19 July 2018

5 best restaurants in Vancouver
Our favourite places to eat. Enjoy awesome food and stunning decor.
When you name your restaurant after yourself, you better be hot stuff. That’s not a problem for David Hawksworth. Few Canadian chefs have garnered as many awards and accolades as he has and his passion for fine dining is exemplary. A native Vancouverite, he honed his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants across the pond before returning home to lead the culinary team at Vancouver’s famed West restaurant.
Now he’s ventured out on his own with this elegant, understated and decidedly contemporary space that’s a showcase for modern art luminaries such as Rodney Graham and Damien Hirst. As for the menu, the food is equally artful and forward thinking, although well-grounded in classical techniques, offering flights of edible fancy in Hawksworths’ take on haute cuisine.
Kasey Wilson is a food and travel writer, broadcaster and author. She is editor of Best Places Vancouver; executive producer and co-host of AM650¹s Best of Food & Wine and author of ten non-fiction books. Wilson was inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame and is a judge for The World¹s 50 Best Restaurants.
place to
Tel; +1 604-673-7000 www.hawksworthrestaurant.com
Vikram Vij’s no reservation policy is so strict that even celebrities have to wait for a table. But wait they do to nab a spot in the restaurant that has re-interpreted Indian cuisine for the contemporary palate without losing its spice route roots. The room is busy, but never fails to feel intimate at the same time, perhaps due to the attentive but discreet service and the room’s earthy tones offset by sudden splashes of surprising colour that seem to foreshadow the culinary journey of discovery that awaits you. His wine-marinated lamb popsicles are famous, but also look for the British Columbia Ruby trout in coconut and fenugreek masala with wheat berry pilaf or the braised beef short ribs with roasted okra, walnuts and jellybeans. A concise, thoughtfully curated beer and wine list compliments the rich Indian flavours.
tel: +1 604-736-6664 www.vijsrestaurant.ca
Coast is a huge, sleek and sexy room with a circular oyster bar reminiscent of San Francisco’s seafood spots. Restaurateur Emad Yacoub takes good service very seriously in all his ventures and it’s evident here from the moment you take a seat. As befitting a big, over-the-top room, it’s a big, over-the-top menu and too much to take in with just one visit, but a good way to sample this bounty from Neptune’s larder is to try the chilled or hot seafood platter. If you go the a la carte route, any of the grilled or pan roasted fresh fish selections are sure to wow you, including their sushi. Coast also mixes up a mean cocktail with revisited classics and some signature concoctions and the wine list won’t disappoint either.
Tel: +1 604-685-5010 www.glowbalgroup.com/coast/

Deriving its name from Vancouver’s old meatpacking district in Gastown, the refurbished brick and wood beam space still emanates a bit of its 19th century roots. The refined, but informal restaurant is divided into three different rooms with a small lounge/bar up front, an elevated dining section and a sun-soaked atrium out back. Chef Lee Cooper’s menu makes the best of British Columbia’s bounty with starters like the incredible warm steelhead and crunchy potato salad or the pan-fried veal sweetbreads on toast. For entrees you might find pork shoulder cooked in milk with turnips or black kale and salsa verde. Barman Shaun Layton keeps up his end of the creative cocktail bargain with entries like the Slaughterhouse and the Meat Hook, paying homage to the area’s origins and Sommelier Robert Herman’s small but eclectic wine list matches the spirit and personality of the cooking.
Tel: +1 604-568-1701 www.labattoir.ca
For a Thai restaurant, this modern, room is visually refreshing with none of the usual exotic bric-a-brac usually identified with this type of cuisine. But then Chef Angus An is not your typical Thai chef. Classically trained, he has worked in some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants from New York to London before setting down roots in Vancouver. His cooking manages to balance both simplicity and complexity on the plate and the palate with unique twists on traditional Thai cooking. His mussaman curry of braised beef is otherworldly, as is the 8-spice crispy ling cod served in a caramelized tamarind and palm sugar sauce. A wine list divided into old and new world categories keeps the palate hopping as does the inventive cocktail card in this always busy trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood.
Tel: +1 604-730-5579 www.maenam.ca/intro.html
By Kasey Wilson
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