By Caylie Warkentin
Many local restaurants in Vancouver have taken inspiration from our abundance of local food sources and endeavour to source farm-to-table ingredients that support local farmers, fishers, and foragers. Others have looked to traditional food sources long revered by Indigenous communities to create innovative and sustainable menus that connect foodies and casual restaurant-goers alike with the food on their plate and to establish a sense of gratitude for the land that shares so much of itself with us.
As a brand that sources and manufactures our products locally, we are continuously impressed by the innovation of local restaurants that look close to home for inspiration for their dishes.
Discover our top five favourite restaurants below that feature local and seasonal flavours.
For a vegetarian, haute-cuisine experience, check out The Acorn, a cozy restaurant situated on the corner of Main Street and East 24th. This award-winning vegetarian restaurant was founded in 2012 and has a seasonally-focused menu whose dishes are focused on singular ingredients - think kale, larch, or allium. The menu changes continuously throughout the year depending on the availability of seasonal foods and offers tastes of local flavours like the Nootka rose and kelp oil to curious restaurant-goers. Reservations are available only for the chefs tasting menu.
Located on Robson Street, Forage is a restaurant established in 2012 by locally trained Chef Welbert Choi who endeavours to form and support long-lasting relationships with local fishers, foragers, and farmers. Grilled Pacific octopus features alongside kelp mignonette and other classic Pacific Northwest flavours. Plus, they boast the best brunch in the West End - think Fraser Valley duck ragout, and salted duck yolk custard-stuffed french toast. The cocktail and wine menu also feature well-known names like Empress Gin and Burrowing Owl. All seafood is Oceanwise certified.
This restaurant is located on West Broadway and is presently owned by Inez Cook, a member of the Nuxalk Nation. It’s the only Indigenous-owned restaurant in Vancouver, and traditional foods are served including bison pemmican mousse, candied chum salmon, and an assortment of bannock dishes, a type of flatbread. All of their seafood is wild and locally caught off the coast of British Columbia and all game meat is organic and free-range. Salmon n’ Bannock emphasizes the connection between a community and its food and seeks to connect diners with traditional Indigenous food sources.
A sustainable oyster bar in its second year of operation situated in Vancouver’s Chinatown, ShuckShuck has created a space that revolutionizes the consumption of sustainable seafood with neon signs and modern seating. ShuckShuck offers a unique menu centred around topped oysters – think key lime, an oyster topped with lime curd and meringue, or Feed Your Seoul, an oyster paired with kimchi and Asian pear. Indecisive? No problem – they offer oyster flights where you can sample a variety of flavours. ShuckShuck is an Oceanwise partner and sources its oysters from solar-powered farms on Vancouver Island.
Miku Restaurant is situated on the waterfront near Canada Place in the heart of downtown Vancouver. In 2008, Miku’s founder Seigo Nakamura pioneered fusion Aburi, flame-seared cuisine, that blends traditional Japanese cuisine with the local flavours of the coastal waters of British Columbia. White truffle baked sablefish features alongside squid ceviche and wild sockeye salmon. Their sister restaurant, Minami, is located mere steps away in Yaletown and offers seasonal and local ingredients like the haskap berry and Canadian lobster. Both Miku and Minami serve Oceanwise-certified seafood.