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Coal Harbour

Hot Dining: Dinner with a View at Five Sails

Five Sails photo by KK Law

The city’s most visible landmark, Canada Place, is home to Five Sails, bastion of classic good tastes, with its sweeping views of Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. Chef Ernst Dorfler’s regionally sourced plates range from soy-glazed marinated sablefish with wahoo truffle sauce to roast loin of fallow deer.—Tim Pawsey

Winners of the 2012 My Favourite Vancouver Photo Contest Revealed

Check out the results of our fifth annual photo contest. Curtis Matwishyn, who shot the below picture of False Creek and downtown Vancouver, wins the grand prize provided by Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino.

False Creek and downtown Vancouver. Photo by Curtis Matwishyn

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Hot Dining: Bistro Redux Deluxe

Moules frites at Tableau Bar-Bistro. Photo by KK Law

Tucked in below soaring glass towers in downtown’s Coal Harbour, Tableau Bar-Bistro at the Loden Hotel offers a West Coast homage to the classic French bistro, complete with black and white marble tiles and dark marble long bar. Chef Marc-André Choquette delivers a delicious updated take on classic French fare, such as French onion soup, rare-seared tuna niçoise and tender, juicy lamb chops. Drop in for a glass of local beer, sazerac or almond pastis, before moules frites (pictured) or a perfect lunchtime burger.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: West (End) Meets East

Dragon roll at Taiko on Denman. Photo by KK Law

Asian flavours abound in the West End. Taiko on Denman is a polished, capacious, slate-and-glass-trimmed upstairs escape close to Coal Harbour. Inventive sushi, robata and donburi are served in a dramatic setting with glimpses of Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains. Prime lures: all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner menus. Close by, sushi-free Gyoza King Japanese Izakaya is a late-night haunt favoured by locals and homesick language students alike, while Kintaro Ramen, a Lilliputian hole-in-the-wall diner, is famed for its pork-packed noodle bowls, minimal seating—and often long line-ups.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: Shoreside Haunts

Prime rib burger sliders, at Crime Lab. Photo by KK Law

The city’s seawall affords numerous taste-filled options to help refuel on a long winter’s walk. Coal Harbour’s Crime Lab (pictured) is a popular neighbourhood hangout and bar that features “misdemeanours” such as spicy ahi tuna tartare, garlic sambal prawns and barbecue duck spring rolls. On Granville Island, Dockside features seafood specialties such as marinated sablefish and grilled wild sockeye salmon, plus well-crafted beers, in a glass-wrapped room overlooking the water. Right at English Bay, The Boathouse offers casual pub-style fare downstairs and more formal dining up, with regional dishes such as miso-crusted wild halibut, Alaskan sablefish, and tenderloin filet with merlot demi-glace.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: Bright Nights

You can't beat the view at Salmon House. Photo by KK Law

Vancouver’s oldest holiday tradition turns 50 this year when the annual Carol Ships Parade of Lights sets sail Dec. 3 to 23. Book early for a window seat at the restaurant of your choice. Numerous tasteful vantage points include the North Shore’s Salmon House (pictured), Bridges in False Creek, The Teahouse in Stanley Park, and Lift Bar-Grill-View, which overlooks Coal Harbour. Sightings vary according to schedules.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: 5 French Finds

Coq au vin with fettuccine at Bistro Pastis. Photo by KK Law

1 Bistro Pastis (pictured) Cozy, wood-panelled West 4th haunt yields specialties such as Dover sole and duck a l’orange in an intimate setting.
2 Jules Casual French Bistro Exposed red-brick walls and classic bistro furnishings complement affordable specialties such as escargots and steak frites.
3 Hermitage Secluded haunt tucked away on Robson lures with classic Burgundian fare and wines to match.
4 Le Gavroche Traditional and contemporary plates, plus an excellent cellar, entice in a romantic turn-of-the-century home close to Coal Harbour.
5 La Regalade West Van country bistro delights with slow-braised lamb shank, boeuf bourguignon and mouth-watering desserts.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Shopping: Exotic Massage

Enjoy a relaxing massage at Sabai Thai Spa.

Experience Thailand without leaving Vancouver: stepping into Sabai Thai Spa in Coal Harbour feels like visiting a far-flung continent. While dressed in loose-fitting clothing, breathing in the scents of Thai herbs and essential oils, and listening to traditional music, you will feel your mind, body and spirit come into balance as the practitioner uses everything from palms and thumbs to knees and feet to apply pressure and stretch your limbs during the lengthy treatment. It’s a massage unlike any you’ve ever experienced, both relaxing and invigorating at the same time—a massage that’s been perfected by the Thai people over the past 2,500 years. Cap off your globetrotting day with a visit to one of the city’s many Thai restaurants.—Sheri Radford

Hot Dining: 4 Dazzling Decks

Umincho bowl and ceviche at Lift-Bar-Grill-View. Photo by KK Law

You’re never far from water or mountains in this town. Some decks come with views of both—as well as great food and drinks.

1 Lift Bar-Grill-View This luxurious roof deck overlooks Coal Harbour and Stanley Park.
2 Bridges Granville Island’s gateway to False Creek is one of the city’s most popular waterside haunts.
3 The Boathouse Restaurant Enjoy a bucket of prawns in the epicentre of beach culture at English Bay.
4 The Beach House Linger over maple-soy-marinated sablefish or bouillabaisse as the sun dips behind Vancouver Island.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dining: Seasonal Sights

The Carol Ships Parade of Lights brightens up the Vancouver harbour. Photo courtesy Fairweather Cruises and Events (www.fairweathercruises.com)

The Carol Ships Parade of Lights brightens up the Vancouver harbour. Photo courtesy Fairweather Cruises and Events (www.fairweathercruises.com)

Seasonal celebrations see Burrard Inlet and False Creek shimmering with the colourful lights of the annual Carol Ships Parade of Lights, which may be enjoyed from any number of waterfront vantage points. Vessels of every size serenade the shores in the city’s unique seasonal tradition, a reminder of times when many coastal communities could be reached only by water. Five Sails Restaurant, Cardero’s Restaurant and Marine Pub, Lift Bar and Grill and the Westin’s Seawall Bar & Grill all overlook the Coal Harbour departure point. Upstairs at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island, False Creek North’s Nu and C Restaurant, as well as Monk McQueens Fresh Seafood and Oyster Bar, offer glimpses, while The Teahouse in Stanley Park and Salmon House on the Hill also have clear views most nights. Sightings vary according to schedules.—Tim Pawsey