The first-ever MICHELIN Guide Vancouver is launched with 12 Bib Gourmands spread across the city, from tacos and aguachile in Gastown to lemongrass-scented wings in Mount Pleasant. Read on to find out who is joining the guide. Enjoy your lunch!
Anh and Chi
Type of cuisine: Vietnamese
Sibs Lý and Vincent Nguyễn designed a clean, fresh space outfitted with mid-century modern furnishings while nodding to the past – a blue neon sign near the bar is a relic of the old restaurant. For more than 30 years, their parents’ restaurant occupied this place. The menu is a love letter to Vietnam. 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.
Anh and Chi © Leila KwokAnh and Chi
Type of cuisine: Mexican
You will have to walk to the alley behind La Taqueria to find this hidden gem. The beach may be missing at this fully-covered outdoor taqueria where pebbles crunch underfoot and a shipping container turns into a bar, but the flavors still transport guests to Mexico. Come for a cocktail and the aguachile, but stay for the other winners like a dancing red pozole with carnitas and plump hominy.
Shooting © Ruben Nava/shooting
This popular farm-to-table cafe has been drawing crowds to Kitsilano for over a decade. During the day, the team bakes eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce (and variations), Johnny cakes topped with pulled pork and tomato jam, and thick slices of challah French toast plated with caramelized apples and whipped mascarpone. Dinner dishes are just as hearty and satisfying, as in prime rib with polenta and grilled leeks.
Fable Kitchen | © Jonathan Thompson / Fable Kitchen
Fiorino, Italian street food
Giovanni “Gio” Mascagni presides over this serious Italian venue where the bread-making skills he learned in Tuscany are on full display. 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.
Fiorino, Italian street food © Ana Kliri/Fiorino, Italian street food
Type of cuisine: Thai
Kin Kao Song’s fare is driven by a creative spirit and the generosity of the region. The lemongrass wings are a special surprise. These bite-sized beauties are deep-fried and coated in a lemongrass-scented coating for a flavorful punch that delights. Pad Thai might seem like a must-order, but this flavorful version vies for best-in-class.
Kin Kao Song © Melody Lu/Kin Kao Song
Little Bird Dim Sum + craft beer
Type of cuisine: Chinese
Longtime local restaurateur Jonathan Lee’s vision of pairing classic dim sum with local BC craft beer was the origin of Little Bird. Of course, there has to be dumplings, and Little Bird’s runs the gamut from traditional (ha gow) to surprising, with sweet corn, cilantro and shrimp. As promised, beer is king here.
Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer ©Anthony Pratico/Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer
Type of cuisine: Vietnamese
Much like a grandmother who has cooked a feast for her family, chef Nguyen Thi Thanh exudes a warm and loving presence as she gazes out over her bustling dining room. She’s a far cry from Saigon, where she ran a successful food stand, and with it, she brought her charismatic cuisine to East Vancouver. At the end of the meal, admirers are quick to approach and thank her like the local celebrity that she is.
Lunch Lady © Niko Myyra/Lunch Lady
Here, diners will discover an extensive list of well-designed cocktails, local beers and a respectable wine list, as well as a menu that travels the world. Executive chef Chanthy Yen brings her unique twist to dishes such as a very original congee between East and West – creamy and fragrant, it is topped with tender braised fennel and puffed rice.
Nightshade © Christian Nambayan / Nightshade
While there may be any number of Italian-leaning restaurants and pizzerias dotted around Vancouver, this simple pastificio invites diners to pull up a chair and enjoy authentic, well-prepared pasta dishes. Tagliatelle with rabbit stew braised in wine and rosemary are particularly satisfying. There is only one dessert, but you will already be pleasantly satisfied.
© Oca Pastificio © @ leilalikes / Oca Pastificio
Since 1985, this family-run institution in the heart of Chinatown has been dazzling crowds with Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. The menu is huge, offering almost 100 preparations of rice, noodles and soups, but everyone knows how to lean on the classics. You could almost make a meal out of #71, thin strips of near-raw beef dipped in a tangy mix of mashed pineapple and fish sauce. It’s a delightfully original effort.
Phnom Penh © Phnom Penh
The food here is a mix of Italian cuisine with a barbecue twist. Crudo whets the appetite with sweet slices of amberjack in a caper-dill vinaigrette, olive-serrano pepper relish and thin potato chips. Don’t even think about skipping the BBQ Bolo, it’s non-negotiable. Short for “bolognese”, it’s a distinctive dish of homemade spaghetti tossed with pancetta, smoked pork butt and Grana Padana.
Say Mercy! © Katie Cross/Say mercy!
When it opened in 1994, this local staple was at the forefront of Indian cuisine in North America, and it continues to make a compelling case for the subcontinent’s gastronomic riches. Consider a signature dish of wine-marinated “lamb popsicles” with a fragrant fenugreek sauce, or opt for one of the vegetarian dishes, such as a curry made with red pepper, portobello mushrooms and paneer. A list of unique cocktails provides a perfect foil for the well-spiced cuisine.
Vij’s © Amanda Bates/Vij’s
Hero Image: Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer
© Anthony Pratico/Little Bird Dim Sum + craft beer
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