A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti
Café Chianti on Barrington Street serves up a hearty menu of Northern Italian fare with fresh seafood, lamb and duck dishes. Their extensive wine cellar includes varietals from Chile, Spain, Argentina, South Australia and, of course, Italy.
Da Maurizio on Lower Water Street, three-time winner of the CAA Four Diamond Award, is known for its impeccable service, wine list and northern Italian menu. Indulge in antipasti such as Scampi Alla Marchese or Muscoli Alla San Remo. And don’t forget the desserts like tiramisu, sorbetti, and trio di brulee.
The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar
Halifax’s first desserterie and bar, Middle Spoon on Barrington Street, is the perfect place for those with a sweet tooth. Indulge in fresh desserts like Chocolate Lava Cake, Peanut Butter Pie, New York cheesecake or a create-your-own sundae. The cocktail menu is just as decadent with choices including the Ruthless Ruby, Obsession and Pretty in Pink.
Fans of cheesecake will love Broadway Cheesecake Co. on South Park Street. But these aren’t your traditional flavours. Try tastes like apple caramel, Baklava, cherry crumble, chocolate banana rum and Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Or you can sample the pies or cupcakes. The menu also serves a selection of savoury sandwiches.
Pizza at Piatto. Photo: Paula Bugden
The taste of Napoli makes its way to Halifax at Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca on Morris Street, the only VPN-certified pizza in the Maritimes. Try a slice of Neopolitan-style pizza, all made with fresh ingredients including San Marzano tomatoes grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius, and baked in a wood-burning oven. Pair it with an Italian wine.
Tomavino’s on South Street offers a relaxed, romantic atmosphere and great pizza, too. Pick up a six-inch pizza or a half nine-inch pizza with Caesar salad for lunch. For dinner indulge in the pizza vongole with baby clams, artichoke hearts, fresh roasted garlic, Parmesan and Alfredo sauce. Vegetable lovers can savour the pizza primavera with tomato sauce and three veggies.
For night owls, visit Freeman’s Little New York on Quinpool Road. Open seven days a week until 5 a.m., Freeman’s menu offers New York-style pizza with choices including Manhattan, BBQ chicken, Philly Cheesesteak and Greek.
Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East on Morris Street, takes some of the best local artisanal products and transforms them into creative dishes for every palate. Lunch and dinner menus include organic salads, unique appetizers and sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven. The menu for Saturday and Sunday brunch offers wood-fired eggs, house-made bagels, and vanilla pear soufflé pancakes.
John Bishop. Photo by KK Law
Even before Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon penned The 100-Mile Diet, BC was a hotbed of locally focused dining. Here’s where to savour sustainably.
John Bishop was sourcing organically when most Vancouverites still regarded Alberta beef as a “local” delicacy. Widely hailed as the grandfather of regional cuisine, he conjures understated plates, brought with intuitive service in his intimate West Side restaurant.
• Bishop’s, 2183 W. 4th Ave., 604-738-2025, bishopsonline.com
• Map and reviews
See the rest of our list of Vancouver restaurants for sustainable dining »
Chef Ilya Ford-Ruckle of Merchant’s Oyster Bar on Commercial Drive. Photo by KK Law
Recently unveiled Merchant’s Oyster Bar (pictured) delivers friendly West Coast fare with an element of flair in a relaxed setting. A varied, extensive menu includes well-thought-out specials on the chalkboard. Go for the numerous varieties of fresh oysters on the half shell, but stay for the butter-poached, sous vide, flat iron steak; rarely found bison tartare; or chorizo-cured scallops. “The Drive” (Commercial Drive) yields myriad other choices as well. Find a huge range of good craft brews at St. Augustine’s Pub; savour a slice of traditional coffee culture at Cafe Calabria; take in a soccer game with the locals at Caffé Roma; grab a burger at funky Timbre Restaurant; or match up inventive tapas with superb Belgian brews at Biercraft Tap and Tapas. No question: Commercial Drive has something for everyone.—Tim Pawsey
Sean Heather demonstrates a perfect pour at his pub The Irish Heather. Photo by KK Law
A plethora of Irish pubs means Vancouver celebrates St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) year-round.
- The Irish Heather Gastown hang-out with authentic food and well-poured Guinness (pictured). Don’t miss Shebeen Whisk(e)y House in back.
- Doolin’s Lively downtown Celtic spot, just off Granville, with no shortage of cozy nooks and crannies. CelticFest activities Mar. 13 to 17 yield endless entertainment.
- Ceili’s Renowned party places, on Granville and in Kitsilano, with a wide variety of brews from every corner of the globe.
- The Blarney Stone Another Gastown original sporting a friendly vibe and line-up of excellent live bands.
- Mahony & Sons Expansive pub at Burrard Landing (by the Vancouver Convention Centre West) offering solid pub fare—and CelticFest (Mar. 9 to 17).—Tim Pawsey
Chefs Philip Howard and David Hawksworth
A limited-time-only dining experience could be just the thing to shake you out of the mid-winter blahs. Award-winning chef Philip Howard from London’s The Square is teaming up with Vancouver’s own chef David Hawksworth at Hawksworth Restaurant. For two nights only, Feb. 28 and Mar. 1, they are serving up an elegant six-course tasting menu with earthy delights such as pickled beet with onion ash and roasted duck with burnt orange purée. Dinner is $175 and comes with a personalized copy of Howard’s The Square, The Cookbook, Volume 1: Savoury. An unforgettable dinner and a take-home tome—this could be the highlight of your winter.—Rachel Dunlop
Contact Hawksworth Restaurant for reservations.
Ahi tuna tartar at Cafe Pacifica
At Cafe Pacifica, it’s impossible to decide which is more stunning, the ocean view or the artfully presented food. Fortunately, there’s time to admire both as you sample appetizers such as porcini-dusted scallops with truffle-scented celeriac puree, or ahi tuna tartar with sweet soya, yuzu pearls and a blend of sauces (pictured), and entrees such as braised oxtail ragout with egg noodle fettuccini, or seared Lois Lake steelhead served on top of crushed potatoes blended with West Coast Dungeness crab. Consider it a feast for all the senses.—Sheri Radford
Meat & Bread photo by KK Law
There’s no need to eat alone in a town in love with communal tables—and, often as not, family-style fare to go along.
- Meat & Bread Go for the acclaimed fresh sandwiches prepared à la minute from the carvery. Two locations, one word: porchetta (pictured).
- Yew This giant table carved from a single slab of maple is a popular hang-out to sample Four Seasons chef Ned Bell’s stylish seafood.
- Two Chefs and a Table This unlikely tucked-away-but-worthy cafe in Railtown often hosts winemaker dinners.
- The Irish Heather Check into their long-table evenings and you’ll be eating like a local in no time, drinking Guinness and possibly telling tall tales.
- The Refinery Find creative cocktails, artisan cheese and charcuterie, tapas, and tasty share platters in a funky, almost-all-recycled, cozy upstairs setting.—Tim Pawsey
Don’t-miss dish: “canned” tuna. Photo by KK Law
It was barely a couple of days before Top Chef Canada finalist Trevor Bird’s revival of a shuttered Kitsilano spot into vibrant farm-focused Fable Kitchen became a Vancouver hotspot. What makes it tick? Short answer: just about everything, from Bird’s concise but varied menu of responsibly sourced ingredients to the well-drilled team in the open kitchen and beyond. Our faves range from “canned” tuna to potato-crusted chicken to a show-stopping cooked-rare tender duck breast to flat-iron steak with black pepper jam—plus sidekick Curtis Luk’s superb desserts. Best place to take in the action? The end seat at the open kitchen bar—right where the chef assembles and checks each plate before it goes to the table, calls for service and generally runs the show. And even finds time to chat.—Tim Pawsey
Ambrosia apples were discovered in BC’s Okanagan region
Keep the doctor away by biting into Apple Month. Every Feb., the BC Tree Fruits organization encourages folks to learn more about the amazing array of apples grown here. Throughout the month, street teams visit shopping malls and community centres to hand out samples of different varieties, including the sweet, crunchy Ambrosia apple (pictured), which was a chance seedling discovered in an Okanagan orchard. Find an assortment of local apples at stores such as Safeway and Costco, and keep an eye out for an apple photo contest launching Feb. 1 on www.bctree.com.—Sheri Radford
Braised pork belly with roasted shallots and crispy baby potatoes. Photo by KK Law
In a twist from more BC-inclined locales, Portland Craft unabashedly celebrates Oregon’s brewing scene, which kick-started the craft beer revival. Drop by this friendly Mount Pleasant room for stalwarts such as Deschutes, Pyramid, Rogue, Hopworks and more, all properly poured and easily paired with a daily pizza, house-built burger or perfectly crunchy pork belly slices with fingerling potatoes. Also not to be missed: the stout chocolate lava cake.—Tim Pawsey