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Restaurants Vancouver

Vancouver’s Hottest Brunch Spots

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Aug. 2019

Delicious waffles at Café Medina (Photo: Amy Ho)

Forget most important meal of the day—in Vancouver, brunch is the most important meal of the weekend. For proof, just look to the queues (rain or shine) outside the city’s hottest brunch spots. It’s worth the wait at Café Medina, famed for heavenly Liège waffles topped with milk-chocolate lavender sauce and Mediterannean-inspired brunch dishes like tagine. Perfectly poached eggs are on the menu at Yolks . Build your own eggs Benny or add them to French toast—and don’t miss the truffle-lemon hash browns. At Forage, rise and shine to capital-L local and capital-D delicious fare like corned-bison hash or duck-and-kale-topped frittata. There are no sleepy brunch staples at Jam Cafe , where red velvet pancakes are drizzled with cream cheese, and French toast is topped with fried chicken and pickled cabbage. Dishes like croque monsieur and ratatouille with eggs add French finesse to friendly Twisted Fork Bistro . Homestyle-themed Honey Salt brings a farm-to-table approach to everything from potato latkes to chicken and waffles. Try the Monkey Bread with honey bourbon sauce (and thank us later).

A Taste of Greece at Hydra Estiatorio

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2019

Forno flatbread, grilled octopus and tomato salad, at Hydra (Photo: KK Law)

Wander into the luxurious EXchange Hotel to discover newly unveiled Hydra Estiatorio, under a soaring atrium with sunny decor that transports you to the Greek islands. Check in at the long bar for mezzes and creative cocktails. Or linger over specialties that include forno-roasted leg of lamb, pan-roasted salmon and catch of the day either grilled or baked. Globally sourced vintages include a rare and respectable nod to the home country, including Moschofilero, Assyrtiko and Xinomavro. The cafe downstairs serves light bites and espressos until mid-afternoon, when the wine bar takes over for botanical cocktails, canapés and vino by the glass.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Alto Alfresco: Perfect Outdoor Dining

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

Lift’s picture-perfect patio (Photo: KK Law)

Looking for that perfect table outdoors? Some of the best are out of sight, even upstairs. On the Coal Harbour seawall, Lift Bar-Grill-View  dazzles with panoramic views and all creature comforts. Drop by for lunch of fish ‘n‘ chips or red crab salad sandwich. Linger over dinner of prawns tempura, smoked duck breast or ahi tuna with deep-fried avocado and apple chutney. Well-matched wines play a strong BC suit. Find more uplifting tastes at Joe Fortes , Black + Blue and the Earls on Robson Street. Or, for the ultimate in “elevated” dining, head to Altitudes Bistro atop Grouse Mountain.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Vancouver’s Plant-Based Eateries

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

(Clockwise from L) Medi Benny with enoki mushrooms, savoury Mezze Tasting plates and the Silk Road, at Aleph Eatery (Photo: KK Law)

Home of the 100-mile diet, Vancouver has always been a culinary trendsetter. No surprise that plant-based fare is on a roll. East Side Aleph Eatery’s  Middle Eastern inspirations sport the freshest of regional ingredients, perked up with traditional spices. Standouts include the Silk Road, an appetizer plate of hummus, baba ganouj, labneh, zaatar and honey; crispy potatoes with tahini, roasted peppers and thyme; turmeric cauliflower; cashew coconut curry; and plenty more. The room is airy, relaxed—and truly welcoming. For more formal West Coast fare, head to Main Street’s acclaimed The Acorn. Longest-running vegetarian haunt? Legendary The Naam —since flower-powered 1968.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Get the Scoop: Local Artisanal Ice Cream

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2019

Photo ©Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com

Vancouver has a sweet side—and it’s stocked with artisanal ice cream. Handmade small-batch scoops crafted from local ingredients are common to this trend, as are fun flavour combos and vegan options. Rain or Shine serves up handcrafted flavours like Blueberry Balsamic. On Taco Tuesday, get it in a delightfully messy taco-shaped waffle cone. Expect round-the-block queues at Earnest Ice Cream, where hyper-local, seasonal scoops like Spruce Bud are complemented by classic from-scratch flavours like Salted Caramel. When the folks at Mister say “small batch,” they mean it—everything is made to order using liquid nitrogen. Plant-based and dairy-free gelato in an astonishing number of flavours are Umaluma’s claim to fame. On the other side of the spectrum, La Glace’s pretty parlour churns up French-style scoops, meaning more eggs and more cream. Founded by award-winning gelato maestro James Coleridge, Uno Gelato is always adding new flavours to perennial favourites like Akbar Mashti (saffron) and Amarena Cherry. Sweet stuff.

Superb Sips: A Taste of BC’s Thriving Wine Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Photo ©Klarka0608/shutterstock.com

Fancy a glass of BC pinot gris, pinot noir or bacchus? No problem! But it wasn’t always that way.

The local wine scene is blossoming, in part thanks to a changing climate, but also due to significant advances in viticulture. As well, winemaking expertise from regions around the world has contributed much to BC’s relatively new wine scene. Just 45 minutes from downtown, the Fraser Valley is home to some 15 grape wineries (as well as fruit wineries, cideries and meaderies). They include Chaberton Estate (the valley’s first winery, established in 1991), Township 7, Backyard Vineyards and Vista d’Oro, all in Langley, as well as Abbottsford’s Singletree Winery. Chaberton is also home to a delightful French bistro and ideal lunch stop, adjacent to the vineyard and rolling hills. (more…)

Gastown Con Gusto: Italian Fare at Di Beppe

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Margherita pizza with mozzarella di bufala, and spaghetti amatriciana with guanciale, tomato and pecorino, at Di Beppe (Photo by KK Law)

Just a block from Gassy Jack’s statue, Di Beppe celebrates all things Italian. The lively corner cafe, with its bentwood chairs and intricately tiled floor, is busy all day. Locals drop by for good coffee and a bite of delicious sfogliatelle, or perhaps a bowl of gelato. Come evenings, the buzz spreads to the slightly-more-formal adjacent dining room, with its wide selection of classics: bruschetta with artichoke tapenade and pecorino, plates of steaming carbonara or amatriciana, and tempting pizzas. Flavours are rustic and robust, cocktails authentic (including an easy-sipping Aperol Spritz) and the service genuinely friendly. Inside scoop? Ask about their occasional family-style polenta nights.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

More for Locavores

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2019

Dig into noodle bowls at Harvest Community Foods

In an eco-friendly city known as the birthplace of the 100-mile diet, chef/restaurateur Andrea Carlson is the undisputed queen of local, sustainable fare. Burdock & Co., her destination restaurant on the East Side, is renowned for its dishes made from organic and regional ingredients. Fewer people know about Harvest Community Foods, her tucked-away spot in Chinatown. It combines a gourmet grocery store selling seasonal produce and local artisan foods with a cozy restaurant dishing up hearty rice and noodle bowls (pictured). The bowls change regularly, depending on which local ingredients are available, but they’re always memorable, thanks to Carlson at the helm. Who knew eating sustainably could taste so good?

Hoppy Hangouts: Vancouver’s Craft Beer Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Granville Island Brewing photo by KK Law

Thanks to the craft-beer revolution, a bevy of casual tasting rooms has emerged as neighbourhood anchors. Brewery Creek, near Main and Broadway, was the site of the city’s early industry. Close by, a cluster of modern-day haunts offers plenty of options. (more…)

The French Connection: Interview with Chef Michel Jacob

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

At Le Crocodile, Michel Jacob serves specialties such as filet de boeuf tartare (Photos by KK Law)

In an industry not short of egos, there are few “name” chefs more under-the-radar than Michel Jacob. The unassuming owner of Le Crocodile, arguably the éminence grise of the culinary scene, stays very much in the background—as in, the kitchen. For it’s from here he can ensure that every plate meets or exceeds expectations. (more…)

2019 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Provence Marinaside, the whole Dungeness crab provençale with seasonal vegetables and seven-grain rice is as attractive as it is delicious (Photo by KK Law)

We salute the restaurants and people who make Vancouver such a foodie paradise

By TIM PAWSEY, SHERI RADFORD & CHLOË LAI
MAY 2019

Critics’ Choice

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Provence Marinaside

No one makes more reservations in a year than a hotel concierge. And few have their fingers on the city’s dining pulse as firmly as Vancouver’s Les Clefs d’Or. Always in the loop, they can recommend the ultimate experience—and often secure that hard-to-find last-minute table. This year, their nod goes to Provence Marinaside, a waterside delight on False Creek’s Yaletown shore. Marine-inclined fare marries South of France classics with West Coast flair, such as bouillabaisse, Dungeness crab provençale and olive-dusted seared tuna, using the freshest of local ingredients. Savour smaller bites at the adjacent TWB — The Wine Bar.—TP (more…)

The Sauce Pasta Cafe: Gourmet on the Go

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Apr. 2019

Tasty pasta at The Sauce

The answer to every pastavore’s prayers can be found at The Sauce Pasta Cafe. This tempting gourmet spot serves up dishes just like Nonna used to make—if your Nonna let you mix-and-match your noodles and sauce, that is. Choose from marinara, meat sauce, creamy wild mushroom and more, all made fresh in-house daily, and then pair with your preferred pasta. The best part? It’s meant to be taken out, for enjoying at nearby English Bay, Stanley Park or Coal Harbour. A scrumptious meal in a spectacular setting—no wicker basket required.