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GOLD: Cactus Club, Various Locations
SILVER: Joey, Various Locations
BRONZE: Nook, Various Locations; Tacofino, Various Locations
With the departure of both longtime owner Richard Jaffray and decorated executive chef Rob Feenie in early 2022, it’s uncertain where Cactus Club will end up on next year’s list—but the team runs such a tight, dependable ship that it seems unlikely it could drift too far off its winning course. But no matter the future: we’re here to talk about the casual-fine chain’s impeccable past year, and the reasons that it takes the gold for the umpteenth time in a row. Even the snobbiest of foodies can’t deny that Cactus refuses to drop the ball: the West Coast fare (Ocean Wise salmon, the beloved fish tacos, the butternut squash ravioli with prawns) is consistently impeccable. Though the restaurant is an institution at this point, the Cactus team rarely rests on their laurels, with an admirable commitment to adapting to culinary trends, including a thoughtfully executed plant-based menu. It’s hard to imagine a better place for a please-everyone-at-the-table business lunch.
Similarly, silver winner Joey remains a pillar of consistency and casual-cool, wherever you pop in across the Lower Mainland.
Tied for bronze, winners Nook and Tacofino both provide neighbourhood-y vibes (and stellar meals) at each unique location, even as they quietly grow their mini empires.
Want More Restaurant Award Winners? Read Them All Here