Derek Dammann’s Favourite Addresses in Vancouver
Fancy a trip to Vancouver? Derek Dammann, chef/owner of Maison Publique and West Coast native, shares his favourite spots in British Columbia’s largest city.
Vancouver is a true destination for outdoor enthusiasts and cosmopolitan adventurers. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, the city can be explored on foot or by bike thanks to its many coastal paths.
The city is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. For thousands of years, the Coast Salish people have made their home in the area now known as Vancouver. Their history and cultural traditions, their deep respect for nature and their spirituality are interwoven into the cultural fabric of the city.
And since a trip to Vancouver is never complete without a proper culinary experience, here are a few places worth visiting.
L’Abattoir – 217 Carrall St, Vancouver
Located in the heart of Gastown, between historic Gaoler’s Mews and Blood Alley, L’Abattoir offers a delicious dining experience; a meeting of French culinary techniques and West Coast dishes. Chef/owner Lee Cooper and his team have thought through every element of the space with particular attention to detail to ensure that every visit to this comfortable yet refined address is memorable.
To top off the experience, the house offers a superb wine list and an innovative cocktail list.
The name of the restaurant pays homage to the history of the area, which once housed many of the city’s butcher shops.
St. Lawrence – 269 Powell St, Vancouver
The cuisine at St. Lawrence pays homage to chef/owner Jean-Christophe (J-C) Poirier’s heritage, his formative years in Quebec and his early experience in renowned Montreal restaurants. The food is delicious French cuisine with Quebec flavours. The French inspiration is also present in the wine and cocktail list. Simplicity is celebrated here as the ultimate form of sophistication.
Maenam – 1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
Located in the heart of Kitsilano, Maenam offers a delicious menu with rich, colourful Thai flavours that are constantly evolving. Chef Angus An pays special attention to seasonal produce and local ingredients. Open since 2009, Maenam has become a true staple of Thai cuisine in Vancouver.
Fat Mao – 217 E Georgia St, Vancouver
Fat Mao (“Fat Cat” in Cantonese) Noodles is a modern Asian noodle bar located in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. Here, they serve bowls of noodle soup and other small plates infused with Thai and Chinese flavours, and prepared with fresh ingredients. Opened in 2015, this is chef Angus An’s third restaurant.
Como Taperia – 201 E 7th Ave, Vancouver
Inspired by extensive travels throughout Spain, ¿CóMO? Taperia is a tapas bar located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.
They serve the small tapas directly in custom tapas boxes imported from Barcelona. The attractive menu features classic dishes like tortilla española (made to order) and more sophisticated ones like hamburguesa con foie.
The alcohol list also takes us across the Atlantic with top quality gins, great sherry and an innovative wine selection.
Vij’s – 3106 Cambie St, Vancouver
Rumour has it that this is one of the most famous Indian restaurants in North America.
Vikram Vij opened Vij’s in Vancouver in 1994. Meeru Dhalwala joined him soon after to collaborate and create a menu that would revolutionize the Indian culinary landscape in Canada.
The delightful restaurant has built its excellent reputation by combining traditional Indian culinary influences with local British Columbian produce.
Masayoshi – 4376 Fraser St, Vancouver
Known for its omakasé, Masayoshi is an upscale sushi destination in the up-and-coming Fraser district. Opened in 2015 by chef Masayoshi Baba, this intimate 24-seat space introduces Vancouverites to a new take on Japanese cuisine. They combine time-honoured culinary techniques with seasonal ingredients, elegant presentation and creative flavour combinations.
Kissa Tanto – 263 E Pender St, Vancouver
Tucked away on the top floor of a beautifully weathered building in Chinatown, Kissa Tanto is an invitation to travel with its Italian-Japanese fusion cuisine. Think lasagna topped with rabbit stew and miso soup, and Florentine-inspired prime rib with a soy-based sauce for dipping.
Written by Inès Duguen
Photography by St Lawrence