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Vancouver and Whistler 2013 Where to Dine Awards

By Tim Pawsey

Readers’ Choice: Whistler

Take the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to discover Whistler, a year-round resort that still sports plenty of post–Winter Games vibes, not to mention an abundance of great tastes, from fine dining to funky pubs to cool après-ski hang-outs.

Bronx Burger with beer-battered onion rings, at Earls. Photo courtesy Earls

Bronx Burger with beer-battered onion rings, at Earls. Photo courtesy Earls

[RELATED: See last year’s Where to Dine Winners]

4222 Village Square, Whistler.
Bearfoot Bistro; Rimrock Cafe.

220-4295 Blackcomb Way, Whistler.
The Keg Steakhouse & Bar; 21 Steps Kitchen & Bar.

The Old Spaghetti Factory
4154 Village Green at Crystal Lodge, Whistler. 604-938-1081.
Earls; Milestones Grill & Bar.

Garibaldi Lift Company
4165 Springs Lane, Whistler.
Longhorn Saloon & Grill; Dusty’s Bar & BBQ.

To see our Vancouver winners, please click here.

To vote for your favourite Vancouver and Whistler restaurants in our 2014 Where to Dine Awards, click here. You could win a fabulous prize package from Rocky Mountaineer and Nita Lake Lodge!

Hot Dates: Eat Outdoors with Araxi’s Longtable Dining Series in Whistler

Araxi’s Longtable Dining Series

August 18
If you’re in the habit of inspecting your food with a magnifying glass—local? pesticide-free? grass-fed? free range?—you can sit back and relax at Araxi’s Longtable Dining Series in Whistler. It’s the ultimate farm-to-table evening: the on-site farmers’ market, cocktail reception and four-course tasting menu spotlight all-natural, local ingredients from Pemberton Valley. Even the liquor is local. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on spectacular mountain and lake views from Rainbow Park, where you’ll you be wining and dining alfresco.—Karina Palmitesta

Vancouver and Whistler Where to Dine Award Winners Revealed

By Tim Pawsey

Readers’ Choice: Whistler

Take the impossibly scenic Sea to Sky Highway to discover Whistler. This year-round resort still sports plenty of post–Winter Games vibes, not to mention a plethora of great tastes, including a wealth of fine and casual dining, funky pubs and cool après-ski hang-outs.


Hot Dining: Araxi Alfresco

Araxi's long table

Local dining is all the rage, and it doesn’t get much more local than feasting in the field where most of the meal’s ingredients were grown. Whistler’s much-celebrated Araxi restaurant is launching the Araxi Longtable @ North Arm Farm outdoor dining series in Pemberton, 20 minutes north of Whistler. Join chef James Walt on Aug. 27 or Sep. 11 for a four-course menu of the freshest food you could ever hope to try. Tickets are $160. Email farmdinner@araxi.com to make your reservation—then get your taste buds ready.—Sheri Radford

The 12 Gifts of Christmas

By Jennifer Patterson

On the first day of Christmas my uncle gave to me a bevvy to toast the season: one bottle of Blasted Church’s Hatfield’s Fuse (at liquor stores).


On the second day of Christmas my father gave to me two made-to-order gifts: including the whisky cave from the newly renovated two-level Louis Vuitton.


On the third day of Christmas my sister gave to me a festive holiday outfit: a red three-piece ensemble from La Vie En Rose.


On the fourth day of Christmas my brother gave to me four event tickets: a pair to The Nutcracker and a pair to a Vancouver Canucks game.

FOUR (Photo by Chictype copyright IStock)

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five golden rings from Tiffany & Co.


On the sixth day of Christmas my mother gave to me art from all six of these First Nations galleries: Douglas Reynolds, Inuit Gallery, Hill’s Native Art, Bill Reid, Spirit Wrestler and Coastal Peoples.

SIX (Photo courtesy Bill Reid Gallery)

On the seventh day of Christmas my cousin gave to me seven treats from Chanel: the seven-piece holiday collection with four eye shadows, a nail polish, lip gloss and blush (available at Murale).


On the eighth day of Christmas my grandmother gave to me a little help in the kitchen with eight local cookbooks: Vij’s at Home, Vancouver Cooks 2, Blue Water Cafe, West, Araxi, Simply Bishop’s, C Food and Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill (at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks).


On the ninth day of Christmas my kids gave to me a reminder of yesteryear: a nine-piece wooden lotus flower puzzle from Dilly Dally Kids.


On the tenth day of Christmas my boss gave to me no excuse to be late for a meeting ever again: 10 timepieces by Ice-Watch (at Zoë Boutiques).


On the eleventh day of Christmas my aunt gave to me a little make-up guidance: the 11-piece Lash Stash kit from Sephora.


And on the twelfth day of Christmas my best friend gave to me 12 misfits: too-cute-for-words felt dolls by Usus, at the One of a Kind Show and Sale (Dec. 9 to 12).


Hot Dining: Wonders of Whistler

Seared Qualicum Bay scallops with chorizo, Pemberton corn and mustard vinaigrette, at Araxi. Photo by Steve Li

Even if mountain biking, ziplining, hiking, bear watching and snowboarding on a glacier aren’t your thing, Whistler still has plenty to offer. The food alone is worth the two-hour drive, at much-lauded restaurants such as Araxi (pictured) and Bearfoot Bistro. Bring a camera—and an appetite.—Sheri Radford

20 Things We Love About Whistler

The gorgeous greens of Whistler Golf Club. Photo by John Henebry courtesy Tourism Whistler

1 Stunningly beautiful golf courses: there’s no better place to try for that elusive hole-in-one.
2 Skiing and snowboarding, even in the summer.
3 A leisurely hike through the mountains followed by a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
4 Flightseeing. The scenery is even more spectacular when seen from the sky.
5 The bustling Whistler Farmers’ Market, which carries produce fresh from nearby farms.
6 Hearing accents from around the world, from both visitors and locals.
7 The pedestrian-only village.
8 Enjoying a cold beer on a restaurant patio.
9 Enough events and festivals to keep you busy every day.
10 Wandering through the many art galleries.

Hikers walk by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Photo by Paul Morrison courtesy Tourism Whistler

11 Friendly locals eager to point a confused visitor in the right direction.
12 Flying through the trees—with the greatest of ease, of course—on a thrilling zipline adventure.
13 A once-in-a-lifetime train trip with Rocky Mountaineer.
14 Dining on award-winning cuisine at Araxi.
15 Guided bear tours with local bear researcher Michael Allen.
16 Discovering the rich heritage of the local First Nations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
17 Gorgeous views. Whichever direction you turn, it looks like a postcard.
18 Buying fresh waffle cones overflowing with giant scoops of ice cream from Cows Whistler.
19 Shakin’ your groove thang at local nightclubs.
20 Anything and everything outdoors, from kayaking to fishing to mountain biking.

Hot Dining: An (Almost) Edible Souvenir

Vancouver Cooks 2

Leading the charge in a rush of cookbooks, Vancouver Cooks 2 (Douglas & McIntyre, $40) is the Chefs’ Table Society’s latest salute to all things culinary, with over 100 new recipes from 70 chefs. Vying for coffee-table space are Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant (Douglas & McIntyre, $45) and Blue Water Cafe Seafood (Douglas & McIntyre, $45), both Gourmand Cookbook Award winners, while stunningly designed C Food (Whitecap Books, $40) is a fitting salute to the contemporary room’s success. Simpler tastes may opt for Barbara-Jo McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet (Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, $13.95). A handy guide on how to make the most of canned seafood of every kind, it even comes with an impressive endorsement from star chef Michel Roux: “Simplement une revelation…I love it!” All are available at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: What’s Cooking

Try your hand at Araxi's menu with this beautifully illustrated cookbook.

Try your hand at Araxi's menu with this beautifully illustrated cookbook

Araxi has been in the media spotlight a lot lately, thanks to Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. On the most recent season of the volatile chef’s popular TV show, 16 chefs vied for the grand prize of a chef job at Araxi. Dave Levey was the ultimate winner, talented and lucky enough to land a position at the venerated restaurant. He will work alongside executive chef James Walt, who recently released a cookbook. Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant (pictured) is the ideal Whistler souvenir, sure to get mouths watering.—Sheri Radford

Hot Dining: Whistler Cornucopia


Delicious meals and libations abound at Whistler's Cornucopia Food and Wine Festival

Delicious meals and libations abound at Whistler's Cornucopia Food and Wine Festival. Photo courtesy Chiyacat/Fotolia.com

The resort town celebrates food and wine in Olympian style at its annual gourmet get-together, Cornucopia (Nov. 12 to 15), with four days of multi-course winemakers’ dinners, chefs’ foraging adventures to local farms, professionally tutored seminars, high-energy after-parties and a wealth of wine tastings. Highlights include the Crush Gala Grand Tasting, now spread over two evenings (Nov. 13 to 14), with 75 wineries pouring; a free Slow Food Artisan Market (Nov. 14, The Westin Resort & Spa); and the Bubbles + Oceans champagne party hosted post-Crush at stylin’ Araxi, in the heart of Whistler Village.—Tim Pawsey

15 Things We Love About Vancouver, August 2009

Courtesy Rocky Mountaineer

1. Travelling by train with Rocky Mountaineer to Whistler or Calgary.

2. Gorgeous jewellery at The Crystalworks Gallery, which also stocks carvings and oversized minerals.

3. Getting our sugar fix with a caramel cupcake at the new downtown location of Cupcakes, at Robson and Thurlow streets.

4. Araxi in nearby Whistler. The restaurant is currently featured on Hell’s Kitchen, the TV show starring chef/tyrant Gordon Ramsay.

5. Watching the competitions at the 2009 World Police and Fire Games.

Courtesy World Police and Fire Games

Courtesy World Police and Fire Games

6. Alsatian flatbread topped with cheese, bacon and onion at DB Bistro Moderne.  Yum.

7. Screaming our heads off on rides at the annual PNE.

8. Grabbing tasty sandwiches-to-go at Cardero Bottega before a leisurely stroll to Stanley Park.

9. The view of downtown as you ride the SeaBus to the North Shore.

10. Reaping the seafood rewards of the West Coast at Coast Restaurant, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, A Kettle of Fish and Tojo’s.

11. Japadogs.  These Japanese-style hot dogs are served with miso, mayo and flakes of seaweed, at the corner of Burrard and Smithe or Burrard and Pender.

12. Sitting on the sand at English Bay and counting the freighters waiting to sail out.

13. The two baby belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium.

14. Buying souvenirs for the 2010 Winter Games, coming here in just six months.

Courtesy Tourism Vancouver

15. Kits Beach, which Forbes Traveler magazine recently named one of the 10 sexiest beaches in North America.