Restaurant Awards 2008

In a year that saw an unprecedented number of rooms open across the city—from luxed-up showrooms to hide-away bistros—competition was fierce. (As, at times, were the judges.). Here’s who came out on top, as announced on Monday, April 14, at a glittering gala held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.

Established in 1990, the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards is Canada’s largest and most prestigious culinary awards event and reflects Vancouver’s top ranking as the country’s leading culinary destination. Since inception, the event ceremony has continued to grow, to become a gala event, with an attendance of more than 700 guests.

Find a winner by category:

Restaurant of the Year

Gold: West
Silver: Cioppino’s
Bronze: Blue Water Cafe
Honourable Mention: Parkside & Fuel

Best New Fine Dining

Gold: Fuel
Silver: Chow
Bronze: So.Cial
Honourable Mention: Metro & Goldfish Pacific Kitchen

Best New Informal

Gold: Boneta
Silver: Pied-à-Terre
Bronze: Cobre
Honourable Mention: Bistrot Bistro & Jules Bistro

Best Bar/Lounge

Gold: Bacchus Piano Lounge at the Wedgewood Hotel
Silver: Chambar
Bronze: Boneta
Honourable Mention:The Cascade Room & Nu

Best Service

Gold: West
Silver: Bishop’s
Bronze: Boneta
Honourable Mention: Lumière & Le Crocodile

Best GVRD Destination

Gold: Pear Tree
Silver: La Belle Auberge
Bronze: Bacchus Bistro at Domaine de Chaberton
Honourable Mention: Hart House & Globe@YVR

Best Regional

Gold: Aurora Bistro
Silver: Raincity Grill
Bronze: Bishop’s
Honourable Mention: C & Fuel

Best Small Plates

Gold: Bins 941/942
Silver: Cru
Bronze: Salt Tasting Room
Honourable Mention: Kingyo & Nu

Best Formal Italian

Gold: Cioppino’s/Enoteca
Silver: Il Giardino
Bronze: La Terrazza
Honourable Mention: Quattro on Fourth & Cin Cin

Best Casual Italian

Gold: La Buca
Silver: Zambri’s
Bronze: Osteria Napoli
Honourable Mention: Gusto di Quattro & Lombardo’s

Best Other European

Gold: Chambar
Silver: Senova
Bronze: Athene’s
Honourable Mention: The Irish Heather/Shebeen Whiskey House & Transylvania Flavour

Best Formal French

Gold: Le Crocodile
Silver: Bacchus Restaurant at the Wedgewood Hotel
Bronze: Lumiere
Honourable Mention: Bearfoot Bistro and Le Gavroche

Best Bistro/Brasserie

Gold: Pied-a-Terre
Silver: La Regalade
Bronze: Bistro Pastis
Honourable Mention: Jules Bistro & Mistral Bistro

Best Seafood

Gold: Blue Water Cafe
Silver: C
Bronze: Go Fish
Honourable Mention:Tojo’s & Coast

Best Formal Japanese

Gold: Tojo’s
Silver: Raw Bar at Blue Water Cafe
Bronze: En
Honourable Mention:Yoshi & Octopus’ Garden

Best Casual Japanese

Gold: Kingyo
Silver: Zest Japanese Cuisine
Bronze: Okada
Honourable Mention: Yuji’s Japanese Tapas & Guu

Best Formal Chinese

Gold: Kirin
Silver: Sun Sui Wah
Bronze: Sea Harbour
Honourable Mention: Red Star & Shanghai River

Best Casual Chinese

Gold: Chen’s Shanghai
Silver: Koon Bo Seafood
Bronze: Ho Yuen Kee
Honourable Mention: Landmark Hot Pot House & Northern Delicacy

Best Dim Sum

Gold: Kirin
Silver: Gingeri
Bronze: Sun Sui Wah
Honourable Mention: Sea Harbour, Shanghai River

Best Indian

Gold: Vij’s
Silver: Maurya
Bronze: Rangoli
Honourable Mention: Ashiana Tandoori & Chutney Villa

Best Southeast Asian

Gold: Phnom Penh
Silver: Spice Islands
Bronze: Banana Leaf
Honourable Mention: The Flying Tiger & Rekados

Best of the Americas

Gold: Dona Cata
Silver: Rinconcito Salvadoreno
Bronze: Baru Latino
Honourable Mention: Cobre & Me & Julio

Best Steakhouse/Chops

Gold: Gotham Steakhouse
Silver: Morton’s The Steakhouse
Bronze: Hamilton Street Grill and Memphis Blues
Honourable Mention: Hy’s Encore

Best Casual Chain

Gold: Cactus Club Cafe
Silver: Browns Social House
Bronze: The Keg
Honourable Mention: Earls & Joeys

Best North Shore

Gold: La Regalade
Silver: Gustro Di Quattro
Bronze: Dundarave Fish Market
Honourable Mention:The Crab Shop & La Cucina

Best Whistler

Gold: Araxi
Silver: Bearfoot Bistro
Bronze: Fifty Two 80 Bistro
Honourable Mention:Apres & Rim Rock Cafe

Best Victoria

Gold: Zambri’s
Silver: Brasserie l’ecole
Bronze: Cafe Brio
Honourable Mention:Niche & Stage

Best Vancouver Island

Gold: Sooke Harbour House
Silver: Sobo
Bronze: The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn
Honourable Mention: The Wesley Street Restaurant & Markus’ Wharfside

Best Resort Dining

Gold: The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn
Silver: Sooke Harbour House
Bronze: The Rosemeade Dining Room at the English Inn
Honourable Mention: Long Beach Lodge & The Aerie Resort Dining Room

Best Okanagan

Gold: Fresco
Silver: Bouchons
Bronze: Waterfront Wine Bar
Honourable Mention: Toasted Oak Wine Bar and Grill

Best Winery/Vineyard Dining

Gold: Terrace
Silver: Old Vines Patio Restaurant at Quails’ Gate & Vineyard Terrace at Cedar Creek
Bronze: Bacchus Bistro at Domaine de Chamberton
Honourable Mention: Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl

Best Hotel Dining

Gold: Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel
Silver: Diva at the Met
Bronze: Yew at Four Seasons
Honourable Mention: Elixir

Best Last Course

Gold: Cin Cin
Silver: Thomas Haas Patisserie and Cappuccino Bar
Bronze: Ganache Patisserie
Honourable Mention: West


Special Categories:

Chef of the Year
Bartender of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ingredient of the year
Premier Crew
Green Award
Design of the Year
Supplier/Producer of the Year
Playhouse Wine List Winners

Related Stories:

Eastern Feasts: The role of Asian cooking on our fine dining
Remembering James Barber

About the Awards:

Meet our judges

Murray Bancroft is a regular contributor to Western Living magazine, and also works as a research chef and food stylist.

Christina Burridge is the drink editor for Vancouver magazine and executive director of the B.C. Seafood Alliance.

Sid Cross contributes wine and food notes for Western Living and sits on the judging panel for this magazine’s International Wine Awards competition.

Chris Gonzalez
is a freelance food writer and frequent contributor to Vancouver.

Gary Hynes is the publisher and editor of Eat magazine and has also written for
Western Living and Northwest Palate.

Joie Alvaro Kent is a freelance food writer for Vancouver magazine and Eat magazine.

Qubic Lam is a freelance Chinese food and wine writer.

Deana Lancaster is the food and wine editor for the North Shore News and Look magazine, and a contributor to Sunset magazine.

Lee Man is a freelance food writer; his work has appeared in this magazine, Eat magazine, the Vancouver edition of Time Out, and Best Places Vancouver.

Brendon Mathews is a freelance food writer.

Barbara-jo McIntosh is an author and the owner of her own bookstore, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.

Jason McRobbbie promotes culinary destinations for the BC Culinary Tourism Society and contributes to Alive magazine.

Andrew Morrison is the publisher of, the host of Waiterforum, the restaurant critic for the Westender, a contributor to Vancouver magazine, and the Vancouver editor of Eat magazine.

Tim Pawsey writes on food and wine for the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, and Where Vancouver, and co-edits Zagat’s Best of Vancouver.

David Scholefield is the chief judge for Vancouver magazine’s International Wine Competition.

Shelora Sheldon
is a freelance food and travel writer, Victoria city editor for Western Living magazine, and a contributing editor to Northwest Palate. She is also the Island contributor for this magazine’s Eating and Drinking Guide, and Best Places Vancouver.

Mia Stainsby is the indefatigable restaurant critic and food writer for the Vancouver Sun.

Kasey Wilson is a freelance writer and broadcaster/producer on CFUN’s Best of Food & Wine, and the editor of Best Places Vancouver and the Vancouver/Whistler edition of Best Places to Kiss.

Stephen Wong
is a freelance food and wine journalist and cookbook author.

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