If there is one thing I am good at, it is picking the perfect restaurant. Skip the planning anxiety this year and let us plan your Valentine’s Day date night for you.
Pro tip: Valentine’s is a busy time, so be sure to book a reservation where possible to guarantee your table.
By Brittany Tiplady
Spaghetti and meatballs, mozzarella sticks, lasagna, cheesecake…. oh my. Pepino’s—a Commercial Drive Italian joint that is part of the Osteria Savio Volpe family—pays homage to the legacy of Nick’s Spaghetti House. Here you’ll find a selection of generous plates, lovely wines and classic cocktails. Be warned however, you may leave with your waistband feeling a little…tight.
Pro tip: Come to your reservation a little early, and grab a glass of beautiful Italian wine next door at Pepino’s spot, La Tana.
635 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Sopra Sotto’s Burnaby Heights location (the flagship Sopra Sotto is on Commercial Drive), is sweet and intimate and makes for a lovely Valentine’s Day date. The menu, developed by head chef Enrico Fratoni, is a balance of traditional and contemporary Italian boasting fresh, seasonal ingredients. Sopra Sotto’s drink menu is just as robust: offering a selection of Italian (and some local) wines, and Italian-inspired cocktails.
My favourite dish at Sopra Sotto Burnaby is the Tuscan Farro Salad; $15 (Tuscan kale, farro, roasted tomatoes, shaved pecorino). It is, dare I say, my favourite salad in the Vancouver- Burnaby area. Also high on my recommendations is the Caserecce e Tartufo pasta (add the smoked pancetta for $3); $23.50. As for pizza, I’ve enjoyed almost every one and none disappoint–if you’re a first-timer, may I suggest the Pesto or the Margherita?
4022 Hastings St, Burnaby
Located in the heart of downtown New West, just a stone’s throw from the New Westminster Skytrain station, El Santo serves fresh and modern Mexican fare with a killer cocktail menu to boot. Come for traditional menu items like al pastor tacos, chile relleno, and enchiladas, or treat your palate to one of Chef Sam Fabbro’s inventive dishes such as the Pescaito Frito or the Estofado de Res. Learn more about El Santo owner Alejandro Diaz, here.
680 Columbia St, New Westminster
Craving something casual? Catch a movie at Cineplex Cinemas Langley and then hop over to The Barley Merchant: a 210 seat tap house with an impressive, rotating lineup of 50 local craft beers and ciders and a full-fresh kitchen. The Barley Merchant is helmed by longtime craft beer enthusiast, Tim LaHay—learn more about Tim and his beloved Langley brewpub here.
Building B – 20090 91a Avenue, Langley
Fort Langley is the Fraser Valley’s very own real-life Hallmark Movie set — perfect for Valentine’s Day if turning up the cozy, idyllic vibes if your thing.
After a stroll on the Fort to Fort trail, pop into Sabà for brunch, lunch, tapas and dinner. The Mediterranean-inspired tapas list is divine—may I suggest the Wild Mushroom Plate ($16), the Lamb Meatballs ($16) paired with a Sabà sangria?
190-9220 Glover Rd, Langley
Pepino’s: Buses R5, 20, 16, 14
Sopra Sotto: Buses 130, 160, 129
El Santo: A short walk from the New Westminster or Columbia SkyTrain station.
Barley Merchant: Buses 388, 501, 595
Sabà Bistro: Buses 509, 562