Van Mag Restaurant Awards: Best of Neighbourhoods 2016

Each year, Vancouver Magazine invites the city’s top restaurant critics and food experts to vote on their favourite dining destinations in eight distinct Vancouver neighbourhoods. From Richmond’s favourite sushi bar to Kitsilano’s most enchanting enoteca, read on to discover the neighbourhood winners at this year’s competition. [Photo courtesy of Cinara]

Cinara Lounge

1
350 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1T1

Movers and shakers in Vancouver’s downtown core unwind over elegant Italian cuisine at this Pender Street dining room. Housed in the historic Victorian Hotel, Cinara specializes in classical Northern Italian cuisine with a few contemporary twists. Chef owners Lucais Syme and Gillian Book keep things fresh with seasonal dishes that showcase B.C.’s bounty – think veal tongue in a bolzanese sauce, wagyu sirlon with anchovies, and a creamy artichoke risotto with oyster mushrooms. An extensive Italian wine collection is sure to impress but don’t miss the small-but-serious cocktail list; these booze-forward tipples are designed to loosen up the after-work crowd.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

2
163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3

Sure, there are plenty of buzz-worthy places to drink and dine in Gastown and Chinatown. And yet, despite the trendy ’hood’s frequent new openings, perennial favourite Bao Bei has proven itself once again this year to be the coolest kid on the block. A modern Chinese eatery with a touch of European flair, this funky fusion spot attracts a hip East Van clientele with its shabby-chic vintage decor and artisanal cocktails. Classic pork buns are reinvented with the addition of preserved turnip and sugared peanuts, while the house fried rice is a spicy mix that demands a second helping.

Canyon Restaurant

3
3135 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 2N7

This beloved neighbourhood haunt in Edgemont Village earned the judge’s praise with its sophisticated bistro fare and inviting ambiance. Helmed by executive chef and owner Scott Kidd, the North Van favourite serves up an unpretentious vibe and crowd-pleasing dishes that appeal to diners young and old. The kitchen is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and is led by former Top Chef Canada contestant Caitlin Hall. Seasonal menus feature comforting dishes that are elevated without feeling fussy: the signature burger, steak frites, seared lingcod, and linguine vongole are just some of the highlights.

Bistro Sakana

4
1123 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P2

Yaletown locals are spoiled for choice when it comes to date-night dining options, but Bistro Sakana stands out from the crowd thanks to its intimate atmosphere and innovative approach. Romantic lighting and soft jazz welcome guests to the contemporary dining room, while in the kitchen, executive chef Etsuko Needham wows with her refreshing take on Japanese fusion. The upmarket menu features classic rolls alongside creative signature selections that highlight local ingredients and a noticeable European influence. Drink options are similarly global in their appeal, with numerous New World wines on offer and 10 different hot and cold sake options.

L’ufficio

5
3687 4th Avenue W, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P2

Kitsilano’s L’ufficio, a casual charmer located next to award-winning sister restaurant La Quercia, easily earned Vancouver Magazine’s first-place spot on the West Side. Hands-on chef owners Adam Pegg and Lucais Symes launched their pocket-sized enoteca and wine bar in 2013 and instantly won critical acclaim for their outstanding Northern Italian specialties delivered in a warm, rustic setting. A curated chalkboard menu lists an ever-changing tapas selection that’ll make your mouth water; salumi boards, cheese plates and simple-yet-sophisticated antipasti bites are paired flawlessly with a glass of Italian vino.

Kiriri Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar

6
190-8780 Blundell Rd, Richmond, BC V6Y 3Y8

This unassuming strip mall favourite was named Richmond’s best for its fresh selection of authentic sushi, nigiri and sashimi. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the classic and signature rolls on the menu, which are thoughtfully presented and well priced given the quality of ingredients. For those with a more adventurous palate, the menu also features a range of unique Japanese specialties, including stone-grilled beef tongue, take ankimo (Monkfish liver), and a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth black miso cod. For dessert, black sesame crème brûlée is a must-try. Space is limited so reservations are recommended.

Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana

7
1190 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 4G5

There’s certainly no shortage of pizza and pasta joints on Vancouver’s East Side, but Via Tevere earned the top spot in this neighbourhood for its authentic Neapolitan pies. The quaint pizzeria might be tucked away along a quiet residential strip, but this local charmer is hardly a secret, regularly attracting line-ups out the door. In-the-know foodies pack inside nightly to tuck into stone-baked pizzas adorned with Italian meats and farm-fresh veggies. The menu features plenty of choice for both white- and red-sauce fans, along with a smattering of fresh antipasto selections and traditional Italian desserts.

Kingyo Izakaya

8
871 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L9

It’s easy to see why judges named this Denman Street hotspot the best in the West (End). In a neighbourhood known for its lively izakaya scene, Kingyo takes the Japanese gastropub concept to new heights. Low lighting and a perpetually packed communal table keep things cozy, and the fusion-style menu has a little something for everyone. Szechuan-style tan-tan noodles are a crowd favourite, as is the crispy chicken karaage. Seafood fans will love the assorted Omakase (chef’s choice) sashimi. Tip: order a 16-piece bento box special if you’re looking to try a little bit of everything.

Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary festival will see some of the city’s hottest restaurants serving an array of mouth-watering prix-fixe menus. If you want to take your significant other for a special meal, plan a date night at one of these romantic eateries. [Photo courtesy of Boulevard/Leila Kwok]
Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event will see some of the city’s top restaurants serving mouth-watering prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for a kid-approved spot with a casual atmosphere and plenty of choices for picky eaters, book a table at these family-friendly restaurants. [Photo courtesy of Bufala]
Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event provides foodies with a great opportunity to eat at Vancouver’s most acclaimed restaurants for less. If you want an upscale meal in an elegant setting, these high-end spots deliver a great bang for your buck. [Photo courtesy of YEW Seafood + Bar]
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