Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s Restaurant, Vij’s Rangoli, Vancouver, BC, British Columbia, Indian, Owner, Chef’s Recs, Chefs Feed, Where Chefs Eat, Recommendations, Where to eat, Where to drink, Where to shop, Canada, Best Restaurants in Vancouver, Spice, Cookbooks, Vij’s At Home


Chef’s Recs | Vancouver, BC

Ingredients from South China SeasTrading Company | Croissant at Thomas Haas

Photographs courtesy of South China Seas Trading Company | Thomas Haas

Find | Asian Ingredients

Punjab Food Center

It's very ethnic and shows the cultural diversity of the city. It’s not that the people create it that way, it just happened that way. It's a great place to go to a part of Punjabi, Indian traditional style of Indian food.

6635 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5X 3H3, Canada

T: 604.322.5502

South China Seas Trading Company

They do a lot of Asian stuff. They bring in little kaffir lime leaves, green peppercorns and Asian spices that you don’t get anywhere.

1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada

T: 604.681.5402

Find | Pastries

Thomas Haas

Unbelievably great croissants. It's a great, great pastry shop!

2539 West Broadway Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E9, Canada
T: 604.736.1848

998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3T2, Canada

T: 604.924.1847

Sticky Rice Cake at Bao Bei

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Eat | Restaurants

Bao Bei

Chef Jöel Watanabe is taking his food to a different level. He understands spices and flavor. It’s almost like what Vij’s has done with Indian food, modernizing it. It’s a cool room, the space is beautiful and the cocktails are really funky and unique. They do a great job of showcasing the modernness of the food. I like his fried rice and definitely love it late at night with the eggs on it - called Kick Ass House Fried Rice with a toban jian egg.

163 Keefer Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3, Canada


Dosa at Saravanaa Bhavan

Photo Credit: mlinksva [flickr]

Saravanaa Bhavan

It’s a South Indian chain that does really good Dosa (giant, rice crispy crepes), Sambar (spicy Lentil soup) and Idli (steamed rice cakes). It's really complex South Indian food and I think they do a fantastic job.

955 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K3, Canada

T: 604.732.7700


Photograph courtesy of Atithi


The chef is from Calcutta and he's been true to his region. I like their style of cooking, because they haven’t played around with the spices or the style of it. He was a chef in India and then they became an Indian restaurant here, so it’s a little bit more traditional. I’m a big fan of the Dosas, the Sambar, and Idli. He also does really good fish curries with local seafood and rice. His wife works the floor and he is in the kitchen cooking.

2445 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J3, Canada

T: 604.731.0221 (make a reservation)

Coffee at 49th Parallel

Photograph courtesy of 49th Parallel

Drink | Coffee

49th Parallel

The owner of 49th Parallel, Vince Piccolo, started Caffe Artigiano. 49th Parallel is delicious. They have hand-style baristas making coffee. The pastries are really great. His butter croissants are so rich and delicious.

2902 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G3, Canada

2152 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2, Canada

T: 604.420.4900

Drink | Wine

Uva Wine Bar

It's located in the Moda Hotel and I go here quite a bit. The service is really good and the wine list is really focused. If you want to have one little cocktail, a glass of wine or two, something simple and very flavorful, it's perfect for that. It's great if I just want to hang out with a friend and talk. It’s not too loud, since it's more loungy and it's not a total public scene, which I like, especially after I’ve been socializing for six hours already.

900 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 3L9, Canada

T: 604.632.9560

F.E.D. Recs on the Go

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Q. How would you describe your food?

A. My food is who I am as a human being. I spent twenty years of my life in India. I’m a born and raised true Indian at heart. I studied in Europe, in Austria and in Germany, where I worked for the top French chefs.

The style of cooking I do is a blend. I won’t say fusion, but it’s a blend of where I came from. The spices, those Indian flavors combined with where I live, using local seafood, vegetables, wines and flavors and combining who I am.  The restaurant is an extension of me and my wife, Meeru.

Meeru is from Washington, DC, an American born to Indian parents. She is a huge influence and has taken over the kitchen, but the direction comes from both of us. It is who we both are. The restaurant is an extension of our love and our passion towards food.

Q. What is the difference between Vij’s and Rangoli?

A. The food that’s served at Vij’s is served only at Vij’s.  If you want lamb popsicles, you can only get them at Vij’s. If you want that jackfruit, you can only get it at Vij’s. 

Rangoli is a little bit more whimsical, a little bit more fun. Vij’s is the rigid daughter basically with us, doesn’t want to go on a date. It’s modern, but has strong convictions.

Rangoli was created as a daytime Vij’s with lunch and takeout. At Rangoli, we are able to cook for people and let them take it home.

Q. What do you think it is about what you’re doing that really has everyone saying your restaurants are a must hit in Vancouver?

A. This is my love. This is my passion.

When I came to Canada, the only thing that was important for me was to bring the awareness of my cuisine and my culture to the world. I wanted to showcase that Indian food is not just butter chicken and chicken tikka masala. There is so much more to Indian food than that. That’s my motivating factor.

I really don’t worry about what anybody is saying other than the fact that I have stayed true to my goal. My focus has never changed. To be honest, it's like having children. I treat the restaurants as if they are my babies. I created them and I’m going to make sure that they’re well taken care of from a service point of view, from a food point of view, from the ambience point of view, from the music point of view, from the lighting point of view.

Q. You have two restaurants, a cookbook, the frozen foods and you’re there all the time. How does it stay passionate for you?

A. I love people. I love watching people. It’s like I want to be the best host ever. Even when I was a child growing up and people would come over to the house, I used to love entertaining them. I would dance at the time. I would play.

A few years ago, Robin Williams came into the restaurant and he is somebody who doesn’t drink. He’s drinks Chai tea. He probably had like eight cups of Chai. Then out of the blue he goes outside and starts talking and entertaining people. It was not that I asked him, not that I spoke to him about it. That’s just who he was. He entertained people for so long and we were all like, ‘Okay, we’ve got food to bring out,’ and now the wait suddenly went from an hour to three hours because people were not going to get up because they were listening to Robin Williams.

My point being here is that nobody tells you what to do. It just becomes who you are.

Q. Describe the frozen foods that you are doing.

A. Whatever we’ve done, whether it’s the restaurants, cookbooks or the frozen foods, it’s all about bringing more awareness to my cuisine and my culture. The frozen foods are in a bag and the food is all cooked and ready to go. When I was growing up in India, my grandmother and my mother would make dishes like this and give it to me at the train station like when I was traveling between New Delhi and Bombay.

My mother and my father did not want me eating on the streets because you can get sick and the food hygiene is not so good. They also wanted me to have healthy food. The style of cooking that we do is home-style of cooking. I’m not pasteurizing it and I’m not adding anything else to it. This is home-cooked, frozen and you just boil it in the bag.


Vancouver, BC


Photographs courtesy of Vikram Vij


Vij’s Restaurant

Fairview Slopes


1480 W 11th Avenue

Vancouver, BC V6H 1L1, Canada

T: 604.736.6664


Vij’s Rangoli

Fairview Slopes


1488 W 11 Avenue

Vancouver, BC V6H 1L1, Canada

T: 604.736.5711








Recommended By

- Chef Angus An of Maenam in Vancouver, BC

- Chef Joel Watanabe of Bao Bei in Vancouver, BC

- Forager Tyler Gray of Mikuni Wild Harvest in Vancouver, BC

- Salt Harvester Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt Co. in Portland, OR

- Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Recommended By

- Chef Angus An of Maenam

- Chef Joel Watanabe of Bao Bei

- Forager Tyler Gray of Mikuni Wild Harvest

- Salt Harvester Ben Jacobsen

- Jeni Britton Bauer



Vij's at Home: Relax, Honey: The Warmth and Ease of Indian Cooking

Purchase on / Powell’s Books

Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine

Purchase on / Powell’s Books