With Michelin Stars, Bib Gourmand and Recommended restaurants, where should you start in Vancouver?
Ever since the Lower Mainland food scene got some international love, things have been pretty hectic around town! The Michelin guide recognized 60 fantastic local spots. Eight with one star, 12 with Bib Gourmand designations, and 40 placed on the ‘Recommended’ list. It has definitely shaken things up in a wonderful way, but chefs, staff and, of course, diners are bracing themselves for the big push in traffic that comes with the announcements.
So for people looking to try everything that made the list (good luck!), where do you even begin? Well, we don’t claim to have tried every spot, but we have visited a fair amount and thought we’d shout out one restaurant in each recognized category. Of course, you could always just pick a place on the list and explore things that way. You can’t really go wrong!
Opened only five years ago, this Quebecois eatery made a name for itself right away. Located in the Japantown neighbourhood, just shy of Railtown, St. Lawrence’s rise to prominence was bolstered by stellar reviews and solid word of mouth for Chef J-C Poirier and his team.
A cozy ambience, and rich, hearty dishes like lamb belly confit, and dry-aged duck breast make this a warm alternative to the more modernist, veggie-forward locales that Vancouver has become known for. If you can, grab a seat at the bar and marvel at the artistry of the chefs at work. It’s like sitting in a decadent operating theatre, taking in the ballet of people working to an incredible standard. All from the plate of your perfectly layered Paris-Brest.
269 Powell St
Sourcing all of their product locally, this farm-to-table spot has become a Kits favourite since opening in 2012. In that short time, Chef Trevor Bird has created what now feels like a mainstay on the 4th Ave drive.
A few of our fave things to feast on in the laid-back dining room are the Rosti, a roasted zucchini dish served with king oyster mushrooms and confit shallots, pan-seared gnocchi with basil puree (+add on pork belly), and the lemon curd meringue parfait with poppy seed streusel for dessert. The impressive menu might sound like it belongs to a more stuffy dining experience, but the atmosphere in the room is anything but. We love popping by this spot for a casual 4th Ave Sour before a movie at 5th Ave. Cinemas. It exudes the charm of a local restaurant, with the surprising and bold choices of an international destination.
1944 W 4th Ave
We honestly thought this one would be ranked a bit higher, but it’s fantastic that it’s getting some extra spotlight! French-inspired West Coast cuisine, L’Abattoir has been one of our favourite date spots to recommend since it arrived in Gastown in 2010. With an award-winning cocktail and wine program, you owe it to your palate to pop if for a round if a spot opens at the bar. The food, of course is exquisite. Chef Lee Cooper consistently has some of the finest talent in the city working in his kitchen, and he often hosts collaborative dinners with out-of-town chefs in the restaurant’s #1 Gaoler’s Mews kitchen bar. We love menu staples like the baked Pacific oysters, the veal sweetbreads on sourdough toast, and the Steak Diane served with peppercorn and bone marrow. Before you order a nightcap, though, we insist you sample the work of one of our favourite pastry chefs in the city, Oliver Bernadino. His Mille-feuille, served with salted honey, buckwheat, and bourbon, is one of the best we’ve ever had.
217 Carrall St
There are many ways to get to each of these restaurants by transit. Visit TransLink’s Trip Planner to find your way.
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