Fresh seafood is literally within arm's reach in Vancouver, and local restaurants take advantage of what's available. Albacore tuna, dungeness crab, multiple types of wild salmon, clams, oysters, and mussels are just a few of the Pacific Ocean's bounty that you'll find on menus around town.
Yaletown's Blue Water Cafe is the place to go when you're looking for a spectacular dinner that's complete with all of the bells and whistles. This fine dining restaurant has the best of both worlds by offering diners a raw bar that will satisfy your sushi and oyster cravings, and another menu that boasts warm and satisfying dishes.
Vancouver is known to have some of the best sushi in the world and there are a tonne of great options to choose from. For something that's unique to Vancouver, make sure to try Miku; they brought aburi-style sushi to the city. The view from Miku is an added bonus.
For something a little lighter on your wallet and more casual, The Fish Counter on Main Street is a delicious choice. It's half fish counter and half restaurant so you can grab something to eat and buy stuff to cook at home later.
If you feeling extra Canadian while you're in Vancouver, fresh oysters and a huge Caesar (the drink, not the salad) will qualify you as an honorary Canadian. Rodney's Oyster Bar is the place to quench your thirst and ease your hunger. With two locations in Vancouver, you've got options.
This brilliant blue corrugated steel shack beside False Creek regularly serves up a variety of fried fish including cod, salmon and halibut. Each serving is accompanied by crispy chips and a tangy slaw with a hint of Asian dressing.
On any given day you'll find devotees lining up to order and sit at the outdoor picnic tables that create the "dining room" - even when the temperature dips! The secret? The light, non-greasy batter uses local beer from the Granville Island Brewery and the freshest of fish. The daily soups are nothing short of delicious and will warm you up on a rainy Vancouver day. Although Go Fish! is a popular summer eatery, they are open all year. (604-730-5040, 604-730-5039)
Rodney's Oyster Bar
Rodney's Oyster Bar has long been a go-to place for freshly shucked oysters and a boisterous atmosphere with laid back service.
They offer a simple menu made with fresh ingredients, mainly from the sea. Oysters are their specialty and you can get them on the half shell or pan-fried. An array of condiments are presented to flavor the shucked gems, along with the classics.
If oysters aren't your thing, try the crab cakes and the clam chowder. The crab cakes are served with a simple salad and it's big enough for two to share as an appetizer, or one as a main. Don't ask for mixed drinks, unless it's their signature Caesar. They only sell beer and wine here. (604 609 0080)
Pink Peppercorn Seafood House
Pink Peppercorn Seafood House is somewhat of a hidden gem in East Vancouver. If you don't know what you're looking for it's easy to miss this seafood-centric restaurant on Kingsway.
There's something so charming about the nautical decor and old school vibes at Pink Peppercorn. The service is attentive without being intrusive and the dishes are tasty classics that some people may recognize from the old Cannery Restaurant.
On the menu, you'll find starters like lobster bisque, mussels, and seafood tartare. For mains, enjoy dishes like salmon Wellington, smoked Alaskan black cod, and roasted rack of lamb; all of wish are accompanied with mashed potatoes and market vegetables. Both land and sea options at Pink Peppercorn shine so the hardest part is figuring out what to order. ((604) 569-3626)
Miku restaurant has made a name for itself in Vancouver for serving some of the best sushi in the city. Miku was the first restaurant in North America to start serving aburi sushi and it has since become a popular style of sushi, especially amongst Vancouverites. Their popularity didn't stop at just one restaurant and they have a couple of other restaurants in the city now.
A visit to Miku isn't complete without an order of their aburi sushi. The Ebi Oshi or Salmon Oshi are excellent! The charcoal flame gives a hint of flavor without compromising the fresh fish. Miku has a creative list of rolls that use the best cuts of fish that are mouthwatering. Feeling adventurous? Let chef prepare a special meal and order the omakase. (6045683900)
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
For over 30 years, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House has been one of Vancouver's favorite seafood restaurants. With over 20 kinds of oysters to choose from, you may want to order a couple dozen.
If oysters aren't your thing, you'll still have plenty to choose from on their classic menu. With the freshest seafood, exquisite service and only steps from Robson Street, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House is solid choice for dining.
Old school charm is brought out through their rich decor that's complete with dark woods, crisp linens, and shiny silverware. The rooftop patio is the perfect spot to sit back and relax while you enjoy something cold with your meal.
The service at Joe Fortes is some of the best in the city; you'll be well taken care of here. (604-669-1940, 877-669-5637)
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Step inside these swanky digs and enjoy a beautiful meal. Located in The Sutton Place Hotel, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar is a beautiful space with an equally beautiful menu.
The decor showcases art from local artists, beautiful natural stone, imported Italian marble throughout, white oak flooring and accents of gold and bronze. The up-cycled and refurbished antique chandeliers are stunning and help set the mood.
On the menu expect to find plenty of seafood (they are in the Pacific Northwest, after all), locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients in each dish. The menu is broken down into starters, share (think seafood towers), soup and salad, sea, pasta and risotto, land, and enhancements. With so many delicious options, the biggest challenge is deciding what to order. ((604) 642-2900)
The Fish Counter
As an early adopter and influencer of the sustainable seafood movement, Chef Clark has brought his passion and skill to The Fish Counter. He co-founded this grocer/casual cafe with marine biologist and former Ocean Wise manager at the Vancouver Aquarium, Mike McDermid. It's safe to say that these guys know their stuff.
The Fish Counter is the best of many worlds! Grab super fresh seafood to take home and prepare yourself, pick-up some ready made soups and salads to tuck into, or sit down on one of the wooden benches and enjoy a piping hot fish taco. Either way, your stomach will thank you.
YEW seafood + bar
Exceptional fine dining and stellar service are the hallmarks of this excellent restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Special features include a contemporary raw bar, a pastry chef that creates pure magic in the kitchen, and a solid wine and cocktail program.
YEW has a seafood heavy menu that's crafted by Chef Ned Bell. He's passionate about sustainability and using what's available to us and each dish he makes is a joy to eat. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always be sure that there's an abundant amount of choice when it comes to the types of seafood.
The bar and lounge area makes for an inviting place to relax, unwind, and enjoy a cocktail by the fire. (604-689-9333, 604-844-6715)
Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
Coming from Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, Ancora's Executive Chef, Ricardo Valverde, brings more than a decade of culinary experience to the kitchen. Chef Yoshihiro Tabo hails from Japan and leads the restaurant's raw bar, bringing years of experience and incredible talent. This duo effortlessly blends Peruvian and Japanese cultures using seasonal and sustainable ingredients from local and global suppliers.
The modern restaurant'a decor offers a gentle nod to the coast with soft blues, light wood, and sand-inspired neutrals. The high ceilings and crystal chandeliers add a touch of grandeur without being over the top.
On the menu, seafood is the main attraction here. From caviar and oysters to crudo and sushi, the raw bar doesn't disappoint. Main dishes use ingredients like dungeness crab, uni, and sablefish; diners won't be let down by Valverde's creativity in the kitchen.
Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar
When it comes to fresh seafood and fine dining, it doesn't get much better than Yaletown's Blue Water Cafe. Crisp white linens and impeccable service set the stage for a meal to remember in this warm and inviting restaurant. On the menu, guests can choose from a host of fresh seafood that's prepared in a multitude of ways.
The raw bar will satisfy any sushi cravings, while the seafood on ice options make for wonderful starters. From freshly shucked oysters and caviar to the most jaw-dropping seafood towers, there's no shortage of choice. Warm up with something like sablefish with a miso sake glaze, baby bok choy, edamame, quinoa and shiitake mushrooms with yuzu dashi from the principal plates and wash it down with a bottle from their ever-growing wine program. They carry over 1,000 labels and have a cellar of 14,000 bottles. (604-688-8078)
About Natasha John
Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in Vancouver's beaches.
When Natasha's not freelance writing and copywriting, she's either cooking up a storm in her kitchen, kicking back with friends over a glass of wine or exploring the North Shore with her fiancé.
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