Vancouver may not be world-renown yet for its great restaurant scene, but it is definitely beginning to make itself known. The city is home to a treasure of wonderful restaurants of all varieties, particularly Asian and farm-to-table cuisine.
Whether you’re visiting Vancouver for business or pleasure, make it a point to save some time and experience the culinary scene of the city by not missing out on these fine eateries.
Located in Vancouver’s tony South Granville neighbourhood, Farmer’s Apprentice prides itself on serving excellent omnivore and herbivore dishes.
The setting is cosy with an exposed kitchen for those (like me) who love to watch the chef at work. Seasonal dishes are prepared expertly along with innovative pickled and fermented offerings.
Serving Brunch, Lunch and Dinner, the Farmer’s Apprentice uses only local organic vegetables, eggs from pasture-raised chickens and meat from ethical farms.
CinCin Ristorante + Bar
Set on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, CinCin has been serving up refined Italian food for years.
Walk up the stone steps to the elegant dining room or enjoy lunch on the secluded patio. Either way, you’ll be amazed by how the chefs at CinCin dazzle your senses with their delicious Italian dishes.
CinCin’s menu represents the clean and plentiful flavours of Italian gastronomy with each dish prepared with the freshest ingredients sourced from Vancouver’s best suppliers. Attention to detail is king at CinCin with pasta made in-house.
CinCin also has an excellent wine list featuring a large grappa collection.
You’ll not go far in Vancouver without hearing recommendations to eat at Vij’s. This is positively the place for Indian food in Vancouver.
Opened by Vikram Vij and his partner Meeru Dhalwala in 1994, Vij’s features menu items reflecting the landscape of Indian cuisine. Using traditional Indian methods, spices and culinary influences, paired with sustainable local produce, you will enjoy lamb popsicles, garlic naan and much more.
Vij’s has a no-reservation policy. Arrive early to enjoy drinks and appetisers in the lounge or be prepared for a long wait.
Tucked into the second floor of a heritage building in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Kissa Tanto offers an exciting and delicious fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine. The chefs prove that you can meld the delicate flavours of Japan with the warmth of Italian cooking.
Positively reviewed by the New York Times in 2018, Kissa Tanto has enjoyed great success since it opened in 2016. We waited six weeks for reservations but are happy to report that the wait was unquestionably worth it. Try the duck agnolotti with Japanese leeks, grainy mustard brandy sauce and watercress. It’s to die for.
One of Vancouver’s best Chinese restaurants, Peaceful now has seven locations around the city. Betting on the exposure it gained after being featured by Guy Fieri, Peaceful expanded but didn’t lose any of the authenticity it was known for.
Peaceful features the cuisine of northern China, which was shaped and influenced by both Chinese and Middle Eastern flavours. Peaceful stays true to the philosophy of northern Chinese cuisine, focusing on the quality of ingredients and its execution while retaining its familiarity and authenticity.
Hand-pulled noodles are the house speciality, served either stir-fried or in soups. Expect bold, spice-heavy flavours and rich sauces.
Peaceful has a casual ambience, excellent service, and offers both an eat-in and take-out menu.
If you’ve ever wondered how delicious cauliflower could be, Nuba is the place for you!
Featuring Lebanese cuisine, Nuba is famous for its signature dish of deep-fried cauliflower. Fair warning though, once you’ve had it, you’re likely to need more again, and quickly. It is seriously delicious.
In addition to its cauliflower, Nuba offers authentic and healthy Lebanese cuisine in harmony and rhythm with modern times. Using organic and local ingredients, a large part of the menu is vegan and gluten-free. Also, all menu items are halal, non-medicated and hormone free.
Nuba has four locations throughout the city and accepts both reservations and walk-ins.
Wildebeest is one of my favourite restaurants in the city, bar none.
Wildebeest prides itself on its deliciously decadent yet straightforward country cooking. Preparing a locally sourced farm-to-table, nose to tail menu with an excellent wine line and carefully crafted cocktails, Wildebeest hits a home run every time.
Our favourite way to savour the delights of Wildebeest’s menu is to order it Omakase; a Japanese expression loosely translated as “trust the chef”. It is the best way to experience Wildebeest, and it’s a winner every time. We’ve had BBQ boar belly with sorghum popcorn, house charcuterie featuring cured smoked and preserved heritage pork and game, elk tartare and of course, the ever-delicious bone marrow with roasted leeks, oyster and crimini mushrooms and grilled sourdough bread.
Wildebeest is in Gastown, Vancouver’s original neighbourhood. Don’t miss the famous Gastown Steam Clock while you’re there, just a short walk away via Blood Alley.
While these are just some of the must-try restaurants in Vancouver, you will find a great variety of different cuisines while roaming the streets. But before you sit down at one of these fabulous places, make sure you try some of the fantastic non-touristy things to do in Vancouver.
About the Author: Lesley is a travel enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and aspiring retiree! She has travelled extensively while working 9-5 and is looking forward to making travelling her full-time job. With Vancouver as her home base, Lesley seeks to share her travel adventures with the world! Lesley writes about travel from her mid-life perspective at her blog. You can follow her there and also on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
Photo 1 – Randy Tarampi on Unsplash
Photo 2 – Pamela Saunders on Unsplash
Photo 3 – Alex Robert on Unsplash