Food Courts Off the Beaten Path

Yaohan Centre (3700 No. 3 Rd., 604-231-0601) Avoid stalls with steam tables and instead try traditional northern food on offer at Lumingchun Food Company—the rice noodles with peanut sauce are excellent. Have a bi bim bap (rice bowl topped with veggies, sliced meat, and egg) at Seoul Express Korean Food; order wonton noodle from Wah Yuen Noodle House; try a Malaysian laksa at Curry House—all are exemplary dishes.

Pacific Plaza (8888 Odlin Cres.) At the tiny food court in the half mall/half office building at Pacific Plaza a small number of operators work staggered hours, ensuring the food is always freshly made. There’s very little English on the menus, which makes ordering a challenge, but be adventurous. We recommend the savoury shredded pork with pickled cabbage and noodles in soup at Swan Kitchen.

Richmond Public Market (8260 Westminster Hwy., 604-821-1888) The always-busy second-floor food court bustles with the most diverse representation of the various styles of Chinese cookery in one location. Have Islamic-influenced halal cooking (we love the cumin-rubbed lamb skewers) at Xin Jiang; try the lamb with hand-pulled noodles in soup at Xian; get dumplings at Bei Jjing Shang Hai Delicacy.