Vancouver Dining: The Best Places For Dinner
Heading to Vancouver and need some suggestions of where to eat? I shared a post with the best budget meals in the city so I thought it was about time to share the best places for dinner for more of a nice night out. Here is a roundup of the best Vancouver dining experiences at night.
Perhaps tacos are the furthest from your mind when planning a trip to Vancouver. If you don’t live in a place where you grab tacos all the time, I would recommend having a meal at Tacofino. Originally started as a food truck in Tofino on Vancouver Island, it has now expanded to a handful of trucks as well as brick and mortar spaces around Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Their first physical restaurant was their Commissary on Hastings in East Vancouver but they now also have their Tacofino Bar which is located in Gastown. It is popular, read: busy so do give yourself time to get a table. What I love about Tacofino is how fresh and local the seafood is.
*Just got news that Tacofino just opened up a place in Yaletown also.*
I had octopus tostadas at their Taco Bar
Taco time! Their popular fish tacos
I would classify Bao Bei as a refined and modern Chinese restaurant. Some people may wrinkle their nose at the description but the food here is great. They do an excellent family style group dinner (8-10 people) for around $40. If you have a larger party (8-10), you can reserve a big table. Their cocktails are excellent as well.
Crispy pork belly yum
Great cocktails at Bao Bei
Watermelon negroni! Cheers!
I’ve mentioned Forage before in my Vancouver breakfast/brunch post and I’ll mention it again here for dinner. Chef Whittaker and his team create meals that are locally sourced and so delicious. The location on Robson Street in the Listel Hotel is easy to get to, there’s parking nearby, or you can easily take transit.
Roasted kale salad
Chilled spot prawn salad. So good I went back for it again!
I love that he cooked with purple yam
Pork belly and lentils. Mmmmmm!
A beautiful cream puff
Canada doesn’t have any Michelin starred restaurants but Jean-Georges Vongerichten does have an outpost at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver. I went in for a couple of appetizers and a cocktail and I was hooked. I had his black truffle pizza (not shown) and the steelhead salmon on crispy rice. Sooooo good!
Steelhead on crispy rice
A refreshing cocktail at Market
Originally Vancouver Urban Winery opened as just that, a winery. Over the years Belgard Kitchen and Postmark Brewing have also opened up in the same building, the Settlement Building. I am a fan of Belgard Kitchen and have eaten there several times. I feel like not that many people know about it so it’s relatively easy to snag a table but the food is really well done. The menu focuses more on smaller sharing plates which are fine by me! Sharing is caring!
Mushroom pate. It was sooo good we ordered two!
Of course, you can order wine to go with your meal!
I have written about Minami before in my Vancouver sushi restaurant round up. There are lots of budget or medium range Japanese restaurants but Minami would be a bit more upscale. And so worth it! I love aburi (where part of the nigiri is flame grilled but the most of it is still raw) sushi!
Pressed BC wild salmon, jalapeno, Minami sauce
Pressed house cured mackerel
A delicious lychee cocktail
Ahhhh, Giardino! I have so many fond memories of dining at Umberto Menghi’s restaurants over the years and when Il Giardino closed down I was quite devastated. I dined there with my first boyfriend, my late husband, and all of my friends. When I got the news that it had reopened a few doors down, I was thrilled to be invited to a media event. Let me tell you I feasted hard! I have since been back again but I have yet to go for my favorite meal there, brunch! If you’re looking for Italian food in Vancouver there are only a few places I recommend and Giardino is one of them.
The new patio area
Cheers with an Aperol Spritz
Ahi tuna carpaccio
The maestro himself, Umberto Menghi
Grilled Porterhouse Fiorentina
Spaghetti Al Nero Di Seppia
Dessert! Canoli, sorbetto, and macarons
Maenam is one of Chef Angus An’s restaurants. Though his name may not be familiar he has trained with many a renown chef and put in his time at several at Michelin-starred restaurants. I was never a huge fan of any Thai restaurants in Vancouver, especially not after having traveled to Thailand, but the food at Maenam is legit. The flavors are bold and make you want to come back for more.
Hot and sour sablefish soup
Grilled prawns on betel leaf!
I love Chef Andrea Carlson’s eateries whether it be her casual Harvest Community Foods or Burdock & Co. I love the casual vibe, the Mount Pleasant location, and her very local menu.
Roasted corn, chantarelle mushrooms, bean ragout with crispy wheatberries
I love the room, the bar, and the food at Hawksworth. I would be bold and say that it’s probably the best restaurant in the city. The room itself, the food, cocktails and the vibe is all top notch. If you are wanting a culinary experience, amazing food, and to be dining in a beautiful space, Hawksworth is it.
Oysters to start. Yes, please!
Absolutely delectable. All of the dishes
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**Disclaimer: Many thanks to Forage, Minami, Hawksworth, Maenam, and Market for their hospitality. I loved them so much I have eaten at all of them on my own since. As always, opinions are solely my own.