Vancouver’s acclaimed Cinara restaurant turning into sibling spot Autostrada


With the end of 2018 came the end of a chapter for the team behind Vancouver’s award-winning Italian restaurant, Cinara.

The approachable but sophisticated downtown spot on Pender has opted to rebrand as a second outpost of their slightly more casual sibling restaurant, Autostrada.

Autostrada’s menu, Dec. 29, 2018 (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome)

Autostrada, which has been open for just about a year on Main Street at 32nd in Riley Park, is a no-reservations, boisterous, laid-back osteria showcasing a slim menu of house-made pastas and antipasta, negronis, and wine.

Cinara, which was named among Vancouver’s best Italian restaurants for the 2018 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, is the venture of Chef Lucais Syme and business partner Dustin Dockendorf, who are also the duo behind Autostrada.

Risotto at Cinara, May 2018 (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome)

Life as Cinara wrapped up at the end of December, and the restaurant has closed for a couple of weeks for renovations–changes, I was told during my late-December visit to Autostrada on Main, that would be minimal and swift.

Autostrada on Pender now has an opening date set for January 17, 2019. You can expect to find the same staff, as well as roster of fresh-made pastas (like the decadent double-stuffed “doppio” and the slurp-worthy cacio e pepe, among others) and antipasti like toast loaded with fresh anchovies or duck liver, wines, cocktails, and more there.

Cacio e pepe at Autostrada on Main, Dec. 2018 (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome)

Autostrada is located at 4811 Main St. and 350 W. Pender St. in Vancouver. Follow them on Instagram at @autostradaosteria.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom