The Best Restaurants In Vancouver

Our favorite spots for vegan Vietnamese food, Canadian fine dining, and some of the best Chinese food in North America.
The Best Restaurants In Vancouver image

photo credit: Mark Yuen

People often think of Vancouver as a big city, but that’s just because it has a lot of green glass buildings crammed together and about as many restaurants per square foot as a food court. It’s really more of a small town with a lot of skyscrapers—one that’s surrounded by water and scenery straight out of The Sound of Music

There are a few things you must do while you're in Vancouver: take advantage of the city’s rightly famous Italian, French, Chinese, and Indian spots, try some of the best croissants in North America, and go all in on tasting menus—many of them cost less than $150 CAD. Here’s where to do all that and more.


photo credit: Ian Lanterman



$$$$Perfect For:People WatchingFine DiningSpecial Occasions


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Archer is the spot for a big, fancy dinner that makes the most of Pacific Northwest ingredients. Settle into one of the giant green banquettes that dominate the space—whether you’re celebrating a big birthday with the 20-ounce bone-in Alberta ribeye, or just having an especially phenomenal third date over some venison tartare and truffle cavatelli, you’ll leave happy. And potentially, very full of foie gras.

The family that owns this plant-filled contemporary Vietnamese restaurant has deep roots in the community, having run a pho shop here for more than 30 years. Now that the next generation is in charge, they’ve outfitted the dining room with glossy inlaid wood tables and introduced a menu with new interpretations of traditional dishes. Try the cá kho tộ (caramelized sablefish with black pepper, fish sauce, fried shallots, and bird’s eye chili) or the bò lúc lắc (shaking beef paired with locally grown watercress and kale). Vegetarians have plenty of options, too, from whole grilled eggplant to tofu coconut curry and vegetable phở.

Bar Susu is what a great natural wine bar should be. There’s a borderline unreadable cursive chalkboard menu of wines by the glass, and knowledgeable sommeliers who can help you navigate your very good drinking options (including some delightful NA cocktails). The X factor here, though, is the food, like Kentucky fried maitake mushrooms, octopus nuggets, and stuffed chicken wings with gochugaru buffalo sauce. Come here if you have something to celebrate, and if your group is having too much trouble narrowing down an order, go for the “chef’s choice” family-style tasting menu. 

There’s not much we’d rather be doing than eating seafood with all our fanciest friends in one of Boulevard’s big, semicircular booths. This is the place to ball out on caviar service, big seafood towers, and plates of soy-sake-glazed grilled sablefish with local bull kelp or seared scallops in a red curry sauce. If your celebration isn’t quite at the “eat an entire seafood store’s worth of fish” level, come for Happy Hour and get a dozen oysters.

You’ll find this contemporary Canadian spot on a ton of “best of” lists (including this one), and as a result, it’s one of the hardest restaurants to get into in all of Vancouver. All of the food is excellent, from the savory stuffed aebleskiver donuts to the rare foraged ingredients like mushrooms and berries from nearby forests. The best way to experience this place is to order the 11-course chef's tasting menu for $165 CAD, but it’s still a great pick for date night or a fun group dinner where you order a la carte. If reservations are truly impossible, you can always get there right when they open at 5pm for a spot at the bar, where the full food menu is available.

Chambar is one of our favorite brunch spots to talk somebody’s ear off. The menu has a mix of Belgian and North African food, so you can rant about your cousin’s wedding’s dress code while sharing a big order of moules frites, or very much not sharing a sourdough waffle layered with prosciutto, gooey cheese, mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg. If it’s nice out, sit on the sunny patio and gossip over a plate of lamb tagine or ricotta gnocchi with duck confit.

This cozy pasta spot has been around since 2013, when you had no choice but to wait in line for one of its 30ish seats. But good news: these days, you can make a reservation. Once you’ve claimed your little wooden table, you’ll be able to look over and see the day’s pasta actually being made. From the meatballs to the porcini risotto and fresh pasta dishes (which you can also get with gluten-free pasta made in-house), everything is served family-style, and you’ll need an Aperol spritz or two to complete the experience.

Grab three of your “I’ll eat anything” friends and bring them to this not-new-but-still-buzzy bistro. The best way to explore the pun-filled chalkboard menu is to order the “I Want It All” experience designed to feed four people. For $89 CAD per person, you’ll get the whole menu, i.e. 12 dishes starring ingredients sourced from local fishers and farmers, like sea urchin served on squid ink brioche and an apple-pistachio pastry for dessert. If you’re not in town with a group, try the tasting menus designed for two people ($178 CAD for the table) or solo diners ($89 CAD).

Hidden behind the mess of construction for the new Broadway SkyTrain Line, Chef’s Choice has some of the best dim sum you can get in Vancouver proper. Tackle one of their thin-skinned, bowl-sized soup dumplings that burst with broth, plus classics like delicate shrimp-filled har gow or golden-baked buns stuffed with gingery barbecued pork. If you like congee, try their mixed seafood version, full of flaky fish, prawns, and scallops. Finish it all off with a custardy egg tart before you head down the hill for a walk on the Seawall.

This small, friendly bistro is the city’s only Indigenous restaurant, and it uses ingredients that the region’s First Nations traditionally favor, from wild salmon to berries to game meats. Bison pot roast, sockeye served over wild rice, and smoked sablefish with polenta and roasted beets are among their standards, and you can pair them all with wines from Indigenous producers. Don’t skip the signature bannock, a traditional biscuit-like bread that can be made sweet with housemade jam or savory with sauteed mushrooms, melted brie, and bison gravy. This place is perfect for a quick, casual meal with a friend or two—just keep in mind that it’s a dinner-only spot that’s open from 3-9pm every day.

Miku was the first spot to do aburi-style, or lightly flame-seared, sushi in Vancouver, and while you’ll find a lot of other places using the technique around the city, they still do it best—theirs has the perfect amount of char, plus a secret miso mirin mayonnaise sauce. The salmon aburi is a classic and our favorite, but you can’t go wrong with the other options on the menu. This place is in a really busy area along the Vancouver waterfront where there are a lot of cruise ships, hotels, and tourists, so it’s a good idea to book ahead. Try and get a seat near the window so you can enjoy seeing more of the harbor, and less of the people asking everyone where the Gastown Steam Clock is.

It’s easy to find good vegetarian food in Vancouver, but options more upscale than veggie burgers and tofu bowls were always more rare—at least until Folke opened up on West Broadway. The whole menu here is vegan, and the pretty little dining room with plant-inspired artwork is perfect for date night. Try pillowy “tofu” made with chickpea flour and seasoned with za’atar and zhoug, or delicate mushroom-filled tapioca dumplings, all paired with some local wines (the entire list is sourced from BC producers). Also of note: There’s no tipping here—staff receive a salary and benefits, and gratuities aren’t expected. 

This small but mighty restaurant represents the best of Vancouver dining: incredible seasonal British Columbia ingredients you’d find at a local farmers market, prepared in ways you'd probably never come up with on your own. Plus, the kitchen often uses byproducts, like sake lees and the whey left over from homemade ricotta, as extra special touches in some of the dishes. With a tasting-menu-only format ($150 CAD, with an optional $75 or $110 CAD wine pairing), candles on every table, and a warm and romantic dining room, this is one of the better special occasion spots in Vancouver. In mild weather, sit outside to enjoy the same great food, plus more plants than most restaurant patios can even dream of.

People wear hiking outfits pretty much everywhere in Vancouver, but not to Hawksworth inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. You’re coming here for a special occasion, which you can celebrate with anything from beef tartare to Dungeness crab and nettle risotto with foraged flowers (expect your plate to come out looking like it took someone two days to decorate). If you’re not celebrating anything bigger than the fact that you successfully avoided that two-hour Zoom meeting at 3pm on a Friday, grab a seat at the bar for a glass of wine and dessert.

Vij’s on Cambie St. is a 10-minute drive from downtown, or a short walk from the Broadway/City Hall SkyTrain station. This Indian restaurant has been around since the ’90s, and it has a great rooftop patio open in the summer. Get things like their famous lamb popsicles or mango kulfi to share if you’re with a group, but know they also do single servings of most appetizers and half orders of their curries if you’re solo or with just one other person. They take reservations, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a table if you walk in. If you can’t get seated right away, just have a cocktail in their lounge while you wait.

This modern Peruvian restaurant is narrow and loud, with a tiny kitchen that’s putting out some of the best dishes in the city. The classic ceviche has juicy hunks of Haida Gwaii halibut, and yuca fries come served with huancaina and kabayaki sauce rather than ketchup and mustard. The cocktails are designed to represent different regions of Peru—from the Andean mountains to the Amazonian rainforest—and you can even sip tepache made from all the bar trimmings out of a gourd. It’s the perfect place to bring a group of friends, especially the ones who will let you eat off their plate.

This is the best Québécois food in Vancouver, and on a scale of richness from air to butter, most of the menu is a croissant. Try classics like the foie gras éclair and pâté en croûte du jour, and make sure you save time later in the day to go lie down somewhere. All the curtains and candle holders around the dining room make it an obvious choice for a special date or anniversary, but just know for planning purposes that it’s one of the most popular places in town, so you should book well in advance (check for reservations on the first of the month prior to your visit).

This six-seat omakase bar in the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is one of the most exclusive sushi experiences you can find in Vancouver. For $105 CAD at lunch or $135 CAD (with a sake pairing included) at dinner, you’ll get bite after bite straight from the sushi chef while James Bond movies play silently on the TV behind the counter. Baby sea bream, hokkaido uni, and wild sockeye salmon sashimi with dashi gelée are just a few things we’ve enjoyed on past visits. One big plus of RawBar’s location inside the hotel’s Lobby Lounge: you’re already in the perfect place for a nightcap (and maybe even some french fries) before heading home.

Kitsilano is a laid-back suburb west of downtown, and you’ll find AnnaLena on a quiet street in-between a wine store and a gym, in an eclectic space where modern art figurines line the shelves alongside the wine bottles. The menu includes things like hickory-smoked tuna or dry-aged duck breast with scallop agnolotti, and it’s all very impressive and delicious. Come here for a special occasion meal, and when you do, go with the seasonal tasting menu for $148 CAD.

Beaucoup’s bakers’ world-class lamination skills draw fans from all over Vancouver (and even Seattle), who drive into town just for limited-edition creations like London fog blueberry danishes or a cheese ramen croissant. You'll find something new in the shiny pastry case every time you visit, but they’ll always have double-baked almond croissants and classic cookies in flavors like Valrhona chocolate chip and dark chocolate rosemary. The bakery's original location is in Kitsilano, but a newer location under a candy-striped awning at Vancouver's historic St. Regis Hotel has a more European ambiance, with marble counters where you can stand as you sip your latte and devour your treats.

Vancouver's best ice cream maker has four scoop shops around town—the one at 1829 Quebec Street is the largest and closest to downtown—and you can also find their flavors at local grocery stores and farmers markets. Rotating monthly options like Nanaimo bar and toasted marshmallow make up half the menu, while classic favorites like whiskey hazelnut, cookies and cream, and salted caramel (that work great for affogatos) are always available. The same goes for the coconut-milk-based vegan flavors, too, including a decadent vegan dark chocolate.

Richmond has some of the best Chinese food in all of North America. We could write a whole guide to just this area, but if you only have time for one meal in Richmond, come to The Fish Man. There are live seafood tanks with geoduck and king crab, and you’ll find friendly, fast service in a casual atmosphere. Bring a ton of friends so you can order all the hits, like sizzling grilled whole fish, wok-fried seafood, and the Sichuan-pepper-flecked sour cabbage fish hotpot that comes in a massive porcelain bowl. The seafood options change every day, but it’s all guaranteed to be super fresh.

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