The Michelin Guide has finally come to Canada. Shortly after 13 restaurants in Toronto were awarded with stars (yes, I have some opinions about the selections but that’s a topic for another post), the inspectors moved onto Vancouver and announced 8 restaurants as recipients this year.
Although we didn’t eat at any of the now Michelin-starred restaurants when we were in Vancouver this past June, I thought this would be a good time to summarize the delicious food experiences from our trip out west. In my opinion, Vancouver is one of the best food destinations in Canada. Here’s a list of every restaurant we visited in the city.
📍780 Bidwell St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2J6 (and other locations)
Originally from Kawaguchi, Japan, Marutama Ramen established its first Canadian outpost in 2013 and subsequently grew to include several locations around Vancouver. We stopped at the one in the West End for our first lunch in Vancouver, where I had a bowl of their Original Ramen with creamy chicken broth and pork chashu. This was one of the better ramens I’ve had in Canada, but of course incomparable to our experiences in Japan.
📍777 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E 3V5 (and other locations)
We met up with friends for dinner at this famous seafood restaurant in downtown Vancouver, named after Joseph Seraphim Fortes — a prominent figure in early Vancouver history best known for being the city’s first official lifeguard. The restaurant is expansive, with multiple dining areas and live music. We tried the Oysters Rockefeller, seafood linguine, and chopped tomato salad. The portions are huge and it was a decent meal, although not my favourite of the week.
📍1175 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N2
After our day in Squamish, we found ourselves back in the West End seeking sushi and came across Tom Sushi from a cursory Google search. We had a couple of their signature rolls which sufficiently satisfied our craving. Sushi is ubiquitous in Vancouver and a must-eat when you’re in town.
📍1535 Johnston Street, Creekhouse #102, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
Lunch at Sandbar was my favourite of our meals in Vancouver. We came here during our visit to Granville Island and had The Sandbarge platter of fresh oysters, Dungeness crab, and ahi tuna poke. When weather permits, I recommend a seat on the outdoor patio with lovely views overlooking False Creek.
📍159 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H5 (and other locations)
Purebread is a family owned bakery chain established in Whistler and with several locations around the BC Lower Mainland. It receives rave reviews online so we came by for a snack at the Gastown location. I tried one of their cookies but wasn’t blown away; I guess I’ve been spoiled by all the great bakeries in Toronto.
📍1239 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N4 (and other locations)
We went to Guu Izakaya in the West End for another dinner with friends. This izakaya restaurant serving Japanese small plates has locations around Vancouver and Toronto, and is one of our regular favourites even at home. It’s tempting to order everything on the menu, so best to go with a group to share. My top choices include the kimchi udon, takoyaki (deep fried octopus ball), and ceviche salad.
📍1226 Bute St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1Z8
Upon our return from Tofino, we went out for an omakase dinner at Sushi Bar Maumi. This small minimalist sushi bar seats only 10 guests at a time and offers two dinner services per evening. It reminded me of Tanoshi in New York City — although that remains one of my favorite sushi joints outside of Japan by a large margin. Sushi Bar Maumi was nonetheless excellent, and I think a better budget-friendly choice for us over the very pricy Tojo’s which we were originally planning to visit.
📍1719 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9 (and other locations)
Our final restaurant meal in Vancouver was at Dinesty on Robson Street downtown. This local Chinese restaurant chain is best known for its Shanghai soup dumplings, of which we enjoyed two portions.