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Not all Michelin-rated restaurants are pricey. Here are Vancouver's 12 'value' spots

Try these "bang for your buck" Vancouver restaurants that earned Michelin recognition as "Bib Gourmand" selections

Tasting menus, wine pairings, and scrambling months in advance for coveted reservations at upscale restaurants may not be what locals and visitors in Vancouver hunger for.

Though the vaunted Michelin Guide just offered its inaugural ratings for Vancouver - the second Canadian city on its roster - and singled out eight restaurants they felt merit a single star, the publication (yes, from the tire company) also has gotten into the practice of spotlighting places to eat that reflect a tremendous bang for your bucks.

What is a Michelin Guide 'Bib Gourmand' restaurant?

"The restaurants recommended within the Michelin Guides aren’t all about expensive ‘fine dining,'" the publication explains. "Since 1997, our best value for money restaurants – offering a three-course meal at a reasonable price – have been pointed out using a special award: the Bib Gourmand." The price amount varies from country to country, but for Canada, the cap was set at meals of two courses plus wine or dessert for under $60. 

"Our teams of inspectors genuinely savoured their dining experiences in Vancouver,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, in a media release regarding the Oct. 27 award announcement. “They were very impressed with the city’s gastronomic dynamism."

That "dynamism" is certainly reflected in the dozen "Bib Gourmand" honours list, which features everything from a seasonal shipping container bar and back alley patio serving regional Mexican cuisine (that's Chupito) to an all-vegetarian newcomer in posh Yaletown (Nightshade) to one of Vancouver's most enduring Cambodian-Vietnamese staples (Phnom Penh). 

If nabbing a reservation at any or all of the eight one-star Vancouver restaurants isn't in your budget, take a look at the 12 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand spots in Vancouver.

Bib Gourmand restaurants, Vancouver 2022

Anh and Chi

Amélie and Vincent Nguyễn built Anh and Chi based on the notion of taking their family recipes and traditions into the next generation and creating a gathering place where all are welcome around the table. Their parents ran Pho Hoang at the same location (3388 Main St) for over 30 years. Though their father, Hoang, passed away in 2010, their mother, Ly, is still very much in charge of the food at Anh and Chi. "The menu is a love letter to Vietnam," says the Michelin Guide. "Chạo tôm bánh hỏi is prepared in a classic way, with grilled prawn mousse served with an array of fresh herbs, and there is pho, of course." 


Chupito, the hidden back alley patio cocktail bar behind La Taqueria on Hastings Street, refreshed its menu this summer. One standout dish was this fish tostada. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

Launched in the summer of 2021, Chupito is the seasonal patio bar you can only get to through the alley behind La Taqueria on Hastings Street. A fresh line-up of cocktails inspired by the sights, sounds, and most importantly the flavours of Mexico are coming out of Chupito's tiny shipping container bar, to be enjoyed under the sky (or umbrellas) for an urban evening escape to the seashore far south of the border. "Come for a cocktail and the aguachile, but stay for the other winning dishes like a red pozole bobbing with carnitas and plump hominy," urges the Michelin Guide. This is the one Bib Gourmand spot you'll have to put a pin in for warmer weather; Chupito has wrapped up its 2022 season. 

Fable Kitchen

Fable Kitchen is a bit of a dark horse on the list; it's the third-oldest spot on the inaugural Bib Gourmand selection for Vancouver, opened a decade ago in Kits with Top Chef Canada competitor Trevor Bird at the stoves. Not too long ago, Bird stepped away from the business, and the chef life in general, and currently the kitchen at Fable is headed up by Max Straczek, who not only helped open up Poland's first Michelin-starred restaurant but also has worked numerous roles at Fable and its sibling, Fable Diner. "During daytime hours, the team turns out hollandaise-slicked eggs Benedict (and variations), Johnny cakes topped with pulled pork and tomato jam and thickly sliced challah French toast plated with caramelized apples and whipped mascarpone," lauds the Michelin Guide, adding that dinnertime also offers cozy, comforting farm-to-table fare. 


Two of Fiorino's signature sandwiches, served on house-made Tuscan bread called schiacciata. The Italian restaurant hopes to introduce Vancouver to ingredients and dishes that are hard to find on menus around the city. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

Fiorino opened in late 2021. Located in a former pub-style restaurant space in Chinatown, the modern Italian eatery has day-to-night service - including a snack- and drink-fulled aperitivo offering, aka happy hour - and a fun little patio space out front that puts you in the midst of the colourful neighbourhood. Here they are serving up approachable, thoughtful Italian dishes, including a couple more that showcase ingredients and preparations you won't likely find on other local Italian restaurant menus. "At lunch, focaccia sandwiches and schiacciata, like the one stuffed with guanciale, drizzled with honey and spread with walnut crema, are the hot ticket. At dinner, it's all about pasta," notes Michelin.

Kin Kao Song

The sibling spot to the much-loved Commercial Drive restaurant Kin Kao opened just shy of a year ago. Kin Kao Song's Terrence Feng says guests can expect a different menu from the original Kin Kao on The Drive "with a big emphasis on approachable but unique-to-Vancouver Thai food." And Michelin says: "Kin Kao Song's fare is driven by a creative spirit and the region's bounty. The lemongrass wings are a special surprise." (Also: get the Pad Thai, it's "best in class" here.)

Little Bird Dim Sum 

Call them the rebels against tradition - with some serious cred. Little Bird is a Kitsilano restaurant serving up dim sum weeknights and all day and into the night on weekends, too. They pair it with craft beer, and even do vegan dim sum. As it happens, the aptly named Little Bird is an offspring of Vancouver's veteran Flamingo Chinese restaurant. "Of course, there must be dumplings, and Little Bird's run the gamut from traditional (ha gow) to surprising, with sweet corn, cilantro and shrimp," the Michelin Guide spotlights.

Lunch Lady

The Lunch Lady on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Photo: Feed the Frontline Canada/Facebook

"Much like a grandmother who has prepared a feast for her family, chef Nguyen Thi Thanh exudes a warm, loving presence as she looks over her bustling dining room," begins the Michelin Guide. Indeed, Commercial Drive's go-to for modern Vietnamese fare has deep roots with a modest food stall in Vietnam made famous by a celebrity chef and travel raconteur. Here you'll find deeply flavourful bowls of noodle soup (go on Sundays to get the slow braised duck soup), steak luc lac, and crispy chili salted prawns.


Yaletown's Nightshade has impressive roots, grown one province over in Alberta; this debut Vancouver venture is from the same folks behind well-known vegetarian spots The Coup and The Dandelion in Calgary, and Nourish in Banff. The opening menu was designed by acclaimed chef Chanthy Yen, who trained in Vancouver and has spent time in kitchens around the country and globe. "Here, diners will discover a full list of well-crafted cocktails, local beers and a respectable wine list, along with a menu that roams the world," notes Michelin. Your dining  journey can find you tearing off pieces of roti infused with fenugreek and garam masala and scooping up creamy spread that melds raita with vegan butter and golden orbs of roasted garlic then drizzling a palm sugar sauce on a crispy deep-fried taro roll paired with fresh basil, mint, and butter lettuce. 

Oca Pastificio

The restaurant is the project of a duo who are both long-time friends as well as Vancouver restaurant vets, including from the acclaimed Italian spot La Quercia. Oca Pastificio is billed as "a cozy, sans chichi spot, serving honest, fresh, handcrafted pasta, based on local and seasonal ingredients." Of this little spot on The Drive, Michelin says, "this simple pastificio invites diners to pull up a chair and savor authentic, well-prepared pasta dishes. Tagliatelle with a wine-rosemary braised rabbit ragu is especially satisfying."

Phnom Penh

What hasn't been said about this humble - but wildly popular Chinatown eatery offering Cambodian-Vietnamese eats - that hasn't been said already since it launched in the early 1980s? It's also the oldest restaurant on the Bib GOumand list. The tables are tightly packed, the din is non-stop, but the dishes are a massive and enduring draw. "The menu is massive, offering nearly 100 rice, noodle and soup preparations, but everyone knows to lean on the classics. You could almost make a meal out of #71, thin slivers of nearly-raw beef soaking in a tangy mix of pureed pineapple and fish sauce," praises the Michelin Guide. 

Say Mercy!

BBQ Bolo at Say Mercy in Vancouver. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

The food at Say Mercy! reflects a harmonious co-mingling of Italian fare and American BBQ, with crowd-pleasing pastas, mains, salads, and some gloriously buttery Parker House rolls served up in their bright, cozy dining room. " Don't even think about passing over the BBQ Bolo—it's nonnegotiable. Short for "bolognese," it's a distinctive dish of house-made spaghetti tossed with pancetta, smoked pork butt and Grana Padana," raves the Michelin Guide. (We agree!)


The veteran Vancouver Indian restaurant founded by former spouses Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala has changed locations, started taking reservations, and even does take-out (the latter two unheard of before the pandemic). "When it opened back in 1994, this local staple was at the vanguard of Indian fine dining in North America, and it continues to make a compelling case for the gastronomic riches of the subcontinent," points out the Michelin Guide. And, yes: Always order the "lamb popsicles" (don't worry, they aren't frozen).