Food lovers of Vancouver: you’ve got goals. There are always new places to eat, new dishes being added to menus, and special items that are blowing up your Instagram feed.
Although right now a lot of us are thinking about egg nog, turducken, and gingerbread, winter isn’t just Christmas–there’s a lot of eating to do.
From food innovations to just-opened sensations, here are 20 things to eat and drink this winter in Vancouver.
1. Society Cake at Honey Salt
The masses have gone ga-ga over Honey Salt’s Society Cake, which is a jaw-droppingly giant slab of banana and chocolate layer cake so big it challenges the confines of the Instagram square. It’s also fabulously moist and not too painfully sweet (and holds up as a wicked with-coffee leftover the following morning).
2. Dim Sum at 1886
The morning tradition of dim sum gets a chic upmarket restyling at 1886 at Parq Vancouver. This sibling restaurant to the aforementioned Honey Salt is a sumptuous dining room with lots of high-end touches that take dim sum to the next level.
3. BBQ Duck and more at Chinatown BBQ
Just opened is Chinatown BBQ, a humble spot that has brought traditional BBQ meats and sides back to Chinatown. Chow down on their duck, or opt for char siu pork, and don’t skimp on the sides.
4. Mmmmmm Doughnuts at Lucky’s in Kitsilano
The “Mmmmmm Doughnut” is one of Lucky’s classic yeast rings, glazed with a strawberry buttermilk and topped with multicolour sprinkles. Mmmmmm, right? Aaron Surman, Executive Chef for 49th Parallel and Lucky’s, tells Vancouver Is Awesome that this particular doughnut is one that he puts on special at the Kitsilano location of Lucky’s, and it’s been in his roster for a few months now.
5. Vegan tuna at Westcoast Poké
Vegan tuna is coming to Vancouver. It’s called Ahimi, and it was invented in New York. Westcoast Poké will carry the Ahimi and use it for a more “authentic” poké bowl for its vegan and vegetarian customers.
6. French Toast at Yolks‘ new location
It’s some of the best French Toast in town, and it’s being dished up in Yolks new location on East Hastings…conveniently located just steps from their original East Hastings location.
7. Middle eastern eats at Aleph
Aleph will focus on old world recipes and bold new flavours, marrying innovation and tradition in one spot. The mezze-style menu will feature dishes showcasing seasonal B.C. produce, and modern iterations of staple Middle Eastern eats–think lots of olive oil, lemon, and chickpeas in everything from creamy hummus to flatbreads made in a traditional Saj oven. They’re hoping to open this December.
8. All the Manoush’eh at Manoush’eh
Named for Lebabon’s classic “pie” this dough base can be loaded with anything as basic as some zesty za’atar or with all the meats and veggies. This new spot on Davie zeroes in on this hero of Middle Eastern cuisine.
9. Fancy cocktails at HJUZ Lounge
Check out the swank digs and jazz-age vibe inspired by aviator Howard Hughes at the new HJUZ Lounge inside the Westin Bayshore. Get dressed up and sip on elegant classic cocktails and small bites.
10. Pokecado Toast at Bao Down Gastropub
Trend on trend is on trend come the weekend at Bao Down Gastropub in Olympic Village. The Pokecado is made with avocado, greens, furikake, cucumber, and albacore tuna poke served on top of a thick slice of farmers’ bread with a poached egg.
11. Home style Japanese food at Dosanko
Get a taste of the kind of Japanese food most often found inside homes, but with high quality ingredients and pro technique. They’re known for their egg dish, Omu Rice, but also rock a soulful Udon, and a juicy-crisp pork tonkatsu, too.
12. Italian eats at Autostrada
Vancouver pasta pro Chef Lucais Syme is prepping Autostrada for Main Street near 33 Street in Riley Park. Named for a kind of road in Italy, Autostrada will indeed be all things Italian, and, of course, be all about that beautiful pasta. Opening soon!
13. The All-Day Breakfast Burger at Bells & Whistles
The new hang on Fraser is Bells & Whistles, a sports bar with a chill hipster vibe and a banging menu of solid all-day eats, including this decadent (hangover curing?) breakfast burger. The good news is there are plenty of delicious craft brews you can wash it down with, too.
14. Drinkes and bites at Spade
A new project from Sammy Piccolo (Prado cafes), Spade has just opened on Commercial Drive, and showcases breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an Italian bent, along with cocktails, and, of course, coffee.
15. Burgers at Bin 4 Burger Lounge
Fans of Victoria’s Bin 4 Burger Lounge will endorse the first Vancouver outpost of this burger-centric spot. They’ve just opened up in South Granville (in the old Luke’s) and are hoping to woo Vancouverites with their decadent burgs, salads, and sandwiches.
16. Aloha Drinking Chocolate at East Van Roasters
When the snow starts to fall, we’re all about hot chocolate. Yes, it’s officially the time of year where you can opt for warm cups of sweetness over mittens or gloves. East Van Roasters is known for their absolutely gorgeous small batch chocolate and inventive flavour combinations that (thankfully), never stray too far from traditional deliciousness. Their brand new island inspired drinking chocolate features Caramel and Peru ganache with a touch of Hawaiian black salt. For an extra jolt, try it as a mocha.
17. Beef Tartare at Two Rivers Meats
If you’re going to eat raw beef, what better place than at the butcher shop? The sumptuous beef tartare at Two Rivers Meats’ Butcher Shop & Eatery in North Vancouver is made using hand-ground beef, and is a delicious kick off to a meal in this new spot. Plus you won’t be too full to eat their signature cheeseburger.
18. Cuban eats and drinks at Tocador
Tocador is the new venture that’s taking over the former Charlie’s Little Italian space on Main Street. It’s a whole new team of owners, and you can expect a Cuban vibe.
19. Sushi at Super Hiro’s
A brand-spankin’ new sushi spot? Yes please! Super Hiro’s in Kits is an exclusively omakase (chef’s selection) sushi restaurant, and their grand opening was December 4.
20. Party Pub grub at Dublin Calling
Toronto’s Dublin Calling has ventured West, landing on Granville in downtown Vancouver. It’s a Party Pub, so you are guaranteed to find the kind of pub fare and Irish nods that will duty soak up your beers. Plenty to fortify yourself for a round of darts!
With files from Adam Nanji
Note: This article was amended to reflect correct information about the ownership of Tocador.