Georgia Straight readers share their best meals in Vancouver

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The verdict is in: Vancouver diners are well fed. When Georgia Straight readers were asked to recall a great meal they had eaten at a restaurant over the past year, there was no shortage of responses. From delicious food and memorable service to special company and discovering something new, Straight readers counted the ways in which their restaurant experiences were exceptional in 2011.

“Best meal I have every year is still at Le Crocodile, celebrating my birthday with my wife,” one reader said. “Chef Michel Jacob is still the best.”

Another reader had a notable experience at a different West End restaurant, saying, “Adesso Bistro surprised us with its romantic, casual vibe, excellent service, affordable prices, and the regional Italian cuisine.”

One reader recalled how an entire meal came together at the recently opened Hawksworth restaurant.

“Hawksworth stood out from the rest with fine food, classy atmosphere, and impeccable service,” the reader said.

However, it wasn’t only experiences at fine-dining restaurants that readers found outstanding. Many diners praised casual eateries, such as the Red Wagon, Apollonia Greek Restaurant, Locus Restaurant & Lounge, and Romer’s Burger Bar as well.

“At Save On Meats, the food and people make such a difference,” one reader wrote.

“At Burgoo restaurant on Main [Street], the wait is usually at least half-an-hour, but well worth it—international comfort food and great service,” said another.

Some readers noted that it was a meal during this year’s Dine Out Vancouver event that they remember most fondly.

“Dine Out Vancouver at Maenam.…Wanted to try it for a while, [and] totally worth it. The food was so flavourful. Definitely going again,” one reader said.

Another reader who dined at C restaurant during Dine Out said, “We had a fantastic meal at C. Each dish delicious and a little surprising, and exactly the right amount of food.”

Many reader responses were simply rave reviews about a specific dish.

“Baru [Latino Restaurante] has this beef tiradito, and it’s to die for,” one reader said about the Latin restaurant’s seared beef carpaccio and chimichurri dish. “I order it every time I’m there.”

Another reader wrote about the pizza at Campagnolo Roma, saying, “The pizza is fresh, charred, delicious, and authentic. The whipped ricotta is smooth and velvety—awesome.”

“Actually blissed out like I was high on some teenage drug after eating their OMG coconut pie,” said a reader about the dessert at OrganicLives.

Meanwhile, a reader who dined at Ebo restaurant remembered, “The meal was tailored to my dairy intolerance, and the duck consommé was boiled in a beaker at our table.”

Sometimes, the difference between a good meal and a great meal was an element of surprise during the dining experience.

“I can’t believe the quality and quantity of the portions at Tokyo Thyme,” one reader said. “The chefs are culinary artists.”

“L’Abbatoir absolutely blew me away. They even made sweetbreads and veal tongue look and taste amazing,” another reader remarked in praise.

Some readers were surprised by how good a dish or meal tasted despite a dietary restriction.

“I had a wonderful meal at Milestones, which really surprised me because they are not really vegan-friendly,” one reader said.

Another reader who ate the Caesar salad, sprouted pecan sushi, and Ridiculous chocolate dessert at OrganicLives wrote, “It’s incredible how good a raw vegan meal can taste.”

“Vegan Philly cheesesteak at Loving Hut Express,” a reader said. “Best I’ve ever had, even when I was eating meat and dairy.”

Often, a great meal is enhanced by pleasant company.

“Best meal hands down was a date night at Carthage Café—the absolutely most perfect meal, service, and atmosphere I’ve ever had,” said one reader.

“Great family meal at Green Lettuce Restaurant,” said another. “A big hang of difficult people, and everyone left happy with the food and service.”

However, at least one reader found that a memorable restaurant meal was best enjoyed alone.

“Christmas dinner at Five Sails was one of the best meals I have had this year,” the reader said. “Ditch your family and go next year.”

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