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These are the best Chinese restaurants and dishes in and around Vancouver this year (PHOTOS)

Seek out these tantalizing eats for your next Chinese food adventure in Vancouver or Richmond

After hitting pause on its usual proceedings during 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Chinese Restaurant Awards picked up where they left off this year, and have just revealed its picks for the best of the best in dining in and around Vancouver.

Celebrating Metro Vancouver's diverse and accomplished Chinese dining scene, the Chinese Restaurant Awards serve to recognize people in the industry who have built community and raised the profile of Chinese dining in the city. The Critics' Choice dishes are decided by a tasting panel who eat their way around Vancouver and Richmond to determine the best of the best, and what is innovative and significant. 

Of particular note for 2021 is the inclusion of a non-Chinese Vancouver restaurant, Boulevard, thanks to Executive Chef Roger Ma's inclusion of classic Chinese BBQ in his winning dish. Newcomers to the Awards for this year also include Vancouver specialty bakeshop Kouign Café, Chef's Choice Chinese Cuisine, and Street Auntie.

Kouign Cafe - The White Rabbit
The White Rabbit cookie from Kouign Café in Vancouver. Photo courtesy Chinese Restaurant Awards

“We believe it’s time to put a spotlight on these outstanding restaurants, and award-winning signature dishes curated by our team of culinary judges. The Awards is proud to continue promoting Vancouver to eager diners and returning tourists, as having the best Chinese food in North America," said Chinese Restaurant Awards president Craig Stowe as part of the ceremony honouring winners held in Vancouver Nov. 16.

In addition to singling out top-notch restaurants and dishes, the Awards also honoured four tremendous collaborative projects with charitable components in its COLLECTIVE Awards. Winners included endeavours like the photo fundraiser Behind the Plexi and the recent "Taste of Chinatown" event as part of the inaugural Light Up Chinatown festival. 

Because the Awards did not take place in 2020, this year's event also celebrated its 2020 Critics' Choice dishes, a dozen tantalizing selections from restaurants in the region.

INSPIRE Award

Underwater Harvesters’ Association

COLLECTIVE Awards

  • Chopstickstoheroes 2020: Alex Bin Wang, Dachen Yang, Jason Li, Chopvalue and Fantuan
  • Feast of Fortune:  St. Paul’s Foundation
  • Behind the Plexi 2021: Shelley McArthur Everett, Brad Roark
  • Light Up Chinatown “Taste of Chinatown”: Vancouver Chinatown Foundation

Ocean Wise Awards

  • Hotpot Palace, Richmond 
  • The Fish Man, Richmond

Critics’ Choice Awards – Game Changers, presented by Canola Eat Well

  • Chef’s Choice Chinese Cuisine, Vancouver
  • iDen and Quan Ju De, Vancouver
  • Old Bird, Vancouver
  • Uncle's Snack Shop, Richmond

2021 Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards, presented by Canola Eat Well

  • ABALONE GINGER AND GREEN ONION HOT POT at Bamboo Grove Restaurant, Richmond
  • BC GEODUCK WITH SOFT SCRAMBLED EGGS at Bamboo Grove Restaurant, Richmond
  • DRY AGED CHINESE STYLE BBQ DUCK / QUAIL at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver
  • BEEF FEATHER TRIPE WITH SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS at Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant, Richmond
  • GOLD COIN CHICKEN at Chef's Choice Chinese Cuisine, Vancouver
  • STEAMED SOUP DUMPLING at Chef's Choice Chinese Cuisine, Vancouver
  • BLACK SESAME BALLS at Heritage Asian Eatery, Vancouver
  • THE WHITE RABBIT at Kouign Café, Vancouver
  • MIXED DEEP FRIED APPETIZERS at Memory Corner, Richmond
  • SIGNATURE BEIJING DUCK at iDen & Quan Ju De, Vancouver
  • GHOST CHICKEN SALAD at Street Auntie Aperitivo House, Vancouver
  • DONG BO PORK at Suhang Restaurant, Richmond
  • SOUR CABBAGE FISH HOTPOT at The Fish Man, Richmond

2020 Critics’ Choice Signature Dish Awards, presented by Canola Eat Well

sweet-sour-pork-emperors-kitchen-richmond-bc
Sweet & Sour Pork Tenderloin from Emperor's Kitchen in Richmond was among the winners of the 2020 Chinese Restaurant Awards Critics' Choice dishes. Lindsay William-Ross / Vancouver Is Awesome
  • STEAMED SCALLOP & PEA TIP DUMPLING at Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, Vancouver
  • SWEET & SOUR PORK TENDERLOIN at Emperor’s Kitchen, Richmond
  • VITASOY FLAVOURED CREAM PUFF at Little Fox Bakehouse, Richmond
  • KUNG PO LOBSTER/PRAWN, SWEETCORN & WATER CHESTNUT CAKE at Mott 32 (Temporarily closed), Vancouver
  • CHEF’S ALASKA KING CRAB SIGNATURE MENU at New Fishport Seafood Bistro, Vancouver
  • CHIU CHOW STYLE OYSTER PAN CAKE at New Mandarin Seafood Restaurant, Vancouver
  • TRADITIONAL STEAMED DUMPLING SAMPLER at Nine Dumplings, Vancouver
  • INDIVIDUAL STEAMED BLACK COD IN BAMBOO LEAF at Prince Seafood Restaurant, Vancouver
  • EXQUISITE SILVER SOUP BASE at The Dolar Shop, Richmond
  • TORAFUKU BEEF NOODLE SOUP at Torafuku, Vancouver
  • XIN JIANG BRAISED CHICKEN AND POTATO PLATTER WITH BIANG BIANG NOODLES at Xi’an Noodle Restaurant, Richmond
  • SHANGHAI MOON CAKES at Z&W Shanghainese Kitchen, Vancouver