It’s almost that time of year again folks, Dine Out Vancouver is just around the corner. When I was a bit younger, I used to use Dine Out Vancouver as an excuse to try restaurants I would normally never frequent but now I parse through the menus to see what kind of offerings are more unique than the ubiquitous roasted chicken or buttered salmon for a reasonable price point. No matter whether you are trying restaurants for the first time or looking for a culinary adventure – Dine Out Vancouver has definitely expanded to accommodate all varying levels of ‘curiousness’.

DOVF2013_Chefphoto-2Besides from the traditional 3-course dinners and lunches at restaurants, you can now experience events from dining and a show, to food tours and even listen to some notable chefs around the city talk food.

Here are my picks for Dine Out Vancouver 2014 both restaurants and events!

$18 Menus:
Fish Shack
For this price point, Fish Shack is definitely a solid choice – offering 1/2 pound of mussels and either a battered fish sandwich or a penne jambalaya with their delectable sticky toffee pudding. Yum!

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – Bistro 101
I would definitely recommend checking out the upcoming talents of the students coming out of PICA, their menu looks delicious as well.

The Reef Restaurant
Caribbean cuisine for $18! I love their jerk chicken and they had me at their desserts: Fried banana with mango ice cream & rum caramel or pine apple coconut tart with caramelized sugar!

$28 Menus:

Abigail’s Party
Abigail’s Party dine out menu sure looks intriguing serving up different bites than what you’re used to on a typical DOV menu – my picks from their menu – Abigail’s Salad (wine-poached pear, shaved pecorino pepato, toasted hazelnuts, organic baby greens, roasted shallot vinaigrette), buttermilk fried chicken and their dark chocolate mousse served with chill and bay leaf!

Ask for Luigi
They had me at Mushroom Risotto, Tagliatelle and Mussels and Pappardelle. Yum!

East is East, Chai Lounge
If you haven’t checked this place out, now is the best time to do it. Their delicious menu is packed with exotic dishes that’ll tantalize your taste buds. A couple of my favourite things are on their dine out menu including: rice pudding with cardamom and pistachio, Gulab Jamun (Indian cakes with pistachio and rosewater) and their mango prawns.

They are offering their award-winning seafood chowder made with smoked chicharon and soft quail egg! But asides from that there is so much great offerings on this menu, it is definitely worth the trip.

Served family style, Maenam is a delight to the senses. If you’re looking to awaken your tastebuds, look no further!

$38 Menus

Cafe Il Nido
Highly recommended by many foodies, this is on my to try list for Italian cuisine!

Federico’s Supper Club
Not a lot of places offer dinner with live music, and this place comes highly recommended!

If you haven’t had the chance to try out Mosaic out yet, this is a good time to do so! Their Squash bisque is delicious! It’s not on the menu, but if you can convince your dining partner to try their Sous Vide Peace Country Lamb, I’d highly suggest that too.

I had such a great experience last year and the food was amazing, I’d recommend going here again this year!


Chef Soup Experiment – FREE!
When 50 of Vancouver’s top chef brings an ingredient and tosses it into a pot, what deliciousness can come out of it? You can find out on January 17th at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts!

Dinner at the Birdcage – $25/$50
A three course meal AND a drag queen cabaret? This is bound to be a fun time!

Palate Promenade – $40
Have you ever wanted to take a food tour around Granville Island with a well educated foodie? Visit over 10 merchants and sample the great things Granville Island has to offer.

Side Dishes – The Best of Hawksworth – $48
Served in the lovely York Room as a long table dining experience, Side Dishes explores some of the best dishes of Hawksworth during the festival.

For more information, check out the Dine Out Vancouver website. 

Will you be participating in the Dine Out Vancouver festival this year?