Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

8 Vancouver restaurant openings to watch for this May

The rest of the month is packed with exciting new food and drink options in Vancouver
Uni will take centre stage at Takenaka's upcoming Japanese restaurant, launching in Gastown this May. It's one of several exciting restaurant debuts happening in Vancouver this month.

We are not quite halfway through May and already Vancouver has a staggering lineup of new restaurants with opening dates set for the rest of the month.

With the doors open already at new Spanish hot spot Casa Molina, the second outpost of globally-infused beerhall Sing Sing, and the waterfront Vancouver location of Tasty BBQ (plus a spot for Vegas-inspired donuts), May has so far seen a handful of noteworthy new food and drink options in the city. 

Here's a look at a few restaurants and cocktail bars with opening dates set (or aimed) for May 2024.

Locanda dell'Orso

Locanda dell'Orso (which translates to English as the "inn of the bear") is open as of May 14 at 350 W Pender St, in the former Autostrada/Cinara space. 

Menu highlights will include agnolotti stuffed with chicken, beef, and rosemary, which reflects the cuisine of Italy's Piedmont region, while "the classic Sicilian dish of Canestri Caponata, with vegetables, capers, and olives, spiced with Calabrian chilli, and topped with salted ricotta, embodies flavours found along the Italian coast," describes a media release.

Opening: May 14

Monarch Burger

Monarch Burger is transitioning from a pop-up to a new permanent space after a five-year hiatus with a restaurant location in Vancouver.

Chef/owner Robert Belcham will launch the new standalone Monarch Burger at 3034 Main St in Mount Pleasant (replacing Mitra Canteen). The venture is in partnership with The Narrow Group (Uncle Abe's, Key Party). The Monarch Burger menu will be trim and focused, featuring: the Burger, the original Dirty Burger (cheeseburger), the Double Dirty (double cheeseburger), a Veggie Mushroom Burger (of course), plus Smokey Beef Fat Fries, Poutine, and, finally, the all-dressed Spicy Loaded Poutine (with pulled pork and Wreck Peach Hot Sauce from Rosie’s BBQ & Smokehouse). 

Opening: May 15

Via Tevere - Main Street

Via Tevere has been a staple on Victoria Drive in East Van for over a decade and is known for its Neapolitan-style pizzas.  A second location, at 3240 Main St (ex-Pizzeria Grano) is opening on May 15. Via Tevere Main Street will feature 32 indoor seats in addition to two outdoor spaces: a 12-seat side patio and another 12-seat curbside patio.

Fans of Grano will be happy to know that alongside Via Tevere's menu of pizza, salads, and simple pasta dishes, the Main Street location will also have some of Grano's plant-forward menu items available.  Additionally, Pizzeria Grano's menu will continue to be available online for pickup or delivery.

Opening: May 15

Takenaka - Uni Bar

Takenaka, which operates a sushi-centric food truck and a charming onigiri café in East Vancouver, will soon welcome guests to its "uni bar" restaurant at 52 Powell St. The vacated restaurant space was previously the home of Rodney's Oyster House.

For its Gastown venture, Takenaka will be open for dinner service, offering a casual dining experience and a menu that includes dishes featuring uni and oysters. Takenaka has found that their uni onigiri has been popular at their café, but for Takenaka Gastown, guests can enjoy the seafood delicacy - and the whole menu - with Japanese sake and beer. 

Opening: May 16

Hello Kitty Café

It's been almost a year since it became clear Vancouver was getting a Hello Kitty Cafe, but it was not clear until recently when the popular Japanese brand would open at 1274 Robson St. The cute (and very pink) cafe has kept its plans for Vancouver under tight wraps, but have announced it will open May 17.

Sanrio's Hello Kitty Café chain has three American locations with two in Las Vegas and another in Southern California. The original U.S. Hello Kitty Cafe in Irvine, Calif. serves a menu featuring a "supercute selection of cookies, cakes, seasonal items and handmade hot and iced drinks." 

Opening: May 17

Lavantine Restaurant & Skybar 

Downtown Vancouver's new-ish Azur Legacy Hotel will debut its second onsite restaurant soon as Lavantine opens its doors up on the rooftop level this month.

Lavantine Restaurant & Skybar, which joins the hotel's other restaurant, Dahlia, at 833 W Pender St, will boast an open-concept kitchen and chef's table option, and what they're calling a "skybar," which will feature "sweeping views of the city skyline, ocean, and mountains," according to a media release.

Opening: TBD in May


Prophecy is making its home in Rosewood Hotel Georgia, specifically the "hotel’s historic basement," according to the new bar's website. It promises to mix classic elegance and contemporary chic with a bar led by the award-winning Jeff Savage, with a few exciting food options to with the cocktails.

The sophisticated new spot for sips and bites and a little nightlife action could be open before the end of May. 

Opening: TBD, likely in May

Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie

We don't know much about celebrated chef Rob Feenie's plans now that he is at the helm of Vancouver's legendary high-end French restaurant Le Crocodile. The restaurant has been located at 909 Burrard St, for the bulk of its tenure, though it began in a smaller downtown space initially before moving to its present space in 1992. The white tablecloth French restaurant is known for its elegant setting and refined French fare with a West Coast sensibility. 

Previous chef/owner Michel Jacob announced his retirement and the news of Feenie taking the reins earlier this year. 

Opening: TBD, likely in May

With files from Brendan Kergin

Find more delicious Vancouver food and drink video stories by following V.I.A's Forking Awesome TikTok account, @forkingawesomevancouver on Instagram, and signing up for our Forking Awesome newsletter delivered fresh to your inbox every Thursday.