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Chinatown Cooks Through COVID


Gloves, masks, hairnets — check! We visit eateries like Kam Wai on cooking in a pandemic.

You can’t have Chinatown without Chinese food.

On any given day in Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood, there’s the immigrant senior looking for familiar food. There’s the resident from the Downtown Eastside, looking for something hot, affordable and a place to sit.

In the summer, there’s the tourist, looking for a bite of culture. And when it’s time for re-election, there are politicians like Justin Trudeau, looking for a place to campaign.

But in a pandemic, how are Chinatown’s eateries faring without many of these customers?

Tyee reporter Christopher Cheung and photographer Joshua Berson check in with three favourites in the neighbourhood: the cozy classic Gain Wah, the massive 1,000-seat Floata, and dim sum wholesaler Kam Wai.

In This Series



In the Pandemic, ‘Gain Wah’ Keeps Dishing Out Chinatown Classics

First in a series on cooking through COVID in the Vancouver neighbourhood.

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson, 13 Jul 2020



Keeping Chinatown’s 1,000-Seat ‘Floata’ Afloat in the Pandemic

The massive, storied restaurant is doing what it can to keep regulars fed. Part of a series.

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson, 15 Jul 2020



Keeping Calm and Wrapping Dim Sum

Kam Wai’s expertly made frozen food is now in high demand. Part of a series on Chinatown cooking through COVID.

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson, 17 Jul 2020