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Restaurants Vancouver

Seasonal Sips in Downtown

Dec. 2018

At Bacchus, warm up with a Candycane Cosmo, spiked with crème de menthe and raspberry liqueur (Photo by KK Law)

Celebrate the holidays in style in the lounge at Bacchus, tucked away in the gorgeously decorated Wedgewood Hotel, where a blazing hearth (one of the city’s few remaining) lures with comfy wing chairs and festive drinks. Relax over a Moscow Mule or Manhattan before dinner in the romantic adjoining restaurant. Shopping at Pacific Centre? Take a much-needed break at nearby Yew Seafood + Bar, which obliges with a warming fireplace and rain-beating drinks. Or while away the day in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, where clubby Notch8 serves a suitably festive tea—that can easily merge into cocktails.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit HiredBelly.com.

Eastside Italian Cuisine

Nov. 2018

Mouthwatering dishes at Savio Volpe include (clockwise from left): broccolini, borlotti beans, chicoria with galiano plum, fettucini integrale, corzetti with tomato pomodoro, and rosemary chicken (Photo by KK Law)

Two popular rooms are testament to Vancouver’s formidable Italian community. A few minutes from downtown, bustling Savio Volpe is a contemporary osteria. Served under its soaring ceiling are vegetable crudo with a hot anchovy-garlic “fondue;” chopped baby kale and romano salad with lemon-pepper dressing; house-made chicken-and-pork agnolotti; and a half chicken from the wood-fired grill. Further east, adjacent to the Italian Cultural Centre, La Piazza Dario is a classic fine dining room with a welcoming Florentine feel. Myriad mainstays roam from linguine di mare to veal scaloppine al marsala to free-range chicken with gorgonzola sauce. The wine list spans the globe but has solid Italian depth.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit HiredBelly.com.

Finny Fare on Granville Island

Nov. 2018

Photo by KK Law

Nestled right under the Granville Street Bridge, overlooking False Creek, The Sandbar is a seafood lover’s delight, featuring a wood-fired grill and a sushi bar all under one roof. Favourites include cedar-planked salmon, alder-grilled sablefish and a cornucopian West Coast seafood hotpot, with fish, prawns, scallops, mussels, clams and more. Weekend brunch lures with a variety of eggs Benedict—choose from back bacon, smoked salmon or avocado and pesto—while the popular weekday happy hour yields good deals on share plates and wines by the glass.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com.

Luxe Lounge: D/6 at Parq Vancouver

Nov. 2018

Gaze out at BC Place Stadium from D/6 Lounge’s picturesque perch inside Parq Vancouver

Seeking the perfect spot for an afternoon escape? Head to D/6. Tucked away on the sixth floor of Parq Vancouver, this lively lounge isn’t just for evening cocktails. The small-bites menu ranges from wings to flatbread to sushi, while the billiards table is enticing at any time of day. See if you can find the hidden room, tucked away behind a bookcase. Or head outside to the rooftop deck, which boasts a truly unusual view, looking up at the spokes of BC Place Stadium. Insider tip: when heading up to the sixth floor, try to ride in the futuristic elevator that feels like stepping inside a disco ball.

Main Street Eats

Nov. 2018

Dishes change seasonally at Campagnolo, but the agnolotti with caramelized zucchini and ricotta filling is a favourite (Photo by KK Law)

Just across from Science World, discover a trio of worthy stalwarts. Campagnolo celebrates the best of Northern Italy. Book in downstairs for arancini, strozzapreti bolognese, or risotto with prosciutto that’s been butchered and cured in-house. But don’t miss the tucked-away bar upstairs. A few steps north, settle in at Bodega on Main, a true Spanish outpost, for tapas such as garlic prawns, grilled chorizo, fried calamari and much more, with a glass of Tempranillo. A few more steps lead to Torafuku, which translates to “lucky tiger” in Japanese. This buzz-worthy haunt epitomizes the city’s vibrant Asian fusion with tongue-in-cheek plates such as The Donald, a char-grilled duck breast with shaved foie gras, and Finding Dory, a sake kasu–marinated halibut. And don’t miss the tasting menu.

Delightful Dining in Gastown

Oct. 2018

Soupe à l’oignon (front) and duck confit (back) at Jules Bistro (Photo by KK Law)

Gassy Jack’s statue presides over myriad cuisines, including faithfully French Jules Bistro. Here, tried-and-true Gallic treats range from lobster bisque, escargots Bourguig-nonne and soupe à l’oignon to moules frites, duck confit and pan-seared salmon Provençal. While happy hour bites and wine specials are a big draw, locals favour the prix fixe menus, enjoyed in a cozy, dark-panelled setting. Foodies head to Coquille, deluxe purveyor of marine cuisine; Bauhaus, which wins accolades for elevated contemporary German fare; and long-running Sitar, for Indian specialties such as tandoori chicken, prawn masala, alu gobi and mutter paneer.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com 

Tasteful Flight at Nightingale

Oct. 2018

Nightingale’s high ceilings and aviary-themed decor are a convivial setting for tapas with a West Coast twist

Close to the Vancouver Convention Centre, Nightingale calls from the towering surrounds of the former University Club. This lively but laid-back spot brims with pan-Canadian flair. Top tastes roam from seared albacore tuna with artichoke salsa verde to bourbon-glazed pork belly with roasted peaches and pistachios. A host of share plates includes a creative pizza list—try the smoked prosciutto, gorgonzola, walnut, arugula and aged balsamic—while smart cocktails, craft brews and the best of BC wines are the order of the day.

Culinary Adventurer: Mijune Pak

Oct. 2018

Mijune Pak takes a break in Coal Harbour Bar, overlooking the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre (Photo by KK Law)

“I’ve always loved food,” Mijune Pak says with a laugh. “I’ve always had a big appetite.” The vivacious Vancouverite doesn’t look like someone who eats for a living. Her slim build, flawless skin and perfectly stylish outfits, always matched with sky-high heels, suggest a model, not a voracious eater who visited 524 restaurants last year. (more…)

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

Not sure where to start when it comes to Vancouver’s craft beer scene? In two of the city’s hoppiest hoods, plenty of local breweries are just a hop, sip and jump away

Oct. 2018

33 Acres

Brewery Creek

Anchored by trendy Main Street, Brewery Creek is the epicentre of Vancouver’s craft brewing revival. It’s a fitting evolution for the historic area, as the city’s first brewery was established here—Vancouver Brewery, in 1889. Now the edgy neighbourhood is studded with chic tasting rooms and more beer varieties than you can shake a stout at.

33 Acres

The pristine aesthetic of this brewery’s tasting room could be lifted from the pages of Architectural Digest magazine, the perfect backdrop for the line-up of approachable brews on tap. Quench your thirst with sips like 33 Acres of Life, a California-common-style beer, or 33 Acres of Darkness, a toasty dark lager. Plus, the extensive menu pleases all palates with espresso beverages and locally sourced bites that range from warm German pretzels to poached eggs to steak sandwiches. 


A rotating roster of small-batch, experimental beers—they’ve brewed more than 100 different varieties so far, and counting—keeps this lively tasting room hopping, while reclaimed wood and zany artwork make it an ideal spot to sit and sip awhile. This is a great place to bend your beer boundaries, but be sure to add the flagship Passive Aggressive to your tasting paddle. Still a fan favourite, the dry-hopped pale ale was the first beer ever brewed here. 

Red Truck

Red Truck

Thirsty? Luckily, finding this no-nonsense brewery is easy—a 24-m- (79-ft-) tall water tower marks the spot. The retro-meets-industrial taproom pours no-fuss favourites like the Road Trip Classic Lager, Czech Point Red Pilsner and Round Trip Amber Ale. If you’re hungry too, pair your sipper with diner-style dishes like loaded hot dogs, chilli, burgers and wings. Or for a throwback treat with an adults-only update, try a beer-and-ice-cream float. 

Main Street

Situated in a cheerful-looking heritage building, this bustling brewery’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls lend it a laid-back feel. A rotating menu of cask-conditioned beers complements seasonal selections and year-round staples, like the Main Street Pilsner and the Old Knights Pale Ale, with its subtle splash of pine and citrus. The casual menu features a range of beer-appropriate bites, like soft pretzels, nachos and tacos, that are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon spent sipping. 

Parallel 49

East Vancouver

More than a dozen breweries and taprooms dot this up-and-coming neighbourhood—also known as Yeast Van—including local stalwarts that led the craft beer charge. Exploring on foot? Note that this area is more spread out than its Brewery Creek counterpart, so plan for longer distances between pints. Other options include tours with companies like Vancouver Brewery Tours (page 64), or doing as the locals do and using pedal power.

Parallel 49

Cartoony labels and tongue-in-cheek names—like the Trash Panda Hazy IPA, Wobbly Pop Pale Ale, and Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest—have been this microbrewery’s calling card since they opened their doors in 2012. The recently revamped tasting room is just as eye-catching: a food truck parked inside the brewery will crush any food cravings, while the rotating taps keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new brews. 

Strathcona Beer Company

This concrete-and-wood-trimmed brewery is decked out with communal tables and cozy booths—choose your seat depending on how friendly you’re feeling. On tap, the ever-changing offerings may include favourites like the well-balanced Premium Pilsner, the lemon-and-mandarin-infused Beach Radler or the hazy N.E. IPA. If you’re planning to stay awhile, the food menu features gourmet thin-crust pizzas, alongside seasonal salads and snacks like popcorn and charcuterie. 

Andina Brewing Company


The yellow façade adorned with the brewery’s female mascot—known as La Pola, after a Colombian heroine who helped the country gain independence—makes this cheerful taproom hard to miss. The South American flavour extends to the brewery, the first in Canada to use Patagonia malt. For the full experience, pair a sugarcane-spiked Melcocha Andean Ale with one of the many varieties of ceviche or plantain chips. 

Storm Brewing

Looking for a truly unique tasting room experience? This pint-sized brewery delivers just that. Established long before the craft beer craze, this unpretentious space is famous for seriously inventive small-batch beers (appropriately called “brainstorms”) that include past pours like Peanut Butter Cup Stout, Cherry Bomb Ale and Pineapple Paradise Pilsner. But take note: this madcap brewery is a gritty, standing-room-only space that offers samples of their beers—no pints or flights—served in plastic cups for a cash donation. Now that’s an experience. 

Little Juke: Fowl Play at its Best

Oct. 2018

Chow down on gloriously gluten-free fried chicken and a whole host of other delicious dishes at Little Juke

Vancouverites have been flocking to Juke in Chinatown ever since it opened two years ago, to devour the crispy fried chicken, spicy coleslaw and French fries. Now local foodies are all atwitter about the second location, in the West End. Little Juke may be smaller than the original, but it has even more mouth-watering offerings, including rotisserie chicken, fried chicken sandwiches, Vietnamese-inspired nuoc cham ribs and mac-and-cheese poppers. Some weekend-morning advice: the early bird gets the fried chicken and waffles, while the sleepyhead gets to wait in line for brunch.

Quintessentially Canadian Cuisine

Sep. 2018

Enjoy dishes such as house-smoked salmon with beets, crème fraîche and fingerling chips at Edible Canada (Photo by KK Law)

Right across from the Granville Island Public Market, Edible Canada celebrates all things comestible and Canadian. The patriotic bistro beckons with local and pan-continental tastes, from Dungeness crab risotto to Northern Alberta elk tartare to wild BC salmon with miso-apple butter. Ingredients are always sustainably sourced and seafood dishes certified Ocean Wise, while smaller, hard-to-find Okanagan and Vancouver Island producers head the wine list. No time to eat or drink? No worries. An adjoining store yields a trove of easy-to-pack gourmet souvenirs.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Oceanside Eats: Earls Ambleside


Settle in at scenic Earls on Ambleside Beach to enjoy a West Coast ahi tuna salad (front) or spicy tuna roll (back)

A quick trip across the Lions Gate Bridge leads to Earls on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. The shoreside spot sports a different personality from other Earls locations, with more of a California vibe. Right on the promenade, the patio offers views of the bridge and Stanley Park. The menu features classics such as crispy calamari, West Coast ahi tuna salad and Cajun chicken, but also offers vegan-friendly, plant-based options. Topping it off, a beverage list with no shortage of BC purveyors. Tip: hop on the 257 express bus from downtown to bypass traffic.