Restaurant insiders pick the best eats in Vancouver for 2012

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A team of Straight staffers called up more than 100 local restaurateurs, chefs, and managers, and asked them to name the best restaurants in Vancouver in several categories. Here's what they picked.

Best Chef

  1. David Hawksworth
  2. Pino Posteraro
  3. Lee Cooper

Best New

  1. Hawksworth Restaurant
    801 West Georgia Street, 604-673-7000
  2. Ensemble Restaurant & Bar
    850 Thurlow Street, 604-569-1770
  3. Nicli Antica Pizzeria
    62 East Cordova, 604-669-6985

Best West Coast

  1. Bishop's Restaurant
    2183 West 4th Avenue, 604-738-2025
  2. Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar (tie)
    1095 Hamilton Street, 604-688-8078
  3. West (tie)
    2881 Granville Street, 604-738-8938
  4. C Restaurant (tie)
    2–1600 Howe Street, 604-681-1164
  5. Hawksworth (tie)
    801 West Georgia Street, 604-673-7000

Best French

  1. Le Crocodile
    100–909 Burrard Street, 604-669-4298
  2. Les Faux Bourgeois
    663 East 15th Avenue, 604-873-9733
  3. Bistro Pastis
    2153 West 4th Avenue, 604-731-5020

Best Chinese

  1. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
    163 Keefer Street, 604-688-0876
  2. Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
    3888 Main Street, 604-872-8822
    102–4940 No. 3 Road, Richmond, 604-273-8208
  3. Kirin Seafood Restaurant
    Various locations

Best Japanese

  1. Tojo's
    1133 West Broadway, 604-872-8050
  2. Hapa Izakaya
    Various locations
  3. Guu (tie) Various locations
  4. Kingyo Izakaya (tie)
    871 Denman Street, 604-608-1677

Best Italian

  1. La Quercia
    3689 West 4th Avenue, 604-676-1007
  2. Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
    1133 Hamilton Street, 604-688-7466
    1129 Hamilton Street, 604-685-8462
  3. Il Giardino
    1382 Hornby Street, 604-669-2422

Best Indian

  1. Vij's
    1480 West 11th Avenue, 604-736-6664
  2. Rangoli
    1488 West 11th Avenue, 604-736-5711
  3. Six tied for third place

Best Other Asian

  1. Maenam
    1938 West 4th Avenue, 604-730-5579
  2. Phnom Penh
    244 East Georgia Street, 604-734-8898
  3. Banana Leaf
    Various locations

Best Latin American

  1. Cobre Nuevo Latino Cuisine
    52 Powell Street, 604-669-2396
  2. La Taqueria
    322 West Hastings Street, 604-568-4406
    2549 Cambie Street, 604-558-2549
  3. Doña Cata Mexican Food
    5076 Victoria Drive, 604-436-2232
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Mar 24, 2012 at 9:35am

What no vegan?

Charlie Smith

Mar 24, 2012 at 12:00pm

We had vegan content in this issue, including the readers' choice for the most vegan-friendly restaurant and an article about vegan cooking by Stephen Hui.

Charlie Smith

Coffee Bean

Mar 26, 2012 at 11:05pm

Caffe Artigiano is listed as the best in the independent coffee shop category as well as being listed in the chain coffee shop category. Isn't this a contradiction.

dave c

Jun 11, 2012 at 2:42am

Cobre seems to be closed from the end of march to September.

steve tyler

Jun 16, 2012 at 9:27pm

looks like you managed to identify all the expensive restaurants for each food category

Music too darn loud

Sep 16, 2012 at 2:02am

Now if only some of these restaurants would turn down the volume of their awful music! When will restauranteurs learn that many of us want to have a conversation with friends when we are out for dinner? some of the Vancouver restaurants are playing music for the staff - not the patrons...forget the music..the hum of people chatting and laughing is what creates a good ambiance.

Sandra Bachleitner

Oct 8, 2012 at 8:16pm

Not true of the Indian Rangoli's is very reasonable and delicious too!!!! I am writing in response to the comment that you managed to pick all of the expensive eateries.


Nov 14, 2012 at 12:01pm

3.Doña Cata Mexican Food!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!

Let just say Doña Cata Mexican Food
should not have made the top 3 list...hell it shouldnt even make the top 100.


Nov 15, 2012 at 5:25pm

These awards are all farce. Do you really believe that the restaurants mentioned on this list are the best in city ? If you are a foodie like I am and have been around in the city then the only way I can beleive that some of them got listed is either they have either paid for their listings or they probably requested all their family / friends & employees to vote for them.


Jan 8, 2013 at 12:09pm

Justin90: Given that you a foodie and have considerable experience dining out in Vancouver, how about you provide some of your top picks?


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