We’ve dined our way around this city at a near-marathon pace in hopes of keeping up with this year’s constant rotation of openings. At the end of the day (or rather year), there are a handful of standouts by which the mere mention of can have us drooling… With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our list of top restaurant picks for 2014 below. Read on and see if your new favourite made Vv Magazine’s cut.
Pizza Fabrika has set a refreshingly new standard for quality pizza found in the downtown core. Located off Robson Street toward the West End, this cozy room is often found bustling with hungry patrons with a hankering for one of their pizza pie creations. With tomato sauce made from scratch, a perfectly crisp-yet-chewy dough that doesn’t go soggy on you, and mix of traditional and interesting toppings (think duck prosciutto), there’s a pie for everyone. Find it located at 1680 Robson Street.
Located in the heart of Gastown at Chinatown, The Abbey opened earlier this year and has become a staple stop for the after-work crowd and anyone heading to a concert or game in the area. Though not geared to just casual gatherings, The Abbey is perfect for date night too – and we love the inventive offerings created by veteran Chef/Owner Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart. We love how Great Britain’s culinary influences have been woven into the menu of upscale pub grub. This self-professed ‘progressive tavern’ has won our hearts (and appetites) on more than one occasion.
Having opened up earlier this summer at the rebranded and revamped The Settlement Building in Railtown, we’ve grown fond of popping by this always-happening spot for cocktails, wine, and a selection of craft beer brewed on site. Who can say no to an assortment of Belgard’s tasty appetizers: the wild mushroom pate is a must; as is the tomato soup with grilled cheese toast fingers.
Though not really a ‘new’ restaurant on the Vancouver dining scene, we’re going to throw this trusted favourite into the mix given they’ve technically opened up at a new location (so it kinda fits our purpose here). Always a must-visit when in search of top-notch inventive cocktails (they pretty much kick-started the ‘cocktail art’ scene in the city, after all) and a chic atmosphere – Chambar’s new location in Gastown has once again made them a winner.
Blacktail Florist has taken the Gastown dining scene by storm and we can see why. Having opened earlier this year, this fresh-looking spot boasts gorgeous décor, an airy vibe, and a menu amped-up with some of BCs best ingredients that celebrate Canadian cuisine. Located at 200-332 Water Street.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Located at the Sutton Place Hotel, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar has a spot on our list of best new restaurants for 2014 in Vancouver. Elegance pervades the 290-seat space featuring sleek LA-style designs, a marble raw bar as focal point, and a chic lounge (perfect for post-shopping cocktails). A menu featuring plenty of seafood pays homage to the coast – thanks to Chef Alex Chen who heads up the culinary scene.
This much-buzzed-about spot has garnered quite the loyal following. Maybe it’s their cozy/ eclectic atmosphere and fine selection of wines coupled with creative cocktails in the heart of Kits. But we’re thinking it’s got more to do with the fact that they serve up some seriously tasty eats thanks to the culinary tutelage of Chef David Gunawan, who consistently turns out fresh 3-5 course daily offerings (dinner service only).
Though it’s a fairly new kid on the block (having opened last month, we’re going to go ahead and tack Nomad onto our list. After some scheduling setbacks (construction woes), the doors finally opened to their shiny new modern and lofty-looking 75-seat space off Main Street. We love the whole ‘industrial chic’ vibe they’ve got going on and have enjoyed tucking into a few pints at their expansive long bar that commands the length of the main room. Nosh on bites like the sunchoke and wild mushroom soup, slow-cooked pork on ciabatta, braised lamb, and squash risotto.
The Fat Badger
One of our favourite haunts to head to when on the hunt for some Brit-style comfort food, this cozy little joint is located in Coal Harbour at 1616 Alberni Street in a little red house (quaint, we know). Open for dinner service only – it’s a definite must when hankerings hit for mini Yorkshire pudding and some of the best fish and chips in the city. We love the fact that the pub fare menu changes frequently to keep things seasonally fresh too (though we pray they’ll never ditch their killer poutine).
Located in an old heritage building and owned/operated by Seigo Nakamura, Gyoza Bar came onto the scene this year with plenty of fanfare that stuck – and rightly so. With a cool interior design that begs for groups to hunker down for a boisterously-social meal sharing bowls of house-made ramen (their specialty) and signature Teppan gyoza (perfectly crisp on the outside), it’s our comfort food go-to for a reason.
What have been some of your favourite new restaurants of 2014 in Vancouver? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “VAN: Top 10 Best New Restaurants Of 2014” in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.