Eat the Suburbs: These Are the Best Places to Eat in Burnaby Heights

Six great spots to try in the Burnaby Heights 'hood.

A distinctive neon sign featuring a swinging girl hangs over the Heights, announcing that you’ve arrived somewhere special in North Burnaby. Foodies are sure to have a swingin’ time: the neighbourhood is so densely packed with great eats that our six recommendations come from just three blocks.

Glenburn Soda Fountain

Shake It Off

Glenburn Soda Fountain | 4090 Hastings St.

Time travel for the price of a soda at this retro ice cream shop that looks straight out of an Archie comic. On a Friday night (even in winter), Glenburn Soda Fountain is abuzz with kids from one to 92 slurping up shakes (from $7) and spooning up banoffee splits ($14). Sit yourself on a chrome-rimmed stool at the counter and prepare to be overwhelmed by the selection of ice cream treats, including throwback faves like malts ($9), floats ($8) and classic sundaes (from $5). Glenburn now also makes its own ice cream, which you can purchase to-go for $10 a pint. (The ice-cream sandwiches—priced from $6 and featuring housemade cookies and a thick filling of ice cream—are another excellent grab-and-go treat.) Check the hours on Glenburn’s website before heading over, as they open late in the afternoon and, on some days, only in the evenings.

Anton’s Pasta Bar, conchiglie zio carmeloRed Sauce Revelry

Anton’s Pasta Bar | 4260 Hastings St.

This one is a controversial choice so let’s be clear: this isn’t refined Italian dining. But Anton’s Pasta Bar is a legend in the Heights for one (ahem) big reason: the massive portions. Since proprietor Tony Mauro opened the joint back in 1983, locals have lined up and down Hastings Street for piled-high plates of fresh pasta. If you don’t like waiting, here’s a hack: there’s generally no queue at lunch and you can upgrade your meal to the dinner size for just a few extra dollars—and then feed your family with the leftovers.

Order the conchiglie zio carmelo (lunch portion: $23, dinner portion: $26), which features Italian sausage, chicken, pine nuts and spinach in a white wine sauce topped with chili flakes. The shell pasta is the perfect shape to soak up the sauce and the pine nuts add a perfect crunch. Add pancetta for a small extra charge but big extra flavour. (We also love that every meal comes with a crusty-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside Portuguese bun, sourced just three doors down from Fortuna Bakery.)

Chad Thai

Thai One On

Chad Thai | 4010 Hastings St.

At Chad Thai, the decor is dated, the tables are packed tightly together and there are domestic appliances in the dining room. But trust us: none of that matters. If you’re looking for tasty food and great value, this “Best Thai” winner in Burnaby Now’s 2023 A-list awards is worthy of its title. We particularly love the lunch special (from $16), which includes a bowl of simply delicious chicken broth and a crispy spring roll or deep-fried wontons, plus your choice from nearly 20 traditional Thai rice and noodle dishes. The pad see ew is our go-to order: wide rice noodles sprinkled with big crunchy chunks of carrots and gai lan, as well as egg and your choice of stir-fried chicken, pork or beef in dark soy sauce. The plum sauce that comes with the starters is housemade; ask for extra to throw on top of your main for that sweet and sour final touch.

Cioffi’s Meat Market, Deli and Cucina

Mambo Italiano

Cioffi’s Meat Market, Deli and Cucina | 4156, 4142 and 4150 Hastings St.

Since 1990, Cioffi’s has gradually been taking over the retail block of 4100 Hastings Street and now operates a deli, meat market and restaurant/ catering operation between Gilmore and Carleton avenues. At the deli, locals cram themselves into the narrow aisles to shop the vast selection of pantry essentials, antipasti, cold cuts and cheeses (burrata flown in weekly from Italy, anyone?). Other must-grabs include Mama Cioffi’s tomato sauce, fresh veal ravioli and homemade Italian pork sausages from the meat market. And while it’s not cheap at $38 for two to four servings, Cioffi’s frozen lasagna tastes just like (or maybe even better than?) homemade and comes in meat, pesto and vegetarian options. Don’t feel like cooking? Head next door to Cioffi’s Cucina for ready-to-eat Italian fare like pasta, pizza, panini and more. 

Brokenrice/Chao Mami

Family Ties

Brokenrice/Chao Mami  4088 Hastings St.

Family-owned and -operated Brokenrice has long been the place to go in the Heights for traditional Vietnamese crowd-pleasers like chicken wings, pho and vermicelli bowls. And though it’ll change names this spring to Chao Mami (“Hello, Mom” in Vietnamese) under the helm of manager/son Steven Nguyen, most of the classics will stay on the menu. Nguyen has some tricks up his sleeve, too: new offerings will include dishes like bún riêu (Vietnamese crab noodle soup) and chè bưởi (pomelo sweet soup). As always, though, the jalapeño basil fried chicken wings ($14) are so crispy that you’ll hear each bite you take. Every piece is bursting with flavour; control the spice level with the jalapeños that are loosely chopped and placed atop the dish.

Valley Bakery

Sweet  Valley High

Valley Bakery | 4058 Hastings St.

In 2023, Burnaby residents were heartbroken when Valley Bakery owner Jack Kuyer announced his retirement and the end of a 66-year legacy. But only five days after closing its doors on August 19, this neighbourhood haunt reopened under new management, who have since maintained most of the longtime staff and original recipes—much to the community’s delight. Locals have flocked to this spot for decades to grab quintessential buttercream-frosted birthday cakes, European-style cookies and pastries, freshly baked loaves and traditional holiday favourites like hot cross buns (all made onsite!). We love the cheddar cheese bread ($6) and flaky puff pastry cinnamon butterfly cookies ($6/dozen). 


What to do between meals in Burnaby

Clip in, race on

The Burnaby Velodrome Club is just one of three indoor bike racing courses in all of Canada—and the ideal place to see if all that time on the Peloton has paid off. 

Loop the loop

The trail around Deer Lake is the perfect length for a catch-up with a friend and offers a constantly changing landscape as your backdrop. (Nearby, Deer Lake Park is one of the Lower Mainland’s best outdoor concert venues.) 

Shop til you drop

Balk at the name if you must, but the Amazing Brentwood is, well, pretty sweet. Extensive upgrades (architecturally and programming-wise) have turned this into a true shopping destination—think Sporting Life and H&M Home.