If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Vancouver, and have combined searches on review sites with word-of-mouth referrals, add the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards to your reference list. Over the last 29 years the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards have crowned the top restaurants, chefs, bartenders and suppliers, becoming the go-to list for what’s hot (and delicious) in the city.
Best Restaurants in Vancouver
Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
Restaurant of the Year: St. Lawrence
This year, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards newcomer St. Lawrence (269 Powell Street) made a bold entrance into the city’s food scene – winning both Best New Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year. The awards show recognized winners in 41 different categories as Vancouver’s top culinary talent came together to celebrate the industry’s best.
Chef of the Year honours went to Alex Chen. The award recognizes the Herculean effort that that Chen has put forward since opening Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar (845 Burrard St) in 2014. The judges lauded how he “moved a very traditional hotel kitchen forward into fresh, exciting cooking” as well as how he “effortlessly brings Asian sensibility, lightness and nuance to his menu”. His talents contributed to Boulevard’s breakout win of both Best Upscale and Best Seafood this year.
“The common thread among this year’s best restaurants are head chefs who are hands-on in the kitchen. Whether it’s JC Poirier at St. Lawrence or Alex Chen at Boulevard, restaurants where the chef is actively involved in the nitty-gritty of food preparation are reaping the benefits,” said Neal McLennan, Food Editor, Vancouver Magazine. “We are thrilled to celebrate St. Lawrence and Boulevard as well as all the other talented teams who took home Restaurant Awards this year.”
Yaletown institution Cioppino’s (1133 Hamilton St) regained its top spot in the Best Italian category while shake-ups occurred in categories like Best Japanese (Masayoshi, 4376 Fraser St) and Best Dim Sum (Golden Paramount, 8071 Park Rd, Richmond). This year’s show saw a number of categories put back into the rotation, including Best Steakhouse (Hy’s Encore, 637 Hornby St), Best Pizza (Via Tevere, 1190 Victoria Drive) and Best Ramen (Marutama).
A surprise upset occurred when The Grill Room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler was awarded Best Whistler. Meanwhile, perennial winners Dynasty Seafood (108-777 West Broadway), Le Crocodile (909 Burrard St) and Maenam (1938 W 4th Ave) successfully defended their titles as Best Chinese, Best French and Best Thai, respectively.
The Sunday brunch crowd has a new place of pilgrimage with Burdock & Co. (2702 Main St) being awarded Best Brunch. Outside of the Lower Mainland, Agrius (732 Yates, Victoria) repeated its win of Best Victoria while Waterfront Wines (1180 Sunset Dr, Kelowna) continued its streak as Best Okanagan.
Grapes and Soda (1541 W 6th Ave) won the newly resurrected Best Bar category while their bar manager, Satoshi Yonemori, took home Bartender of the Year; Fairmont Hotel’s wine director, Jill Spoor, was named Sommelier of the Year; and Kelowna’s Stoney Paradise won the Producer/Supplier award.
Anthony von Mandl of Mission Hill Winery was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Restaurant Awards were judged by a panel of 14 leading food and wine experts and were handed out at a formal awards show at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver on Monday, April 16th.
Read the full list of winners on the Vancouver Magazine website here »