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Decades-old Vancouver diner in quirky location heads list of 'Canada’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2023'

How many of these restaurants have you tried?
Yelpers have named Vancouver's quirky Northern Cafe and Grill, a decades-old Chinese-Western diner located within a business and on top of a hardware store, as the number one place to eat nationwide in 2023.

Featuring destinations coast to coast that might not typically make buzzier "best of" lists, Yelp's annual ranking of Canada's Top 100 Places to Eat in 2023 features some of the country's most-loved eateries, and could lead to your next great meal.

The user-generated review platform came up with its 2023 rankings by first contacting its community members  "to nominate restaurants in Canada that they can’t wait to return to" this year. Then, "Yelp’s data science team analyzed the submissions from the community to determine the top restaurants by ratings, number of reviews, and volume of submissions, with geographic representation based on equal share of submissions of top-rated restaurants nationally," explains the web platform in a media release.

One last step: "Yelp further curated the list with the expertise of our Community Managers around the country to finalize the rankings. The resulting list is collaborative and passion driven – an accurate reflection of the Yelp Community itself."

Vancouver is well-represented on the list, with a total of nine restaurants located in the city itself, and another six in neighbouring Metro Vancouver municipalities. 

Taking the top spot is a Vancouver greasy spoon that is a picture-perfect definition of a hidden gem. For one thing, its location is actually hidden: the Northern Cafe and Grill is located within a business and perched atop a hardware store, all very off the beaten path - and it is one of Vancouver’s oldest restaurants. Some say it's been around since the 1960s, but other reports pin Northern's origins as far back as the 1940s. 

Run by an independent operator and known for its Chinese-Canadian diner eats, Northern is a bit of a time travel experience in a very unexpected place.

"Yelpers love the mix of traditional Asian staples, like wonton soup and spring rolls, and classic diner dishes, like french toast and steak and eggs," notes Yelp.

Last year, Northern also topped Yelp's list of the "Top 25 Places to Eat in Vancouver," which featured some unsung heroes of the local food scene. 

Ready to explore some coast-to-coast much-loved eats? Take a look below at the full list from Yelp. 

Canada’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2023

  1. The Northern Cafe and Grill - Vancouver, B.C.
  2. Buvette Scott - Québec, QC
  3. Baretto Caffe - Toronto, ON
  4. Manoush'eh - Vancouver, B.C.
  5. Charlotte's Homemade Goodies - Mississauga, ON
  6. Artista Pizza - Pitt Meadows, B.C.
  7. Damas - Montréal, QC
  8. The Rimrock Cafe - Whistler, B.C.
  9. Southeast Sandwiches - Woodbridge, ON
  10. New Orleans Seafood & Steakhouse - Toronto, ON
  11. Muncheez - North York, ON
  12. Number e food - Vancouver, B.C.
  13. Bouillon Bilk - Montréal, QC
  14. The Himalayan - Calgary, AB
  15. Grandma Loves You - Toronto, ON
  16. Parsi Sandwiches, Burgers, and Kabobs - Thornhill, ON
  17. Banh Mi Bar Restaurant - New Westminster, B.C.
  18. L'atelier Patisserie - Vancouver, B.C.
  19. Shirley Delicious Cafe - Shirley, B.C.
  20. Pawans Indian Kitchen - North Vancouver, B.C.
  21. The Diner House 29 - St. Catharines, ON
  22. Smithe Salad - Vancouver, B.C.
  23. Île Flottante - Montréal, QC
  24. Tom Sushi - Vancouver, B.C.
  25. Ten Foot Henry - Calgary, AB
  26. The Bedouins - Edmonton, AB
  27. Weinkeller - Niagara Falls, ON
  28. Taste of Naples Pizzeria - Vaughan, ON
  29. Monigram Coffee Roasters - Cambridge, ON
  30. Momo Hut & Gardens - Toronto, ON
  31. Fishhook - Victoria, B.C.
  32. L'Orygine - Québec, QC
  33. L'Affaire Est Ketchup - Québec, QC
  34. BEClub Bistro-Bar - Ville de Québec, QC
  35. Le Café du Clocher Penché - Québec, QC
  36. Le Club Chasse et Pêche - Montréal, QC
  37. Longview Steakhouse - Longview, AB
  38. Peaked Pies - Whistler, B.C.
  39. Chip+Malt - Newmarket, ON
  40. Afghan Kitchen South Surrey - Surrey, B.C.
  41. Mile One Eating House - Pemberton, B.C.
  42. Pho Ngoc Yen Restaurant - Mississauga, ON
  43. Workshop Vegetarian Cafe - North Vancouver, B.C.
  44. Corner Nook Cafe - Chilliwack, B.C.
  45. Her Father's Cider Bar & Kitchen - Toronto, ON
  46. Mystic Muffin - Toronto, ON
  47. Absinthe Bistro - Vancouver, B.C.
  48. Clementine - Winnipeg, MB
  49. Tide and Vine Oyster House - Niagara Falls, ON
  50. La Finca - Montréal, QC
  51. Yasu - Toronto, ON
  52. Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant - Edmonton, AB
  53. Le Saint-Amour - Québec, QC
  54. Big Catch Sushi - Calgary, AB
  55. Jam Cafe - Victoria, B.C.
  56. Red Door Bistro - Whistler, B.C.
  57. Alo Restaurant - Toronto, ON
  58. Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar & Grill - Toronto, ON
  59. Queens Breakfast Cocktails - Calgary, AB
  60. AnnaLena - Vancouver, B.C.
  61. Ancila's Indian Cuisine - Mississauga, ON
  62. Saint Sushi Plateau - Montréal, QC
  63. Anar Persian Cuisine - Richmond, B.C.
  64. Bowman's Bar & Grill - Ottawa, ON
  65. Cinta Ria Malaysian Restaurant - Moncton, NB
  66. An Chay - Edmonton, AB
  67. Mamajoun Armenian Pizzeria - Toronto, ON
  68. Di Rienzo's - Ottawa, ON
  69. Aleppo Kebab - Toronto, ON
  70. Sugo - Toronto, ON
  71. Sushi Momo Végétalien - Montréal, QC
  72. One2 Snacks - Scarborough, ON
  73. Ma Poule Mouillée - Montréal, QC
  74. ZCREW Cafe - Calgary, AB
  75. The PokéMan - Vancouver, B.C.
  76. Madras Cafe - Calgary, AB
  77. Falafel St-Jacques - Lachine, QC
  78. L'Avenue - Montréal, QC
  79. The Spice Joint - Jasper, AB
  80. Régine Café - Montréal, QC
  81. Le Pick-Up - Montréal, QC
  82. Pégase - Montréal, QC
  83. Janine Café - Montréal, QC
  84. O'Thym - Montréal, QC
  85. Alumni Sandwich & Liquor Bar - Calgary, AB
  86. Le Marquis - Montréal, QC
  87. The Dancing Goat - North East Margaree, NS
  88. Oui Mais Non - Montréal, QC
  89. Pasta da Panza - Laval, QC
  90. Légende - Québec, QC
  91. Bocata - Montréal, QC
  92. Restaurant Bonaparte - Montréal, QC
  93. Block Kitchen + Bar - Banff, AB
  94. Cha Baa Thai - Dartmouth, NS
  95. Café Lulu - Montréal, QC
  96. Communitea Cafe - Canmore, AB
  97. Salty Rose's and the Periwinkle Café - Ingonish, NS
  98. Patricia Street Deli - Jasper, AB
  99. Mio Stone Grill & Sushi - Airdrie, AB
  100. Red Rock Pizza - Canmore, AB