I’m kind of anti-gourmand, myself, and I almost never discuss food on here. As such, I thought I’d edit and link up the list and post it for the use of the more food-friendly among you. The following opinions are not my own, but come from a group of trustworthy Vancouver professionals (who clearly eat out a lot). I regret the repeated use of ‘scene-y’.
Bishops Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Never fails to impress with lovely service and amazing food.
Bluewater – Always has amazing fresh sushi and seafood. Plus, it’s a fun scene.
Brix – For the late night fondue and a night cap. It has a gorgeous, European-style courtyard, which is a really rarity among Vancouver restaurants.
Chambar – A Belgian restaurant–try the mussels.
Cin Cin – Has a brand-new menu, exquisite service and a fabulous wine list. Try the pasta starters with truffles.
Cioppino’s – Amazing high-end Italian. Get Pino’s osso bucco and let Massimo pick his wine. He’s amazing.
Coast – For the chef’s tasting table, the fish tacos and the lobster poutine. Not as ‘scene-y’ as their other restaurants (Glowbal, Sanafir, Italian Kitchen).
Il Giardino – Another Italian restaurant–very scene-y and fun.
Parkside – The sweetest setting in the West End, the most wonderful service and some of the most imaginitive, well-priced food in the city.
Quattro – Over on the North Shore. You don’t get the view of the Beach House in West Van, but the food, service and ambiance is infinitely superior.
Tojo’s – Simply amazing, and a must-see in Vancouver. It feels kind of overpriced because you can get amazing sushi at other places for an eighth of the price but it’s an experience. Do omikase (a chef’s tasting menu) at the bar.
Vij’s – They don’t take reservations, but it’s so worth the wait. Sit in the lounge and eat Indian appetizers and have a drink while you wait for your table. Another Vancouver must-see.
West Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Phenomenal food and service. It often rates as Vancouver’s #1 restaurant.
Wild Rice – Very young and hip Chinese fusion. They don’t take reservations, you can go to the (reputedly lipstick) lesbian bar around the corner for a drink. They’ll call you when your table is ready.
There you go. Dine out, Vancouver.
On Having No Reservations
Can I opine for a minute now? I have zero, zilch, nil time for any restaurant that makes me wait in line because they don’t take reservations. This means you, Vij’s and Wild Rice. It strikes me as a complete lack of respect for their customers, and discourages me from patronizing them. After all, I’m already paying for the food, service and ambiance. Should I really have to pay to wait in a queue, too?
It’s also frustrating because I don’t understand the logic behind the decision. Is it the same thinking that manufactures queues outside of nightclubs? Are they being different just for the absurd sake of being different?
Incidentally, the same applies to more casual places that are consistently too busy. I’ve never been to Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe on West 4th for this reason–they have a reputation of being notoriously busy for breakfast.
In short, I really don’t like to wait in line for food. Having to eat the stuff every day is irksome enough.
What’s your favourite Vancouver restaurant?