WILDEBEEST

Wildebeest Executive Chef Ian McHale 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. Sourcing his nori from Haida Gwaii cultivators, McHale also aims to illustrate the centuries-old knowledge of Indigenous foragers. 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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GASTOWNTracy Giesz
DACHI

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

Alvarez echos Ramirez in his passion for promoting genuine Latin-American cuisine. “We’re doing Latin American food, to the bone, with locally-sourced ingredients,” he says. “Yes, we have some ingredients from Venezuela and Peru, that don’t grow up here, but we grow our own South American plants in the garden too.” This includes huacatay (black mint)––a plant species indigenous to Andean Peru where its name is derived from the Quechuan dialect.

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HUNDY

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’d 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

Confetti cruller, chocolate malt cronut, creme brûlée doughnut, honey matcha croissant. The unique pastry themes and flavours behind the ever-changing 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

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. It's why you can't really criticize fourteen dollar radishes. 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-rich sauces Soto-Innes weaves into each dish add to a satisfying crunch that is sure to incite new cravings in the days to come.

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THE ARBOR

The Arbor, Vancouver’s newest vegan, comfort-food eatery, is a consolidation of backgrounds ranging from The Acorn (owners Scott Lewis and Shira Blustein) to Farmer's Apprentice and Royal Dinette (Sommelier Paul McCloskey) as well as Bishop’s (Chef Rob Clarke). Fortunately, in pursuing their new endeavour, the team did not retreat from a philosophy of ecologically minded, freshly produced ingredients. The focus on quality transferred over from their respective backgrounds flawlessly, all while creating a complementary inverse to The Arbor’s vegetarian fine dining sister restaurant just five storefronts up Main Street: the still-popular Acorn.

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ASK FOR LUIGI

Whenever anyone asks for the 'best pasta spot' in Vancouver, Ask For Luigi is the first off all Vancouverite's lips. Offering an intimate, romantic room, with elegant, informed, and classic service, this Italian-inspired restaurant certainly delivers. Known for its rich yet fresh handmade pasta, the Ask for Luigi enterprise has our generation smitten with pasta again. They also have a team that can deliver to your door, as there is often more demand than the little room can house.

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THE BIRDS & THE BEETS

The Birds & The Beets sources from nearby farms, so the menu changes in response to what's locally available––and special items are a quick sellout. Before you know it, you'll find yourself trying to order a hops kombucha, a rhubarb soda, their homemade lemonade, and a macchiato, all before even looking at the food options. Once you see a miso barley bowl glide by in an employee's hands, you'll be instantly back to scanning the menu board: the options for novel gratification are endless.

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BLENHEIM RESTAURANT: PASTURE TO PLATE

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 days when the Chase Banks and Walgreens of the world had less of an imposing presence.

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MISSION

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. With virtuosity, mastery, and flare, each seasonally-changing plate at Mission delights. The kitchen's novel and ingenious tastes are never simply following trends, but rather, are creating them.

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TIMBERTRAIN

Timbertrain is a vignette of two loves: trains and coffee. Entering into the coffee shop is like stepping into a modernized rail car, the world is bustling and quick to pass by, but here you can settle back as a passenger, have a conversation, drink coffee, peruse the newspaper and enjoy the sites (feel free to hop back into the rat race at any time you like). 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 RESTAURANT

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

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. We’d like to get you excited about Kokomo for two reasons: their robust vegan food (the whole menu is “gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and largely nut-free”) and that they are open for lunch. Serving up bowls and smoothies from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Kokomo offers early birds the opportunity of a nourishing breakfast on their dash to work.

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BAUHAUS

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

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

Unlike nearly every other coffee shop in North America, patrons are stationed at tables or 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 who have endured decades of perilous (and notorious) conflict. The growing coffee enterprise has established social and environmental programs throughout the vast regions of Colombia, and the founders publish sustainability reports they encourage coffee consumers to read.

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NIGHTINGALE

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, championed by the likes of chef personalities like Dan Barber and famous food journalists like Michael Pollan. But Modern Canadian cuisine has rightly found that a focus on local produce--and a connection to the farmers they source their ingredients from--lends exceptionally to achieving the richest of flavour, texture, and succulence. Enter Nightingale.

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HOMER STREET CAFÉ

Featuring an open-concept Rotisserie, Homer Street Café is known for its juicy and perfectly seasoned chicken - so much so, that with an order of chickpea dip and crackers you get a crispy, fried chicken skin. Partnering with BC farms like Salt Spring Island's Foxglove Farm, the team behind Homer's menu is committed to sourcing humanely raised proteins, and freshly harvested produce, where nothing sits in a fridge or on a shelf for longer than it should.

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ROYAL DINETTE

A restaurant that truly exemplifies its "Farm to Downtown" branding, we first heard about it 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 (if you get there early enough!) by one of the unbelievably consistent sous-chefs.

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