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Vancouver now second Canadian city featured in prestigious Michelin Guide

Vancouver's appeal as a food lover's haven has just earned some major global cred.
What are the best restaurants in Vancouver? The prestigious Michelin Guide has set its sights on Vancouver for its iconic starred ratings program.

Vancouver's appeal as a food lover's haven has just earned some major global cred, as the city has been added to the roster of destinations covered by the prestigious restaurant rankings publication the Michelin Guide.

Considered by many as a hallmark of absolute excellence - and for some chefs and restaurateurs it's a life goal - Michelin stars are determined by esteemed "inspectors" dispatched to a destination and chronicled in the tire company's vaunted guide books. 

Those guide books have been around for over a century and the starred ratings since 1926, and while over the years the public and industry's sentiments towards the value - perceived or actual - of the ratings have gone through several cycles of favour, it's only recently that Michelin has set its eyes on Canada, having previously named Toronto as its first foray into the country.

On July 14, Michelin and Destination Vancouver teamed up to reveal that the Michelin Guide Vancouver is in the works, with the first selections to be revealed in the fall. 

“We’re thrilled to bring the Michelin Guide to Canada’s west coast and shine a spotlight on all that Vancouver has to offer,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides in a news release. “

Pullennec adds that the anonymous Michelin inspectors are at work, "eagerly diving into [Vancouver's] wide variety of cuisines, prepared with high-quality products and served in warm, casual atmospheres. Vancouver is celebrated by international travellers for its artistic vibe and multifaceted identity – from impressive buildings to outdoor spaces – and we’re pleased to focus on its very promising culinary potential.”

We can expect that the results of their fastidious dining in the city will result in a guide to the best of the best. Michelin stars are awarded at three levels: one, two, or three stars - the latter reserved for only an elite few. The 2021 guide featured 143 restaurants worldwide that earned three stars.

Additionally, the Michelin Guide features a category called Bib Gourmand, which highlights "restaurants that offer great quality food at good prices," and a "Green Star" is awarded to "restaurants that are leaders in sustainable gastronomy" (something Vancouver is pretty great at). 

Here's a little bit more from Michelin on how the restaurants are judged:

The upcoming Vancouver restaurant selection will follow Michelin’s historical methodology, based on five universal criteria, to ensure each destination’s selection equity: 1) quality products; 2) the harmony of flavours; 3) the mastery of cooking techniques; 4) the personality of the chef in the cuisine; 5) consistency between each visit (each restaurant is inspected several times a year).

Any guesses as to which Vancouver restaurants will earn stars or the Bib Gourmand distinction? It's safe to assume that the inspectors are covering a broad swatch of dining experiences in the city, and will likely visit places that often find themselves on best of lists, like St. Lawrence, Hawksworth, Kissa Tanto, Tojo's, Cioppino's, and Published on Main.