This topic contains 33 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Ms.Vader 1 week, 3 days ago.
- August 26, 2019 at 10:28 am #850977
I live about an hour and a half from the border, and whenever I visit I tip the same as I do at home – 20%. Maybe that’s a bit high, according to other posters? It’s what I’m used to and the math is easier.
If you do head south for a day trip and visit say, Seattle, definitely tip 20%. There is a trend in some restaurants to prohibit tips and increase the cost of food so they can actually pay reasonable wages, but establishments that do this make it very clear on their bills. If you don’t see that, tip 20%.August 26, 2019 at 10:29 am #850978
Also I would recommend going to Richmond (suburb of Vancouver) for good dim sum.August 26, 2019 at 10:43 am #850981
Check out what trip advisor says or what our Canadian counterparts say.August 26, 2019 at 11:15 am #850988
I love Vancouver! I used to live in Seattle and my husband and I would drive up there frequently. Have so much fun. I also always tip 20% or even more. I was a server and at that time made like, $4/hr without tips. So it’s just ingrained in my brain-that is how I tip. If I get terrible service, maybe I tip like 18%.August 27, 2019 at 8:56 am #851061
@missd I think that part of the reason for the greater seriousness here is that we’ve had some major cleavages over income inequality and the power dynamics between the wealthy and less well off. I think that tipping issues have kind of become a little bit of a proxy for those types of larger value questions. Many people see the basic dignity of working class and service people being stripped away and that informs their thinking about tipping. Whereas in Canada, which is more egalitarian, tipping maybe doesn’t have the same significance.August 27, 2019 at 9:17 am #851070
Another Canadian here. 15-20% is pretty normal. BC is super liberal and Alberta is super conservative, so I would be aware of that politically, though American politics is generally pretty ok to joke about. Otherwise all the best activities are in the mountains in both provinces and both cities have pretty awesome food cultures. Also Canadian money is multi-coloured, so should be pretty easy to keep track of the bills.August 27, 2019 at 3:48 pm #851078
Another Canadian here. I’ve only ever lived in and around Toronto so I can’t speak for B.C. or Alberta, but I always tip 20% in restaurants. I’ll tip 15% if the service is poor, but not if it’s because of something outside of the server’s control. You’re not going to insult anyone by tipping 15% though, for many Canadians that’s the norm.
Hope you have a great time!August 27, 2019 at 4:55 pm #851079
Vancouver resident speaking. Servers make a minimum of $11.40 an hour by law. Standard tipping is going up. Now 15% is considered the base and most card machines are programmed to make it really hard to tip less than that. They usually have settings for 15, 18, 20, 25 per cent – and they calculate that on the after tax bill (which I am sure is where 18% came from because that’s basically 20% pre-tax). There is a trend for counter service places to try and get you to tip on coffees etc when you pay by machine.
As for where to go – this will depend on if you have a car and where you stay. Yes, Richmond has good Dim Sum. Over the last 15 years, it has become about 75% Chinese but the population of multiple parts of Metro Vancouver is now majority Chinese, so you can find top quality Asian food anywhere. There is also excellent sushi and Poke everywhere (better than Hawaii by far). If you want really fine dining, Hawksworth Restaurant in the Hotel Georgia downtown consistently gets a spot in the top 100 restaurants in Canada. The Salmon House on the Hill in West Vancouver has absolutely stunning views, so if you have a car, I’d go there too. Lots of funky places to eat at more reasonable cost along Commercial Drive just outside downtown and along Main Street. West 4th is a great place to shop and stroll and is close to Spanish Banks beach. Check out Granville Island Market – lots of fun, food and art. Stanley Park (think Vancouver’s version of Central Park) is lovely and the seawall is great to walk along. If you like nature, there is a lot of hiking. (Per posts about politics, people talk about it all the time here. I have yet to find a Trump supporter. We also think US lack of gun control is totally mind-boggling and openly yap about that too. Housing lack of affordability is another big topic here and people will rant away about that. We’re pretty nice, though so feel free to stop people for help if you get lost.)
Calgary is quite different from Vancouver. It reminds me of Texas north: oil and beef. You’ll see people in cowboy hats and boots at the airport. No sales tax in Alberta, so that helps with expenses. Generally, things are more expensive in Vancouver than in Alberta.
Have fun!August 27, 2019 at 5:50 pm #851081
Yeah we had a guy do the same in New Orleans, he got really aggro about the tip and we were so annoyed, we hadn’t even looked at the bill yet! We actually ended up tipping over 20% everywhere because we included tax by accident, the guy had nothing to worry about lol. I guess some people use being foreign as an excuse to be a cheap bastard but at least give us a chance first.
Also as much as we never wanted to talk politics a lot of Americans brought it up unprompted so it may be a mixed bag.August 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm #851088
@CanadaGoose: Hawksworth is amazingAugust 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm #851089
@roxy84 It is good. Are you from Vancouver? If so, you might remember Lumiere, Rob Feenie’s fantastic restaurant on West 10th. I was so sad when he had a fight with the owners and it went under. Hawksworth kind of reminds me of that. Opus is also good (though it’s gone through phases) and Villa de Lupo… There are so many good restaurants here. What are your favourites? I am always on the lookout for new ones.August 27, 2019 at 10:23 pm #851090
@CanadaGoose: technically yes, but I moved to Calgary when I was 12 so any restaurant knowledge is from business/personal trips more recently 🙂
Unfortunately I’m only ever in Van for a day or two so I often hit up the same restaurants that I like lol. Miku and Chambar are some favs. For Calgary I have a lot of great recommendations if you ever get here!