Alicia Fashionista’s top picks for Dine Out Vancouver 2016

The 14th annual Dine Out Vancouver festival kicks off on January 15, 2016, with some of the city’s hottest restaurants offering an array of mouth-watering prix-fixe menus. Girl about town, style blogger and self-professed foodie Alicia Winnet (aka: Alicia Fashionista) shares her top 10 picks for the can’t-miss culinary event of the year.


958 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2W1

In the true spirit of Dine Out Vancouver, this is the perfect excuse to give one of the city’s newest and hippest restaurants a try! Executive chef Clement Chan is known for his unique menu, which plays on traditional pan-Asian dishes with seasonal, local ingredients. Torafuku is situated on the edge of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown and attracts a young and trendy crowd. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat and a cool cocktail before heading out for a night on the town.

Chicha Restaurant

136 Broadway E, Vancouver, BC V5T 1V9

Chicha is my best-kept Vancouver dining secret; I can’t believe I’m even telling you about it! Located on Broadway, half a block off vibrant Main Street, you’ll find flavourful, well thought out Peruvian tapas behind those unassuming front doors. I highly recommend the locra de zapallo empanadas, and bringing a few friends to share some dishes with.

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

1535 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Every year, I gather a group of friends and make a reservation for Sandbar on Granville Island to enjoy a lovely Dine Out experience. The cozy atmosphere, scenic waterfront views and consistently enjoyable seafood offerings make for a spectacular evening out with great company.


1809 1st Avenue W, Vancouver, BC V6J 5B8

True to their simplistic concept, AnnaLena’s Dine Out menu is small and to the point. Visit this award-winning Kitsilano gem to try executive chef Mike Robbin’s modern Canadian comfort food. The appetizer course offers your choice of fried chicken and chicken liver parfait or broccoli jalapeño soup. For your main, opt for seared sablefish or duck breast and roasted cauliflower. Be sure to leave room for dessert; the fried apple with cream cheese ice cream, matcha pecans and lemon curd promises to be divine!

Cuchillo Restaurant

261 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G3

Tucked between Gastown and Railtown, you’ll find the familiar purple glow of Cuchillo’s neon skull sign. An easygoing spot with a cool vibe, they make margaritas worth a second round and the food menu features a mouth-watering selection of tacos and other Latin American inspired dishes. The fresh and flavourful seafood ceviche is particularly noteworthy!

Miku Japanese Restaurant

70-200 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1S4

Exquisite sushi and a seriously remarkable view; need I say more? Located at Canada Place, diners at Miku are treated to iconic waterfront panoramas and unique, Instagram-worthy aburi sushi. End your Dine Out meal on a sweet note with seasonally inspired desserts that highlight European and Japanese flavours and are always completed to perfection by executive pastry chef Chris Janik.

The Distillery Bar + Kitchen

1131 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P2

My favourite Yaletown spot, the dining room at Distillery is laid-back, roomy and always accommodating for larger groups. Their menu delivers an array of go-to Italian comfort foods; the forno flatbread is a particularly tasty crowd-pleaser that’s great to share and never disappoints. Visit for a casual, comfortable meal, and then stay for the jazzy music and heavenly cocktails!

Chambar Restaurant

568 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3

The ambiance, service, and food at Chambar are always elevated, but somehow the dining experience remains unpretentious. The Dine Out lunch and dinner menus are full of some of their best and brightest dishes, so you really can’t go wrong! To start, I’d absolutely recommend the winter salad, made with roasted beets, sunchokes, feta and fresh pomegranate. For the main course, the tajine d’aziz is a Moroccan inspired braised lamb shank accented with sweet spices. This upscale hotspot is always one of the most popular restaurants during the foodie festival, so make your reservations as soon as possible.

Al Porto Ristorante

321 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8

Set on a brick-lined side street just off busy Water Street, Al Porto Ristorante is a charming trattoria where you can enjoy scrumptious and authentic Italian food right in the heart of Gastown. This is my go-to recommendation for a date night; you’ll love the romantic setting, extensive wine list and creamy four-cheese gnocchi. Ohhhh, the gnocchi!


1300 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

No actual foraging required! Ingredients are locally sourced and spectacularly prepared at this West End restaurant located inside the Listel Hotel. I’ve heard nothing but great things about chef Chris Whittaker’s nouveau Canadiana menu, which includes farm-to-table favourites for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Forage is definitely on my own list of restaurants to try during this year’s Dine Out festival.

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