Restaurant. Partnering with the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise conservation program, which encourages restaurants to provide responsibly fished seafood, C Restaurant has been hailed as "the most original and exciting fish and seafood restaurant this country has ever seen" by The Globe and Mail.
Dishes feature seared scallops, halibut, lobster, salmon and the rare sablefish, all of which are complemented by locally sourced produce like heirloom tomatoes, summer zucchini and baby summer carrots. You can wash down your dinner with a few rounds of refreshing cocktails such as the prickly pear, polish apple martini and a mint julep.
Bargain hunting at Toshi Sushi
Big groups traveling on Canadian rail trips should make their way to Toshi Sushi, the undisputed best wallet-friendly sushi joint in the city. Located in the middle of the young and hip SoMa neighborhood (South of Main Street), the restaurant is incredibly popular among locals looking for a cheap and delicious meal. Notorious for serving authentic Japanese cuisine - not just sushi, but also broiled eggplant and roasted squid - Toshi Sushi serves up a menu that will fill your bellies for less than $20 a person.
The line to get a table often stretches around the corner, but it moves fast because of quick service and a lively staff that will likely give you the boot if you stick around too long. Thanks to salmon being in season practically year-round, you can order local favorites like the mango and salmon roll any day of the year.