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February 23, 2007updated Dec 20, 2023

The 5 Best Restaurants in Vancouver

By Chris Boyle

Vancouver is a treat for the dedicated foodie, serving up fine dining feasts in its many elegant gourmet restaurants.

Whether it’s classic French cuisine, fresh Mediterranean favorites or authentic local delicacies you’re in the mood for, this city is filled with talented chefs conjuring up just what you’re after, and often, what you didn’t know you wanted. It comes as no surprise that seafood is a major star on this dining scene: delicious, ocean-fresh and served up in a delectable variety of inventive dishes.


Blue Water Cafe © Steve Li

Cuisine: Seafood

Style / Ambiance: This chic eatery, a handsome brick-and-beam warehouse located in the trendy Yaletown district, claimed the coveted gold prize in Vancouver magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year” and “Best Seafood” competition in 2010.

It is considered the definitive destination for seafood, so it’s not surprising that Liam Neeson, Tom Cruise, Owen Wilson and Seth Rogen have all dined here. Under the leadership of executive chef Frank Pabst, the “east meets west” kitchen creates captivating seafood dishes using fresh wild fish, complemented by one of the country’s finest wine collections.


Cuisine: Seafood

Style / Ambiance: The modern, contemporary C is always packed with movers and shakers, visiting VIPs and celebrities who enjoy its exquisite waterfront setting.

Will and Jada Smith recently dined in the private wine attic complete with a string trio, Tina Turner celebrated her birthday here, and it’s a favorite of Martha Stewart. What attracts these elite guests is a menu packed with delicious, locally sourced seafood, a stunning view and a much-lauded ethical commitment to sustainably sourced fish – which it has maintained since the early 90s, long before it was fashionable.

Robert Clark, Executive Chef

+1 604 681 1164

2-1600 Howe Street, V6Z 1R8


Cuisine: Italian wood-fired

Style / Ambiance: This elegant gourmet favorite is known for its wood-fired grill, which produces authentic, seasonally driven Italian dishes bursting with flavor, and for its award-winning collection of rare and vintage wines – many of which are on display in the beautiful, high-ceilinged dining room.

While CinCin’s interior is the height of elegance, the atmospheric private terrace is a true delight, the perfect setting for a late romantic supper or anniversary treat.

Ricardo Ferreira, Restaurant Director

+1 604 688 7338

1154 Robson Street, V6E 1B2


Cuisine: Italian

Style / Ambiance: Awarded “Best Formal Italian Restaurant” in Vancouver by Vancouver magazine for nine years running, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill offers an innovative personal take on Mediterranean cuisine rooted in Chef Posteraro’s personal philosophy of “cucina natural”.

This focuses on the freshest ingredients, vegetables, low-cholesterol olive oil, and striking the perfect balance between flavors. The end result is light, fresh and delicious, and can be enjoyed in a fun, unique atmosphere, with an open-show kitchen and plenty of outdoor space for relaxed alfresco dining – as well as stylish private rooms for corporate and personal events. Cioppino’s sister restaurant, next door’s Enoteca, is also an elite favorite.

Giuseppe “Pino” Posteraro, Executive Chef

+1 604 688 7436

1133 and 1129 Hamilton Street, V6B 5P6


Cuisine: Local, Grill

Style / Ambiance: The food at Raincity Grill is both delicious and ethical, as this is a restaurant wholly committed to local produce, and it proves it by telling guests the names of the farms its meat and greens have come from.

Located in Vancouver’s vibrant West End, with views across English Bay, Raincity sources its ingredients from within British Columbia, including pork from a farm only 80 miles from Vancouver, and chicken from a farm in nearby Abbotsford, just 50 miles from the city. As a result, the restaurant’s dishes are characterised by fresh, intense and thoroughly authentic flavors, and are all the more inviting for being guilt-free. What’s more, the restaurant has won a catalogue of awards for both food and service, making it a must-try.

Terry Hayashi, Restaurant Manager

+1 604 685 7337

1193 Denman Street, V6G 2N1

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