Vancouver’s multicultural makeup boasts of its tempting diversity across cuisines, inspired and curated by one of the most passionate and crazy culinary geniuses in North America (or maybe, even the world). Out of this bounty, the restaurant industry that emphasizes on only the freshest, in-season and locally sourced ingredients, ethically and responsibly harvested meats, distinctive wines, and sustainable seafood has a lot to pamper die-hard foodies.
Is it necessary to give a long introduction?
Or, if you are as hungry as I am, let us dive right in?
Best Restaurants in Vancouver
Here’s our list of the best places to eat in Vancouver.
The cuisine you can go omakase with, without worry. The go-to option for fine dine with wine or take-out to enjoy in your PJ’s. Vancouverites are spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian dining. And for a good reason. You name it, they’ve got it ready to surprise your taste buds.
The epitome of Japanese authenticity is synonymous with Miku in the hearts and tongues of the locals here. All your sushi fantasies will be effortlessly met with their work-of-art Oshi Sushi or you-can’t-go-wrong-with their Signature Miku Sushi Collection. While a lot of reviews will tell you how perfectly the water facing view pairs with your Gokujo Sake, no one would tell you about the rich desserts which are nothing short of confectionary masterpieces. Avoid the dilemma and opt for the Green Tea Opera or the Strawberry Basil Tart. You can also check Top 5 Spots for Best Sushi in Vancouver.
2. Sura Korean Cuisine
1518 Robson St, Vancouver.
The only way this place can disappoint you is by making you wait in line because this place is full of people (and surprises) at all times! From the sweet-spicy tteokbokki to their Mul Naeng–Myeon (cold noodles in tangy beef soup), you are surely going to enjoy this gastronomical roller coaster. Sip on the Korean Black Raspberry Wine if you are feeling adventurous.
1938 West 4th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5
Chef An’s traditional Thai dishes are a breath of fresh air with innovative twists that allow for local, sustainably harvested, organic ingredients wherever possible. This eatery offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options like Green Papaya Salad and stir-fried Purple Eggplant, apart from Crispy Fried Oysters in nahm jim sauce and lobster clay pot with pork vermicelli. The staff operates on the same upbeat vibe as the place itself, and their philosophy of delivering not just Thailand through sustainable food, but the balance of all four flavours- hot, sour, sweet and salty.
4. Sai Woo
158 Pender St E between Main street and Columbia street.
This is one of those places, that no matter what you order for yourself, the order at every other table looks more appetising. Because everything on the menu is so.
Its impeccable service is a cherry atop the Chinese, Asian, Korean, Contemporary, Fusion and Vegetarian-Friendly options they have to offer. Feast on Chongqing-style Pork Ribs or Maple Soy Glazed Brussel Sprouts dusted with parmesan and delicately placed fried shallots. What converts one-time customers to loyal pilgrims of Sai Woo is its crazy cocktail menu with their Jasmine Garden, house-made jasmine and pear cordial, vodka, sparkling wine, and fizzlin’ soda; and Sai Woo Sour- their best seller combines bombay sapphire, benedictine, brandy, ginger syrup, egg whites and lemon. Told you it would be crazy. This is one of the Best Restaurants in Vancouver.
5. Phnom Penh
244 E. Georgia St. Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z7.
Not the Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Although it would feel like you have been transported there through their Baby Lotus stems, tôm viên chiên (deep-fried prawn balls) and their moo moo shakes in Durian and Black Jelly ice crush flavours among many. Their website gives a clear warning beforehand that “you may get seriously addicted to Phnom Penh.” We can’t deny this claim, having ourselves fallen into this tempting trap.
6. Bao Bei
163 Keefer Street, Vancouver
You can’t think of any other place than Bao Bei for the best plate-lickable (or bowl-lickable) Chinese cuisine. This place brings a spark in the eyes of vegetarians and vegans with its paqui-paqui (charred eggplant) and ‘Kickass House fried rice.’ Kickass indeed. Don’t miss their chilli braised pork shoulder and sticky rice cakes. Simple sounding menu, yet an explosion of flavour in every bite.
The city’s fortuitous proximity to the Pacific waters makes sure that the seafood scene in on point, and always fresh. It won’t just be the catch of the day that would satisfy your sea-salt palate, instead, it’s scallops, prawns, lobster, oysters and decedent fish (and chips) that will make you come for more.
7. Blue Water Café
Only the freshest and most sustainable wild coastal species and the finest ingredients enter the kitchen and exit on a plate that will blow your taste buds. With the shrimply irresistible Miso Sablefish or the meaty local Lingcod with chorizo, chickpeas, and smoked-paprika sauce, we won’t blame you for being shellfish enough to not share what’s on your plate. If you want to go all-in, dive into the Shellfish Plateau – with oysters, prawns, mussels, clams, jellyfish (ohooo) and scallop ceviche.
8. Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
845 Burrard Street, Located at the Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
This mega-hyped destination must-go lives up to its name and reputation. From wild BC sidestripe shrimp, albacore tuna tataki, read island mussel escabèche, dungeness crab louie to its snow crab legs, shrimp, local oysters you get to try all in their seafood tower. Yes! A tower. It’s like bringing the ocean to your plate. Can’t get any better than this.
9. Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
1600 Howe Street, Vancouver BC
With its dreamy wood-and-white interiors, light shines from its glass walls and ceilings on their extravagant menu. The dense and buttery textured wild Sockeye Salmon, creamy ocean sweet flavour from the sea urchin and soft-shell crab taco with kaiso seaweed, mango salsa, rocoto, topped with ikura. Do you get what I am sayin’?
Time for freshly shaved truffles, creamy soul-full pasta, and clinking wine glasses. Let’s get your Italian-o-meters out, we are going to taste Vancouver’s take on some classics that get as close to the real deal.
10. Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill (and Enoteca!)
1133 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P6
This place is extra in extraordinary, they deploy the “cucina naturale” approach. The passionate chefs have the Canadian and Italian flags embedded on their aprons as if to remind them each day that their work of culinary art is literally fusing cultures from two proud countries, and bringing smiles on their customer’s faces. A place that offers prosciutto di parma that’s aged 24 months. If that doesn’t scream commitment to offering the most authentic Italian to Vancouverites, I don’t know what does.
11. Ask For Luigi
305 Alexander St Vancouver, Bc Canada V6a 1c4
This tiny and quaint bistro in a still-up-and-coming neighbourhood gives a more homely ambience as opposed to the fine dine floors of Cioppinos. But its pasta, meatballs and selection of wine are unparalleled. If it wasn’t so small and if they accepted reservations, we would be here every day, breakfast through dinner. Okay, maybe that’s a little too exaggerated. But it’s that good.
Les offrandes by these Best Restaurants in Vancouver will make you want to skip your trip to France since you’ve got it all right here in Vancouver.
12. Au Comptoir
2278 W 4th Ave Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8
Au Comptoir is one of the Best Restaurants in Vancouver. Lead by Chef Daniel McGee and Sous-Chef Matt Eaton, this restaurant treats its visitors with contemporary dishes deep-rooted in classic French technique. From the picture-perfect Croissants with its perfect ratio of crispy flakiness to buttery glaze to its house smoked-salmon with chive crème Fraiche on toasted country bread, this is what the French Gods and Goddesses have approved of.
Canadian (Québecois cuisine)
Downtown – 1017 West Hastings Street
Shh…this is David Hawkworth’s casual dining establishment. What’s so special about that you ask? Everything. Listed as one of the city’s tastiest gems by Tourism Vancouver.
14. Notch 8
Downtown – 900 West Georgia St
It’s meticulously nestled inside the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – one of Vancouver’s most historic and iconic buildings. Indulge in the over the top evening high tea, or from-deep-down-under seafood, pair it with the perfect cocktail.
The list is incomplete without…
15. Hawksworth Restaurant
You can keep on scrolling the list of articles, interviews, shows and magazines Chef David Hawksworth and his work has been featured in, and you would still take longer than by the time your food’s on the table. To say his creations are out of this world would be an understatement, so let’s start by saying its incomparable, to begin with. Menus change seasonally, but Hawksworth’s attention to detail never wavers.
3106 Cambie St. Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W2
Synonymous with ‘India’ in Vancouver, Chef Vikram Vij brings to you everything you can imagine, and beyond. Think Ricotta Samosas, wine marinated ‘lamb popsicles’ in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes or Braised grass-fed PEI beef in cinnamon and clove curry. Simply can’t get enough.
Awarded as the number one Vegan restaurant in the world by Big 7 Travel. The food here doesn’t just shine in rainbow colours; it bursts with flavour and full of life. Pickled Pacific crab apples and grilled cropthrone farm Radicchio, oh and raspberry fruit roll-ups for dessert. As their motto goes- Veggies for The Win!
What do master chefs eat off-duty?
Matthew Stowe, an award-winning cookbook author says
“On a day off, one of my favourite places to go for a meal with my wife is Bacchus Bistro at South Langley. They have a great pork rillettes dish and the setting is fantastic. It’s like being in the Okanagan or Napa without leaving my own backyard.”
How do they strive to bring something new on the plate?
Ancora’s executive chef Ricardo Valverde told the Georgia State-
“I give people what I would prepare for myself at home. It is what I believe is delicious. When we eat, we eat for research as well. I also have a very international crew that are all very talented, and I pick their brains a lot.”
Which would be the perfect dessert to end my meal on a sweet note?
Big Seven Travel recommends-
Uno Gelato, brought to Vancouver by James Coleridge, one of the world’s most decorated gelato maestros. Homemade cinnamon rolls from Chewie’s Biscuit Co., and Cocowhip, a vegan, gluten, and dairy-free soft serve, topped with raw chocolate brownies, chocolate sauce, hemp hearts, and crunchy cacao nibs from Hey Kokomo.
Hope this list made you grab your car keys and wallet and get on the hunt for your favourite pick from the list. Let us know in the comments below which restaurants you think are worthy to be called as one of the Best Restaurants in Vancouver.
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