The 16th annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 19 to February 4) is gearing up for its highly anticipated return, and foodlovers are probably in the midst of researching menus and making reservations.
With over 300 participating restaurants, it can be a difficult task to choose where to dine. Do you go back to the well-loved joints or try out an eatery you’ve never visited?
If you’re keen on checking out fresh spots, we’ve compiled a list of 10 new and noteworthy Dine Out additions to help you decide where to book a table.
1886 (39 Smithe Street, $40)
Besides glitzy slot machines and fancy bars, Parq Vancouver is also home to 1886—an upscale Chinese-dining establishment located on the third floor of the casino. This newcomer is joining the food-and-drink celebration with a dinner menu that features Peking-duck salad, sweet-and-sour Iberico pork, Szechuan chili prawns, and more. Finish off your meal with mango sago soup—a traditional Chinese dessert that will hit the spot.
Crowbar (646 Kingsway, $30)
Fraserhood’s Crowbar is a no-fuss drinks spot that also serves up West Coast fare. Its dinner menu for Dine Out will showcase items like grilled carrots with black garlic bagna cauda (an Italian fondue-like dip), braised lamb with caramelized mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, and brown-butter panna cotta, among others. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available.
Dosanko (100–566 Powell Street, $20)
Chef Nathan Lowey’s Japanese home-style eatery, Dosanko, has been a sleepy hit since it opened in the Railtown neighbourhood last summer. It will be offering a lunch and dinner menu during the Dine Out Festival, with options like Aki’s salad (topped with a house-made dressing), hayashi rice (hashed beef rice), and a New York–style Japanese rare cheesecake for dessert.
Fayuca (1009 Hamilton Street, $30)
This North Pacific Mexican eatery has been attracting plenty of attention since it opened last April in Yaletown, and for good reason. If you haven’t had the chance to check out Fayuca, it is offering a dinner menu at a competitive price point, featuring dishes like albacore ceviche, oxtail fideo pasta, and buñuelo (fried dough ball) with sugar-cane syrup and ice cream.
Juke Fried Chicken (182 Keefer Street, $20)
Who can resist fried chicken? Chinatown’s Juke Fried Chicken is joining Dine Out’s roster of participants, which will likely delight many fans of Southern-inspired foods. Its prix-fixe dinner menu offers buttermilk biscuits with whipped butter, three-piece fried chicken (gluten-free) with East Asian peanut slaw, cornbread mac-and-cheese, and more.
La Mezcaleria (68 East Cordova Street, $40)
This Mexican hot spot in Gastown is known for its flavourful dishes and moody atmosphere. For those who have never stepped inside this eatery, Dine Out may be a good time to check it out. Its festival menu includes huitlacoche gratinado (corn-truffle-mushroom-and-sweet-yellow-corn stew with crème fraîche and mozzarella gratin), caldo negro de pescado y vieiras (ling cod poached in habanero-and-tortilla broth with pink swimming scallops and baked yams), and sombre de ceniza de lúpolo (house-made mescal ice cream). (Its sister restaurant on Commercial Drive will not be participating in Dine Out 2018.)
Mak N Ming (1629 Yew Street, $40)
Chefs Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng’s Japanese- and Italian-inspired culinary creations have attracted people from near and far. As a first-time Dine Out participant, Mak N Ming is keeping its dinner menu simple and sweet: Japanese-style Caesar salad, hand-made ramen, and banana pudding or tropical parfait for dessert. Seating is limited, so we suggest making reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.
Spade Coffee (1858 Commercial Drive, $30)
The newest brainchild of Sammy Piccolo (Prado Café and Caffe Artigiano) is Spade—a café by day and restaurant by night. Another Dine Out newcomer, it will be offering lunch and dinner menus with vegetarian options during the food-and-drink fête. Indulge in roasted cauliflower (with salsa verde and seeds), housemade pappardelle pasta (with meatballs, rosemary-garlic cream, and mushrooms), and chocolate-berry cake (fresh berries and Chantilly cream with espresso-chocolate cake).
The Union (219 Union Street, $30)
If you’re ever craving Southeast Asian fare, head down to this Chinatown joint to make your taste buds happy. It’s not always an easy feat creating Asian flavours with Vancouver’s locally sourced ingredients, but the dishes don’t disappoint. Its prix-fixe dinner menu includes som tom salad (green papaya salad with roasted peanuts, fresh herbs, and lime-chili dressing), laksa lemak (Malaysian curry with prawns, cods, mussels, and rice noodles in coconut broth), and Ho Chi Minh coffee (Vietnamese coffee, cardamom cachaça [a distilled beverage made from fermented sugarcane juice], and sweetened condensed milk), among others. It will feel like you took a trip to Southeast Asia without leaving the city.
The Victor (39 Smithe Street, $40)
Go big or go home—that’s what Parq’s newest restaurant, the Victor, embodies. Located on the sixth-floor rooftop, this fancy dining spot offers great views and a contemporary atmosphere. Its Dine Out dinner menu features options such as lobster-and-crab bisque; sirloin cap, Angus reserve (steak with superior marbling); grilled Coho salmon; saffron risotto, and more. Finish off with dessert like the “Eaten Mess”: a beautiful combo of raspberry, banana, vanilla, custard, sponge cake, cream, and meringue.