2016 in Vancouver was the year of the ubiquitous poké shop, and while this trend infused the city’s already-bright (and seafood-centred) dining scene with a big bellow of semi-fresh air, none of these fast-food alternatives are doing the best cooking in town–no matter what the line up at Pokérrito makes it seem like.
dailyhive.com | Lindsay William-Ross | December 15, 2016
Instead, this year has been about the gentle evolution of the neighbourhood spot, a relaxing of the “fine dining” rules that leave room for table-cloth free surfaces and umbrellas in your drinks. There are second generation food families who are melding rich culinary heritage with modern touches. These days comfort doesn’t mean compromising quality.
It’s an exciting time to be eating in Vancouver, and you don’t have to get too dressed up to enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants. Hell, you don’t even have to spend too much.
Here are our picks for the best new restaurants in Vancouver for 2016.
Anh + Chi
2016 saw a mini-surge of modern Vietnamese restaurants open in Vancouver. But rather than “modern Vietnamese” meaning deconstructing or reinventing tradition, in the case of Anh + Chi (and its peers in the class of ’16) it means the next generation of Vietnamese restaurant families are giving a damn about quality ingredients, presentation, and ambiance.
It’s gorgeous inside Anh + Chi, and it feels almost like you’re on holiday somewhere tropical and posh. The tables are always full, and are packed tight, New York City style, but that’s fine, because when you wonder what your neighbour has ordered, you can just quietly lean over and ask (or answer when another neighbour inevitable inquires what you are having).
The food is traditional Vietnamese here, and while a bit of the soul suffers in translation from the lacklustre service, the eating itself doesn’t. How fun it was to gather rice paper roll fillings from our own tray and do a little DIY construction, and how lively the flavours of the grilled meats and the fresh herbs in the dishes.