1938 W. 4th Ave., Kitsilano
Thai food with a BC twist, Maenam takes the incredible seafood of the Pacific Coast and dresses it up with Thai flavors—ahi tuna with a spicy dressing for example. For those who want to make the most of the menu, Maenam’s tasting menus (with drinks pairings) are a great way to try a sampling of dishes curated by chef Angus An himself. The herringbone wood floors, exposed brick walls, and low lighting make for a seductive, chic space—perfect for a date or intimate dinner.
1944 W. 4th Ave., Kitsilano
A former contestant on Top Chef Canada, with a resume that includes a stint at the Shangri-La Hotel, chef Trevor Bird has earned his stripes, and Fable is his first solo venture. Located in cool Kitsilano, the interior feels rustic and barnyard-esque, which suits the strictly farm-to-table cuisine. The menu features classics like flat iron steak, spaghetti-and-meatballs, and smoked duck. Vegetarians will not leave disappointed thanks to meat-free dishes like rutabaga tagliatelle, mushroom gnocchi, and especially good chickpea fritters with curry mayo and pickled onions.
1809 W. 1st Ave., Kitsilano
A bit of a wildcard option décor-wise—kitschy Lego art and Star Wars figurines dot, but don’t dominate, the interior—AnnaLena serves up a concise menu of elevated, modern comfort food. There’s a dish for everyone—fried chicken and maple mustard for the traditionalists, roasted beets and charred labneh for the more adventurous, and an indulgent steak for those seeking something familiar and hearty.
1833 W. 4th Ave., Kitsilano
If you feel like you’re approaching sushi-saturation point, go for Ramen. Serving traditional Tonkotsu, cooked Fukuoka-style (a city in Japan), the noodles are super skinny and the cloudy broth packs a punch. The space is tiny, and intentionally so, as the size of the bar is part of the experience. (The Japanese typically order their ramen, eat, and leave—no lingering for hours over dinner and drinks, an experience we have come to expect when eating out.) There's a second outpost on Robson Street.
1889 W. 1st Ave., Kitsilano
A casual spot to hit up with a crowd, Oddfish is focused on seafood en masse, like big bowls of fragrant shellfish cooked in a wine-y broth, or a whole seabass with charred, crispy skin, drizzled in olive oil and topped with a healthy amount of cilantro. If you’re with friends, go for the seafood hot mess (lobster, squid, mussels, prawns, and scallops grilled a la plancha and served with a punchy salsa verde)—getting dirty is unavoidable but that’s half the fun. Vegetable sides hold their own, too: the cauliflower arrives charred and whole, covered in spicy chermoula and bitter pomegranate molasses, while carrots are deeply roasted and topped with yogurt. Don’t forget to order a side of grilled bread to mop up the sauces.