Top Rated Vancouver Restaurants for 2022

For a city located right on the Pacific Ocean, it should come as no surprise that there are several seafood restaurants on this list. What may surprise you, however, is the wide variety of cuisines that one can find in this coastal city. Vancouver boasts a very ethnic food scene with some award-winning fusion restaurants. 

What you won’t find on this list are any chain restaurants. When traveling, and even when dining locally, supporting local restaurants is vital for the economy. Chain restaurants have their place; it just isn’t on this list. Without further ado, let’s dig in (pun intended) to Vancouver’s top eateries. 

Food on the table at a restaurant

1. Elisa

1109 Hamilton St. // (604) 362-5443 

A steakhouse above the rest, Elisa delivers the best steak in the city. Located in Vancouver’s swanky Yaletown neighborhood, this is the place to go for an incredible steak. While Vancouver has several excellent steakhouses, Elisa beats the competition. What sets Elisa apart? They cook their meat on a Grillworks Infierno wood-fired grill that creates the perfect crust. 

As with most high-end steakhouses, you select your meat and sides separately. With this style of dining, I always suggest going with a few friends so you can order all the sides and share them family-style. This is the best way to try as many dishes as possible. 

My friends and I have done this several times and each time we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their 50 oz. Tomahawk with a multitude of sides. My favorite side is their creamy and decadent risotto. It’s a must-try when dining at Elisa, as are their brown butter Brussels sprouts covered in Parmesan. These are not your mother’s Brussels; they are divine (sorry, Mom!). For the true steak connoisseur, Wagyu beef is available to order at Elisa. This Japanese cut of beef is incredibly tender and delicate. A culinary treat, it melts in your mouth. Feeling fancy? Order yourself a sample and taste it for yourself. Top it with caviar if you’re celebrating, since this is one of the few places in Vancouver that serves it. 

2. Miku

200 Granville St. #70 // (604) 568-3900

If you love sushi, then you’re going to really love Miku. In fact, if you don’t like sushi, Miku might change your mind, as it did mine. I didn’t like sushi until I ate at Miku and realized what good sushi tasted like. What was it that changed my mind? Made with layers of sushi rice, spicy tuna, avocado, sockeye salmon, and Miku sauce, then flame-seared and topped with prawn, scallop, maguro, tobiko, and ikura, it was their Aburi Chirashi Tart that converted me.

One of my absolute favorite things to order is their Aburi sushi. Miku is known for this style of sushi after bringing it to Vancouver in 2008. Aburi sushi is the innovation of flame searing the seafood, creating new textures while enhancing its natural flavors. No soy sauce or wasabi is necessary. The Salmon Oshi Sushi melts in your mouth. 

If you really aren’t a sushi lover, they do offer other dishes as well. It’s worth dining here to enjoy the location and its sweeping views of the harbor. Located at Canada Place, Miku overlooks the ocean where the cruise ships dock. Visiting Vancouver by cruise? You can literary step off the ship and straight into Miku. 

Miku has a sister restaurant, Minami, that is located in Yaletown. They serve equally delicious food, but the ocean views are what pushed Miku onto this list. Dine at either one, and you are guaranteed to be satisfied. 

3. Savio Volpe

615 Kingsway St. // (604) 428-0072

A traditional osteria, this is an Italian restaurant serving simple, yet flavorful and delicious, food and wine. They believe in local ingredients and homemade pasta. Their meat, poultry, and fish are lovingly cooked over a wood-fired grill and rotisserie.

They offer a dining “alla famiglia” option where they select your food for you. I love this option because you’ll always eat the best food they offer. It’s also a fabulous way to try a variety of different menu items.

If you would prefer to choose your own dining options, I recommend starting with their warm marinated olives with fennel and lemon. They are the perfect way to whet your appetite. From there, the beef carpaccio with butter croutons and leek aioli is a decadent choice. 

For the main dish, I savored a homemade ragu pasta, and it was easily one of the best pasta dinners I have ever eaten. If you are a lover of pasta, this is the obvious choice at Savio Volpe. Their pasta is house-made, and it is divine.    

4. Le Crocodile

909 Burrard St. #100 // (604) 669-4298

Stepping inside Le Crocodile is akin to being transported to France. To begin with, everyone is dressed up, which is not very common in this casual city. The staff is French, and you’ll even hear some of the people dining here speaking French. The cuisine? Not surprisingly, very French and extremely decadent.

I started my evening with their Foie Gras Creme Brulee, and it was positively divine. In fact, I still dream about it. I followed that up with their escargot appetizer. Served traditionally in herb and garlic butter, they were perfect. 

For my main course, I chose the Beef Wellington, and it was the best one I’ve ever had. Perfectly cooked medium-rare beef lovingly wrapped in a flaky filo pastry crust, it was delicious. Sorry Gordon Ramsay, but the one I had at your Paris restaurant in Las Vegas doesn’t even begin to compare. When it comes to fine dining in Vancouver, there aren’t many places that come close to the service, food, atmosphere, and overall experience of Le Crocodile. While located right downtown, yet tucked away just enough that it’s often forgotten about, it lends to its charm.

5. Joe Fortes

777 Thurlow St. // (604) 669-1940

This iconic Vancouver eatery has been around for over 35 years and recently opened a second location in Whistler. Conveniently located right in downtown Vancouver, this San Francisco-styled seafood grill boasts a wine list of over 300 different wines.

A great choice any time of day, I prefer coming for dinner, when a pianist serenades diners from the second-floor staircase. It’s an ambiance that’s hard to beat and the food is delicious too. 

If you are a fan of calamari, theirs is the best in the city. Their dipping sauce is a creamy sundried tomato aioli that perfectly compliments the squid. Another ideal way to start your meal here is with a dozen fresh oysters on the half-shell. I usually order both, especially if I’m there for happy hour. 

You can’t go wrong no matter what main dish you order, but their Sablefish is a favorite of mine. It’s miso-marinated and served with sesame quinoa. The crispy crust perfectly complements the melt-in-your-mouth, buttery fish. 

If you are visiting during the summer months, I recommend enjoying a cocktail on their rooftop garden patio. It’s downright charming up there. Be sure to make reservations, as it’s very small and extremely busy. 

If you’re wondering about the name of the restaurant, Seraphim “Joe” Fortes was a former sailor and a legendary figure in the early history of Vancouver. Originally from Barbados and then Liverpool, he moved to Vancouver in 1885. Exactly 100 years later, this restaurant opened in his honor. 


Leave a Reply