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1900 W. First Ave., 604-569-1848.
This brand-new deli boasts “Seit 1935” (that means since meine freunde), but it seems Frank and Corinna Plöger are using the date of the old shop in Frankfurt, which they’ve tried to move faithfully to our fair city. The vibe is authentic, with a Kits-style airiness—not a bad combo, really.
Most popularThe schnitzel sandwich (get it toasted for an extra satisfying crunch).
Chef’s pickOnion quiche.
My favouriteThe crazy expensive potato salad ($19 per kilo) has a vinegar bite and mustard tang that are straight from the old country. It goes well with the schnitzel and is marginally cheaper than a black truffle accompaniment.
1809 W. First Ave., 604-569-2741. Kitsdaily.com
Chef Brian Fowke, who made a splash with Rare a few years back, almost singlehandedly helms this compelling new room. He shops in the morning and you eat what’s fresh that night. The ever-changing menu isn’t cheap, but given the quality it’s good value. This is dining born of a chef’s love.
Most popularSteak frites.
Chef’s pickWhatever fish is fresh, picked up a half hour before service.
My favourite I never see bone marrow on local menus, and Fowke’s Pemberton Meadows version is rich and crazy. Like African dictator rich and crazy.
1995 Cornwall Ave., 604-734-8971. Octopusgarden.ca
This tiny, shabbily elegant spot right near Kits Beach is a prototype for all good Vancouver sushi joints that have followed. Fresh fish, simple prep, no BS—it makes this terribly named joint (a Ringo song? Really?) a survivor in the transitory world of Kitsilano dining.
Most popularSweet-yam tempura roll with mango and sesame.
Chef’s pickWagyu beef steak
My favouriteWagyu beef tempura—a dish that once-and-for-all proves that hot oil improves everything.
2210 Cornwall Ave., 604-734-3589. Localpubliceatery.com
This newish space follows in the frankly modest footsteps of former occupants Señor Frogs and Malone’s and tops them both (phew!) with its quasi-local (the name will be a gauntlet to 100-mile purists) take on the burgeoning upscale-casual genre. The spot is also home to the Nimby burger stand, which aims to be the In-N-Out of Kits but ends up more like a second White Spot location, with better milk shakes.
Most popularCrispy chicken sandwich.
Chef’s pickMediterranean Ahi tuna salad.
My favouriteEl Caesar, a great spicy variation on the Canadian classic beverage (secret ingredient? Mexican hot sauce) with a pepperoni stick. In a glass boot. On a great patio.
1516 Yew St. 604-738-4272. Hapaizakaya.com
The izakaya trend may be waning but that doesn’t mean Hapa—with its boisterous crowd, labyrinthine seating plan, and late hours—isn’t still one of the city’s funnest rooms.
Most popularKing crab roll.
Chef’s pickSashimori (assorted sashimi).
My favouriteWild prawn ebi mayo ain’t complicated but always seems like the perfect midnight pick.
1685 Yew St. 604-739-4677. Abigailsparty.ca
Kitsilano personified: super-relaxed and friendly, and if the food isn’t always perfect it’s not for lack of trying—life, man, it ain’t always perfect, you know? They are closing in on five years, which has to be some sort of longevity record for this difficult street.
Chef’s pickPemberton Meadows steak frites, served rare.
My favouriteBraised bison short rib sloppy Joe—an out-of-control dish that gets by on sheer lunacy.
Planning a visit to one of these restaurants? Click on this map to get a better idea of their locations:
We’re scoured a variety of neighborhoods for the best restaurants. Check them out here:
Granville and Broadway
Hamilton and Helmcken
Denman and Robson
Keefer and Main