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Reviewing restaurants in search of those that honour their place, their time, and their people.

This page is where you can follow us on the discovery of new rooms and new menus, all with original photography and personal commentary to match. Where due, some reviews will acclaim and some will lambaste, but candor will always remain pertinent.

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Field & Forest by Wildebeest

June 3rd, 2019 - GASTOWN

The Wildebeest Executive Chef connects with British Columbia-based foragers—Victoria’s Lance Staples, for example, who forgaes full-time—and sources from small farms such as the family-run Subtilia Ranch and Salt Spring Island’s 120-acre organic Foxglove Farm. He spearheaded Wildebeest’s in-house canning routine—preserved fruits and vegetables sustain the restaurant’s menu through less foliaged winter months: Lady Fern fiddlehead vinegar, Grand Fir salt, and pickled wild strawberries, to name a few.

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Dachi

April 7th, 2019 - HASTINGS SUNRISE

That same idea eventually became the decree behind Dachi: a strong focus on locality, both in sourcing and in terms of place. Their commitment lies in large part to the community they've moved into. The word ‘dachi’ is a Japanese colloquialism for buddy or pal derived from the word Tomodachi meaning friend. Thus, Dachi is meant to be a place for neighbours; they strive to be a local haunt where one could stop by regularly to learn about the ever-evolving menu, unique selection of natural wines, and distinct sake program.

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Cacao

March 17th, 2019 - KITSILANO

Cacao has philosophies that set them vastly apart from the tens of other proclaimed ‘farm-to-table’ restaurants in Vancouver. The kitchen embodies sparse-waste and whole food principles without boasting about it. The entire onion goes into their salsas; strawberry tops and orange peels are used to flavour their house-made vinegar. They utilize the entire animal for different components of different dishes; you’re likely to find a meal preceded with maple-syrup-smoked chicken skin. “We’re doing Latin American food, to the bone, with locally-sourced ingredients,” he says.

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Hundy

February 21st, 2019 - KITSILANO

When Their There opened just under a year ago, there was something suspicious about the large walls of light oak paneling that shut off the back part of the café. Perhaps an office for the very busy team behind the highly successful bakery-restaurant duo of Their There and AnnaLena? Or was something else brewing? Understanding proprietors Mikey Robbins and Jeff Parr, who together possess a seemingly unquenchable desire to create, you would be correct to assume the latter. Fast-forward to December 2018 and a new project was born: an essentials-focused, straight-to-the-chase, late-night burger and fries joint called Hundy.

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Their There

February 13th, 2019 - KITSILANO

Confetti cruller, chocolate malt cronut, creme brûlée doughnut, honey matcha croissant. The unique pastry themes and ever-changing flavours behind the glass display at this Kitsilano vanguard are the subject of wide-spread buzz. In a city where bakeries seem to be both mushrooming all over and bursting at their seams, Their There manages to stand above the crowd. Where else can you get a glass of permaculture-cultivated, skin fermented, barrel aged, BC Pino Blanc with your Paris-Brest or pumpkin cronut?

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Atla

October 22nd, 2018 - NOHO, NYC

A chef who often stops by her local Farmer's Markets, Soto-Innes seems to understand the value of small, permaculture- and biodiverse- focused produce, so this is often what's on your plate at ATLA. The added price for Farmer's Market veggies in place of monoculture grown crops, packs in added minerals, nutrients, and, of course, flavor. In each dish, the flavors mingle decadently. You can attain luscious taste without relying on the conventional salt and fat found in dairy; the herb and spice-rich sauces Soto-Innes weaves into each item add to a satisfying crunch that is sure to incite new cravings in the days to come.


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The Arbor

January 24th, 2018 - MOUNT PLEASANT

The Arbor, Vancouver’s newest vegan, comfort-food eatery, is a consolidation of backgrounds ranging from The Farmer's Apprentice to Bishop’s. Barely a year old, the new eatery maintains a strong relationship with well-versed quality but boldly ventures down the deep-fry path. Lip-smacking, deeply-satiating foods like poutine, burgers, fried oysters, pulled pork, and southern fried sandwiches don't have to be sourced from junk. And in The Arbor's case, they don't even have to be sourced from animals.


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Ask for Luigi

December 19th, 2017 - RAILTOWN

Congregated outside the standalone building at the intersection of Alexander Street and Gore Ave, guests happily converse with other visitors while they wait for the first-come-first-serve seating. You could easily mistake the corner scene for an enoteca in Torino, Genoa, or Puglia: close-as-family neighbours convening before dinner: not hungry and irritated, but jovial and laidback.


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The Birds & The Beets

December 7th, 2017 - GASTOWN

The Birds & The Beets café brings a softness to Gastown in what’s becoming a stark, minimalist neighbourhood. While still holding onto moderation, the café’s design exudes comfort with its calm hues, light woods, greenery, and pale yellow botanical wallpaper. Warm service, an airy interior, botanic delicacy, and a wholesome undertone to its food all add to the café's naturalness and intent.


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Blenheim Restaurant

November 30th, 2017 - WEST VILLAGE, NYC

Blenheim Restaurant owners Morten Sohlberg and Min Ye, an accomplished husband and wife duo, merely intended to create a neighborhood staple, but wound up with a highly sought-after Michelin Recommendation, ushering their team into a rare class of pre-trend innovation. The intimate nook in Manhattan's West Village sits at the intersection of two tree-lined, cobblestone streets: a romantic throwback to the old world with natural wine to match.


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Mission

September 25th, 2017 - KITSILANO

Top Chef Canada's "All Star" alumni, Chef Curtis Luk constructs distinctive dishes using his philosophy of nose-to-tail and root-to-tip cuisine in this award-winning Kitsilano dining room. Showcasing the abundance of the vast Pacific Northwest region, Luk offers both share-plate and tasting-menu options to lead guests on a mouthwatering adventure through the province's fields and oceans. The kitchen's novel and ingenious tastes are never simply following trends, but rather, are creating them.


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Timbertrain

August 26th, 2017 - GASTOWN

Timbertrain is a vignette of two loves: trains and coffee. Entering the coffee shop is like stepping afoot a modernized rail car, the world is bustling and quick to pass by, but here you can settle back as a passenger, drink coffee, eat scones, have a conversation, or read the newspaper. As kids, the owners Peter, Jeff, and Min had an infatuation for trains, which in turn forged awe for “how trains worked, how trains transported people from one place to another, and most importantly, how trains brought people together.”


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Chambar

August 13th, 2017 - CROSSTOWN

Located in Crosstown (the ambiguous mid-zone between Chinatown and Yaletown), the remodel of the second location of Chambar was a collaboration between co-owner Karri Schuermans and Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects, who are also based in Vancouver. Their design goal was to parallel the reach of the restaurant’s ambitions with "exquisite cuisine, exceptional service, and a room that glows", branding it as "an unpretentious fling with fine dining.”


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Kokomo

August 4th, 2017 - CHINATOWN

Kokomo is a winsome new addition to the Chinatown/Strathcona neighbourhood. The area has had a significant influx of new cafés and eateries sprouting up over the past couple of years, but none quite as vibrant and refreshing as Kokomo. Founder Katie Ruddell's goal was to bring nutritious eats to the active millennials of Vancouver.


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Bauhaus

July 30th, 2017 - GASTOWN

A blend of classical German fare with contemporary European cuisine, Bauhaus' menu is one of the only delectably old-world dining experiences Vancouver has to offer. Being this far West of the multicultural continent known for its richness in art and culture, it's rare to come across a genuinely European eatery, but this award-winning German kitchen gives you that oft desired escape.


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Butler

July 17th, 2017 - WILLIAMSBURG, NYC

Given the moniker for the surname of its Michelin starred pastry chef Ryan Butler, this bright, propitious corner café at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge will remind you of your long-lost love for brioche, crumb cake, scones, and toast. Interlacing the nostalgia of freshly homemade baked-goods with the exultation of detail-oriented gourmet cuisine, Butler brings its guests back to what food is supposed to bestow upon us: emotion, nourishment, and reverie.


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Devoción

July 2nd, 2017 - WILLIAMSBURG, NYC

Patrons of Devoción are stationed at tables and couches drinking their coffees in the yellow 'for-here' mugs: there are abnormally few paper cups in sight. This attitude is exemplary of the foundational beliefs Devoción is built on. Described as the world's only exclusively "Farm to Cup" bean roster, this through-and-through Colombiano enterprise is committed to maintaining the ecology of the land their beans come from and fortifying workers from their country.


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Nightingale

June 24th, 2017 - FINANCIAL DISTRICT

Only recently has the term "Modern Canadian" become so reiterated. It's often offered up as an erudite way to describe a Chef's interpretation of their menu and where they draw inspiration from. Cooks across the country are seeking vision from traditional fare but putting a modern spin on each dish, while respectably trying to "keep it Canadian". The term is rooted in the mass Farm-to-Table movement that has taken restaurant culture by storm.


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Homer Street Café

May 12th, 2017 - YALETOWN

Situated in a building deeply rich with local history, Homer Street Café stops you in your tracks the moment you enter the room. Featuring an open-concept Rotisserie, this upscale Café is known for a focus on its juicy and perfectly seasoned chicken––so much so, that with an order of chickpea dip and bread thins you get a crispy, fried chicken skin.


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Royal Dinette

May 10th, 2017 - FINANCIAL DISTRICT

A restaurant that truly exemplifies its "Farm to Downtown" branding, we first heard about Royal Dinette from Harvey's Organics at the Trout Lake Farmers Market. The menu changes every few weeks, and it is always seasonal, local, and "99% organic" as former head chef Jack Chen noted while sitting down for a chat after a long shift last summer. Each type of pasta is handmade right in front of your eyes by one of the unbelievably consistent sous-chefs.


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