It was only after writing this story that I realized how pizza, pasta and sandwich-heavy the lineup is. It’s comfort food central in Vancouver’s food scene, which seems fitting after a year of wearing pajamas all day and not brushing the back of your hair (just me?). It’s the summer of carbs, and we are embracing it: here are the new restaurant openings—and soon-to-be openings—in the city.
1. Giovane Bacaro
1029 W Cordova St.
This new Venetian-inspired spot from Kitchen Table Restaurants is now open in the lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. Chef Scott Korzack (of Ask For Luigi, Autostrada and L’Abattoir) is cooking up cicchetti—small plates—including Baccala Mantecato (whipped salt cod, grilled polenta, salsa rossa) and Croccante (braised pork, radicchio marmaletta). Pasta’s on the menu, too, of course, as well as other full-size meals like Manzo (grilled wagyu beef, preserved onion, lettuces and balsamic, pictured above).
2. L’Onore Pizza
28 E Royal Ave #110, New Westminster
Oh no! Is this one of those stories that’s titled “Vancouver” but actually means “Vancouver and all the surrounding ‘burbs?” You better believe it. L’Onore is tossing sourdough pizzas out in New West, including the Rocketman (topped with Fontina, shaved Grana Padano, confit garlic, arugula, and balsamic) and the Diavola (topped with housemade organic pork sausage, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, calabrian chilli, onion jam and hot honey).
1325 Burrard St.
A gorgeous new spot designed by Ste. Marie (who also designed Giovane Bacaro) and dreamed up by the same folks behind Homer Street and Tableau, Maxine’s is focused on casual brunch and dinner. Their brunch menu really is a breakfast/lunch lovechild— think breakfast sandwiches, eggs benny and brioche French toast alongside a falafel bowl, burger and baked rigatoni. There’s a lovely, Paris-inspired patio to dine on, but the real star is the interior’s stunning, European-style bar.
4. Oh Carolina
580 E 12th Ave
This new Mount Pleasant café from Gooseneck Hospitality (Bufala, Bells & Whistles) is serving up some very hefty sandwiches (like the pastrami one pictured above) and pastries including croissants, pain au chocolat and the Butterboom Bakery donut. It’s also a corner store, and available groceries have your high quality meats, frozen foods, dry goods and local vegetables covered.
1115 Alberni St.
Another from Kitchen Table—Miantiao is a new Chinese-Italian fusion restaurant in the Shangri-La hotel. The menu by Kitchen Table culinary director Alex Tung and executive chef Tret Jordan (Loden Hotel, Wentworth Hospitality) is very much the best of both worlds: think Burrata served with scallion pancakes, sablefish with cured pork and borlotti bean, and an “Aged Whole Duck experience” with four courses that serves up to six people.
6. Roberto’s Big Sandwiches
687 Main St (Dalina Main St)
This is not technically a restaurant in itself, but a new concept launching from Dalina: Roberto’s Big Sandwiches is offering, you guessed it, very big sandwiches from Thursday to Saturday in Dalina on Main Street. We’re talking Shaggy and Scooby big. The Chicago-style Italian sandwiches include The Godfather (with house made meatballs, marinara and a three cheese blend) a chicken parm and a vegetarian/vegan option with roasted mushrooms, artichokes and red peppers (pictured above).
7. Yuzu Vancouver
Opening July 3
3096 Cambie St.
Yuzu’s handhelds look so perfect, it’s almost cartoony—the sandwich artists have clearly mastered the art of kawaii. This new spot on Cambie street opens on Saturday, July 3, and the menu features a pork katsu sandwich with Yuzu pepper mayo (pictured above), ebi sandwich with Yuzu tartar sauce, chicken teriyaki sandwich and classic tamago sandwich.
8. Alimentaria Mexicana
Opening this month
1596 Johnston St.
This new Mexican restaurant is opening on Granville Island in July. Chef Ernesto Gomez of Chancho Tortilleria and Nuba is leading the charge with what they’re calling a Mexican “culinary and cultural experience,” so you can bet there’s more than just food on the table—think music, retail, etc.