Readers’ Choice Awards 2024: Best Neighbourhood Restaurants

As part of our 35th annual Restaurant Awards, we asked our readers to help us out. Here are the best restaurants in each Vancouver neighbourhood.

Who are you to judge? That’s not a rhetorical question: after decades of Restaurant Awards results being solely up to our panel of pro judges, we reintroduced the Readers’ Choice division of the Restaurant Awards this year. Seven thousand nominations, 45,000 votes and many, many readers’ opinions later, the results are in. We’re honoured to serve up the 2024 Readers’ Choice winners—chosen for the people, by the people.

Vancouver Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Neighbourhoods

Best Chinatown: Kissa Tanto

263 E Pender St.,

The name Kissa Tanto is an appealing marriage of Japanese and Italian (rough translation: House of Plenty), and so too is the wonderful menu at this jewel box of a roxom—time to tuck into pasta with wagyu ragu and Japanese curry.

Photo: Sue Lee-Wright

Best Commercial Drive: Lunch Lady

1046 Commercial Dr.,

You needn’t travel to Saigon for a taste of the Bourdain-approved soups of chef Nguyen Thi Thanh—the Vietnamese street-food queen collaborated with Vancouver restaurateur Michael Tran on taste-bud-popping dishes at this popular East Van spot.

Photo: Leila Kwok

Best Downtown: Elisa

1109 Hamilton St.,

The swanky room at Elisa makes for an
impressive downtown dining experience. Flame-grilled cuts from around the world are the star of the menu here, but you’ll find sustainable seafood and thoughtful sides, too: dinosaur kale salad, anyone?

Photo by Hakan Burcuoglu

Best Fraserhood: Savio Volpe

615 Kingsway,

The Ste Marie–designed space is at once warm and airy, its tables always packed with lively revellers, fuelled by Aperol spritzes and kingfish crudo, debating who gets the last meatball.

Best Gastown: Ask for Luigi

305 Alexander St.,

Ask for Luigi offers a taste of la dolce vita, with housemade pasta and an irresistible antipasti menu (yeah, we’re getting burrata for the table). Brunch is solid, too—where else can you indulge in tagliolini carbonara with a poached egg at 10 a.m.?

Best Hastings-Sunrise: Dachi

2297 E Hastings St.,

Small plates and natural wine (and craft sake) by the glass make Dachi both a neighbourhood favourite and a worthy foodie destination. Here, a plate of tangy house pickles is presented with as much care as the tender seared pork loin.

Best Kerrisdale: Bufala

5395 West Blvd.,

A consistent contender in our Best Pizza category, it’s no surprise that Bufala has dazzled the Kerrisdale crowd with its from-scratch, blistered-to-perfection crust and toppings like pepperoni and honey.

Photo by Allison Kuhl

Best Kitsilano: AnnaLena

1809 W 1st Ave.,

AnnaLena took home our 2024 Restaurant of the Year award, and chef Mike Robbins and team have been wooing diners for nearly a decade with a dazzlingly creative take on modern Canadian cuisine—pan-Asian, hyper-local—and impressive wine list.

Photo: Leila Kwok

Best Mount Pleasant: Anh and Chi

3388 Main St.,

The story is sweet—two siblings take their parents’ restaurant legacy and run with it—but the modern Vietnamese menu here is even sweeter. Try the crispy turmeric prawn cakes, chicken wings doused in chili fish sauce or tastes-like-love crab tomato noodle soup.

Photo: Nora Hamade

Best Olympic Village: Ophelia

165 W 2nd Ave.,

The pretty Olympic Village space (that wallpaper!) serves up casual Mexican fare—chicharron de ribeye in a corn tortilla; chipotle-marinated ling cod—with sophistication
and precision.

Photo: Leila Kwok

Best West End: Maxine’s

1325 Burrard St.,

Paris comes to the West End via Maxine’s charming bistro, one that delights from mid-morning brunch (go for the smoked salmon benny) to a nightcap on the twinkling patio (the punchy cherry gin sour is summer in a coupe glass).

Photo: Leila Kwok

Best Yaletown: Homer St. Cafe

898 Homer St.,

The wood-fired chicken here is the main draw (“So tender! So moist!” exclaimed one voter), but the top-tier service and strong wine list help cement this cozy bistro as a Yaletown fave. Happy hour offers $2 off cocktails like the Elderflower Aviation, a dreamy purple concoction that’s as delicious as it is beautiful.

Best Neighbourhood Wildcard: The Mackenzie Room

415 Powell St.,

The Mackenzie Room describes itself as a hidden gem. Yet Vancouverites found it all the same, lured by the ever-changing chalkboard menu of seasonally guided dishes, all with deliciously punny names (we’ll take the You’ve Got Quail).

Photo: Katie Cross

Best North Shore: Beach House

150 25th St., West Vancouver,

Voters spent as much time praising the views and the atmosphere as the food at Beach House, but the seafood spot is no slouch in the menu department—order yuzu calamari, charred Spanish octopus and good ol’ fish and chips, made with Haida Gwaii halibut.

Photo: Nora Hamade

Best Richmond: Baan Lao

4100 Bayview St.,

The upscale signature multi-course tasting menus (like Celebrating the Bounty and Beauty of Thailand) are painstakingly executed and represent a journey into the mind (and home garden) of chef Nutcha Phanthoupheng.

Photo: Leila Kwok

Best Whistler: Wild Blue

4005 Whistler Wy.,

The menu is a marriage of French, Italian and Pacific Northwest influences—you’ll find hamachi crudo (with ponzu gelee, natch) and fish soup provencal (bolstered by saffron and gruyère cheese) alongside house-made cavatelli.

Best Vancouver Island: Wolf in the Fog

150 Fourth St., Tofino,

The warm, rustic room is the perfect place to land after a day on the Chesterman Beach waves for regionally inspired dishes like Pacific scallop gratin and slow-baked Tofino halibut.

Best Okanagan: Row Fourteen

725 MacKenzie Rd., Cawston,

In the 14th row of Klippers Organics’ apple orchard, you’ll find Row Fourteen, where produce, proteins and (duh) wine are as farm-to-table as it gets. Toast an evening well-spent with a glass of black plum basil Untangled cider.

Find more of the best Vancouver restaurants on our list of 2024 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Award winners.