I love to eat, I love to cook and I love going out to eat too! I am very privileged that my job allows me to eat in many places. To me, good food is more about good cooking and not how expensive it is. It is all about taste, style and value!
The main theme of my review is to let you know what to eat when you are in my city, Vancouver, BC. We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with access to fresh seafood and fresh ingredients.
Ask For Luigi
Ask for Luigi Restaurant
A very nice and affordable Italian pasta restaurant. The manager Matthew Morgenstern calls it “Pasta for the people” and “Our neighbours, they can come down, put their name on the list, go back home and watch a little bit of TV, and we just text them when their table’s ready.” Chef and co-owner J-C Poirier has done a fantastic job making fresh pasta in-house daily and creates a wonder appetizer list including octopus, beans & kale. beef tongue, tonnato sauce, capers & pickles, and Luigi meatballs. The only weak spot is the house-made bread ($3.00) “The chef’s bread isn’t the most memorable in town. It’s a bit soft and boring. But at least he’s making the effort.” – from the Globe and Mail.
An excerpt from “The West Ender”
Menghi doesn’t do anything by halves. The interior of Giardino is a lush homage to Tuscany, with its wood-beamed ceilings, beautiful tiles, gilt-framed art, and sun-earth colours that envelope everyone in a golden glow. Step out back onto the patio and you’re in a large walled and shaded courtyard that would feel right at home in a side street in Florence. Despite the clear air of luxury, it’s a casual, lively vibe here that speaks to loud groups of friends and occasion dinners.
The real feeling of Italy comes through, however, is in the food. The kitchen is run by Ivo Marinov (formerly of Il Caminetto) and Giovanni Trigona. On a busy Friday night, they are both making the rounds, making sure guests are happy with their orders. Like the restaurant, which seats 120 inside and 80 on the patio, the kitchen is massive, and reflects the depth of the menu and the attention to detail.
Baguette & Co
—3273 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 2H5
A delightful French pastry shop with excellent baguette made fresh daily. I really enjoy the $7.99 lunch special. It comes with a baguette sandwich, a drink and a dessert of your choice. How can you beat this kind of value and quality they offer! Today I had a Baguette sandwich with goat cheese, tomato and pesto. Afterward I selected a “Royal Choco” pastry as my dessert. It was heavenly delicious! Give them a try…….you’ll love it!!
Salade de Fruits Café
1551 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1S1
Tel: (604) 714-5987
How can you experience real French bistro cooking? You can find it in a place located in the foyer area of the Vancouver Francophone Cultural Centre in Kitsilano. All of the staff speak French, and the menu is in French, but the servers will translate the entire menu for you when you ask. The most authentic aspect of Salade de Fruits is that it proves French food does not have to be pretentious and ridiculously expensive, and can still be delicious, copious and satisfying. While there are no white tablecloths, this place delivers top-notch food and service. I always enjoy coming here and seeing what new items have cropped up on the menu. This is a hidden gem that you probably wouldn’t notice from walking by, but is a definite must-try.
Must consider: $22.00 TABLE D’HOTE , a 3-course dinner special of the week including a salad, main course and dessert.
Great appetizers: Rillette de Canard, duck pate, and the house special Moules et frites (mussels in wine with fries)
Dinner entrees: Carré d’agneau au jus (Rack of lamb for $19.99!) and canard confit (duck confit, $15.99 for one leg and $18.99 for two legs)
Desserts: Vanilla profiterolles — this is the real deal…..a French puff pastry with vanilla ice cream filling and a dark chocolate sauce. Also try the Tarte aux pommes (apple pie).
3689 West 4th Ave
La Quercia is an absolutely delightful small Italian casual located on Fourth Avenue in beautiful Kitsilano, W4 and Alma area. They serve a five or seven course dinner ($43.00/$59.00).
Both menus include dessert; however the second menu will always include risotto ‘cooked to order.’ The courses are served on plates designed for sharing with everyone at the table. They don’t usually tell you what you get and the chef in the kitchen will surprise you when you see your food on the table. You also can opt for a la carte menu and choose whatever you like from the fresh sheet for the day. Reservations are difficult to come by so do book early!
The restaurant is very small so don’t expect to bring a large party there. When I go there, I always order several appetizers, pasta and desserts but no main courses. If you go for the set menu, make sure you mention if you have a food allergy.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend what I like because they change their fresh sheet weekly. Whatever you order, make sure you save room for dessert. I always like their Chocolate- Hazelnut Torte, and Orange and Ricotta Cannol.
la Regalade French Bistro
2232 Marine Drive,
West Vancouver, BC V7V 1K4
1906 Haro Street
There have been many restaurants in this location for years, and Adesso is the latest, opening in 2010. 1906 Haro is not an easy place to find because it is right at the middle of an apartment block. Parking is difficult but I parked my car nearby at the Safeway. Adesso features an Italian menu with an emphasis on Northern regional cuisine. When you go there, just forget the secondi (main course) but concentrate ordering their antipasti. If you go there before 6:30pm, there is a $29.96 3-course dinner special.
What I like:
Bruschetta – chicken liver patè, oliveade, parmesan and tomato-basil
Sautèed Calamari – black ink sauce, tomatoes, capers and olives
Carpaccio of Bison – beet vinaigrette, ricotta salata, crispy garlic
Moules Frites – Mussels cooked in a white wine, tomato and Chorizo sausage. It was the special feature of the night and it might not appear in daily menu.
Au Petit Cafe
4851 Main Street, Vancouver, B.C. V5V-3R9
Special Vietmanese Bun is a must have item. Do go early because they make only limited number of these a day. On the weekends, the line ups are insane but well worth the wait.
BBQ Lemon Grass Chicken with Vermicelli Noodle – It is a salad and main course all in one.
Tea House in Stanley Park
7501 Stanley Park Drive,
It is a must “go-to” place when you have visitors in Vancouver. Tea House is located right in the heart of Stanley Park and offers a great atmosphere, especially on a sunny day. I love their brunch every Sunday! There is nothing more enjoyable than drinking a cup of fresh coffee and feeling the calm sea breeze.
My favourite sandwich: “Open Face Niçoise” (albacore tuna, olives, radish w/salad)
My beloved breakfast: Teahouse Breakfast (sausage, double smoked bacon, tomato confit)
1641 Commercial Drive,
Must order: MEDITERRANEAN SALAD (romaine lettuce, grilled vegetables, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, artichokes, sautéed prawns and scallops, topped with house dressing)
Best Pizza: CAPRICCIOSA; Tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, ham, artichokes, mushrooms and black olives
Paul’s Place Omelettery Restaurant
Vancouver, BC V6H3G1
Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe
2095 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1N3
What I always order: Bacon Cheese Burger with mushroom and curly fries
Must drink: Chocolate milkshake
**Warning** If you don’t like lineups, don’t get close to it on Saturday and Sunday
A good starting point: Tian of dungeoness crab and saffron couscous and smoked tomato gazpacho
Unusual fish: Roasted white sturgeon with a white onion puree with confit portobello mushrooms & celery
West is definitely one of Vancouver’s finest seafood restaurants but it is in the pricier range — if your pockets are deep enough, you can opt to sit at the table inside the kitchen!
2-1600 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2L9
Must try: Seared Scallops, octopus bacon wrap, truffled celeriac remoulade
For my sweet tooth: Gabriel’s Heirloom Apple Tarte Tatin
Federico’s Supper Club
1728 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 4A3
Three words sum up this place: FUN, FUN, FUN!!
What I like best: This is “THE” place to shake your booty!
Best in town: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana
Don’t miss: Linguine ai frutti di mare
1505 West 1st Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1E8
The best fish and chips (halibut in particular) outside of Britain. This is an outdoor “shack” style restaurant with limited seating but has a wonderful view of Granville Island. This is a definite spot to visit when the weather is nice and you are going for a walk or bike ride in the area.
Must order: Halibut and Chips with extra Tartar sauce
Stepho’s Greek Taverna
1124 Davie St
Vancouver, BC V6E1N1
If you don’t like lineups, don’t come here! It is casual greek food at cheap prices. Always a line up down the block. Nothing on the menu over $12.
What I always order: Grilled Lamb Chop
Pastis French Bistro
2153 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7
I love Pastis! It is an elegent French bistro with a vision of French country life.What I like best: La Sole Meuniere
Must try: Basket of freshly baked orange and Chocolate Madeleines
Seasons in the Park
Queen Elizabeth Park
West 33rd Avenue at Cambie Street, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Another scenic location in Vancouver, Seasons in the Park lives up to the name of being inside the park – Queen Elizabeth Park. The food is consistent but I usually go for the view and for large group functions.
Vancouver – (604) 738-2025
This is the best there is in Vancouver. John Bishop has been the most well-known “Chef Guru”, “Cooking God” in the city for years. His cooking can be classified as Northwest, local, French and Italian influenced. If you want to learn a thing or two from him, just buy one of his several cooking books.
Best in town: Dungeness crab fritter
Have to order: Qualicum Bay scallop
To finish: Espresso panna cotta
The Beach House Restaurant and Lounge
150 25th Street
West Vancouver, BC V7V 4H8
When you have out-of-town guests visiting you in Vancouver, this is a must place to take them. Book a table just before sunset at around 7:00pm in summer and you’ll give your guests the “wow” factor.
What I like the best: The smell of the ocean air
Must try: Spaghettini All’ amatrician
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill
1129 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5P6
One of the best Italian restaurants in Vancouver. On any given night, you can spot movie stars and hockey players here. A must visit when you are in this city if you are looking for upscale Italian dining.
Must have: Classic lobster bisque
Very delicious: Pappardelle with 4-hour-braised veal cheeks and porcini mushrooms
My sweet spot: Banana, chocolate and caramel, wrapped with phyllo pastry, served with banana ice-cream
Provence Mediterranean Grill
1177 Marinaside Crescent
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Y3
This restaurant has been one of my favourites for almost ten years now — the prices are reasonable and the menu is outstanding.
Delicious: Fish soup
Chef special: Bouillabaisse
What I like the best: Berry and White Chocolate Clafoutis.
Dundarave Fish Market
West Vancouver, BC V7V1L3
Must order: Citrus Scallop Salad