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Chinois Black Pepper Steak with crispy onion threads. Photo by Anya Levykh

Dine Out and Feast Van


It might be the slump period for retailers, but January and February have turned into a busy time for local restaurants. First, the decade-old Dine Out Vancouver is running now through February 5. This year, the festival has really spread it culinary feathers to turn into an actual, you know, festival.


Pop-up events like the Brasserie Mystère, a secret supper with an undisclosed chef (last year it was David Hawksworth, so expectations are high), or the Swallow Tail Suppers, are in high demand, as are the culinary tours with Edible Canada and craft beer tours with Vancouver Food Tour. And with over 231 restaurants offering their $18, $28 or $38 options, there are still plenty of reservations to be had.


At the media preview, I sampled the $18 three-course menu at Beachside Forno in Ambleside. This was full of great options, like the caramelized onion and chicken soup, with a soft onion flan in place of the tradition bread, and crispy cheese nuggets piled over top. Another winner was the braised Peace Country lamb orecchiettei with lamb bacon lardons and roasted onions in a café au lait sauce.


I also stopped by Chinois in Yaletown, whose $28 menu includes crispy barbecue pork belly, jumbo prawns with candied walnuts, and black pepper steak with fried onions and mushrooms. You can check out all menus online at


Feast Van: The Anti-Dine Out

For those who try to avoid the Dine Out crowds each year, there is a new program running during the same dates as the Tourism Vancouver event. Feast Van operates on a similar concept, where a group of independent East Side restaurants and breweries band together to offer three-course prix fixe lunches and dinners for $20 or $30 respectively. Some restaurants also offer deluxe menu options for an additional $5. The catch is that $1 from every dinner sold will go to benefit the Vancouver Inner City Backpack Food Program. The program helps inner city children who routinely face food insecurity, by closing the “food gap” every weekend, when these children don’t have access to the hot lunch and breakfast programs at their schools. Participating restaurants & breweries include Au Petit Chavignol, The Red Wagon, Campagnolo Roma, Les Faux Bourgeois, R&B Brewing and more.

Written By:

Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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