Whether you’re getting takeout, taking advantage of Vancouver’s patios, or dining indoors, the city’s restaurants—both new and old—are primed for spring. As warmer weather approaches, here’s what’s new and hot at six Vancouver restaurants right now.
Mott 32 (Coal Harbour)
As one of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants in 2020, this swanky modern Chinese restaurant officially reopened in January 2022 after temporarily closing in August 2020. The original Mott 32 launched in Hong Kong in 2014, and the brand has since expanded to Singapore, Las Vegas, and more. Hong Kong designer Joyce Wang created the restaurant’s luxe interiors that evoke imperial China, Hong Kong, and New York—fittingly, the restaurant is named for the address of New York City’s first Chinese convenience store. Thanks to an open kitchen, you can watch chefs at the dim sum, barbecue, and wok stations. Mott 32’s menu—which features premium ingredients such as lobster, Iberian pork, and truffles—focuses on traditional Cantonese cuisine. But you’ll also find dishes from Sichuan and Beijing, along with exclusive-to-Vancouver dishes that take advantage of British Columbian bounty.
Kin Kao Song (Mount Pleasant)
Terrence Feng and chef Tang Phoonchai opened this new Thai restaurant, a sibling to the original Kin Kao on Commercial Drive, in November. “Song” means “two” in Thai, and “kin kao” is an oft-used Thai greeting that refers to eating rice. Local designers from Scott & Scott Architects created a light-filled space, but kept the tin ceiling and century-old wood floors. On the menu, you’ll find a few traditional favourites, but the focus is on new inventions, partly inspired by creations originally made for Kin Kao’s staff meals. Showstoppers include a red curry duck confit that’s cooked sous vide for 18 hours and grilled organic pork neck served with housemade jaew, a chile dipping sauce. Seasonal menus have lots of vegan options such as pomelo salad and a Panaeng curry, loaded with seasonal grilled vegetables. With 24 hours advance notice, you can—and should—opt for the chef’s tasting menu. Natural wines, local beers, and ciders are all carefully curated.
Tojo’s Restaurant (Fairview)
Tojo’s, one of Vancouver’s oldest sushi restaurants, has an exclusive new lunch offering that coincides with the city’s newly minted status as the most sushi-crazed locale in the world, outside of Japan. As of February 1, Tojo’s omakase lunch, consisting of ten nigiri courses, a cooked dish, and the broth of the day, is available for ten people per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The omakase experience is available at dinner, too, or, you can choose from the à la carte menu’s offerings, such as baked Pacific oysters, wild prawn tempura, or Tojo’s tenderloin. As much as possible, ingredients are local, organic, and seasonal.
Winston (North Vancouver)
This farm-to-table restaurant in North Van, just a few blocks from the Seabus terminal, first opened in February 2020 and is hitting its stride. Winston emanates a friendly, neighbourhood vibe, courtesy of its warm wooden interiors and shareable, vegetable-forward menus; even the five-course tasting menu here is able to accommodate dietary restrictions. Must-tries at dinnertime include the millionaire’s cabbage with truffled white cheddar or the 99-hour roasted pork cheeks, while brunch boasts sweets and savouries, plus a few items just for kids. Wines are natural from BC and beyond, underscoring a commitment to all things local—Winston relies on nearby suppliers, such as Avalon Dairy, Two Rivers Specialty Meats, and Zaklan Farm.
Nuba – on Davie (Yaletown)
New in 2022 for this family of four Lebanese restaurants is a fresh mezze-forward menu at Nuba – on Davie, plus an expansion of the Nuba at Home line of retail products. Nuba in Yaletown already features several popular items such as Najib’s special crispy cauliflower, baba ghanouj, and falafel made from founder Victor Bouzide’s secret recipe. Details about the new mezze menu — which will debut in early 2022 and be exclusive to the Yaletown location — are yet to be announced, but you can count on enjoying beloved classics plus trying new dishes in shareable formats.
Fable Diner & Bar (Downtown)
Fable Diner and Fable Kitchen will have a third location, Fable Diner & Bar, debuting in spring 2022. The new location will occupy two-and-a-half levels plus two patios at Vancouver’s best budget boutique hotel, the 110-year-old Kingston Hotel on Richards Street. Like the Kits and Mount Pleasant locations, the third Fable will feature locally sourced comfort foods for brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late-night, plus all-day breakfast. Yes, the roast duck pancakes featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives will be on the menu. Also planned are wings and pizzas exclusive to the downtown location, including a vegan pie with roasted cauliflower, mushroom, kale, tomato, and potato—a riff on Fable’s popular vegan bowl.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.