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Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
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The 38 Essential Vancouver Restaurants

Where to slurp oysters, crush dumplings, and enjoy the local bounty

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Ringed by soaring mountains, with gleaming glass skyscrapers reflected in the still waters that surround its downtown core, Vancouver is easy to love, says local food writer Nikki Bayley. Over 40 percent of Vancouver's residents were born outside of Canada, and the city is home to robust Chinese, Indian, and Filipino communities, just to name a few. The thriving urban hub of British Columbia is "a proudly immigrant city," Bayley says. "The combination of chefs from around the world bringing their own culinary traditions to the exceptional produce from the Lower Mainland and superb seafood from the cold clean waters around Vancouver Island has created a delicious and new style of west coast cuisine."

The city's most beloved and vital dining experiences reflect this blend. From traditional soup dumplings to top-notch (and affordable) sushi, Vancouver is spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian dining. Locavore dining is the city's signature. "Casual and super-healthy with an eye to sustainability, the city ticks in time with the sharply defined seasons and everything from spot prawns to ramps are duly fêted," says Bayley. "Add in mushrooming brewery and distillery scenes and an intoxicating variety of wine varietals from the nearby Okanagan and you'll see why Vancouver's reputation as one of the world's best places to eat and drink is more than deserved."

Price per person
$ = Less than 20 CAD (less than 15 USD)
$$ = 20 - 49 CAD (15 - 40 USD)
$$$ = 50 - 100 CAD (40 - 75 USD)
$$$$ = More than 100 CAD (more than 75 USD)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Vij's

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3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Chef Vikram Vij is a huge star in Canada, with a stint as an investor on the reality show for aspiring entrepreneurs Dragon’s Den, and a national range of pre-packaged gourmet frozen curries to his name. Everyone from ex-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to Harrison Ford has waited for a table while enjoying free snacks, thanks to Vij’s no reservations policy. Join the queues and feast on ambrosial curries paired with BC wines and funky cocktails. This is fine dining Indian-style, with local ingredients and painstakingly hand-ground spices. Don’t miss the lamb popsicles. [$$$]

2. The Acorn

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3995 Main St, Vancouver
BC V5V 3P3, Canada

Seasonal produce shines brightly in this softly-lit vegetarian restaurant that strums along happily to hipster beats in the heart of the city’s funky Main Street neighborhood. The menu switches up frequently (save for the show-stopping halloumi in a whisper-thin beer batter with minty smashed peas) and the vegan techniques employed are faultless — who knew that aquafaba (chickpea water) and coconut cream could make everything taste so delicious? The wine list has plenty of lesser-known biodynamic varieties to try and, impressively, the non-alcoholic drinks are given as much consideration as the excellent cocktails. [$$]

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3. Savio Volpe

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615 Kingsway, Vancouver
BC V5T 3K5, Canada

Head up to where Kingsway meets Fraser Street, and you’ll find a bright room full of happy locals scarfing down a very North American take on rustic Italian with big, bold flavors. A roaring apple wood fire grills generous cuts of meat to share, and the pasta is made in-house. Thoughtful touches — like the perfect pre-bottled Negroni poured at the table, the bar top meat slicer that conjures up wafer-thin salumi and other house-cured treats, and pleasingly deft service — make this destination dining. [$$]

Knauf and Brown

4. BETA5

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413 Industrial Ave, Vancouver
BC V6A 2P3, Canada
(604) 669-3336
Visit Website

The madcap flavor fiends at Beta5 consistently create some of Canada’s most exciting chocolates and pastries from their unassuming workshop on an industrial estate near the Main Street Skytrain and Pacific Central station. Must-trys include the Fisherman’s Friend lozenge-infused truffle, which won a Gold Medal at the International Chocolate Awards, and the Polygon chocolate bars. Filled-as-you-wait cream puffs have achieved cult status in the city, with eight signature flavors such as Vietnamese coffee and Raspberry Earl Grey plus seasonal varieties. Summer brings weekly ice cream socials with wild flavor combos. [$]

Official

5. Kissa Tanto

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263 East Pender St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1T8, Canada

The critics’ rave of 2016, this pitch-perfect pairing of Japanese and Italian cuisine comes together in a funky second-story space in Chinatown, a few steps away from its sister crowd-pleaser, Bao Bei. Although the menu is small, the urge to eat it all is huge: the exquisite pasta made in-house; the show-stopping wow of the whole fish served fins and all, puffed hot and crisp from the fryer; the fusion of flavors such as kombu dashi and pecorino dancing seamlessly together in a simple but oh-so-complex salad. Reservations are essential. [$$$]

6. Bao Bei

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163 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Chambar alumna Tannis Ling combined forces with chef Joël Watanabe, who brings his Corsican-Japanese heritage to this popular Chinatown restaurant. It may look like a hipster take on a Chinese brasserie, but the sound of woks crashing in the kitchen speaks to its traditional techniques. Sharing plates are pleasingly well-sized and the cocktails thoughtfully crafted, and — because it’s Vancouver — all meat is local and ethically raised, hormone and chemical-free. Don’t miss local legend Helen’s delicate hand-made potstickers and dumplings — she makes hundreds of perfect dumplings each day — and the appropriately named Kick Ass House-Fried Rice. [$$$]

7. Bao Down

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12 Powell St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Bao Down Snack Bar offers a fun Filipino-inspired lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with funky pan-Asian cocktails in the heart of Gastown, serving up big bold flavors to a booming old-school soundtrack. Out with friends, try the excellent value kamayan platter for the traditional Filipino experience of eating with your hands, or carb up solo on piled-high rice and noodle bowls. There are a few outlets across the city and although it’s excellent cooking with high-quality ingredients, they don’t take themselves too seriously — chicken wings are not only organic and free range but “socially adapted” too, and there’s a Wu Tang Clam dish at the Olympic Village outpost. [$]

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8. L’Abattoir

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217 Carrall St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J2, Canada

In the heart of Gastown, there are so many reasons why L’Abattoir needs to be part of your dining plans: it’s open for dinner and weekend brunch, with one of the city’s most innovative cocktail menus and an excellent happy hour. Make a reservation to enjoy impeccable French technique combined with superb west coast produce in a beautiful room. The sweetbreads are fantastic, and scallops roasted with brown butter a delicate delight. [$$$]

9. Bauhaus

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1 Cordova, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J2, Canada

If you thought German cuisine was heavy-handed then prepare to be dazzled by the deft light touch chef Stefan Hartmann (former owner of the one-Michelin-starred Hartmanns Restaurant in Berlin) has with seasonal organic west coast ingredients at this hit Gastown restaurant. The tasting menu offers excellent value (go nuts and have it with the excellent wine pairings), but if you’re on a budget, the weekly Friday schnitzel and Früh Kölsch $22 combos is one of the best deals in town. [$$$]

10. Pidgin

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350 Carrall St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J3, Canada

Drawing inspiration from the bounty of Pacific Northwest and seamlessly blending that with French techniques and Asian influences, Pidgin’s cuisine unerringly reflects the blurring of the line between East and West in Vancouver. Although perfect for bar snacks — the gochujang chicken wings are the best in the city — and genuinely thrilling for the creative cocktails with ingredients such as toasted rice rum and gunpowder tea gomme, Pidgin’s prix fixe is an exceptional value with eight mini courses of pure inventive delight for $55 per person. Whisky and sake fans will love the selection, and the wine list offers global gems too. [$-$$$]

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11. Wildebeest

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120 W Hastings St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1G8, Canada

Wildebeest is a very Vancouver-ish kind of restaurant, focusing on nose-to-tail cooking using organic-raised animals, sustainable seafood, and seasonal — and often custom-grown or foraged — vegetables. The cocktail menu is terrific and includes drinks designed to be paired with food, the wine list thoughtful, and the cooking table-bangingly wonderful. Save yourself from the impossible tyranny of choice and go omakase and have them decide for you. But insist on the smoked olives, fried chicken, and yeah, do a sherry luge post-bone marrow too. [$$-$$$]

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12. Revolver

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325 Cambie St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1H7, Canada

Enjoy a next-level coffee nerd-fest at one of the city’s best cafes, which rejoices in a dizzying array of brewing paraphernalia and a rotating menu of North American roasters like Victoria’s Bows & Arrows and Ritual from San Francisco. Each cup will be weighed and expertly prepared by the barista team, so if you want speedy, go elsewhere. But, you’ll be missing out on one of the city’s most joyful experiences when you take that first sip of Revolver’s finest. [$]

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13. Meat & Bread

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370 Cambie St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2N3, Canada

Master of the art of picking just one thing, perfecting it, and then consistently doing it better than anyone else, Meat & Bread makes the most divine porchetta sandwich. Sure, there are daily specials too, but if you’ve only got one chance to visit, you’d be a fool to miss out. Juicy tender pork and crunchy skin (ask for extra crackling) comes spangled with a judicious slick of house-made salsa verde then stuffed into a fresh-baked ciabatta roll. Heaven. [$]

14. Chambar

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568 Beatty St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2L3, Canada

After a stint at the Savoy in London, cooking for Mick Jagger, Prince, and a host of other glitzy celebs, Belgian chef Nico Schuermans has created the archetypal Vancouver casual fine dining restaurant. It offers an elegant room, faultless service, and a no-nonsense menu of French/Belgian-influenced classics made with Pacific Northwest ingredients, which you'd be more than welcome to enjoy coming straight from yoga class still in your Lululemons. [$-$$$]

15. Café Medina

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780 Richards St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2L3, Canada
(604) 879-3114
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Medina is a beloved institution thanks to its superb take on Mediterranean brunch flavors, including bright harissa-spiked ground beef, spicy Moroccan lamb meatballs, and the juicy, thick peameal bacon joy of the Wolves Breakfast. Inventive house cocktails are superb, the waffles even better, and the flatbread with mascarpone and black pepper honey is one of life’s simple yet pleasurable joys. Top tip? Avoid 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all costs during the week, as it’s packed — or put your name down and check out the nearby Vancouver Art Gallery instead of standing on line. [$]

16. Hawksworth Restaurant

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801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
BC V6P 1C7, Canada
(604) 673-7000
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Even Vancouverites — who truly wear yoga pants everywhere — dress up when they dine at chef David Hawksworth's excellent restaurant. Everything from the Damien Hirst art on the wall of its outstanding cocktail bar to the gleaming oversized crystal chandelier in the main dining room sets your expectations high for what’s to come. Fortunately, those expectations are effortlessly met with this pitch-perfect exploration of west coast cuisine threaded through with Asian flavors and modern techniques. Unmissable. [$$$$]

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17. Prohibition

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801 W Georgia St, Vancouver
BC V6C 1P7, Canada
(604) 673-7089
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Tucked away in the basement of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is a speakeasy-style bar with live music, swagged velvet drapes, and one of the city’s most creative cocktail lists thanks to head bartender Robyn Gray. Pony up to the handsome bar and order an Inception Negroni, a drink that has boozehounds flying in from as far as London just to try — a stunning drink-within-a-drink of a red Negroni captured in an ice sphere served in a white Negroni. Daily punchbowl specials start at $6 and on-tap cocktail deals soften the price of staying longer. [$]

Nikki Bayley

18. Miku

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200 Granville Street, Vancouver
BC V6E 2E9, Canada
(604) 568-3900
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The food stacks up to the dazzling view at this popular Japanese restaurant overlooking Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains, which specializes in Aburi-style flame-seared sushi. Splurge at dinner for the beautifully presented kaiseki tasting selection, or at lunch get an Aburi sampler. All the fish is sustainable and Miku has one of the best sake lists in the city; try a flight of three paired to match your food. Don’t miss the green tea opera cake for dessert. [$-$$$]

19. Nightingale

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1017 W Hastings St, Vancouver
BC V6E, Canada

In this bright room, spread across two levels, a custom-made pizza oven turns out divine thin-crust pies with a hint of char and creative toppings such as ‘nduja, guanciale, and charred rapini on a San Marzano and fior di latte base. Cal-Med small plates are the order of the day with a hefty selection of vegetable options and crowd-pleasing dishes such as fried chicken and meatballs too. The surprise? This is chef David Hawksworth’s (of the city’s best fine dining restaurant) second spot: casual, good service, and pretty damn wonderful. [$-$$]

20. Tacofino Food Truck

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Burrard, Vancouver
BC, Canada
(604) 559 5254
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Head to Tacofino's Twitter feed to track down this sustainable seafood taco hero and scarf down one of the city’s cheapest — and most delicious — treats for under $10. The Baja fish taco is a crunchy delight with juicy local Pacific cod, crisp cabbage, and spicy chipotle mayo all wrapped up in a soft tortilla. You will need many napkins. Also up for grabs: a tasty array of gringas, burritos, and famous cayenne-spiked Diablo cookies. [$]

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21. Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

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845 Burrard Street, Vancouver
BC, Canada

There are hotel restaurants and there are restaurants in hotels and Boulevard is definitely the latter. Pedigreed chef Alex Chen and team’s inventive take on west coast seafood brings diners into some excitingly experimental territory but never strays far from harmony and balance. It’s a bright, beautiful room to enjoy crowd-pleasing seafood towers or steak-frites, while the service, cocktails, and wine list are all on point. All that plus there's a great daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with cocktails on tap, oysters, and an insanely good wagyu beef Korean galbi dog. [$$$]

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22. Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

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777 Thurlow St, Vancouver
BC V6E 3V5, Canada
(604) 669-1940
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Old-school white linens, fresh, local and sustainable Ocean Wise ingredients, and top-notch friendly service go hand in hand with outstanding value at Joe’s. An unpretentious choice for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch, guests here can dive into fresh-shucked B.C. oysters, piled-high bowls of fresh fried crisp calamari, and buttery miso-marinated sablefish. Dining on a budget? The daily blue plate lunch special clocks in at $10, and there are great dinner deals too. Join the locals for afternoon and evening happy hour oysters and sliders on the suntrap rooftop patio. [$$]

23. CinCin

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1154 Robson St, Vancouver
BC V6E 1B2, Canada

In the summer, there are few places lovelier than CinCin’s tucked-away patio above busy Robson street, but year-round this is simply some of the most elegant and restrained Italian cooking you’ll find in the city. Silky pastas gently kissed with uncomplicated sauces and butter, sustainable and organic meats and fish cooked on a dazzling wood-fired Grillworks Infierno, and seasonal light bright salads — essentially harmony and happiness on a plate, with one of the city’s best wine lists. One warning, try not to fill up on the exceptional bread basket, tempting though it may be. [$$$]

Greg Geipel

24. Kirin

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1172 Alberni St., Vancouver
BC V6E, Canada
(604) 682-8833
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Vancouver is blessed with some exceptional Chinese restaurants and Kirin offers a unique perspective by showcasing the very best local ingredients through a Northern Chinese lens — meaning with big, bold flavors. There’s a daily fresh menu (each of Kirin’s four locations does something different) and they also serve dim sum from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. Don’t miss the spring rolls, which are light, small, and delicate with fillings that change seasonally, and check out the often unusual dumpling combos. [$$]

A photo posted by Gloria Lai (@gl_lai) on

25. Forage

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1300 Robson St, Vancouver
BC V6E 1C5, Canada

If you’re looking for the ideal eco-friendly locavore Vancouver dining experience, you just found it. Few walk the sustainable walk like chef Chris Whittaker and his team, who conjure up locally farmed, seasonal, and foraged menus to pair with all-BC wine, beer, and cocktails served up with sincere hospitality. The energy-efficient gizmos and zero landfill waste records are impressive, but so too is the Turtle Valley Bison bone-in sirloin and the delicate annual treat of Whittaker’s nettle farro grain risotto. There’s also a killer weekend brunch. [$$]

26. Zabu Chicken

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1635 Robson St, Vancouver
BC V6G 1C8, Canada

It’s late, you’re tipsy, and only one thing can put you back on track: Zabu’s wildly addictive Korean-style triple-fried chicken. Sticky and sweet with crunchy light-as-air skin and juicy meat, Zabu chicken comes in two varieties: soy-garlic glazed original, and original hot. Both are fantastic. Mouth-puckering pickles are served pre-bird to get your juices flowing. Embrace the mayhem of the always-packed dark room, lit by screens blaring K-Pop, and suck down a few citrus-spiked bottles of soju to keep that buzz going. [$]

27. The Ramenman

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841 Bidwell St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2J7, Canada

The lower end of Robson near Denman is a hotbed of ramen shops offering everything from deeply layered broths to simple soups with plump noodles or slender curly sprigs. The Ramenman offers up something a little different in a hip minimalist space with a gloriously silky chicken broth, sous-vide pork and chicken, and bright chewy house-made noodles. Vegetarians are catered to with a shiitake mushroom and smoked kombu broth, which can be made vegan by request. On-tap, try the Granville Island sparkling sake and craft beers. [$]

28. Dinesty Dumpling House

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1719 Robson Street, Vancouver
BC V6G 1C8, Canada

After a brisk walk, run, cycle, or paddle around the seawall, make for this modern gem nearby on Robson Street for a comprehensive rundown of some of the city’s tastiest Taiwanese cooking. The xiao long bao, soup dumplings which you can watch being made if you’re waiting for a table, have clean bright flavors, and the whole menu is easily accessible to those who may be unfamiliar with this style of cuisine. [$]

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29. Kingyo Izakaya

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871 Denman St, Vancouver
BC V6G 2L9, Canada

Perfect for a quick lunch after checking out Stanley Park and English Bay, arrive early to bag one of the Deluxe Bento Boxes (only 10 made each day) to eat your way through the menu’s high points. At nighttime, enjoy the exuberant atmosphere and over-order from the far-too-tempting daily changing fresh menu. Seafood favorites such as tuna tataki shine alongside sizzling stone-grilled beef tongue and crisp chicken karaage served up with three kinds of salt. [$$]

30. Sushi Bar Maumi

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1226 Bute Street, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Think the Seinfeld Soup Nazi was harsh? Then you haven't met chef Maumi Ozaki, who presides over this cult omakase spot in the West End — woe betide you if you break his rules. No children allowed, no alcohol for sale, bookings are only permitted by phone, and you must spend at least $20 per person and never take photos of him at work — or of anyone else’s food. Just 30 diners a night spread across three 90-minute seatings get to taste the exceptional seafood that Ozaki brings in five times a week from Japan. Make sure you’re one of them. [$$-$$$]

31. Bella Gelateria

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1089 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Maestro James makes some of the world’s best gelato, and that’s not opinion it’s a fact — he’s won a brace of awards including the 2014 International Gelato Master of the Year in Italy. The Coal Harbour location has insane queues; here, you can grab a table, eat creamy gelato (the delicate rosewater-infused Akbar Mashti, and black sesame are incredible), try the boozy “gelatinis,” and snack on excellent Neapolitan-style pizzas, too. Open till 11 p.m. daily, it’s the ideal spot for late-night dessert after a stroll along the seawall. [$]

32. Blue Water Cafe

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1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver
BC V6B 5T4, Canada

Raw from the sushi bar or cooked from the open kitchen, seafood is the star at this Yaletown institution. Widely acknowledged as one of Canada’s leaders on responsible seafood, chef Frank Pabst and team push the culinary envelope a little each February with their Unsung Heroes festival, which celebrates lesser-loved species, encouraging diners to broaden their palates and try more sustainable seafood such as poached periwinkles and red sea urchin trifle. Year-round, the service is superb, the wine list dizzyingly wonderful, and the BC seafood towers a splurge meal you’ll adore. [$$$-$$$$]

33. Ancora

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1600 Howe Street, Vancouver
BC V6Z 2L9, Canada

If you’ve never tried Peruvian-Japanese food, then here’s your chance in one of the city’s most picture-perfect locations on the seawall overlooking False Creek. The early bird prix-fixe menu offers excellent value and a chance to sample some of the restaurant’s high points, but the real star is the Ancora Glacier: a funky take on a seafood tower. You’ll swoon over the creamy whipped cold causa topped with juicy Dungeness crab and spicy Salt Spring Island mussel escabeche. [$$$]

34. Granville Island Public Market

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1669 Johnston St, Vancouver
BC V6H 3R9, Canada

Sure the aisles are packed with wide-eyed Instagrammers at this popular tourist destination, but there are some jewels to be found here to assemble a superb picnic for watching the boats and paddle boarders on False Creek. Take your pick from delights such as pickled headcheese, succulent mortadella, and punchy salami at the Oyama Sausage Co, then head to Terra Bread to pick up some superb focaccia or baguettes before stocking up on local Salt Spring Island cheeses at Benton Brothers and fresh doughnuts at Lee’s. [$]

35. Farmer’s Apprentice

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1535 W 6th Ave, Vancouver
BC V6J 1R1, Canada

There’s little point in naming must-have dishes at chef David Gunawan’s cozy room on W. 6th as the menu changes daily according to what his suppliers bring. Serving set omnivore and herbivore menus, even in the heart of winter his dishes glow brightly with a sense of the seasons. Vegetables are elevated to the star turn here; pickled and fermented or roasted and smoked, with rare breed meats such as Tamworth pork used sparingly but to elegant effect. Dive into the natural wine pairings and ask if they have the amazing velvety unfiltered Little Farm Cabernet Franc. [$$$]

Andrew Querner

36. Maenam

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1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
BC V6J 1M7, Canada

One of the city’s most exceptional (and hardest working) chefs, Angus An has three other spots dotted across the city, including the noodle bliss of Fat Mao and Freebird Chicken Shack which excels in Asian-style rotisserie. But if you only have time for one, go to Maenam to experience An’s deft flavor-balancing act of sweet, aromatic, citrus, heat, and spice, which creates plate-lickingly great Thai dishes with a BC-twist. With terrific value, attentive service, and a killer cocktail and wine list, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner — and is even good for take away to nearby Kitsilano beach. [$$]

Hamid Attie

37. AnnaLena

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1809 W 1st Ave, Vancouver
BC, Canada

You’ll find plenty of cheffy technique on display at Michael Robbins’ neighborhood restaurant, where the shelves groan with Best New Restaurant awards next to Lego art and Star Wars figurines. On the menu, modern Canadian cuisine draws its influence from the diverse mosaic of the country’s immigrant culinary traditions and flavors by way of home-grown ingredients. Sip on the excellent food-friendly cocktails from Kevin Brownlee, one of the city’s star bartenders, and don’t miss the chocolate-covered fried chicken skin for dessert. [$$-$$$]

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38. Au Comptoir

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2278 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
BC, Canada

Take a trip to an excellent Parisian bistro, by way of the city’s beachside Kitsilano neighborhood, where up-and-comer chef Dan McGee and team are whipping up French standards with BC’s finest produce. Everything from the Monin syrups to the stunning custom-made bar come from France — even the serving staff are mostly French, although with the happy addition of Canadian manners. Open for buttery croissants in the morning to gooey croque-monsieur at lunch and juicy entrecôte-frites with a mouthwatering crisp char at dinner, anytime is a good time for Au Comptoir. [$$]

Official

1. Vij's

3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Chef Vikram Vij is a huge star in Canada, with a stint as an investor on the reality show for aspiring entrepreneurs Dragon’s Den, and a national range of pre-packaged gourmet frozen curries to his name. Everyone from ex-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to Harrison Ford has waited for a table while enjoying free snacks, thanks to Vij’s no reservations policy. Join the queues and feast on ambrosial curries paired with BC wines and funky cocktails. This is fine dining Indian-style, with local ingredients and painstakingly hand-ground spices. Don’t miss the lamb popsicles. [$$$]

3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver
BC, Canada

2. The Acorn

3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3, Canada
Official

Seasonal produce shines brightly in this softly-lit vegetarian restaurant that strums along happily to hipster beats in the heart of the city’s funky Main Street neighborhood. The menu switches up frequently (save for the show-stopping halloumi in a whisper-thin beer batter with minty smashed peas) and the vegan techniques employed are faultless — who knew that aquafaba (chickpea water) and coconut cream could make everything taste so delicious? The wine list has plenty of lesser-known biodynamic varieties to try and, impressively, the non-alcoholic drinks are given as much consideration as the excellent cocktails. [$$]

3995 Main St, Vancouver
BC V5V 3P3, Canada

3. Savio Volpe

615 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K5, Canada
Knauf and Brown

Head up to where Kingsway meets Fraser Street, and you’ll find a bright room full of happy locals scarfing down a very North American take on rustic Italian with big, bold flavors. A roaring apple wood fire grills generous cuts of meat to share, and the pasta is made in-house. Thoughtful touches — like the perfect pre-bottled Negroni poured at the table, the bar top meat slicer that conjures up wafer-thin salumi and other house-cured treats, and pleasingly deft service — make this destination dining. [$$]

615 Kingsway, Vancouver
BC V5T 3K5, Canada

4. BETA5

413 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 2P3, Canada
Official

The madcap flavor fiends at Beta5 consistently create some of Canada’s most exciting chocolates and pastries from their unassuming workshop on an industrial estate near the Main Street Skytrain and Pacific Central station. Must-trys include the Fisherman’s Friend lozenge-infused truffle, which won a Gold Medal at the International Chocolate Awards, and the Polygon chocolate bars. Filled-as-you-wait cream puffs have achieved cult status in the city, with eight signature flavors such as Vietnamese coffee and Raspberry Earl Grey plus seasonal varieties. Summer brings weekly ice cream socials with wild flavor combos. [$]

413 Industrial Ave, Vancouver
BC V6A 2P3, Canada

5. Kissa Tanto

263 East Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T8, Canada

The critics’ rave of 2016, this pitch-perfect pairing of Japanese and Italian cuisine comes together in a funky second-story space in Chinatown, a few steps away from its sister crowd-pleaser, Bao Bei. Although the menu is small, the urge to eat it all is huge: the exquisite pasta made in-house; the show-stopping wow of the whole fish served fins and all, puffed hot and crisp from the fryer; the fusion of flavors such as kombu dashi and pecorino dancing seamlessly together in a simple but oh-so-complex salad. Reservations are essential. [$$$]

263 East Pender St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1T8, Canada

6. Bao Bei

163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Chambar alumna Tannis Ling combined forces with chef Joël Watanabe, who brings his Corsican-Japanese heritage to this popular Chinatown restaurant. It may look like a hipster take on a Chinese brasserie, but the sound of woks crashing in the kitchen speaks to its traditional techniques. Sharing plates are pleasingly well-sized and the cocktails thoughtfully crafted, and — because it’s Vancouver — all meat is local and ethically raised, hormone and chemical-free. Don’t miss local legend Helen’s delicate hand-made potstickers and dumplings — she makes hundreds of perfect dumplings each day — and the appropriately named Kick Ass House-Fried Rice. [$$$]

163 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

7. Bao Down

12 Powell St, Vancouver, BC, Canada