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Where to Eat Vancouver

VIP Dining at No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews


L’Abattoir exterior by Hamid Attie Photography

Mar. 23 and Apr. 27, 2018 History and haute cuisine collide at No. 1 Gaoler’s Mews. Tucked into a 19th-century heritage building, behind local favourite L’Abattoir, the space hosts exclusive evenings once a month, sharing its neighbour’s celebrated chefs and sommelier. These intimate chef’s-table dinners host just eight patrons, who are seated bar-style for front-row seats to the open kitchen and all the delectable drama within. The 10-course menu comes with all the trimmings, including wine pairings and keepsake gifts. It routinely sells out, so act quickly if you want to savour this culinary spectacle.

Singin’ in the Rain: Springtime Activities

Put up your hood and open your umbrella for 20 activities that can be enjoyed rain or shine

Mar. 2018

The seawall is scenic in every weather. (Photo by KK Law)

1. Stroll through Stanley Park. The city’s 400-hectare (1,000-acre) forested oasis is a can’t-miss activity. On a drizzly day, skip the seawall and head into the park’s interior for extra protection from the green canopy above. (more…)

Hooked on Oddfish

Feb. 2018

Hamachi crudo at Oddfish (Photo by KK Law)

Just across Burrard Bridge, lively Oddfish lures with a variety of simple but well-prepared fresh and finny fare. Starters range from lime- and jalapeño-teased hamachi to ahi tuna poke or side stripe shrimp ceviche. Mains yield a wealth of seasonally changing tastes such as ling cod with caponata, seared seabass topped with chermoula, or bowls of nicely spiced mussels or clams, all paired with smartly chosen, eclectic wines. Don’t miss the Hot Mess: a cornucopian romp of a platter piled high with fish and shellfish, topped with a robust salsa verde.

Turn up the Heat With Aburi Prime at Miku

Feb. 2018

Flame-seared nigiri at Miku. (Photo by Mark Yuen)

Bored with regular sushi? Kick it up a notch with Aburi Prime. Newly launched at Miku, this premium flame-seared nigiri includes red tuna, mackerel, salmon, flounder and five other first-rate choices, perfect for newbies or connoisseurs alike. It’s all served with exquisite garnishes on handmade ceramic plates from Japan. An optional wine, sake and spirits pairing adds even more flavour to the whole experience. Boredom, banished.

For Peat’s Sake: Visit Vancouver’s Hidden Whisky House

Feb. 2018

Sam Heather with a flight of whisky, at Shebeen. (Photo by KK Law)

Venture into the back of Gastown’s The Irish Heather to find Shebeen Whisk(e)y House. The well-concealed snug is one of the coziest salutes to whisky anywhere, a fact not missed by the Irish Pubs Global Awards 2017, who named it the Best Irish Whiskey Experience in North America. Owner Sean Heather offers an array of whiskies from all over. His favourite? Redbreast from Dublin’s Midleton. “It’s a pure pot still, which is the Irish equivalent to a single malt,” says the amiable publican.

Sunday Brunch at The Yale Saloon

Feb. 2018

Excellent eggs benny await at The Yale Saloon. (Photo by Alyssa Dawson)

Most folks know The Yale Saloon as the spot in town to hear country music and ride a mechanical bull. That’s all true, but it’s also a prime destination for Sunday brunch. Sweet Texas toast comes topped with bourbon-soaked berries and whipped cream. Eggs benny can be made with brisket, pulled pork or bacon. Breakfast tacos are stuffed full of eggs, bacon, cheese and salsa verde. Good thing calories consumed while on vacation don’t count.

Yaletown Destination: Cioppino’s

Jan. 2018

At Cioppino’s, chef Pino Posteraro serves up specialties such as lemon-saffron risotto with wild prawns. (Photo by KK Law)

For top-tier Italian, head to Cioppino’s, where star chef Pino Posteraro works wonders in his finely tuned open kitchen. Flavours run the gamut, from pan-roasted sablefish, roasted lobster tails with sausage, and Tuscan-style rib-eye with arugula and parmesan, to veal osso buco Milanese and, of course, namesake cioppino with spicy bouillabaisse broth and rouille. The always attentive service is as precise and detail-driven as the cuisine. As for the cellar, the chef has a formidable palate and is a master of food and wine pairing, with a wide-ranging list to match the menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

4 Perfect Prix Fixe Menus

Jan. 2018

Perfect plates at Mak N Ming may include delicious mussels in pork broth. (Photo by KK Law)

The best way to experience a kitchen at its peak is to let the chef choose the meal—and the sommelier choose the wines. These restaurants excel: (more…)

Over the Moon: Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Kick off the Lunar New Year with parades, performances and Peking duck

Jan./Feb. 2018


Colourful dragon dancers in the Spring Festival Parade. (Photo by Michael Wheatley/Tourism Vancouver)

It’s time to bid zàijiàn (farewell) to the year of the rooster and usher in one of the friendliest animals in the Chinese zodiac: the dog. But before you board the Canada Line SkyTrain to nearby Richmond—home to a thriving majority Chinese population—check out the spectacular celebrations happening throughout downtown Vancouver. (more…)

Chinatown Redux: Classic Dishes, Reinvented

Jan. 2018

Vintage art, button lights and preserved trees add to the ambience at Sai Woo. (Photo by KK Law)

Savour new twists on old flavours in one of the city’s original neighbourhoods. Housed in an artfully re-envisioned 1920s chop suey house, Sai Woo (pictured) blends classic ingredients with contemporary flair. Go for Chinese “paella,” Korean scallion pancakes with barbecued pork, and sous vide Szechuan black-pepper beef. Or book a dumpling masterclass and historic Chinatown walking tour. At Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, owner Tannis Ling salutes the street food of Saigon and Taipei with edgy small plates, family recipes and savvy cocktails. Nearby, at The Union’s friendly communal tables, you can meet locals while savouring inventive pan-Asian tastes.

To read more from Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com 

Dine Out 2018: Canada’s Biggest Food and Wine Celebration


Photo of Yew Seafood + Bar by KK Law

Jan. 19 to Feb. 4, 2018 Vancouverites love their food. Witness the extravaganza that is Dine Out. The 17-day-long festival, which started as a make-work project to fill seats in the post-holiday season, has blossomed into Canada’s biggest food and wine celebration. If you’re looking for dining deals, there’s no better time to be here, with over 200 restaurants offering set menus for $20, $30 and $40. Beyond dining deals, the festival now includes an extraordinary repertoire of 35 unique events to appeal to every taste and interest. From craft beer tours and specialty-tea gastronomy tastings to market tours and street food celebrations, the festival leaves no stone unturned. To check on event availability, click here.

Meet Vancouver’s Funniest Sommelier

Jan. 2018

David Stansfield takes a seriously fun approach to wine.

Unlike freewheeling bartenders, sommeliers have a reputation for being staid and even a bit dull. Not David Stansfield (pictured), who took over as wine director at Earls last year. Whether he’s writing about wine, teaching classes at Vancouver Urban Winery or instructing Earls staff about the finer points of the wine list, Stansfield is “all about the humour and the swears.” He’s liberal with jokes and F-bombs, firm in his belief that wine is “serious, but it’s not serious serious.” (more…)