9 great Vancouver restaurants for out-of-towners

When you’ve got guests visiting you in Vancouver, consider a meal at one (or all) of these nine iconic restaurants. Each of these local faves capture the true spirit of the city they call home. [Photo courtesy of Six Acres]

Bandidas Taqueria

1
2781 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4C5

For a taste of Vancouver’s laid-back, progressive culture, take your visitors to Bandidas, where relaxed, upbeat servers sling cheap and cheerful cocktails in glass jars alongside heaping plates of vegan Tex Mex fare. Local art on the walls and an eclectic soundtrack (and some of the most attractive, hippest clientele around) will all enhance your authentic experience on the city’s beloved Commercial Drive.

West Restaurant + Bar

2
2881 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J4

Vancouver’s tony South Granville neighbourhood is known for its shopping and restaurants – and West is one of the best spots to dine along the chic strip, especially if you’re looking to enjoy a bite before a show at the nearby Stanley Theatre. The contemporary West Coast menu is prepared by an award-winning kitchen and has a distinct French influence. I recommend starting your night with a glass of bubbly or a craft cocktail at the polished bar, where you’ll be lavished with attention from the most gracious of hosts: West’s experienced and charming bartender, of course.

The Boathouse Restaurant

3
8331 River Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1Y1

Vancouver’s Boathouse restaurant chain boasts a number of locations overlooking some of the city’s finest beaches. The Richmond outpost of this casual fine-dining favourite is a great place to take out-of-towners (and is en-route to the airport if you want to squeeze it in before a late-night departing flight). Grab a seat on the patio and give your guests the opportunity to gaze at the ocean with a cocktail in-hand. Now that’s a vacation!

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

4
1535 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Granville Island is the tourist hotspot in Vancouver; easy accessible from downtown, the bustling destination offers art galleries, boutique shopping, paddle boarding and kayaking adventures, and an expansive public market. So, why not combine your tour of the island with a visit to its most popular bistro? An upscale but still affordable restaurant, Sandbar offers stunning views of English Bay plus authentic seafood dishes like mussels, clams and prawns, all tasty and as fresh as can be.

Le Crocodile Restaurant

5
909 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2N2

If you must visit a high-end restaurant while staying in Vancouver, it has to be Le Crocodile. For starters, the refined downtown restaurant is owned and operated by local celebrity chef Michele Jacob, who is known for crafting upscale traditional French dishes with innovative twists (rumor has it he’s even created a raw-vegan version of a traditional French meal for singer Bryan Adams). Heralded as one of Vancouver’s – if not Canada’s – finest French establishments, you’ll remember your meal here for years to come.

Chambar Restaurant

6
568 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3

If you’re looking for a remarkable high-end restaurant experience in one of Vancouver’s trendiest neighbourhoods, book a table at Chambar. Located in Gastown, this award-winning eatery has recently been renovated to accommodate more tables as well as sculptural lighting displays, installations by local artists, and other awe-inspiring fixtures that nod to Vancouver’s burgeoning arts and culture scene. Food is Belgian-inspired and delicately plated – and the moules frites (available with three aromatic sauces) are a must try.

Cactus Club Cafe

7
1085 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

For one of the best views in the city, head to Cactus Club in Coal Harbour – the crowd-pleasing restaurant looks and feels more like a fancy cruise ship than a traditional dining room. While munching your way through the menu of casual West Coast fare, make sure to share some local knowledge with your guests: the popular Canadian chain originated across the channel in North Vancouver, and its head chef and menu designer, Rob Fenie, is a native Vancouverite.

Osteria Savio Volpe Italian Restaurant

8
615 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K5

Do your guests – and yourself – a favour and bring them to one of Mount Pleasant’s coolest new spots. Opened in early 2016, this Italian restaurant’s interior design is as aesthetically pleasing as its family-style meals are delicious and wholesome. From fresh pasta to wood-fired meats and antipasti, these rustic plates are handmade and contain the best of local B.C. produce, where possible. This warm and inviting trattoria is a neighbourhood gem that attracts foodies and families alike, so be sure to reserve a table ahead of time if you want to guarantee a table.

Six Acres

9
203 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

For a taste of Gastown nightlife, cruise with your guests to this beloved watering hole. Here, lagers and ales made by local microbreweries will be the highlights of your evening, as will crispy hand-cut fries, juicy burgers and other elevated snacking plates. Tip: Ask one of the knowledgeable (and incredibly hip) servers for a beer recommendation; they’re up on the latest and greatest in Vancouver’s local craft beer culture.

Vancouver’s favourite firework festival is back this summer for three spectacular displays on July 29th, August 2nd and August 5th. Between Kits Beach, English Bay, Stanley Park and Granville Island, these local restaurants and food trucks make great vantage points for grabbing a bite before, after or during the Celebration of Light. [Photo credit: iStock.com/jamesvancouver]
Do you crave a good meal with an even better view? The following eight Vancouver restaurants pair delicious meals and captivating vistas. From revolving restaurants to beachside bistros, there’s a dining option for everyone – and every taste – in the harbour city. [Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver/Clayton Perry]
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a crispy oyster po-boy or classic salmon burger on a hot day (or a cold one, even). Here are seven seafood-focused spots in Vancouver where you can tuck into a classic fish sandwich. [Photo credit: iStock.com/MarkGillow]
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