Tojo’s and Granville Island – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Paying Homage to the Pacific’s Bounty
Save yourself the cost of an airline ticket to Tokyo and head for Tojo’s, a bright and popular restaurant that is named for its revered chef-owner, an amiable innovator responsible for some of the best sushi Canadian dollars can buy.
The dining rooms’ window tables with their stunning views over False Creek and the North Shore mountains beyond are the obvious choice, but they’re not what you want. Instead, head for the coveted ten-seat omakase (“in the chef’s hands”) sushi counter, where the beaming and energetic Tojo performs his magic with the precision of a surgeon and the faintest Vegas swagger.
Specialties reflect the changing seasons, but tuna and salmon are perennial favorites, consumed at the rate of 300 pounds and 200 pounds, respectively, every week. The waters around Vancouver are rich with king, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink salmon, and Tojo gets his hands on the very best of the lot, maintaining an unwavering commitment to fresh local ingredients. Everything is always handmade, never prepared in advance.
Foodies should also head to Granville Island (a now-gentrified former industrial area beneath the Granville Street Bridge) and spend the morning at Granville Market, one of North America’s best, brimming with seafood, meats, and wines from the province’s vineyards – the finest British Columbia has to offer. Its food court reflects the cross-pollination of Canada’s most ethnically diverse city.