Today is my 7th wedding anniversary! Every year Brian and I struggle to find a nice place to celebrate it – we’re pretty low key people so we mostly spend it at a nice restaurant to please the food blogger! It’s interesting thinking back to when we first started dating, how uneducated I was about different cuisines – but with an adventurous spirit and a just as adventurous dining partner, look how far we’ve come!

I know it’s hard finding a nice place to go and not only get a decently sized meal that doesn’t cost a pretty penny, but it’s possible here in Vancouver! I wanted to put together a list of my favourite places to take my dear old hubby for a special occasion – whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or just a small celebration! There’s no particular order to these, and the criteria is mostly: Is the food good? Many are upscale but there are some that are in between, because ya know, everyone has their own thoughts on what is a ‘romantic’ spot.

Kishimoto is a super popular Japanese restaurant on Commercial Drive. It’s small, intimate and dimly lit setting is perfect for date night. Their large menu caters to all tastes – from the adventurous to the play-it-safe-ers.

Speaking of sushi, Miku is the epitome of fine Japanese dining. High ceilings, beautiful views of the harbour and exquisitely made sushi makes for a great date spot. The volume here is a little loud, but still enjoyable.

Royal Dinette
If you’re looking for a spot to step in and feel like you’ve transported away to Europe, this is the place. The beautifully designed restaurant has that effortless chic only a fabulous European restaurant would have – from the tiles to the decor, the details put into this restaurant makes for a romantic setting. Their delicious meals are thoughtful and well put together.

I added this on the list because this is my first date spot with Brian. We love Italian food and CinCin definitely brings the flavour. The dimly lit atmosphere is super romantic while still being part of the busy hub that is downtown Vancouver.

One of my favourite spots in the city for a cocktail, Chambar is a bustling but beautiful place to have a great meal with someone.

I had my reception at the Teahouse in Stanley Park and nothing is more beautiful than being in the middle of Stanley Park watching the sun set over the horizon. The Teahouse is historic and a great little place tucked away.

The Flying Pig
I love the Flying Pig – their food is great and their Gastown location is roomy, high-ceiling with different dining areas.

This restaurant is always busy and bustling, but there’s something truly charming about Vij’s. Maybe it’s the man himself, but the food is stellar and food is the universal language of love (in my books, at least).

Homer St. Cafe and Bar
As you could probably tell from the list, I’m a big fan of interior design and the thought that goes into it. Homer St. Cafe is one of those places that has a chic vibe while still being really welcoming. Their food is great – their chicken is superb and it’s a lovely neighbourhood spot.

Les Faux Bourgeois
If you can get a reservation at Les Faux Bourgeois (often you’ll have to call 2 weeks in advance!), I’d highly recommend this cute corner restaurant on Fraser. It’s a French, dimly lit restaurant that is lively and half the cost of many of the French places in the city but the food is just as good.

Anh + Chi
Another beautifully decorated space, Anh + Chi is tucked away on Main street and is a fantastic place to spend date night. The food is elevated Vietnamese food in an earthy, dimly lit space.

West Restaurant & Bar
I love West for the cocktails, but I love it even more for dinner. Although it’s one of the more higher end places in Vancouver, it’s worth every single penny. The attention to detail in cutlery, every aspect of your meal and the friendliness of the servers and bartenders here are just fantastic.

La Mezcaleria
Their Gastown space is dark and perfect space to fall in love over the best Mexican food in the city. While it can get pretty loud, its still a great place to bring a date!