When people ask why I moved to Vancouver I usually smile and ask, ‘Have you seen it?’ because my adopted home city is jaw-clangingly gorgeous. Glittering glass skyscrapers reflect the soaring mountains which wrap around the downtown core, with the sandy beaches around its edges lapped by clear water. Oh yes, and as an extra thrill for someone who writes about food and drink for a living, Vancouver also has possibly the most exciting, mouth-watering culinary scene on the planet.
A chef’s dream city thanks to the abundance of available ingredients, Vancouver benefits from the cold clear waters which surround it and keep its residents supplied with a superb variety of seafood. The lush farmlands just beyond the city limits bring a seasonal bounty of fruit and vegetables, and a farming community devoted to sustainable practices. Add an internationally acclaimed wine growing region in the nearby Okanagan Valley and a thriving craft beer and distillery scene and you can see why Vancouver offers plenty in the way of delicious temptation.
In a country made up of immigrants, Vancouver’s diverse population means you can eat your way around the world without leaving the city: Ukrainian, Himalayan, Brazilian, Peruvian; the choice is yours. And thanks to its large pan-Asian population – around forty percent of inhabitants – Vancouver has a thrilling variety of Japanese izakaya and ramen-ya, Korean barbecue joints, Vietnamese bistros and some of the finest Chinese food in the world.
But it’s in the blending together of the immigrant experience, the province’s terrific ingredients and a global playbook of techniques that you’ll find the most exciting Vancouver food. Restaurants like Maenam where chef Angus An riffs on beloved Thai recipes made with BCs finest, or Vij’s where one of Canada’s best known chefs, Vikram Vij, plays host to adoring fans with his superb take on Indian food using local produce.