Innovative Seafood Hotspots and Hidden Gems in Vancouver

By Brittany Tiplady

Although it’s available year-round, spring and summer just feels like the right time to enjoy all of the fresh seafood that BC has to offer. Sure, you can grab a bowl of mussels or a platter of oysters just about anywhere, but where in Metro Vancouver can one go to try BC seafood prepared and served with innovation and uniqueness in mind? We sat down with Jenice Yu, proprietor of Fresh Ideas Start Here, seafood expert, foodie and fish purveyor to get the inside scoop. Let’s eat!

Coquille

181 Carrall Street, Vancouver

Coquille is the brand-new kid on the block, that’s already making quite the impression. When ordering, check out the spaghetti with clams, basil and uni butter, and the roasted lingcod or the extravagant seafood platter.

“Coquille has a different approach to West Coast seafood. They are very innovative; Coquille uses a lingcod collar, which actually has a lot of meat and flavour, but not something you can easily grab from any market,” says Yu.

Seafood platter | Image by Coquille
Seafood platter | Image by Coquille

 

Maenam

1938 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

This beloved Kitsilano staple serves authentic Thai cuisine with an inventive twist.

“Maenam does their own shrimp chips, which are amazing. You can buy shrimp chips in a store and they are already good, but imagine how good these are made in-house. They use spot prawn heads, grinded down and cooked in rice, and then fried to make spot prawn crackers. They are incredible,” says Yu.

Burdock&Co

2702 Main Street, Vancouver

Come for the natural wines, stay for the exquisite food. It’s highly encouraged that you try the gold beet and herring salad: lovely marriage of between the fresh herring and earthy root veg.

 

Heritage Asian Eatery

1108 West Pender, Vancouver

Tucked away in Vancouver’s financial district, Heritage Asian Eatery, now an Ocean Wise member, is a casual-counter service restaurant that serves beautiful Asian-inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients.

Recently, Heritage Asian Eatery has been serving smoked uni charcoal ramen, an Ocean Wise life feature that is making mouths water all over the city. Take a lunchtime visit to see what they’ve got on now.

Uni Bowls | Image by Heritage Asian Eatery

 

Masayoshi

4376 Fraser Street, Vancouver

“Chef Masayoshi sees himself as a performer showcasing the best he can offer in front of a live audience, from beginning until the end,” says Yu. This Fraserhood spot is one to be checked off your culinary bucket list. Dining at Masayoshi requires a reservation so be sure to plan your evening well in advance.

During uni season, Masayoshi serves uni sashimi with fresh wasabi–a decadent and inventive treat like none other.

Stem Japanese Eatery

5205 Rumble Street, Burnaby

Stem, an izakaya-style Japanese eatery opened earlier this year, and has been wowing customers with their stunning menu and BC wine selection.

“Stem is but very innovative when it comes to the flavours and using certain parts of the fish as well, especially during Herring season” says Yu.

 

Royal Dinette

905 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver

When at Royal Dinette, you must check out Eva Chin’s spectacular dish: featuring Fresh Ideas Start Here BC ling cod and ikura with clams, Ailsa Craig sweet onion and daikon chowder, and OLD BAY® seasoning butter.

Image by Royal Dinette

Farmer’s Apprentice

1535 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver

Chef owner of Farmer’s Apprentice (also Grapes and Soda and Royal Dinette), David Gunawan, is one of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs and a true pioneer in the industry.

The Farmer’s menu is always evolving, but watch out for Gunawan’s innovative uses of salmon, crab, tuna, and more when in season.