RESTAURANTS

TopTen

1. Blue Water Café

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The freshest and finest wild seafood is served in a 100-year-old brick-and-beam warehouse (see Blue Water Café). The decor is contemporary, the atmosphere friendly, and the kitchen serves mouthwatering delicacies such as sablefish in soy and ginger broth. The Raw Bar at this café is the domain of a master sushi chef.

TopTen

Chic interiors of the Blue Water Café

2. Miku

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This Japanese eatery (see Miku) is well-known for its gourmet Aburi (flame-seared sushi), complemented by an elegant setting. Traditional Japanese flavors and techniques combined with West Coast elements create an innovative menu, with sustainable seafood recognized by the Ocean Wise conservation program. It has a bar, lounge area and full-service sushi bar.

3. Tacofino

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With humble beginnings as a food truck in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, this taco hotspot has several outlets, including one in Gastown’s Blood Alley. You can tuck into delicious and filling burritos, or sip margaritas and craft beers on the sunny patio. The menu also offers a range of tacos, nachos, and churros. They also feature daily happy hour specials from 3pm to 6pm.

4. Chambar

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Success hasn’t spoiled this Belgian restaurant in the Crosstown neighborhood (see Chambar). It is one of the hottest eateries in town and perenially packed to the rafters. Traditional dishes such as moules frites excel, but for a real treat try the Congolaise version, where mussels are cooked in a tomato and coconut cream sauce with smoked chili and lime.

TopTen

Beautifully presented food at Chambar

5. CinCin Ristorante & Bar

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The Italian-inspired menu of this inviting space (see CinCin Ristorante & Bar) includes dishes from the wood-fired oven. If you’re not in a rush, order the melt-in-your-mouth free-range chicken cooked under a brick in the wood-fired oven for 25 minutes. The drinks menu lists more than 1,000 wines.

TopTen

Softly lit dining area at CinCin Ristorante & Bar

6. Bao Bei

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Locals rave about the lamb sirloin sliders, heavenly dumplings, and innovative small plates at this Chinese brasserie (see Bao Bei). Bao Bei does not take reservations, so arrive early. With advance notice, groups of eight to ten can enjoy a tasting menu at the large family table.

7. Diva at the Met

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Chef Hamid Salimian is a master of molecular gastronomy, serving up innovative cuisine from Diva’s open kitchen. His unique offerings include puffed foie gras in caramelized fig.

8. Forage

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If you’re seeking a healthy and hearty meal, then Forage is the place to go. With an emphasis on local, organic and sustainably-sourced ingredients, this casual eatery offers a range of creative dishes. Book a family table menu, or try out their brunches, which feature exceptional fare such as corned bison hash.

9. Hawksworth

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Situated in an elegant room at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, this gem (see Hawksworth) has garnered multiple awards for its dazzling food and star chef David Hawksworth. The foie gras, roasted lamb, and rib-eye steak dishes are all outstanding in terms of presentation and flavor.

TopTen

Plush dining tables at the Hawksworth

10. Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill

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Inventive cucina- style dishes (see Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill) are made with fresh vegetables and low-fat sauces for a tasty meal that is easy on the waistline. Or try the succulent natural beef short ribs braised in red wine. A great wine list rounds out the experience.

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