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Where to Eat Vancouver

Buzzing Bakery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Tempt your taste buds with treats for every occasion. (Photo by Betty Hung)

Tempt your taste buds with treats for every occasion. (Photo by Betty Hung)

Love honey? Then make a beeline to Beaucoup Bakery for honey pastries that arrived just in time for spring. The bakery is all abuzz with excitement for three new creations that celebrate local, small-batch nectar from Hives for Humanity. Satisfy that sweet tooth with the buttery Honey Banana Double Baked Croissant, topped with honey caramel and crushed banana chips. For a delicately sweet treat, try the unbaked Grapefruit Honey Tarragon Cheesecake. Or indulge in the savoury Miso Honey Roasted Eggplant Flatbread, with fresh zucchini shiso salad. Trust us: it’s the bee’s knees.

Raise a Glass

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

A sampler of our nation's finest.

A sampler of our nation’s finest.

What are a few of Canadians’ favourite things? North of the 49th parallel, craft beer ranks alongside hockey and maple syrup. Which is why Central City is celebrating the country’s 150th birthday with the Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration 12-Pack. Brewmasters from coast to coast captured their province in a bottle—from local Four Winds Brewing’s West Coast–style IPA to PEI Brewing Company’s Bière d’ici Honey Ale, spiked with regional honey and maritime-grown hops. It’s a taste of the True North Strong and Free, all in one convenient package. At local liquor stores.

2017 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Seafood tower at Ancora. (Photo by KK Law)

Seafood tower at Ancora. (Photo by KK Law)

Welcome to our 21st annual awards issue. Much more than merely a contest, Where to Dine celebrates Vancouver as a global dining destination. This is a city that validates the openness, cultural awareness and exuberant curiosity that define Canada, through acceptance and exploration of all cuisines. We salute the chefs, servers, sommeliers and restaurateurs who make this place such a food-lover’s paradise.

Critics’ Choice 

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Ancora

When it comes to the inside scoop, the concierge is your best friend. Vancouver’s Les Clefs d’Or are tireless in their search for dining excellence—and happily recommend those who consistently over-deliver.

This waterfront gem on the downtown side of False Creek blends Peruvian, Japanese and other influences with fresh West Coast ingredients. Such licence yields Aji-panca-glazed sablefish, seared scallops with pork belly, and grilled steak with yuca fries, autumn vegetables and chimichurri. (more…)

Leadership Award: David Hawksworth

By TIM PAWSEY

Chef David Hawksworth.

Chef David Hawksworth.

Few individuals have had as much impact on Vancouver’s dining scene as David Hawksworth. Arguably the city’s most high-profile chef, Hawksworth is pre-eminent as the driving force behind Hawksworth Restaurant and the recently opened, more casual Nightingale.

With the first restaurant’s launch and enduring success (Vancouver Magazine named it best upscale restaurant five years in a row), he helped cement the return of fine dining in the post-recession era. Not content to rest on his laurels, in 2013 he launched the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition, which annually awards $10,000 to the winner and provides considerable exposure. The chef says his motivation for establishing the competition and scholarship stemmed from his time in the UK, where “there are lots of great cooks.” (more…)

Delicious Deeds

By CHLOË LAI

Mouth-watering salmon at Joe Fortes. (Photo: Dining Out For Life)

Mouth-watering salmon at Joe Fortes. (Photo: Dining Out For Life)

At Dining Out For Life, you can have your cake and let someone else eat it, too—in a manner of speaking. On Mar. 30, restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland donate 25% of each food bill to local not-for-profit A Loving Spoonful, which provides free, healthy meals and nutritional counselling for Vancouverites living with HIV/AIDS. The more you indulge, the more you help. So go ahead and order that chocolate molten cake (Dockside), praline mousse (Forage) or traditional tiramisu (Joe Fortes) after dinner. It’ll feel as good as it tastes.

The Great Indoors

The weather outside is sometimes frightful, but the indoor activities are always delightful

By SHERI RADFORD

Take in spectacular views of Canada Place, skyscrapers, Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains and the Pacific Ocean from the Vancouver Lookout's observation deck, 169 m (553 ft) above the city. (Photo: KK Law)

Take in spectacular views of Canada Place, skyscrapers, Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains and the Pacific Ocean from the Vancouver Lookout’s observation deck, 169 m (553 ft) above the city. (Photo: KK Law)

1. Get an unparalleled 360-degree view of the city from the Vancouver Lookout.

2. Learn about balloons, bubbles, bodies, beavers, bears, butterflies, bugs and a whole lot more at Science World.

3. Paint your face blue and green and cheer for the home team at a Vancouver Canucks hockey game in Rogers Arena. Or do up your face in blue and white and root for the Vancouver Whitecaps at a soccer game in BC Place. (more…)

Top Teas

By SHERI RADFORD

It's tea, tea and more tea at TWG.

It’s tea, tea and more tea at TWG.

Floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an abundance of natural light, wall after wall of premium teas stored in bright yellow tins, tea-infused cocktails and mocktails—this is definitely not your grandmother’s tea salon. The flagship North American store for TWG Tea opened downtown last month, and it features more than 500 teas, along with a food menu sure to get gastronomes atwitter. Tea is infused into sauces, vinaigrettes, desserts, maracons and more, all with delicious results. Whether you’re a fan of black, green, white, oolong or all of the above, you’re sure to find exactly your cup of tea.

Happy Hour Heaven

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Cheers! Raise a glass to happy hour at Ancora. (Photo: Allison Kuhl)

Cheers! Raise a glass to happy hour at Ancora. (Photo: Allison Kuhl)

Ah, afternoons. You could take a nap, catch up on email—or party like the sky’s the limit at Vancouver’s thriving happy hours. Here are five of the best:

Ancora
M-F 3:30-5 pm
Fusing Peruvian and Japanese flavours with West Coast ingredients, airy Ancora also delights with its location, facing Granville Island across False Creek. Get comfy at the bar with an $8 barrel-aged cocktail (the Angel’s Share or the Diavolo in Manette) and fresh oysters, spicy albacore tuna rolls or sablefish croquettes with cilantro pumpkin sauce. (more…)

Beyond Sushi

By TIM PAWSEY

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Indulge at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. (Photo: KK Law)

Long-running Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood House preceded the sushi craze by a few decades. Ingredients are freshly prepared, presented tableside and cooked teppanyaki style with tremendous flair. Go for the impossibly tender Wagyu beef, teriyaki chicken, and seafood combo. For more casual fare, head to pub-style Zakkushi on Denman to find an abundance of charcoal-grilled meat, seafood and vegetable skewers. Hunker down at local faves Gyoza King or Guu, both on Robson, for good Japanese home-style dishes in a cheerful and friendly setting.

For more by Tim Pawsey www.hiredbelly.com

A Sweet Story

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Jackie Kai Ellis creates tasty treats at Beaucoup Bakery. (Photo: KK Law)

Biting into a perfectly crisp, flaky pastry can certainly feel like a life-changing experience, but in the case of Jackie Kai Ellis, that indulgence actually helped the Beaucoup Bakery owner whip up a new life. When Ellis flew to Paris to study pastry making at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, she left behind her life as a graphic designer with her own firm. The catalyst? A cookie. (more…)

Downtown Delight

By TIM PAWSEY

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Roasted semi-boneless half chicken. (Photo: KK Law)

Tucked away in the Moda Hotel, Cibo Trattoria is a gem of a bistro in a sensitively restored heritage setting. The classic Italian dishes have a bit of a modern twist and use organic ingredients. House favourites include chitarra con vongole of saffron pasta with Salt Spring Island clams, an excellent charcuterie and salumi platter, short ribs braised with tomatoes and red wine, and pan-seared Mediterranean sea bass. The cellar yields a wealth of serious Italian drops, as well as regional and global offerings.

For more by Tim Pawsey visit www.hiredbelly.com

Due South

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Mamie Taylor's ham grenades

Mamie Taylor’s ham grenades

For the best down-home Southern fare this side of the Bayou, head to Mamie Taylor’s. The walls of this hip Chinatown eatery are adorned with a formidable collection of taxidermy, while the menu is decked out with classic American dishes. You can’t go wrong with the finger-licking-good fried chicken with chilli-honey drizzle, or the blissfully addictive ham grenades. The restaurant is named for a classic cocktail—and a turn-of-the-century opera singer—so don’t miss the namesake tipple or the Talladega Nights Julep. It’s southern hospitality at its best.