No matter if you’re celebrating an anniversary, a birthday or a random Tuesday, you can plan a special meal with an even more special someone. We’ve gone scouting for the most romantic dining destinations on Canada’s west coast, restaurants that are especially seductive on a dark spring night. Whether you’re heading to Vancouver, Whistler or Vancouver Island, we’ve got the lowdown on places to get passionate over your plates.
Want to wow while you woo? Then book a table for two at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star dining room in Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where the luminous chandelier and glass-walled wine cave give the downtown space an alluring vibe.
Begin with a glass of something sparkling like the Airmail (a cocktail made from rum, honey syrup, lime juice and bubbles) to accompany a luxe starter such as the foie gras torchon or the cured hamachi with crunchy pickled vegetables. Then move on to rich mains ranging from charred wagyu flank steak to grilled sturgeon with squid ink risotto and slow-cooked lobster.
Finally, linger over an espresso and a selection of macarons.
Prefer a more casual date night? This popular Vancouver bistro is set in a window-lined renovated warehouse with over-height windows and exposed brick walls, where you can snuggle up for cocktails like the Bisous de Bison (vodka, Aperol, elderflower syrup, plum bitters, Marsala wine and lemon juice) or the In Good Campagna (rum, Amaro Montenegro and fig syrup).
The kitchen uses local ingredients with flavors of North Africa, Belgium and the North American West Coast in dishes like spice-rubbed duck breast with gnocchi and pea tips; sturgeon paired with chorizo, ratatouille and red pepper sauce; and the ever-popular moules frites (mussels with French fries).
If you’re more of a brunch romantic, whisper sweet nothings over a waffle studded with pearl sugar or a spicy tagine (a saffron-tomato stew with merguez sausage, a poached egg and fresh herbs).
The Pointe Restaurant
Perched above the Pacific on Vancouver Island’s far west coast, The Pointe Restaurant at Four-Star Wickaninnish Inn Tofino has one of Western Canada’s most dramatic settings. The curved windows give you panoramic views of the crashing surf as you sup on local seafood and regional ingredients in dishes like oysters and caviar with whipped cultured cream; poached shrimp with tomato “raisins”; caramelized sablefish; or roasted venison with Brussels sprouts and foie gras jus.
And if you opt to continue the romance in one of the inn’s oceanfront guest rooms, well, we’ll never tell.
This traditional French dining room has been courting Vancouverites with its gracious service, refined white-tablecloth ambience and updated bistro classics for more than 30 years. But don’t worry: a polished performance like this one — on the plate and in the dining room — never goes out of style.
At tables spaced widely enough for intimate conversations, you and your beloved might nosh on lobster thermidor, duck breast with seared foie gras or a classic Dover sole with beurre blanc. Share a sweet, like the velvety chocolate mousse or ice cream-filled profiteroles, before walking hand in hand into the night.
Set on a lake south of Whistler Village, sophisticated Nita Lake Lodge is a peaceful alternative to the busier area destinations. Aura, the lodge’s serene flagship restaurant, takes advantage of this lovely lakeside setting with tables lining the windows, overlooking hills that are green or snow-topped (depending on the season).
In this scenic spot, share the confit of salmon with local pickled veggies or a wild rice salad with roasted squash and red grapes. Slow-cooked Alberta lamb, a root vegetable gratin or a lighter bowl of soba noodles in a wild mushroom chili broth can fuel your appetite for ardor.
If your beloved loves the mountains, bring him or her to Whistler for dinner at Bearfoot Bistro. Live jazz sets the scene for the imaginative multi-course prix fixe meals that might kick off with fresh oysters or B.C. caviar with Dungeness crab and bone marrow mousse. Oolong-tea-smoked black cod, beef rib eye with a truffled potato croquette, and pancetta-wrapped rabbit loin are among the mains using Canadian ingredients in creative ways, while the nitro ice cream — prepared tableside — makes a dramatic finale to your meal.
You won’t have trouble finding a wine you’ll both enjoy; housing more than 20,000 bottles, the restaurant’s cellar is among the largest in Western Canada. When you’re ready for a nightcap, bundle into a parka and cuddle in the Ketel One Ice Room, the world’s coldest vodka tasting room.