Travellers Deck to Shop and Dine

Comments 99 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was recently giving two packs of the Travellers Deck for review and giveaway. The deck of cards is a “Best 100” list of places to eat and shop in Vancouver.

Travellers Deck

Colour-coded by neighbourhood, the concept is to grab the deck, give it a shuffle, and draw out a random location when you’re ready to hit the town. I looked through and made some observations. Neighbourhoods include: Kitsilano, Downtown, South Main/Cambie Village, South Granville/Granville Island, and Commercial Drive.

The Pros
The deck is great for discovering new places to have breakfast, lunch or dinner around Vancouver and it also offers discounts. For example, if you shuffle and cut the deck finding Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe you can stop on in and get a free root-beer float with your purchase.

The cards are waterproof (handy for Vancouver weather), the website says the reviews are all honest and that no outlet could pay to be a part of the deck, every card has an exclusive discount or incentive and the decks are available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.

The selection for downtown makes up almost half the deck with fewer options available for South Main and Commercial Drive. However, they did manage to include some of my personal favourites. I admit that at first I thought the cards were one-sided and thought that the selection was pretty scarce. However in a moment of true genius I flipped over the cards to reveal even more listings.

Travellers DeckI’ve actually been approached recently by another card deck company that’s doing something similar so this is perhaps a new tourism trend.

The Cons
One thing that threw me off was the “Canadianisms” card which is obviously aimed at visitors. It explains some key terms such as “Canuck”, and “The Grind”. There’s nothing terrible about that, it was just slightly odd but I suppose useful for those who really wanted to know what a “Cougar” is.

The downfall is that updates aren’t too easy to do on the printed cards but Travellers Deck does have an updates section of their website. If they had a iPhone version it would be good, sort of like the shake n’ shuffle Urbanspoon application.

I think they have some nice dining selections and even though some of the suggested retail spots are a little too rich for my blood, it does showcase local stores. The discount on the card also helps ease that a bit, for example you can get 10% off at John Fluevog, 10% off at Zebra Club, 15% off at Gravity Pope.

This old-school method does have its charm though and would be great for people who do not live in Vancouver or those who want to explore other neighbourhoods. Also, not everyone has a smart-phone and being available at major retail outlets gives tourists optimal access to the deck.

The decks can be purchased at outlets like The Bay, Chapters, Pharmasave etc. or online for $11.95.

I’ll be giving away one of my review decks and keeping the other around for when the in-laws visit and we’re looking for a great place to eat, outside of the downtown core perhaps. Travellers Deck has also offered up a gift certificate for Charm Modern Thai, which is listed in the downtown section of the cards. You can read a review of the restaurant on the Chow Times blog.

The Contest

To enter to win a Travellers Deck for Vancouver and a $75 Charm Modern Thai gift certificate leave a comment on this post listing your favourite place to eat or shop in the city.

You can also re-tweet & @Miss604 if you can fit your favourite within a 140 character update.

Update February 8th 2010: The winner drawn is Laura, congratulations!

Fine print: Contest will run until February 8th, 2010.
Disclosure: I received two decks and will be keeping one of them.

99 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. NicoleThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 8:50am PST

    Wow, hard to pick a favourite, but for a great burger…it’s Splitz Grill!

  2. photodreamzThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 8:50am PST

    A little pricey for what they are.
    My question would be do they support multi language?
    French is an official language of canada, and if they want to market
    to “Canadians” or other countries they should include more then just english.
    One thing I’ve found is its difficult to get french tourism material in vancouver.

  3. ColinThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 8:57am PST

    My favourite place to eat in Vancouver has to be East is East, either on Main street or on Broadway. It’s simply delicious, the staff are wonderful and they give free refills 🙂

  4. Miss604Thursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:00am PST

    @photodreamz I did state that they are available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. Was wondering about the French as well though.

  5. Ariane CThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:09am PST

    Favourite place to eat in Vancouver? That’s a tough one. I’ve always found good ambiance and hearty food at The Naam. Could be biased though as it’s close to our home.

  6. photodreamzThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:13am PST

    I see that now. I’m not sure if the french cultural centre has tourist info or not. But I think its a big over-sight on tourism vancouvers part to not make french material available. If you get more inquiries you should suggest this option to the people making this type of thing. May be a niche market.

    We had difficulties finding material for my father in law whos from quebec.

  7. StevenThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:30am PST

    Favorite place to eat in Vancouver would be Guu on Thurlow. Love the izakaya dishes and the ambiance that location provides. The shouting and the liveliness really gives you an unique dining experience.

  8. IneThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:36am PST

    I’m pretty sure my favourite ( right now) would be Au Petit Chavignol. Not too expensive and the food is amazing!

  9. KellyThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:45am PST

    Havana on Commercial

  10. MarkThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:51am PST

    The Grind, at Main and East King Edward. best 24 hour coffee shop in town.

  11. SandraThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:51am PST

    There’s so many choices, but the most memorable has to be West.

  12. klparrotThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 10:19am PST

    Sushi Mart (on Robson across from Capers) serves up some of the best sushi I’ve had, at very reasonable prices. Nice place, too. Decor is simple but interesting, and presentation is well-done. Free tea and miso if you’re eating in.

    Kam’s on Davie is the runner-up. Grab the coupon in the Straight, and you’ll get 2 for 1, which is really more like 4 for 1 considering the portion sizes and already-cheap prices.

  13. JanetThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 10:33am PST

    My favourite place to eat is at Oysi Oysi Japanese restaurant (by Thurlow and Alberni St). Staff are always so friendly there! The menu selection is great.

  14. CynthiaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 10:55am PST

    Great to hear my fave place to eat is Charm Modern Thai and that they;re offering a GC 🙂

  15. melissaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 10:57am PST

    I love going to Bistrot Bistro on 4th. Amazing service and I’ve never had a bad meal.

  16. Melinda WThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:19am PST

    My favourite place to eat is at Guu gastown – trying Guu garden this friday!

  17. Peter LThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:20am PST

    Shanghai River in Richmond.

  18. Rose KThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:26am PST

    The Cannery.

  19. yingThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:31am PST

    Some many good ones. For fast and inexpensive: Kintaro on Denman, ShaLin Noodle on Broadway….. For views: Salmon House on the Hill in West Vancouver, Harizon on Burnaby mountain….

  20. heather joyThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:50am PST

    Favorite place to shop/drool will always be Fluevog – rather then shop it is more like visiting a gallery where you can fondle the art.

    Favorite place to eat I’d like to pick 2. Bandidas on the drive (I heard they are in the deck!) and Presto Panini downtown. Basically the best Mexican and best Italian you can find in our city… according to me at least 🙂

  21. august95Thursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:51am PST

    My current fav is The hub on Mainland. So good.

  22. JeffThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:54am PST

    My fav place to eat in Vancity is Phnom Penh. Nothing better!

  23. StaceyThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:54am PST

    Great review – thanks for posting! 🙂

    My favourite casual place to eat in the city is Modern Burger in Kits (on Broadway). Great atmosphere, even better burgers!

  24. KatieThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:55am PST

    Hmm I love Chambar …

  25. amyfabulousThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:56am PST

    Cafe Medina for Pistachio White Chocolate Mocha, fresh Belgium waffles with Berry Compote and of course one of their signature brunch dishes. Feels like you’re in a cafe in Europe, high energy and welcoming vibe, and definitely a place where “everyone knows your name”.

    Love it!

  26. CommDivaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:57am PST

    My absolute favourite place to eat in Vancouver is Seasons Hilltop Bistro. The food is delectable and the view (from the top of the hill in Queen Elizabeth Park) is truly unparalleled.

    It’s also the first place I dined upon visiting Vancouver ten years ago… and where my husband proposed in 2005.

    I’m not alone in my love for Seasons: Bill Clinton dined there and reportedly loved it. Sarah McLachlan had her wedding reception there. That’s pretty dang good company to be in.

    As for shopping, that’s a toss-up between The Cross in Yaletown and Stepback in Kitsilano.

  27. Joyce LoThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 11:57am PST

    My favourite place to eat is Motomachi Shokudo on Denman St.

  28. SophiaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:01pm PST

    I love Chambar and Cafe Medina! I haven’t tried it yet, but you get 10 percent off with the card. 🙂 Thanks for a great post Rebecca!

  29. chrisThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:18pm PST

    my favourite place to eat in Vancouver is Phnom Penh in Chinatown, order the chicken wings!

  30. MadelieneThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:30pm PST

    My favourite place to eat in Vancouver is probably Banana Leaf in Kitsilano. Great food, good price for the lunch specials and the manager is so nice!

  31. RoslynThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:32pm PST

    Hi! its Ros here from Travellers Deck! Thanks so much for the review Rebecca, great to get your balanced feedback.

    Loving all the suggestions and glad to see that so many people’s fav’s are our fav’s too! Good luck everyone : )

    P.S (if you win, you gotta try the tamarind duck @charmmodernthai. AMAZING!)

  32. KylerThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:46pm PST

    Mmm, so many great places but a favourite is Foundation. Good cheap eats.

  33. Stv.Thursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:58pm PST

    My favourite place? The alibi room, for all the awesome beers, and usually in good company.

  34. JoyThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 12:59pm PST

    If I had to pick one place in Vancouver to eat, and thankfully I don’t, it would be Savary Island Pie Company in West Van, amazing brunch, soups, pies, brownies…

  35. photodreamzThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 1:19pm PST

    Best place to eat. Chilly pepper on Rupert. Best Chineese/Indian I’ve ever had, and reasonably priced.

  36. JenThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 1:27pm PST

    Favourite place to eat is the Pan Pacific Sunday buffet brunch 🙂

  37. JeremyThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 1:28pm PST

    Memphis Blues is one of my favourite places to eat.

  38. SophiaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 2:01pm PST

    I agree Chris, Phnom Penh is one of the best! Butter beef, chicken wings with lemon pepper sauce, moo lychee shakes – I’m hungry!!

  39. PeterKThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 2:12pm PST

    Best place to eat: Zero One Sushi on Pender

  40. Melissa FunkeThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 2:25pm PST

    Definitely LouLou for exquisite accessories!

  41. JohnThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 2:45pm PST

    Ebisu at downtown robson !

  42. NanceThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 3:29pm PST

    fav eats – ajisai sushi, rodney’s oyster bar, phnom penh
    fav shops – the block, club monaco, holt

  43. JulienThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 3:34pm PST

    I adore eating at Nuba Restaurant! Thanks for the contest.

  44. JessicaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 4:22pm PST

    Favourite eat? There’s too many…Van-ya, Gingeri, Sawasdee Thai, Seri Malaysia.

    Favourite places to shop: Holt Renfrew, Sephora, Beautymark, Daiso.

  45. VinceThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 6:13pm PST

    Favorite eats? Too many to name, but when I’m in town I usually wind up at Cheesecake etc. for dessert.

  46. lucThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 6:23pm PST

    Terra Breads on 4th, or Granville island, for their delicious tarts.

  47. LarryThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 6:39pm PST

    Kintaro, because it has become like a bowl of comfort to me.

  48. LiaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 6:39pm PST

    Favourite restaurant? Salade de Fruits Cafe. AMAZING mussels… and with their bread dipped in the ‘soup’? DELICIOUS.

  49. TeresaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 6:53pm PST

    Anything on Robson!

  50. AngieThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 7:45pm PST

    Sign me up! So many good restaurants here, but I love Kingyo Izakaya on Denman.

  51. LBThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:32pm PST

    Samurai Sushi on Davie!

  52. rayThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:44pm PST

    mexican sadwich at Las Tortas on cambie

  53. JasonThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 9:52pm PST

    Earl’s downtown

  54. GloriaThursday, February 4th, 2010 — 10:52pm PST

    i love splitz grill.

  55. MariaFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 12:17am PST

    Front and Co on main street. has the coolest clothes and then next door the nest nick-nacks

  56. AnnFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 7:04am PST

    Bridges, Granville Island

  57. HeatherFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 10:10am PST

    The long table dinner series at the Irish Heather has been my favorite place to eat recently.

    Shopping would be Main St – everything from high end designers to consignment cloths, it’s the perfect mix!

  58. bernita BFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 10:27am PST

    I would love to wn this set; love discoverng new areas of vancouver and Thai is one of my favorite cuisines

  59. Ron K.Friday, February 5th, 2010 — 1:13pm PST

    I’m always down for a good burger! Cedar Cottage Neighborhood Pub, Kings Head Pub, Veras, the list goes on.

    Shopping? Main St. and the Drive.

  60. KathyFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 2:57pm PST

    Favorite place for breakfast….Sophies on 4th…mmmmm….

    As for shopping? Love Main Street…oh so many places in Vancouver…Robson Street is wonderful too…

  61. LarissaFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 3:29pm PST

    Cool beans!

  62. CarlosFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 6:32pm PST

    Humble little Japadog on Burrard is an awesome spot for any famished fellow, regardless of whether he’s a visitor or a local. It’s a Vancouver must, a contemporary classic in my book. 🙂

  63. JennFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 8:00pm PST

    I love Guu in Gastown!

  64. HeatherFriday, February 5th, 2010 — 11:01pm PST

    I love to eat at sanafor; unique plates and greta atmosphere! i would love to win this package

  65. angelaSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 8:57am PST

    My favorite place to eat is Cactus Club. I love the top Canadian beef they use in their steaks.

  66. sandySaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 9:05am PST

    Capers is my fave place to shop for food.

  67. mariaSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 9:13am PST

    Seasons at Queen Elizabeth park

  68. MeaganSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 9:52am PST

    Best place to eat: hmmm gotta say I love Vij’s!

  69. jenn WSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 10:39am PST

    Fav restaurant is Toshi Sushi! Fresh and deliciuos and Count me in for the contest

  70. BonnieSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 11:37am PST

    A favourite restaurant of mine is Bouzyos on Commercial Drive. Yummy Greek food!

  71. SeanSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 12:53pm PST


  72. JenSaturday, February 6th, 2010 — 3:34pm PST

    Guu on Robson. Fun and delicious!

  73. MegSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 12:07pm PST

    Best Greek for value and yum factor in downtown Vancouver…Stephos on Davie. Always busy but worth the wait.

  74. FrankSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 12:48pm PST

    Bo Laksa King around Joyce Skytrain Station is my favourite.

  75. GloriaSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 8:47pm PST

    I love stephos

  76. JaniceSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 9:48pm PST

    My favourite place to eat is the Memphis Blues BBQ.

  77. DebbieSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 9:57pm PST

    Hi, I don’t think I’d pay to have a card tell me where to eat, but I’d still love to win the $75 gift certificate! My favourite place to eat is East is East, either location, but we usually go to Main, since we live near there. We go nearly every week.

  78. KimSunday, February 7th, 2010 — 11:54pm PST

    I would say Memphis Blues for their pulled pork nachos

  79. WilliamMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 1:55am PST

    I would say Bau Chau on Hastings and Slocan it has awesome pho and spring rolls!

  80. SidhuMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 2:00am PST

    My fav restaurant to eat at in vancouver is la terrazza, it has amazing italian food and is sooo romantic! (L)

    FYI: it is a bit pricey so good for special occasions

  81. MaureenMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 10:10am PST

    Sunday brunch at Nu on False Creek -love those apple and pear fritters!

  82. YoonyMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 12:21pm PST

    My favourite place to eat is Guu with Garlic!!

    Please enter me to win!

  83. KatherineMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 1:06pm PST

    My favourite place is Samurai Sushi on Davie. Such good value and great portion size! Guu is also another fun one. In Kitsilano, The Eatery is a fun choice 🙂

  84. SharonMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 1:33pm PST

    My favorite place is Antons.

  85. Michelle WMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 2:01pm PST

    My absolute favourite place to eat in the city is Chambar! Nothing beats a big bowl of moule frites 🙂

    Zakkushi Charcoal Grill on 4th Ave is also a close second… mmmmmm pork and mochi skewers…

  86. TavaMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 3:56pm PST

    The Elbow Room!! For the food the fun and the charity!

  87. LizMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:15pm PST

    Hard to pick just one… but I recently tried Boneta, and it was great!

  88. TeresaMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:16pm PST

    I love Hapas and also the Eatery!

  89. LauraMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:32pm PST

    I’m relatively new to Vancouver and haven’t experienced a lot of the fantastic restaurants or shops around the city, however, among my favorites for delicious food thus far is Cafe Mumbai on Broadway.

  90. willMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:36pm PST

    love the eatery

  91. kelseyMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:37pm PST

    i like lombardos

  92. TomMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 4:53pm PST

    It will be La Brasserie (if we ever get a table!)

  93. LindsayMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 6:26pm PST

    I love shuraku sake bar/bistro
    so good, and the service is awesome

  94. JosipMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 6:40pm PST

    My pick is Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca.

  95. ErinMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 9:34pm PST

    You mean I have to pick one? Yamato for good tasty sushi (used to be around the corner from me), Nuba for just ambiance and good food, Guu because now it is near to me and love it, cafe medina for breakfast, la taqueria for tacos…I have no idea my favourite.

  96. RobMonday, February 8th, 2010 — 10:08pm PST

    Six Acres in Gastown!

  97. Small AgelTuesday, July 27th, 2010 — 7:34pm PDT

    My fave place to shop for food is Capers, nice place:)

  98. alainaWednesday, February 23rd, 2011 — 9:24pm PST

    My fav restaurant would have to be a restaurant called “Vanya”. It’s this amazing japanese restaurant near joyce street in Vancouver. The prices are really reasonable and its the perfect place if you like authentic japanese food. My favorite dish is their barbecue squid, it is a rare dish that I haven’t seen anywhere else and is DELICIOUS! 🙂

  99. cintaWednesday, April 4th, 2012 — 8:03am PDT

    From the choices with your selection of cheesecake tasty recipes, I will very easily make this tasty dessert for any celebration and any tastes.

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