If you are not from Vancouver, you are probably unfamiliar about Dine Out Vancouver Festival. Once originally started to promote non-peak dining season after holidays, now has become the most anticipated dining event of the city alluring from local residents to foodies all around the world. Thanks to Dine Out Vancouver (DOV), the winter season is hotter than ever as the number of participating restaurants keep breaking its past year's record. This year's DOV which starts this Friday the 16th, has listed 277 of amazing restaurants in Vancouver offering their own prix-fixe 3-course menus ranging from $18, $28 or $38.
Personally, I love eating out and tasting what other chefs and cooks created as I am either unmotivated or lazy to cook my meals every day. Which is why DOV has been a great opportunity to try restaurants that I have been longing to go. So, I have been taking the full advantage of this event since my discovery back in 2008. Some restaurants turned out to be absolutely mind-blowing, but others ended up tremendously disappointing that made me swear I would never go back. In order for you to eliminate cases of the latter, I have gone through numerous amounts of the restaurants on the list, and here I am very happy to share my top 5 picks right below. Just be noted that this list is 100% based on my personal experience, expectation and taste and please do share your favourites on comment. Here you go!
A hidden gem in Kitslano that brings Latin Cuisine added with West Coast twist. Try Ecuadorian Ceviche for appetizers and Paella for entree. I would also highly recommend native-Colombian made Arepa Con Chorizo which is not included in the prix-fixe but is my absolute favourite dish from Baru. I've been there a couple of times now and every visit I make I walk out of comfort and content state of mind.
I've never been but the menu sounds so good! Is it just me or does Bacon Wrapped Ham Hock Ballontine, Apple BBQ Sauce, Popcorn Grits, Creamed Spinach and Broccolini sound good to you too? It reminds me of Husk in Charleston, South Carolina which was one of the best dining experiences in my life!
A classic and historical seafood house & oyster bar located on Robson Street shopping district since 1985. I would go for New England Clam Chowder, freshly-caught B.C. Sockeye Salmon, and Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee. I went to Joe Fortes in 2013 Dine Out Vancouver Festival and it did not end up disappointing. Too bad they took King Crab Tempura out of the dinner menu though which still is the BEST Tempura I've ever had.
Probably one of the most upscale Japanese cuisines in Vancouver that is known for Aburi style which means lightly flame-seared. Also has lunch menu for $28! Having an ocean view as it is located near Canada Place is a plus while eating fresh albacore tuna sashimi and signature sushi!
5. Damso: Click to see the DOV menu
Small, tiny little Korean restaurant that has less than 25 seats in West End opened by a talented chef studied in Paris, has a very unique way of serving Korean food. Recently opened another location in the heart of downtown and both of locations offer $18 3-course meal during lunch and dinner time. They complied my favourite dishes from the restaurants, including Korean BBQ Taco, Kalbee which is 48-hour slow-cooked, marinated beef short ribs and Yuzu Sorbet.