Vancouver's diners, drive-ins, and dives share the spotlight with celebrity chef Guy Fieri

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      I have a soft spot for celebrity chefs. It's probably because my TV at home is permanently glued to the Food Network. So I was pretty excited to hear yesterday that Food Network star Guy Fieri is in Vancouver filming the first international episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

      If you've never seen this show, Fieri travels all over the U.S. seeking out the best of little-known diners, drive-ins, and dives. Often, these restaurants are family-run businesses; sometimes, they're cool '50s-style throwbacks; and once in a while, they're just really kitschy hideouts with cowboy memorabilia crawling up the walls and 10-pound bison burgers on the menu. What’s cool about Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives is that you often find out about places you would've never heard of or typically gone into, and Fieri decorates the show with hilarious little "Fieri-isms" over Beach Boys-style rock music.

      In Vancouver, Fieri has reportedly already visited the newly opened Save On Meats (43 West Hastings) and The Red Wagon (2296 East Hastings Street). He's remained mum as to which other Vancouver spots the show will be filming at.

      If Fieri did his research, I'd expect him to be dropping in on The Templeton (1087 Granville Street) or Hamburger Mary's Diner (1202 Davie Street). Both places have been serving up classic American diner fare (real ice-cream milkshakes, apple pies with a slice of cheddar cheese, all-day breakfast, etc.) to Vancouverites since 1996 and 1979, respectively.

      In terms of dives, or small family-run restaurants, how about Phnom Penh Restaurant (244 East Georgia Street) in Chinatown? This place is a no-frills, communal-table dining, family-run biz, and I have no doubt that Fieri would throw out one of his well-known catch phrases, like "That's money" after taking a bite out of Phnom Penh's amazing lemon and garlic fried chicken wings.

      Fieri might also want to take a bite out of Vancouver growing food cart scene while he's in town. Re-up BBQ's mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich would surely please this grill master. For something different, Fieri might also want to try a Chilean churrasco sandwich at the newly opened Nostradamus.

      What are your favourite Vancouver diners, drive-ins, and dives?

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      Aug 25, 2011 at 12:10pm

      Anthony Bourdain's show already featured Save-on-meats before Mark Brand reno'd it. Hopefully he'll pick something different to feature.


      Aug 25, 2011 at 12:21pm

      Um, Hello?! Sophie's! If he doesn't go there, he misses one of the great diner spots in VanCity.

      R U Kiddingme

      Aug 25, 2011 at 12:24pm

      I like his show although it looks bad for him as a lifestyle of eating burgers. Still, if he or his staff are reading this, check out the Argo (diner with fancy food, only open for weekday lunches in a working class part of town) and the Ting Hung Bakery on Kingsway, which has home made bread and charcuterie to create absolutely delicious foot-long viet subs, just outstanding.

      8 11Rating: -3

      Michelle da Silva

      Aug 25, 2011 at 12:27pm

      I agree with you, R U Kiddingme! The production team of DDD must have a really good cardiologist on speed-dial.


      Aug 25, 2011 at 1:09pm

      Most, if not all, of the real diners, drive-ins and dives in the metro area are long gone. Memphis Blues is a "diner" or a "dive"? Gimme a break. The oh-so-trendy Vancouver food carts? Gimme another break. The run-down, filthy dumps on East Hastings? Sorry, but crappy food badly cooked doesn't qualify.


      Aug 25, 2011 at 1:52pm

      He's going to the Argo Cafe.


      Aug 25, 2011 at 2:39pm

      I've never been to the Argo, but if it is (as described above) a diner with "fancy food" then it isn't a diner ... by definition.

      If the menu offers "a finely minced sirloin patty topped with sliced heirloom tomatoes and arugala on a freshly-baked herb ciabatta bun, with frites drizzled in a red wine reduction", it's not a diner.

      A diner offers "a hamburger with lettuce and tomato, with fries and gravy".


      Aug 25, 2011 at 3:09pm

      Sophie's has potentially the worst overall food of any establishment I have been to in Vancouver. The long lines can be explained only by noting how many people in line are holding maps and guidebooks of the city.


      Aug 25, 2011 at 4:00pm

      Usually the spots he focuses on have some kind of specialty item(s) on the menu that makes the place unique & stand out ... sadly, establishments in Vancouver don't really have many of those.