Perched on the coastline of the western reaches of British Columbia, the vibrant metropolis is uniquely positioned to access the finest ingredients from the surrounding waters, wilds, and farmlands. Chefs gleefully transform this bounty at a culture-spanning array of restaurants that cater to varying tastes and price points. These are the hottest restaurants in Vancouver right now, so make a reservation to taste the best this stunning city has to offer.
The Backstory: Executive chef Hector Laguna delivers New Canadian cuisine at an artfully appointed knockout inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
The Drink Situation: Their Cocktail Lab is a futuristic funland where the bar team uses a centrifuge, band saw, and roto vaporizer to craft insanely Instagrammable cocktails – like one that arrives inside a terrarium – while their eminently knowledgeable and supremely passionate wine director Jill Spoor excels at offering up pairings for your experience.
The Must-Order Dish: A twirl of tagliatelle topped with morels, mushroom “soil,” and shards of crisped up piave cheese.
Make a reservation at Botanist.
The Backstory: With a focus on the ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, chef Alessandro Vianello crafts dishes that are equally comforting and complex.
The Drink Situation: The Old Fashioned gets re-fashioned every which way possible, but it’s the unexpected Horseradish Sour – which manages to be equally savory, spicy, and citrusy – that steals the show.
The Must-Order Dish: Non-traditional goat and lamb lasagna hiding under a crispy sheet of pasta lavished with bordelaise sauce and mushroom-madeira puree.
Make a reservation at Wildebeest.
H2 Rotisserie & Bar
The Backstory: Situated inside the Westin Bayshore, it boasts superb views of the hotel’s gardens (home to three bee hives that produce honey for the restaurant), the marina in Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park, and the mountains to the north across the harbor.
The Drink Situation: Sixteen local brews on tap, plus clever craft cocktails and a hardy whiskey library.
The Must-Order Dish: Executive chef Kamal Silva deftly showcases a slew of local seafood – lingcod, wild salmon, Salt Spring Island mussels, Dungeness Crab, and jumbo prawns – but it’s his golden rotisserie chicken that (rightfully) has the biggest following.
Make a reservation at H2 Rotisserie & Bar.
The Backstory: Chef Lee Cooper puts out some of Canada’s most memorable plates in a post-industrial space located next door to the city’s original butchery and at the center of the historic meatpacking district (hence the name).
The Drink Situation: Cocktails are crafted with care and creativity, such as a gimlet built with rosemary- and olive-infused gin and fresh avocado.
The Must-Order Dish: It’s a tie between chamomile-cured foie gras and duck glazed with a long pepper honey.
Make a reservation at L’Abbatoir.
Osteria Savio Volpe
The Backstory: Down home Italian cooking from chef Mark Perrier never fails to delight.
The Drink Situation: A strong selection of local beers from the likes of Brassneck Brewery, Strange Fellows, and 33 Acres, as well as winning housemade sodas (don’t miss the apricot).
The Must-Order Dish: A hot skillet loaded up with meatballs lavished with neck bone gravy and speckled with pine nuts.
Make a reservation at Osteria Savio Volpe.