The locals' guide to Kensington-Cedar Cottage & Little Saigon

Welcome to the Local's Guide to Vancouver. We're unearthing the city's hidden gems to show you just how satisfying it can be to support local businesses.

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No bánh mi for you

Finally, it's Vietnamese sub time. Tee takes us over to Kim Châu Delicatessen, which is his top pick in the neighbourhood, "where every 5th door you can buy a Vietnamese sandwich." While exploring each and every one would be a tasty undertaking, I'm looking forward to skipping to the #1 spot.

However, it is not meant to be. We're told by the very friendly proprietress that Kim Châu has just run out of bánh mi ingredients. I'm shocked. Tee is saddened. Clearly he isn't the only one clued in to this place's sandwiches. We leave with a consolation prize: bánh cam, which are these amazingly tasty sesame seed-mung bean pastry thingies.

Banh cam: Vietnamese dessert

Freshly baked

Next door is Marché, which Tee designates as the go-to for "upmarket coffee" when such a thing is called for: "It's Sunday morning, your girlfriend's in bed, you come here and bring back coffee and a pain au chocolat."

Inside we meet Hal, who owns Marché. He tells us that all the pastries before us come from their own on-site bakery. They also make a mean latte, I must say.

Marché on Kingsway: This is Hal

Dosas and cricket: A winning combination

We must carry on, as we feel the gravitational pull of... House of Dosas. This South Indian restaurant serves up cartoon-sized dosas as the anchors of its veggie-friendly menu. Bonus: House of Dosas is open 24 hours a day, which makes it ideal for catching international cricket matches.

Tee caught the India-Australia match here, during which the kitchen staff slowly but surely joined the Australian fans at their table once the other patrons left.

House of Dosas

To be perfectly honest, House of Dosas is the primary reason I wanted to cover Kensington-Cedar Cottage sooner rather than later. I had recently found, much to my dismay, that too many of my friends had never been here, never experienced the joy of ripping into a paper-thin dosa. Tragic.

Bulking up

Further down Kingsway we reach Famous Foods, where Tee and his housemates prefer to shop. They're a health-conscious bunch, and they're also keen to avoid generating too much waste in their day-to-day lives. To that end, they like the fact that Famous Foods features bulk foods. Less waste, and you're not paying extra for packaging and advertising.

I see comic sans in the window, though. Can somebody please get on that?

Tee and I part ways. He heads back to the collective house, while I wait for the #19 bus. It's sunny and warm as the afternoon wanes, and I now know the city a little bit better than before. Thank you, Tee; and thank you, Kensington-Cedar Cottage.

Locals-Only Map of Vancouver

Below you'll find all the spots that Tee and I visited, plus a few extra. If you'd like to sponsor our work, we'd appreciate it.

View Locals-Only Map of Vancouver in a larger map

Run this town

Are you the undisputed king or queen of your neighbourhood? Do you know your block like the back of your hand? Prove it! Show us your favorite spots and help us prove that Vancouver isn't just about chain stores and generic family-style restaurants.

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