By Brittany Tiplady
Our beloved BC salmon season is here and whether it’s baked, grilled, smoked, or served raw, BCers love their salmon (and preferably, of course, Ocean Wise). As the summer continues to be heated (this BC heat wave sure is intense), cooking in-doors becomes less of an option and outdoor BBQs, waterfront patios, and AC-clad restaurants reign supreme. Check out this helpful list of local Metro Vancouver restaurants and small-scale shops who are serving up fresh BC salmon to enjoy this season.
Vancouver’s North Shore
The Salmon House
A truly stunning and coveted spot serving Indigenous West Coast fare for over 40 years. The Salmon House On The Hill is not for any old dinner, this iconic North Shore haunt is perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, and really, celebrations of any kind. Bonus: the window-wrapped dining room bares the breathtaking view of the Vancouver and Burrard Inlet. As the name might suggest, there are plenty of salmon dishes to enjoy at The Salmon House, but a notable item is the alder grilled salmon trio (Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Salmon); $41. When dining at The Salmon House, however, one most definitely cannot forget the seafood tower for two, including two price variations ($80 and $100), boasting a grilled, chilled, and bouillabaisse component.
Location: 2229 Folkestone Way, West Vancouver
The Salmon Shop
If you’re picking up some fresh fish for home, pop into the Lonsdale Quay for your loot. The Salmon Shop, a finalist for “Best Fresh Seafood in the Best of the North Shore 2012” is a retail fish shop “specializing in a great variety of BC smoked salmon, fresh local fish, prawns and shrimp.
Location: Lonsdale Quay Market, 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, open 7 days a week.
The Vancouver Aquarium launched the Ocean Wise® sustainable seafood conservation program in 2005, and in 2016 welcomed the acclaimed Ned Bell as the executive chef. Bell is at the helm of the Aquarium’s restaurant and cafes, creating unique and exciting dishes with sustainability at the forefront. Try the wild salmon blueberry salad; $13.50, or the wild salmon, kale and spinach salad; $13.50 at the Upstream Cafe.
Location: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, open 7 days a week.
Salmon n’ Bannock
A must for Vancourites, Fraser Valley dwellers, and tourists alike, try Vancouver’s only Indigenous restaurant, Salmon n’ Bannock: specializing in wild fish, free range game meat and of course bannock, freshly baked daily. The folks at Salmon n’ Bannock use traditional ingredients prepared and presented in a modern fashion. “In the spirit of First Nations’ traditions, [their] intention is to provide a gathering place where the focus is on the people and the food.” The menu is abundant but an obvious choice is a family style meal of wild sockeye, including bannock, garden salad (organic greens) and roasted potatoes; $25, and for gluten-free guests, check out their selection of sandwiches on gluten-free bannock: the barbecue salmon salad with tomato and organic greens sandwich, $10, is calling our name!
Location: 1128 W Broadway #7, Vancouver; open Monday-Saturday.
It’s common knowledge that Vancouver has an overwhelming number of sushi restaurants and nooks to choose from, but one of our highest recommendations is Shizen Ya. This organic eatery serves their sushi and dishes with brown rice, organic greens and no additives, accompanied by Ocean Wise fish. Score! Their selection of seafood is so fresh (we’re talkin’ decadent, bright coloured sashimi that feels like butter), you’ll be a religious regular after one visit. Try their spicy (or regular) salmon rolls ($2.95/$4.95), the Wild Sockeye Salmon Nigiri Sashimi, or the Ocean Quartet Sashimi Salad also featuring the Wild Sockeye Salmon Nigiri Sashimi, $13.95.
Location: 965 Hornby St., Vancouver, or 1102 W.Broadway, Vancouver. Open 7 days a week.
The Fish Counter
Whether you’re grabbing some fish n’ chips to go, dining in for a quick bite, or shopping for groceries the Fish Counter–a Main Street staple–has you covered and you better believe their fish is local and abundant in seasonal variety! Head in for pink salmon caught in Dixon Entrance off Haida Gwaii, Humpback Shrimp caught in Prince Rupert, Mussels grown by Sawmill Bay off Read Island, or BC Spot Prawns caught by Gregg Best on Cowichan Bay. What’s even better is that the Fish Counter is entirely Ocean Wise, so you can purchase your goodies in good conscience.
Location: 3825 Main Street, Vancouver. Open 5 days a week, closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fresh Ideas Start Here
Helmed by the fabulous Jenice Yu, f.i.s.h. is a beloved fish shop that serves their loyal customers only the finest, local products. Yu’s mission is to elevate and promote the abundance of healthy fish that we have in BC oceans. Her passion came to life when she opened her first f.i.s.h. store in South Burnaby on Market Crossing. She now has a second location in Kitsilano, a thriving wholesale business, and nearly every influential chef in Vancouver on speed dial: everybody wants in on Yu’s fresh, Ocean Wise, beautiful seafood. Check out our feature on Jenice published earlier this year. If you’re in the mood for breakfast foods, Fresh Ideas Starts Here has a mouth-watering recipe for a Shmoked Wild BC Salmon Frittata. Get cookin’!
Location: Fresh Ideas Start Here, 2959 W Broadway, Vancouver. Fresh Ideas Start Here, #180 -7515 Market Crossing, Burnaby. Open 7 days a week.
The River Rock Casino: Tramonto and Curve
Both restaurants at the River Rock are rockin’ an Ocean Wise menu jam packed with seafood options! At Tramonto, the River Rock’s more upscale dining spot, try the salmon scallop ceviche with strawberry, Compressed rhubarb, fresh mint, citrus oil, baby celery greens; $20, or the grilled ora king salmon with nori arancini wonton, baby bok choy, salmon roe, wasabi emulsion for $38.
Location: 8811 River Road, Richmond.
Who says pub food can’t be sustainable? Not the Dublin Crossing! This Cloverdale hotspot presents an all Ocean Wise menu! Next time you’re at the Dublin for a pint and some live entertainment, try the gluten sensitive mango chipotle salmon with Vancouver Island Lois Lake steelhead, mild chipotle seasoning, mango avocado salsa, seasonal vegetables and brown rice; $21.95.
Location: 18789 Fraser Highway, #101, Surrey,