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The 2023 Michelin Star Vancouver Awards revealed new additions and recommendations—here are all 77(!) restaurants now on the list.
In our humble opinion, the Michelin Guide Vancouver Awards are only the second most important restaurant-industry honours, after our very own Vanmag Restaurant Awards. But it’s still a thrill to see our city’s culinary scene get the spotlight it deserves from the 97-year-old institution.
Last year was the first opportunity for Vancouver rooms to wow the secret Michelin Star judges; in 2022, eight restaurants were awarded stars, while 12 received the respectable Bib Gourmand designation (great restaurants at accessible price points) and another 40 were named “recommended restaurants.” (In September, Michelin announced a handful of additional honours.)
But now, for the second-annual ceremony, the competition is hotter than ever. Who will keep their stars? Will anyone gain one… or drop one? And which Vancouver restaurants will be added to this exclusive list? If you’re hungry for answers, think about how eager the city’s chefs were tonight at the Fairmont Pacific Rim ceremony.
Salivate no longer. Read on for the 2023 list of Vancouver Michelin winners: nine stars, 17 Bib Gourmand awards, and 51 recommended restaurants… all told, 77(!) great places to grab a bite.
Curious about how Michelin inspectors judge our food scene? We spill the secrets here.
New to the crew for 2023 is Okeya Kyujiro, a traditional Japanese restaurant run by chef Takuya Matsuda, which wowed the Michelin judges with its precise, memorable (20-course!) omakase experience.
Michelin said: “Hosts dressed in stunning traditional clothing guide you to a dark room, lit only by the faintest glow from votive candles. A black curtain is raised ceremoniously only when the clock strikes the precise minute of your seating. These are the first clues that this is far from your typical omakase. From the premium, hyper-seasonal fish to the demonstration of sasagiri (traditional Japanese bamboo leaf carving), it is a memorable show from start to finish. Highlights include chawanmushi with cherry blossom, shatteringly crispy tempura sandbar fish, spicy firefly squid on a bamboo skewer and a presentation of two uni petals from different Japanese waters served with seaweed jam.”
All eight of last year’s Michelin Star honourees remained on the list for 2023. Whew!
Michelin said: “Don’t be fooled by AnnaLena’s unassuming atmosphere, as dining at Chef Mike Robbins’ restaurant is a polished experience from top to bottom. Beginning with the graceful service and carrying through to the impeccably prepared dishes, this is a restaurant that aims to impress—sans the fuss.”
Read more about AnnaLena in Vanmag’s 2022 Restaurant Awards (it’s also the home base of our Sommelier of the Year, Christina Hartigan).
Michelin said: “Chef Patrick Hennessy spent time at many top spots, including Eleven Madison Park in New York, but he is clearly at home at Barbara. The kitchen feels like a stage, with guests perched at the L-shaped bar watching with bated breath as he performs culinary magic.”
Read more about Barbara.
Michelin said: “This Mount Pleasant charmer straddles a corner of Main Street in an area rich with top spots, but Burdock & Co stands out with its rustic appeal and Chef Andrea Carlson’s farm-to-table cooking. The concise menu highlights the best of the season.”
Read more about Burdock & Co and chef Andrea Carlson, Vanmag’s 2020 Chef of the Year.
Michelin said: “It has a pedigree that traces back to Beijing from 1864, but the latest outpost in Vancouver proves that QuanJuDe hasn’t lost any of its luster. It is best known for its superlatively crispy and juicy duck. Delicious as the signature fowl may be, there is plenty more from Chef Allen Ren: A bevy of other delicacies are on offer, including bird’s nest, sea cucumber and even a whole king crab if you’re up for a splurge.”
Read more about iDen & QuanJuDe Beijing Duck House.
Michelin said: “Inspired by the jazz cafes of 1960s Tokyo, Kissa Tanto seduces with a moody vibe complete with white mosaic floors, antique Japanese panels and steely colored walls loaded with artwork and photos. There is a definitive laid-back vibe here, but Chef Joël Watanabe’s ambitious kitchen pulls no punches with its mingling of Japanese and Italian cuisine.”
Read more about Kissa Tanto.
Michelin said: “Chef Masayoshi Baba brings Japan’s luxurious, jewel-box sushi counters to Vancouver with this eponymous restaurant. The best seats are always at the counter, and guests seated there are in for a treat as the chef ceremoniously crafts each course. Chef Baba lets British Columbia’s bounty guide this omakase, spotlighting locally sourced fish in his Edomae-style nigiri.”
Read more about Masayoshi in Vanmag’s 2022 Restaurant Awards.
Michelin said: “Timing is everything, but Chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson and his team have a preternatural ability for sensing when produce is at its peak. Whether showcasing it on the plate or pickling and preserving it (those jars even double as decor), they’re sourcing and foraging from local farms and forests. The contemporary fare bears the chef’s distinct imprimatur. This is food that is at once familiar and surprising.”
Read more about Published on Main and chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson, Vanmag’s 2022 Chef of the Year.
Michelin said: “A hit ever since opening, this charming Québécois bistro shares a true sense of place—it’s even named for the region’s mighty river. Sit close enough to Chef/owner Jean-Christophe Poirier’s kitchen to experience the heady aromas of his rustic and hearty French-Canadian cooking.”
Read more about St. Lawrence, Vanmag’s 2022 Restaurant of the Year and winner of Best Upscale.
The Michelin Guide defines Bib Gourmands as “great food at a great value.” That’s right: even the snobbiest of food snobs love a good deal sometimes, too. Of course, “value” can be pretty subjective… but Michelin defines this as restaurants were you can have two courses plus a glass of wine or dessert for less than $60. Here’s who joined the BG list for 2023:
Farmer’s Apprentice was added to the Michelin recommended list in September, so this Bib Gourmand upgrade is a bit of a (welcome) surprise. Though really, VanMag noted this resto’s all-star potential back in 2014, when it earned a Best New Restaurant award from Vanmag (and it snagged Best Casual that same year).
Another glow-up for another restaurant: like Farmer’s Apprentice, Karma has been moved from the recco list to Bib Gourmand Land. That traditional Indian and the cozy room must’ve really made an impression on the inspectors in the past two months.
Once again, this is a restaurant that was added to Michelin’s surprise Recommendation Drop in September, and now, Motonobu has gotten that coveted BG bump. Our art director is obsessed with these chewy, handmade noodles.
This one’s a newcomer to the Michelin world—and to Vancouver. A pretty impressive entrance. The Cambie Street room is full of fish tanks and incredible dim sum. Go for babbling congee and BBQ pork pastry.
Sushi Hil earned bronze in Best New in and an honourable mention in Best Japanese in our 2023 Restaurant Awards, so we’re thrilled to see that the Michelin crew loves it too.
You know ’em, you love ’em: these are the Bib Gourmand winners from 2022 that are proudly retaining this coveted status going into the next year. Congrats to our delicious friends.
Anh and Chi
Fiorino, Italian Street Food
Kin Kao Song
While Michelin noted these restaurants as “new” to its recommended list, many were included in the surprise September update. So congrats to all… or congratulations still?
Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar
Regal Mansion Cuisine
Tetsu Sushi Bar
Wildlight Kitchen and Bar
These restaurants crushed it last year, and continued to do the same through 2023. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the volume here, may we recommend cross-referencing with our 2023 Restaurant Awards to pick out the best of the best?
Ask for Luigi
Bonjour Vietnam Bistro
Fanny Bay Oyster Co.
Homer St. Cafe
The Lobby Lounge
The Mackenzie Room
Riley’s Fish and Steak
Sushi Bar Maumi
Suyo’s Max Curzon-Price was honoured with a special Michelin Exceptional Cocktails Award for his spectacular mixology. (A perfect pairing with our 2023 Best New Restaurant award.)
Kelcie Jones of Burdock and Co is was celebrated for her incredible some chops with the Michelin Sommelier Award—and we absolutely support this smart idea.
The front-of-house team at this year’s new Michelin Star restaurant, Okay Kyujiro, received a special recognition for exceptional service: the Michelin Outstanding Service Award.
Wildlight Kitchen and Bar only opened in the spring, but Chef Warren Chow managed to impress the Michelin judges nonetheless and take home the Michelin Young Chef Award. (Wildlight also has one of our fave patios, by the way.)
There you have it: the winners and recommended restaurants on Michelin’s 2023 Vancouver list. Time to make some resos.