For a real taste of Vancouver try the food the locals eat

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When I was travelling to Vancouver, I did a bit of research and began asking people what would be a crime not to taste. The one answer that I kept on hearing was the Japadog – a Vancouver institution these days.

The inspirational folk from Japadog have been dishing out their style of frankfurter sausages in a bun since 2005 to the people of British Columbia’s biggest city. They first set up shop on the corner of Burrard and Smith Streets in Downtown Vancouver and haven’t looked back since. In the eight years that followed they introduced other stands, their first restaurant and their first location in the US. If you’re in the East Village in New York City any time soon head to St Mark’s Place to try one.

You’re probably curious as to what makes these hot dogs so unique. First of all, it’s the names. At any Japadog location you can try a ‘Terimayo’, an ‘Oroshi’ or an ‘Okonomi’. And that’s just the start.

The ‘Terimayo’ is their signature dog. This fusion of Asian and American dishes consists of teriyaki sauce, seaweed and (unsurprisingly) mayonnaise. Go for the ‘Oroshi’ and you’ll be eating a dog with freshly grated radish and a special soya sauce. But maybe it will be the ‘Negisimo’ dog that will tickle your fancy – a juicy turkey sausage with miso sauce and shredded cabbage.

To accompany one of these unique dogs are a range of Asian flavoured fries. You can opt for ‘Aonori’ flavour – fries in the flavour of dried seaweed. If that doesn’t tempt you, you might want to try the ‘Shichimi & Garlic’ variety – fries with roasted garlic with Nanami Togarashi spice that will be sure to boost your rnergy level.

I opted for the ‘Kurobuta Terimayo’ when I tried the hotdog that’s touted as ‘one of the must eat items in the world’. The juiciness of the sausage was what drew me to it. It complimented what I was told was a very tasty sauce. It didn’t disappoint. Neither did the butter and shoyu fries (their most popular flavour).

There are Japadog restaurants all over Vancouver. Downtown, you’ll find the aforementioned one at Burrard and Smith, while other central locations include the stands at Burrard and Pender, at Granville and Pender, and down on the Waterfront at Granville and Cordova. They’ve also locations in Robson and in Richmond.

When doing my homework on what food not to miss in Vancouver, I wasn’t expecting to it to be a Japanese-inspired hot dog. But I was as much intrigued as I was surprised. While it might not have been too kind on the waist line, it was kind on the pocket (they’re inexpensive), provided a new dining experience and was easy to find. All in all a very fulfilling, budget-friendly and tasty experience. What more could you want?

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