Seafood lovers, rejoice! As warmer weather returns to Western Canada, so too do the fishing boats, making summer a great time to sample the region’s seaborne bounty. We’ve reeled in a curated collection of Vancouver dining destinations where you can get your fresh fish fix this season.
This rooftop restaurant feels like a private retreat in the middle of the city. Enter the sophisticated seafood-and-steak house through the 30,000-square-foot urban garden on the sixth floor of the Parq Vancouver complex, home to JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and The Douglas, Autograph Collection hotels.
In mild weather, the prime seats are out on the patio, overlooking the fountain and BC Place arena, which colorful lights illuminate in the evenings. But great views can also be found from inside the dining room, where vibrant green booths overlook the water along False Creek.
Either way, it’s a lovely setting for a fish-forward meal. Victor specializes in Pacific Northwest seafood and fresh sushi, along with a menu of prime steaks. One of the most popular items to share is the chilled seafood platter with oysters, clams, peel-and-eat shrimp, scallop ceviche, lobster and both Dungeness and king crab.
Among the mains, salmon might come with a jamón ibérico crust, while the whole branzino is served with shaved fennel, caponata and pine nut salad. Sunday brunch should please seafood lovers, too, who can opt for eggs Benedict served over crab cakes or indulge in a lobster-filled frittata.
Coquille Fine Seafood
Two well-regarded local chefs, Lee Cooper and Jack Chen, have set sail on a new Gastown venture. This upscale fish-focused dining spot opened this spring on Water Street, around the corner from the team’s first critically acclaimed restaurant, L’Abattoir. With ocean-blue walls, picture windows and pink booths shaped like scallop shells, Coquille’s dining room and lounge channel the sea, or perhaps a seagoing cruise ship.
The menu starts raw with a selection of oysters and crudos, including subtly Thai-flavored hamachi or cured mackerel with scallions and cucumbers. Of the small plates, creamy burrata with sea urchin, served with radicchio, Meyer lemon curd and a sprinkling of oat crunch, thrills with its diversity of textures and flavors, while the mains swim from simple fish and chips to poached halibut with an oyster-butter sauce. Be sure to add a side of the delicate sesame-topped kale buds.
Yew Seafood and Bar
This Forbes Travel Guide Recommended restaurant launched a new menu this spring, now that recently installed executive chef Edgar Kano (formerly of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora) and executive pastry chef Suraj Karmakar (most recently at Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong) are at this helm of this smart dining spot inside the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
Yew is always popular for a business lunch, when you might dig into trout toast with horseradish, a pastrami-spiced salmon burger paired with pickled beet relish, or mahi mahi tacos.
Later in the day, the show-stopping dish is the Yew Seafood Pot brimming with clams, mussels, prawns, scallops, lobster and heirloom potatoes, although you can never go wrong with lobster, served in a new spring version with asparagus, morel mushrooms and a green garlic emulsion.
Finish your evening with one of chef Karmakar’s treats, like the Yew Hazelnut Rocher 2.0, a flambéed creation of praline chocolate mousse, liquid caramel and hazelnut ice cream.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Creative seafood dishes continue to lure fish lovers to this spacious dining room tucked inside Four-Star The Sutton Place Hotel. Over cocktail hour, take a seat at the long marble bar for fresh oysters and drinks like the Seaside, made with Vancouver Island-based Sheringham Distillery’s gin and akvavit (a traditional Nordic spirit), lemon juice and elderflower shrub, or the Kentucky Cold Toddy, made with whiskey, Earl Grey tea and lemon.
For dinner, settle into one of the cream-toned banquettes for Asian-influenced seafood, starting with plates like kampachi with pickled kohlrabi and a ramen-style quail egg, or a salad of wild BC sidestripe prawns with gem lettuce and citrus.
Then, continue your fish feast with roasted sablefish paired with broccoli, grilled maitake mushrooms and XO sauce, or ling cod with pea shoots, roasted carrots and a shellfish red curry cream.
Top off your meal with a chocolate soufflé, the salted sesame praline bar or the bonbon tray, which feels almost like having a candy store brought to your table.