March 23, 2023
Not all Michelin rated restaurants are expensive.  Here are Vancouver's 12 "value" spots

Not all Michelin rated restaurants are expensive. Here are Vancouver’s 12 “value” spots

Try these Vancouver “bang for your buck” restaurants that have earned Michelin recognition as “Bib Gourmand” selections

Tasting menus, wine pairings and scrambling months in advance for coveted reservations at high-end restaurants may not be what Vancouver locals and visitors crave.

Although the famous Michelin Guide has just offered its inaugural ratings for Vancouver – the second Canadian city on its list – and singled out eight restaurants that they believe deserve a single star, the publication (yes, from the tire company) has also embarked on the practice of highlighting places to eat that reflect tremendous value for money.

What is a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand restaurant?

“Not all restaurants recommended in Michelin guides are expensive fine dining restaurants,” the publication explains. “Since 1997, our best value for money restaurants – offering a 3-course menu at a reasonable price – have been distinguished by a special distinction: the Bib Gourmand.” The amount of the prize varies from country to country, but for Canada, the cap has been set for two-course meals plus wine or dessert for less than $60.

“Our teams of inspectors have truly savored their culinary experiences in Vancouver,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, in a press release regarding the October 27 award announcement. “They were very impressed by the gastronomic dynamism of the city.

This “dynamism” is certainly reflected in the list of twelve “Bib Gourmand” honors, which includes everything from a seasonal shipping container bar and an alley patio serving regional Mexican cuisine (that’s Chupito) to an all-vegetarian newcomer in upscale Yaletown (Nightshade) to one of Vancouver’s must-visit Cambodian-Vietnamese (Phnom Penh).

If a reservation at any or all of Vancouver’s eight one-star restaurants isn’t in your budget, take a look at the 12 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand restaurants in Vancouver.

Bib Gourmand Restaurants, Vancouver 2022

Anh and Chi

Amélie and Vincent Nguyễn built Anh and Chi based on the idea of ​​passing on their family recipes and traditions to the next generation and creating a gathering place where everyone is welcome around the table. Their parents ran Pho Hoang from the same location (3388 Main St) for over 30 years. Although their father, Hoang, died in 2010, their mother, Ly, is still in charge of food in Anh and Chi. “The menu is a love letter to Vietnam,” says the Michelin Guide. “Chạo tôm bánh hỏi is prepared the classic way, with grilled shrimp mousse served with an array of fresh herbs, and there’s pho, of course.”


Chupito, the cocktail bar hidden behind La Taqueria on Hastings Street, has refreshed its menu this summer. A standout dish was this fish tostada. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver is awesome

Launching in summer 2021, Chupito is the seasonal terrace bar you can only access from the alley behind La Taqueria on Hastings Street. A new range of cocktails inspired by the sights, sounds and, most importantly, flavors of Mexico emerge from Chupito’s tiny container bar, to be enjoyed under the sky (or under umbrellas) for an urban evening by the sea. south of the border. “Come for a cocktail and the aguachile, but stay for the other winning dishes like a dancing red pozole with carnitas and plump hominy,” urges the Michelin Guide. This is the only Bib Gourmand place where you will need to put a pin in warmer weather; Chupito has completed his 2022 season.

Fable Kitchen

Fable Kitchen is a bit of a dark horse on the list; it’s the third oldest spot in the inaugural Bib Gourmand selection for Vancouver, opened ten years ago at Kits with Top Chef Canada competitor Trevor Bird in the kitchen. Not too long ago, Bird stepped away from the business and chef life in general, and currently Fable’s kitchen is run by Max Straczek, who not only helped open the world’s first starred restaurant Michelin from Poland, but also held many roles. at Fable and its brother, Fable Diner. “During the day, the team prepares eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce (and variations), Johnny cakes topped with pulled pork and tomato jam and thick slices of French toast challah plated with caramelized apples and whipped mascarpone” , welcomes the Michelin Guide, adding that dinner time also offers warm and comforting dishes from farm to table.


Two of Fiorino’s signature sandwiches, served on homemade Tuscan bread called schiacciata. The Italian restaurant hopes to introduce Vancouver to ingredients and dishes that are hard to find on city menus. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver is awesome

Fiorino opened in late 2021. Located in a former pub-style restaurant space in Chinatown, the modern Italian restaurant offers day-to-night service — including an appetizer and drink offering, aka happy hour — and a fun little patio space out front that puts you in the middle of the colorful neighborhood. Here, they serve affordable and thoughtful Italian dishes, including a few others that highlight ingredients and preparations you’re unlikely to find on the menus of other local Italian restaurants. “At lunch, the focaccia and schiacciata sandwiches, like the one stuffed with guanciale, drizzled with honey and spread with walnut cream, are the must-haves. At dinner, everything revolves around pasta,” notes Michelin.

Song Kinkao

The sister location to popular Commercial Drive restaurant Kin Kao opened just under a year ago. Terrence Feng of Kin Kao Song says diners can expect a different menu from the original Kin Kao on The Drive “with a particular focus on accessible yet uniquely Vancouver-based Thai cuisine.” And Michelin says: “Kin Kao Song’s cuisine is driven by a creative spirit and the generosity of the region. The lemongrass wings are a special surprise. (Also: get the Pad Thai, it’s “best in class” here.)

Little Bird Dim Sum

Call them the rebels against tradition – with serious credibility. Little Bird is a Kitsilano restaurant serving dim sum weeknights and all day and late into the night on weekends as well. They pair it with craft beer and even do vegan dim sum. The aptly named Little Bird happens to be an offshoot of Vancouver’s veteran Chinese restaurant Flamingo. “Of course, there must be dumplings, and Little Bird’s range from the traditional (ha gow) to the surprising, with sweet corn, cilantro and prawns”, emphasizes the Michelin Guide.

lunch lady

The Lunch Lady on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Photo: Feed the Frontline Canada/Facebook

“Like a grandmother preparing a feast for her family, chef Nguyen Thi Thanh exudes a warm and loving presence as she gazes out over her bustling dining room,” the Michelin Guide begins. Indeed, Commercial Drive’s go-to restaurant for modern Vietnamese cuisine has deep roots with a humble food stall in Vietnam made famous by a famous chef and travel storyteller. Here, you’ll find deeply flavorful bowls of noodle soup (go on Sundays for the slow-braised duck soup), luc lac steak, and crispy salted chilli prawns.

black nightshade

Yaletown nightshade has impressive roots, grown in one province in Alberta; this first Vancouver venture comes from the same people behind well-known vegetarian restaurants The Coup and The Dandelion in Calgary, and Nourish in Banff. The opening menu was designed by celebrity chef Chanthy Yen, who was trained in Vancouver and has spent time in kitchens across the country and around the world. “Here, diners will discover an extensive list of well-crafted cocktails, local beers and a respectable wine list, as well as a menu that travels the world,” notes Michelin. Your culinary journey may take you to tear off pieces of roti infused with fenugreek and garam masala and scoop up a creamy spread that mixes the raita with vegan butter and golden orbs of roasted garlic, then drizzle with a sauce with palm sugar on a crispy fried taro roll combined with fresh basil, mint and butter lettuce.

Goose Pastificio

The restaurant is the brainchild of a duo of longtime friends and Vancouver restaurant veterans, including famed Italian restaurant La Quercia. Oca Pastificio is billed as “a cozy, no-fuss place serving honest, fresh, artisan pasta, made with local, seasonal ingredients.” From this little spot on The Drive, says Michelin, “this simple pastificio invites diners to pull up a chair and savor authentic, well-prepared pasta dishes. The tagliatelle with wine-braised rabbit stew and rosemary are particularly satisfying. .”

Phnom Penh

What hasn’t been said about this humble – but wildly popular Chinatown restaurant offering Cambodian-Vietnamese fare – that hasn’t already been said since its launch in the early 1980s? It is also the oldest restaurant on the Bib GOumand list. The tables are tight, the din is incessant, but the dishes are a massive and lasting draw. “The menu is huge, offering almost 100 preparations of rice, noodles and soups, but everyone knows how to rely on the classics. You could almost make a meal with #71, thin strips of almost raw beef dipped in a tangy mixture of mashed pineapple and fish sauce”, praises the Michelin Guide.

Say Mercy!

BBQ Bolo at Say Mercy in Vancouver. Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver is awesome

The food at Say Mercy! reflects a harmonious blend of Italian dishes and American barbecue, with pastas, entrees, salads and gloriously buttery Parker House rolls served in their bright and cozy dining room. “Don’t even think about skipping the BBQ Bolo, it’s non-negotiable. Short for ‘bolognese’, it’s a distinctive dish of homemade spaghetti drizzled with pancetta, smoked pork butt and Grana Padana” , enthuses the Michelin Guide. (We agree!)


Vancouver’s veteran Indian restaurant founded by ex-husbands Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala has changed locations, started taking reservations and even take-out (the latter two unknown before the pandemic). “When it opened in 1994, this local staple was at the forefront of Indian gastronomy in North America, and it continues to convincingly showcase the gastronomic riches of the subcontinent,” says the Michelin Guide. And, yes: Always order the “lamb popsicles” (don’t worry, they’re not frozen).

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