The Absolute Best Restaurants in Vancouver
Collected by Amanda Castleman , AFAR Local Expert
Celebrated worldwide for its culinary chops, Vancouver tops the list of British Columbia's best stops for food-loving travelers. The city blends the freshest ingredients (oh, the sushi) with daring, modern techniques. Favorite dining stops include Blue Water Cafe, Cafe Medina, Kissa Tanto, and Vikram Vij's well-named Vij's. But those restaurants are just the start. A leader of the sustainable seafood movement in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, the city plays with a big palette, looking west to Asia for flavor inspiration.
263 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T8, Canada
One of Vancouver’s hottest supper clubs is hidden on the upper story of a faded Chinatown building. Kissa Tanto weds the delicate flavors of Japan with the warm embrace of Italian cooking, resulting in such creative dishes as Parmesan...
1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5, Canada
Best Thai, Best Asian, Best Overall: Maenam just keeps racking up the awards, often displacing fancier restaurants. Chef/owner Angus An has helped moved the needle at this Kitsilano spot, mixing a sexy, upscale vibe with accessible food. His menu...
1059 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A3, Canada
Born in Auvergne, Thierry Busset trained with European masters before taking his pastry prowess to London’s Le Gavroche and Marco Pierre White (both of which peaked at three Michelin stars). His talent even tamed the famously mercurial Gordon...
210 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1, Canada
The owners of this classic Gastown bar are not only Irish but also work on-site, making the Heather a soulful antidote to all the faux-Gaelic watering holes out there. The old country agrees: The 2017 Irish Whiskey Awards named it the Best Irish...
1629 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6K 3E6, Canada
Red cedar walls cast a rosy glow over this 28-seat Kitsilano nook, which Air Canada named as the country’s fourth best new restaurant in 2017. Here, chef-owners Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng reprise the Asian flavors and French techniques that...
1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9, Canada
Set inside the stylish Fairmont Pacific Rim, Botanist celebrates the abundant sea, soil, and culinary imagination of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to a glass-walled garden with more than 50 plant species, the restaurant features a bar, a...
2702 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E8, Canada
This hip intimate restaurant in Mount Pleasant serves a vibrant menu full of clean, crisp flavors. Chef Andrea Carlson—a passionate organic gardener and student of landscape design—also runs the excellent ramen house/grocery store...
1596 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
Go for the distinctive, locally made gifts, but linger for the cuisine at this cozy shop-meets-bistro on Granville Island, right in the heart of Vancouver. Start with a beverage, which could be anything from a gluten-free Forager Lager to a bold...
1601 Bayshore Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 2V4, Canada
This craft-brew-and-comfort-food hot spot is snuggled into the Westin Bayshore, which sits on the 17-mile Seawall (the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path). Overlooking the garden and Burrard Inlet, it offers 16 local taps and...
200 Granville St #70, Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4, Canada
Vancouver is home to some of the best sushi outside of Japan, and this waterfront restaurant is no exception. Opened in 2008, Miku introduced the city to Aburi-style cuisine, which involves nigiri with grilled fish. Start your meal with the salmon...
3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3, Canada
A bijou little nook in the up-and-coming South Main neighborhood, The Acorn is a haven of haute vegetarian cuisine. Chef Brian Luptak weaves foraged flair into bold, complex dishes, like smoked-onion kelp sauce on roasted king oyster mushrooms and...
1108 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6E 4J6, Canada
Co-founder and Chef Felix Zhou originally hails from southwest China sets the tone at this hip “fast-casual” restaurant, where Edison bulbs hang over a long communal wooden table and diner queue up for counter service. The no-frills...
1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, Canada
Routinely crowned the city’s top seafood restaurant, Blue Water Cafe is also among the continent’s best. After honing his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, executive chef Frank Pabst opened this Yaletown classic to...
15 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C8, Canada
This urban icon started as a hippie food truck housed in a surf shop parking lot on Vancouver Island. It has since blossomed into three restaurants, two burrito bars, a taco joint, and two food trucks, located everywhere from Hastings-Sunrise and...
1128 W Broadway #7, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G5, Canada
A small, welcoming bistro, Salmon n’ Bannock is Vancouver’s only First Nations restaurant. The special here is the bannock, a quick, round flatbread that serves as a vehicle for anything from cedar jam to pudding, elk salami, and...
780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4, Canada
The longest lines in the city form every day at Café Medina, a haven of Mediterranean-inspired breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch dishes in the Library District. The decor here feels like a minimalist version of 1920s Paris, with aged walls,...
7771 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X 1A4, Canada
Just 25 minutes in either direction from downtown Vancouver and the U.S. border lies Richmond, where 65 percent of residents can claim minority status and almost half have Chinese heritage. It makes sense, then, that the town is also home to 4...
9160 Steveston Hwy, Richmond, BC V7A 1M5, Canada
Constructed in the Chinese imperial style in 1983, the International Buddhist Temple (also known as the Guan Yin Temple) welcomes all visitors, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The Richmond complex—located 13 miles south of downtown...
Richmond, BC, Canada
This airy, elegant Richmond eatery celebrates the fusion of French and southern-central Vietnamese cultures in its look and menu. Chef/owner Lan Do and her team painstakingly bake baguettes daily and simmer beef bones for 12 to 15 hours for the...
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