The Required: Vancouver

The Required: Vancouver

A definitive guide to Vancouver's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

November 26, 2020
The Required: Vancouver

The Required: Vancouver

A definitive guide to Vancouver's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

November 26, 2020

Hello, Vancouver. Welcome to The Required club.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Let's Go

Cioppino's
Cioppino's has a beautiful grand room, excellent service, and consistent quality, with ingredient-driven creations cooked to perfection in the open kitchen. Chef-owner Giuseppe "Pino" Posteraro's in-house salumi program is exceptional. Our experts all recommend the handmade pappardelle with 4-hour braised veal cheeks and fresh porcini mushrooms - a dish that never comes off the constantly changing seasonal menu for a good reason. 

Maenam
A hit when it first opened in 2009, Maenam is still going strong. With its chic decor, carefully crafted cocktails, and elegant dishes, it reinvented what a Thai restaurant in Vancouver looks like. The ingredient-driven Thai food is rooted in tradition and "out-of-control good" according to our experts. Don't miss the Grilled Thai Sausage & Crispy Rice Salad, the herbaceous Banana Blossom Salad, or the 8 Spice Fish, all of which will leave you wanting more. 

Le Crocodile Restaurant
A long-standing destination in the Vancouver dining scene, Chef Michel Jacob's traditional French cooking in this elegant bistro space brings 1930s Paris to mind. Our experts recommend the wonderfully rich grilled veal medallions: tender veal, crunchy potato pancake, velvety mushroom sauce, and nothing silly on the plate to distract you from its classical beauty. For something sweet, get the Grand Marnier Soufflé - a classic French dessert in a classic French restaurant. What more could you want?

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
A branch of the global chain which started in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, our experts tout it as some of the best ramen in the city. The broth is rich, silky, and savory, and the noodles are perfect. No matter which flavor you choose, you'll slurp your way to nirvana. The Miso and the Tokusen Toroniku (pork cheek) ramen are expert favorites. If you go for the Tokusen Toroniku: always order an extra side of jowl—trust us.

Pizzeria Farina
Pizzeria Farina serves up true Neapolitan-style pies in a space that is "chiller than chill" according to one of our experts. The pizza is outstanding with our experts recommending the Calabrese - comprised of soppressata, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Niçoise olives. It’s the perfect blend of creamy, salty, crispy, and spicy. Another favorite is the Pistachio featuring fontina cheese and thinly shaved mortadella finished with a bit of seasoning and freshly toasted, chopped pistachios.

Bao Bei
Influenced by the culinary scenes of Taiwan and Shanghai but also by a range of global flavors, Bao Bei is a modern take on Chinese cooking. Offering a casual dining experience with a focus on small plates meant to be shared and inventive cocktails you'll want to linger. Our experts say the Kick-Ass House Fried Rice is as described and not to be missed. 

Tojo's Restaurant
Tojo's Restaurant is a casually elegant spot where you'll find local and seasonal dishes inspired by Japan but rooted in the Pacific Northwest. When you go to Tojo's Restaurant, our experts agree: opt for the omakase and let Chef Tojo take you on a culinary journey - you'll be in good hands. 

Kirin Seafood Restaurant 
Specializing in Northern Chinese and Cantonese cuisine, Kirin Seafood Restaurant is known for it's seafood preparation in both traditional and creative ways. Our experts say that the Dungeness and king crab in ginger, garlic, and green onion sauce are to die for. Also, make sure to order the Har Gow (prawn dumplings), which they say are the best in the city. 

Medina Cafe
Since opening in 2008 in Downtown Vancouver, Medina Cafe has made a name for itself for serving up a truly exceptional breakfast and brunch. You'll find a blend of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, eclectic bistro fare, coffee, and arguably the best Belgian waffles in the city. Our experts' favorites include the salted caramel waffle, and the Tagine: two poached eggs and a spicy tomato stew with merguez sausage, sun-dried black olives, cilantro, and grilled focaccia.

Lee's Donuts
Located in the Granville Island Public Market, this mom-and-pop donut shop has been serving up fresh handmade donuts since 1979. They are the perfect foodstuffs: the inner ring of fried batter bits makes them crunchy and addictive. Our experts love to go first thing in the morning to buy a box to have with coffee. If you happen to be stopping by in October, grab a coveted pumpkin spice donut, which they've been making every October for 15 years.

Cioppino's
Spot
Downtown, Vancouver
$$$$, Italian, Mediterranean
5 Recommendations
Maenam
Spot
Kitsilano, Vancouver
$$, Thai
5 Recommendations
Bao Bei
Spot
Chinatown, Vancouver
$$, Outdoor Seating, Chinese, Full Bar
3 Recommendations
Medina Café
Spot
Central, Vancouver
$$, Café, Breakfast, Coffee Shop
3 Recommendations
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