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From Crisp Linens to Crispy Chicken, Tuck into Vancouver's Best Restaurants



Vancouver's diverse cultural population is reflected in the global cuisine that's scattered throughout the city. Whether you're looking for a casual experience with an affordable price point or to sit amongst freshly pressed linens for a fine dining experience, these restaurants give you options and are some of the best in the city. Vancouverites love good food and this list will get you started on where to find solid eats.

Sometimes the best food is found through word of mouth, and that's the case with Phnom Penh. This Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant doesn't have a website and on any given day, you'll find a line out the door. Located in Vancouver's Chinatown, they're known for their salt and pepper chicken wings and butter beef. Order these dishes and you'll see what all the fuss is about.

When it comes to fine dining, Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar is consistently excellent. Serving fresh seafood in an upscale atmosphere, a meal here is one for the books. Wine aficionados will be well impressed with their huge wine cellar that houses 14,000 bottles.

For casual Italian, the West End's Tavola is an excellent choice. Sit down in the cozy space and enjoy a comforting meal of house-made pasta, fresh burrata, and brick chicken. Post-dinner, head to the Seawall that's basically across the street for an evening stroll.


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Espana Restaurant brings a taste of Spain to Vancouver's West End. Like any good tapas joint, there's an array of dishes to choose from that can be enjoyed in the cozy room and washed down with some sherry. The room never fails to fill up with hungry diners, but the food comes out at a steady pace, so you're never waiting too long. Start your meal with one of the toasts - the marinated white anchovies or chicken liver pate are delicious! The crispy chickpeas make a great snack to nibble on while you wait for your next items to come out. The menu changes from time to time, utilizing what's fresh and in season. There's a cured meat and cheese section, complimented by seafood, vegetable and carnivorous tapas. It's a good thing you're supposed to order a few tapas because it's hard to pick just one dish here.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Espana has the most amazing Spanish tapas in the city. The sherry selection is wonderfully stocked, too.

Natasha's expert tip: The paella changes daily, making it a delightful culinary surprise.

Read more about Espana Restaurant →




Fresh burrata cheese, house-made pastas, beautiful cuts of meat, wonderful service and a cozy atmosphere make this one of the best restaurants in Vancouver. Located in the city's West End, regulars frequent this delicious spot so there's often a line-up during peak hours. The quality of the ingredients are top notch and the price point is an added bonus. The food may compete with Vancouver's fancy Italian restaurants, but the price point certainly doesn't. The menu isn't overly extensive and that's what makes it such a great place. They put their focus into a handful of appetizers, pastas, and mains so that they can make sure each dish is executed well. It's the perfect spot for a date, or a casual dinner with friends.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: When you want comforting Italian in a cozy space, Tavola is the place to go. Their house-made pastas are a must order!

Natasha's expert tip: Go there hungry and order family style to maximize your tasting.

Read more about Tavola →


Miku Restaurant


Miku Restaurant has made a name for itself in Vancouver for serving some of the best fine dining Japanese in the city. Miku was the first restaurant in Vancouver 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. While the aburi sushi is excellent, the menu is chock-full with beautiful dishes that will wow. The saikyo miso baked sablefish with shrimp dumplings, braised vegetables, ouzo-miso reduction, katsuo dashi broth, and a miso foam is excellent. From fresh sashimi and rolls to appetizers and mains, there's plenty of choice here. Feeling adventurous? Order from the kaiseki menu and let chef prepare a special meal for you.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: From the food to the service and atmosphere, everything at Miku Restaurant is top-notch. First time visiting? You've got to try some aburi sushi.

Natasha's expert tip: Miku is open for lunch and dinner so a fine dining meal is available throughout the day.

Read more about Miku Restaurant →


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Les Faux Bourgeois is one of the best restaurants in the city for a number of reasons: The food is excellent, the atmosphere is warm, and the price is right. You don't have to spend a bundle to enjoy classic French cuisine in Vancouver, making this spot a perfect place to take a date. Most main course dishes are under $25 and the portion sizes are generous. The menu features traditional French dishes like canard confit, mussels in white wine, and coq au vin. Appetizers include escargots de bourgogne, sweetbreads, country style pork pate and other mouth watering treats to start your meal. The menu hasn't seen any major changes since opening and diners love that they know they can always count on their favorite dish being on the menu. Daily specials are offered for those looking to try something new.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Les Faux Bourgeois makes French food approachable and diners get excellent value here.

Natasha's expert tip: If you can make a reservation a few weeks in advance, it's highly recommended.

Read more about Les Faux Bourgeois →


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 heavenly desserts, and a solid wine and cocktail program. YEW has a seafood heavy menu that's promotes sustainability. The menu changes seasonally so you're always in for a new treat. 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. It's one of the city's best restaurants because they take such pride in everything from the service to the food, giving guests an all-around incredible experience.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: YEW restaurant + bar is always making the most of seasonal and local ingredients, making each visit a new adventure.

Natasha's expert tip: Head to the lounge for a post-dinner cocktail.

Read more about YEW seafood + bar →


5
East Side
Phnom Penh


What was once a hole-in-the-wall secret in Chinatown is now one of the neighbourhood's busiest restaurants. Vancouverites and visitors alike just can't get enough of Phnom Penh's Cambodian and Vietnamese eats. A visit here isn't complete without some of their wings. The deep fried chicken wings are simply prepared, but make for a mouthwatering dish. The light and crispy batter keeps the wings juicy and the sauteed garlic and green onions add extra flavor. Dip them in the lemon and pepper sauce and you'll see what the big deal is. The marinated butter beef is a dish of thinly sliced, medium rare beef topped with a blanet of cilantro, brown garlic and Phnom Pehn's special sauce. It's tender, tangy and awesome! Don't stop here, Phnom Penh has plenty of other dishes you must try. It's one of the best restaurants in the city because you know what you're going to get when you go there; delicious food, reasonable prices, and an atmosphere unique to Phnom Penh.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Phnom Penh is nothing fancy, but it's incredibly tasty. Make sure to order the salt and pepper chicken wings. They're the best!

Natasha's expert tip: Go during off peak hours and avoid a wait.

Read more about Phnom Penh →


Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
Photo courtesy of Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio


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.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio is where you'll find the best of both worlds: amazing food and stunning scenery.

Natasha's expert tip: On a sunny day, this is one of Vancouver's best patio's.

Read more about Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio →




Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie offers a Western twist on Chinese classics. The atmosphere is lively and comfortable, and dishes are made to be shared. Their "schnacks" section has a number of small bites that are great to snack on while you enjoy a cocktail or two. Start your meal off with the Sichuan cucumbers; they're refreshing and light. The petit cadeaux and petits plats chinois are larger than the schnacks and ordering a couple per person is the way to go. From the petits plats chinois, you've go to order the shao bing. This sesame flatbread with cumin lamb sirloin, pickled red onion, green pepper, cilantro and salted chilies is to die for. The cocktail, wine and beer list are an added bonus to this delightful spot. The bar area is a great place to grab a drink and snack before heading out for the night.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Each of the dishes will send you at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, but you must order the shao bing lamb flatbread. It's spectacular!

Natasha's expert tip: It can get pretty busy here so going early is a safer bed to avoid a wait.

Read more about Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie →


Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar
Photo courtesy of Blue Water Cafe


Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar is one of the best restaurants in the city because a meal here is consistently excellent. 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 make for a wonderful starter. 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. 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.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar brings seafood and fine dining to Yaletown. They nail it every time.

Natasha's expert tip: The private room is a fabulous place to host a large party.

Read more about Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar →


Hawksworth Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Restaurant


Chef David Hawksworth is well-known around the world for his incredible skills in the kitchen. Through dedication, consistency and a love for food, each plate is a piece of culinary art. It's no surprise that Hawksworth is one of the best restaurants in the city. Located inside the striking Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the dining room exudes sophistication and style, while the service is gracious and warm. The food is second to none and with a menu that changes seasonally, there's always something new to try. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so a gorgeous meal is within arm's reach any time of day.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: For an incredible fine dining experience, Hawksworth Restaurant always delivers. This award-winning restaurant is the perfect spot for a celebratory meal that won't disappoint.

Natasha's expert tip: If you want to try Chef Hawksworth's food, but can't afford the high price point at Hawksworth, try his more casual restaurant, Nightingale.

Read more about Hawksworth Restaurant →


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Meet 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...  More About Natasha

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