Vancouver Restaurant for a Special Birthday

We will be in Vancouver for Two nights this June and was looking for a Restaurant to celebrate a Special Birthday.
For this occasion Decor and Food are equally important,
There seems to be so many good restaurants i thought I would ask the experts.
Thanks for your help.

Tojo’s (if you like Japanese food).

When my wife and I did the research for our honeymoon, I asked around and one very dialed-in contact in Vancouver said Tojo’s had both the best raw and cooked seafood in town. Now that was almost 4 years ago so I don’t know if anything has changed in that regard.

We both had the omakase menu and loved it. What was really nice was that they brought us different dishes for each course so we could share.

Nice atmosphere, too. We did not sit at the sushi bar.

I’m guessing you’re looking for the French Laundry types… not just a ‘really nice place’ but a special location? just checking that money for the most part is no object?

Tojo’s is great but sit at the sushi bar… sitting at a table u’re just at another regular restaurant… (albeit a nice one)… sit at the bar and if you are lucky, Tojo-san himself is there to cook for you, and you have little to no budget concerns, u’re in for a legendary evening!

West is really nice – decor/food
I’ve also heard Hawksworth is very ‘in’ right now (i don’t live there anymore :frowning:( ).

will ask a couple of foodie friends there…

1 Like

Yes looking for a high end but does not need to be FL.
I thought of Tojo but I was concerned about the atmosphere for this occasion.
I made a reservation at Hawksworth so I am glad you heard good things.
Maybe one night at does not hurt to celebrate

+1 on that!

1 Like

Cindy, fwiw, i asked 3 friends who live there, and all three said Hawksworth (among others but the common one was Hawksworth), so i think that’ll be the one.

apparently you can call them and see about reserving the private room, with the head chef… if it’s something u’re interested in, i’d try and call
you can design the a 6-8 course tasting menu etc too.

Thank you that sounds great.

You might also want to consider L’Abbatoir on the second night for something a bit less fancy but still quite impressive. I also love Vij’s.

1 Like

Hi Cindy,

I’m a local in Vancouver. You have mentioned “decor” and “atmosphere” - I’m not quite sure I know exactly what you are looking for.

I’ve eaten at all the places mentioned, and enjoy the food, but they are not special in terms of location. Hawksworth has a top chef, high-end menu, and fairly new premises, but no view and a boring (to me) downtown location. It is basically at the corner of two busy downtown streets. Having said this, if you are looking for an excellent meal in a room with fresh furniture and appointments, Hawksworth is a top candidate.

Vancouver at its best is a spectacular city. But very few high-end restaurants have a special view. The one in that category that I can recommend is Five Sails. Excellent (and underrated) chef coupled with some of the best views in the entire city.

Also, I’m not sure what kind of food you want to eat. Pretty much everything is represented here, but again matching that with restaurant premises that are special poses a challenge.

If you want to provide more specifics, I can be of more help!


Thank you Blair,
I actually have made a reservation at Five sails,Hawksworth, Blue Water cafe and Tojo.
Unfortunately I only have two nights so it will probably be Five sails and Hawksworth.
Can you rec. some casual restaurants for lunch. seafood or Asian cuiseine. I cant wait to visit Vancouver.It looks so beautiful and the restaurants all sound great

I haven’t been in a long time, but I loved Vij’s. It is fusion Indian cuisine, which isn’t necessarily the best for wine offerings, but I still crave it to this day. I remember reading once that the food writer, Patricia Well’s, loved Vij’s, and it was the only Indian restaurant she ever liked – or something to that effect.


Last time I ate at Hawksworth, Meryl Streep was at the next table. This is not a restaurant for hiding in a private room unless intimate conversation is a must.

Thanks for the advice,I will be looking for Meryl.Lol

Thanks again for the advice.
We had two amazing meals at both restaurants.
The food was slightly better at Hawkswirth and we loved the trendy vibe.
The View was so amazing at Five Sails and the food and service was excellent,
I would return to both’

Cindy, do you mind elaborating a bit more on the menu? wine? etc etc?

looking to eat at Hawksworth myself in July…

I went to Hawksworth a couple of weeks ago with a large group (12 people, bachelor party). We had to get a private room (they converted the Bel Cafe on the other side of the restaurant into a private room for us). We had to do a set menu so we asked to all do the tasting menu instead ($10 more and everything looked good), which was excellent, but the space did feel a little weird since there was a big front window open to the street and occassionally, people would stop and look inside. There was also a large concert going on across the street so we had them turn off the “elevator music” they were playing inside. Every item on the tasting menu was great, although a majority of us didn’t care for the beans that went with the 24 hour pork belly (they were a little tough/dry). My buddy did the wine pairing and most of the pairings were excellent. The sake they paired with the beef tartar was really nice - earthy notes paired well (I tried a few of my buddy’s pairings). I browsed the wine list and it was pretty complete, although the prices were on the upper end of markups.

We opted to order off the menu.our waiter leaned us in this direction.
We had
Fried duck egg asparagus, wild mushroom, brown butter, parmesan Amazing
seared japanese squid peanut, nashi pear, crispy pork chili vinaigrette -even better
pan roasted sablefish eggplant, furikake, black tea dashi broth -delicious
ostock farms squab mushroom croquant, apricot, foie gras vinaigrette -also great
vanilla bean ice cream spiced apple, hazelnut, maple ,Not really a ice cream dish so delicious.
They allow BYO but I do not remember what the corkage fee was.The wine service was excellent

bumping as we will be there in August for 3 nights so any suggestions are welcome!

I’m in Vancouver this week and my brother, who spends much more time here than me, was recommending Vij’s to someone tonight.

A couple of favorites of mine, both Italian:

  • La Quercia, on 4th Avenue at Blanca, a little west of the heart of Kitsilano, on the way from downtown to UBC. First-rate Piemontese-dominated cuisine. It’s a small place in a neighborhood location but Adam, the chef-owner, is obsessive in the best way. I wish I could find Northern Italian at this level of refinement in NYC for something close to the price. The word has been out for some time, so you need to reserve ahead. This is a foodie’s place, not a showy place, though it’s pleasant room.

  • Tavola on Robson just west of Denman in the West End. Not super creative, but really good, tasty food and great wine choices. I know very few of the producers on the list, but somebody’s doing a great job of picking unspoofified wines (mostly Italian). A bit noisy on the weekends. With the Canadian dollar where it is, this a great bang for the buck.

Oh, did I mention I’ve eaten there three of the last four nights? Seriously!

bump again as our trip approaches. We’ll be there for three days. Any agenda suggestions appreciated and, of course, more restaurant suggestions!