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Restaurants Vancouver

Pleasantly Pubby

By TIM PAWSEY

Pork pie accompanied by  a pint of Guinness. (Photo: KK Law)

Pork pie accompanied by a pint of Guinness. (Photo: KK Law)

Pop by the West End’s Fat Badger and you’ll find more than a hint of what’s helped to put the UK back on the dining map. Chef and co-owner Neil Taylor hails from Berkshire, which bestows full licence for “serious” pub food with a local twist in a conversation-friendly, TV-free setting. Recent favourites include whisky-cured salmon, pork belly and terrine. But don’t miss the Scotch eggs; the trio of Yorkshire puddings with roast beef, gravy and horseradish; the sinfully good sticky toffee pudding—or the parade of appropriate taps, from Smithwick’s to Guinness to Kilkenny and more.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Blacktail Florist’s Elevated Plates

By TIM PAWSEY

Salad of spring vegetables and mushrooms. (Photo: KK Law)

Salad of spring vegetables and mushrooms. (Photo: KK Law)

Up a few stairs off Gastown’s Water Street, Blacktail Florist, a casual but polished haunt, brims with local taste and creativity. Myriad choices may roam from Humboldt squid with rhubarb and celery slaw, to wild mushroom poutine, to roasted duck breast with sunchoke, onions and watercress. A well-chosen wine list of BC’s top drops makes for perfect—and still very regional—pairings.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Beachy Brunch at Calabash Bistro

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

French toast with a tropical twist, at Calabash Bistro

French toast with a tropical twist, at Calabash Bistro

Islands-inspired French toast, pastries and eggs—all served with a side of Bob Marley and a Dark & Stormy. That’s what you’ll find at Calabash Bistro’s weekend brunch. Tropical temptations range from brunch bowls complete with coconut rundown hollandaise—a custard-like coconut reduction—and fried plantains, to French toast (pictured) served with delectable banana cream and spiced mango syrup on fresh-baked Guyanese coconut bread. Plus, beachy bevvies such as sorrel rum punch may take brunch into lunch and beyond. Paradise, found.

Idyllic Dining Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef Michael Genest of Hart House. (Photo: KK Law)

Chef Michael Genest of Hart House. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away in Burnaby’s scenic Deer Lake Park, about 15 minutes from downtown, Hart House Restaurant is housed in a gracious, mock-Tudor manor, with lawns stretching down to the water’s edge. After cooking around the world, chef Michael Genest landed here to craft Pacific Northwest–inspired specialities such as Dungeness crab spaghettini, halibut duo, seared lamb loin and Brome Lake duck breast. Or go for the three-course, $36 prix fixe and take time to savour selections from the extensive, award-winning wine cellar.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Gourmet Parisian Pastries

By TIM PAWSEY

An array of desserts found at Faubourg. (Photo: KK Law)

An array of desserts found at Faubourg. (Photo: KK Law)

Faubourg, a trio of smartly appointed, chandelier-bedecked, gourmet bakeries, transports you to Paris, with the look and feel of a fashionable cafe on the Champs-Élysées or Boulevard Saint-Germain. Owner Franck Point, who hails from Lyon, oversees meticulously made croissants (including pistachio or almond-paste-filled, and pain au chocolat, of course), baked fresh throughout the day. Other temptations range from flaky mille-feuille topped with Chantilly cream to impeccably made macarons, not to mention the dessert of the month, plus an array of delicious breads (baguette, brioche, etc.), excellent coffee and polished, prompt service.

Beaune on Main

By TIM PAWSEY

Floating Island (fluffy egg white floating on creme anglaise, toasted almond and caramel sugar nest). (Photo: KK Law)

Floating Island (fluffy egg white floating on creme anglaise, toasted almond and caramel sugar nest). (Photo: KK Law)

Nestled among Main Street’s funky antiques stores and edgy boutiques, The French Table is a welcoming, unswervingly Gallic salute in a laid-back bistro setting. Hervé Martin (once chef to the King of Belgium) revels in classics ranging from Burgundy fondue and pan-fried sweetbreads to duck confit and coq au vin, delivered with impeccable but friendly service. Unearth more good Main Street tastes at Burgoo, for comfort food, and The Acorn, for cutting-edge vegetarian.

West End Italian

By TIM PAWSEY

(Front) Antipasto salami and cheese platter. (Back) Tonnarelli cacio a pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper). (Photo: KK Law)

(Front) Antipasto salami and cheese platter. (Back) Tonnarelli cacio a pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper). (Photo: KK Law)

Locals know Tavola, a friendly haunt just west of Robson at Denman, for its flavour-packed fare and smartly picked Italian and Pacific Northwest wines. Perch at the bar for walnut pesto or chicken-liver crostini with a glass of grappa. Or settle in for house-made pastas, made fresh daily, such as seafood linguine with anchovies, garlic, chillies and lemon, or brown-sage gnocchi with pine nuts. Mains run from seasonal seafood to brick-roasted chicken and more.

Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tours

By SHERI RADFORD

Tour attendees sample food at Urban Fare

Tour attendees sample food at Urban Fare

Foodies know that the best way to experience a new city is by wining and dining, but there are only so many restaurants a solo eater can try each day. The solution? Sign up for the Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour with Vancouver Foodie Tours and visit five of the city’s top destinations in just three hours. Stops such as Kirin and Urban Fare (pictured) guarantee that rumbly tummies quickly turn into satisfied bellies. Each tour ends with sweet treats at Bella Gelateria; the first delicious bite demonstrates why the celebrated gelato shop is the second busiest in the world. Let the eating begin!

Tasty Tomes

By SHERI RADFORD

An appetizing trio of books will whet your appetite for dining adventures. Find all three at local bookstores
StreetEats_VancouverCATStreetEats Vancouver by Mijune Pak, edited by Suresh Doss ($16.95): In this comprehensive new book, Mijune Pak (aka Follow Me Foodie) dishes up all the details on the city’s burgeoning street-food scene, including local favourites Japadog and Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck.

StreetFoodJournal

The Street Food Journal: An A–Z by Sophia Augusta ($16.95): Foodies can keep track of all the street eats they sample, from the ordinary (Italian ice cream, American hot dogs) to the unusual (starfish on sticks in China, “red red” stew in Ghana), in this beautifully illustrated notebook and sketchpad.

Foodspotting-Field-GuideThe Foodspotting Field Guide edited by April V. Walters ($15.95): This guided journal from Foodspotting—an online community of eager foodies who share where to find specific dishes in cities around the world—includes photographs and details on 75 must-try dishes.

Commercial Drive

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled in the heart of East Vancouver, Commercial Drive boasts nearly 350 shops and restaurants along a 22-block strip, but we focussed on a few blocks in the centre of the action

Banners featuring the colours of the Italian flag line Commercial Drive. (Photo: Kristen Moran)

Banners that feature the colours of the Italian flag line Commercial Drive. (Photo: Kristen Moran)

The delightful scents rolling out of Escents draw you in to get a better whiff. The West Vancouver company has gained international status, especially after its stress relief line was featured on The Dr. Oz Show. Find a hidden treasure at Mintage. This large vintage shop boasts a wide variety of hand-selected pieces to suit even the most fashion-forward individuals. (more…)

4 Beachside Forays

By TIM PAWSEY

Salmon burger, at the Galley Patio & Grill. (Photo: KK Law)

Salmon burger, at the Galley Patio & Grill. (Photo: KK Law)

Good bites and shoreside views go hand in hand in this vista-kissed city.

1. The Galley Patio & Grill Hop a cab or a #4 bus to discover this absolute gem of a patio, with sweeping downtown and North Shore views and salmon burgers to go along.

2. Cactus Club Cafe This popular West End haunt, right on English Bay Beach, sports creative regional cuisine plus inventive cocktails and well-chosen wines to match.

3. The Boathouse on Kits Beach Floor-to-ceiling windows roll away to open the expansive room. Enjoy informal table and bar service upstairs or quick eats from the kiosk below.

4. Local Public Eatery Go early to grab a spot for yam fries, tuna pokes and good local pints on this popular, sun-drenched patio right across from Kits Beach.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Yaletown’s Tuscan Terrace

By TIM PAWSEY

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Authentic Italian dining experience at La Terrazza. (Photo: KK Law)

Unabashedly romantic, Yaletown’s La Terrazza offers superb classic and contemporary Italian fare in a sumptuous setting. Regulars return for the strozzapreti beef ragout and scaloppini di vitello (tenderized veal medallions with crispy prosciutto sage butter), as well as pan-seared diver scallops and oven-roasted sablefish, with superlative wines from a prodigious cellar. Best-kept secrets: the tucked-away private wine room and the namesake well-concealed terrace for early evening cocktails and snacks.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com