Vancouver’s best new restaurant openings in 2022

Well, with a nod to Whistler, too: Mia Stainsby on the fine new eateries that deserve checking out

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Blind optimism? Extreme courage? Restaurants continue to open despite the hurdles the universe keeps throwing out. You can bet lessons in efficiency, cost-cutting, menu planning, staffing and clever thinking have been learned along the way.


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Many restaurateurs and chefs follow a passion and find unique and wonderful ways to express that. The Boxset group of restaurants, especially, continue to excite and innovate, following a smart muse, adding color and texture to the city’s restaurant and urban culture. These are some of the new restaurants of 2022 that did that, or at least, deserve checking out.

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susu bar

Where: 209 East Sixth Ave., Vancouver.

Not as ambitious as its celebrated next-of-kin, Published on Main, but Bar Susu has that family spark of joy and creativity. While Published on Main garnered a Michelin star, Bar Susu snagged a Michelin recommendation. This spot, part of the Boxset Collective, will see a menu change of direction in the new year as chef Marc Marayag takes over and opening chef Ashley Kurtz steers baby sibling Novella (also on this list) on its exciting way. Marayag will move towards a Euro-Japanese menu, but for now Kurtz’s menu, including a $65 hyper-changing prix fixe, continues. Focus on natural wines also continues.


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The tagliatelle witih leek, fennel and chanterelles from Folke, on West Broadway.
The tagliatelle witih leek, fennel and chanterelles from Folke, on West Broadway. Photo by Mia Stainsby


Where: 2585 ​​West Broadway, Vancouver.

This vegan restaurant rocks its own independent spirit and the food is part of that. Chef and co-owner Colin Uyeda dabbled with vegan dishes while working at Kissa Tanto, picked up umami-making moves at the three-Michelin RyuGin restaurant in Tokyo and also worked at vegetable-worshipping Pilgrimme on Galiano Island. “I want meat eaters to come in and not notice they’re not eating meat,” he says. I love that the no-tipping policy’s working out for staff and patrons. Kitchen and front of house are paid the same, have the same benefits and I love it.

Hanai means to adopt and nourish.  And that's the intent at Hanai Hawaiian restaurant in East Vancouver.
Hanai means to adopt and nourish. And that’s the intent at Hanai Hawaiian restaurant in East Vancouver. Photo by Mia Stainsby


Where: 1590 Commercial Dr., Vancouver.

“Back home, it’s not uncommon to have many Hanai-ed family members as you become close to those who live around you,” says chef Tess Bevernage, who grew up in Hawaii. “You take care of one another. A lot of these relationships are built around food, and it felt like a natural name for what we wanted to create.” The restaurant is in the same group as Elephant and Dachi in East Van and has a similar, somewhat boho feel. The food, like in Hawaii, reflects a history of Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Puerto Rican and Portuguese mash-ups. Opt for the Ohana menu, a $60 family-style tasting menu. You’ll find a nod to the Japanese influence in the very good sake list here.


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The interior of Impostori Trattoria + Negroni Bar, chef Andrey Durbach's new restaurant on South Granville Street.
The interior of Impostori Trattoria + Negroni Bar, chef Andrey Durbach’s new restaurant on South Granville Street. Photo by Joanne Sasvari

Impostori Trattori

Where: 3121 Granville St., Vancouver.

Andrey Durbach’s restaurant roots run deep in Vancouver. After escaping to Vancouver Island for a few years, he’s back, running this very neighborhood classic Italian restaurant with occasional deviations from the theme. He’s got some constants that have followed him from restaurant to restaurant, like the crispy, roasted, half-boneless chicken. The handmade pastas are outsourced to the very capable Marta Pan, formerly of Pan-O-Pan cafe and catering. Staff are industry veterans with great tableside skills.

Alfred Chan is the owner and co-chef at Itosugi Kappo Cuisine on West Broadway in Vancouver.
Alfred Chan is the owner and co-chef at Itosugi Kappo Cuisine on West Broadway in Vancouver. Photo by Mia Stainsby

Itosugi Kappo

Where: 3648 West Broadway, Vancouver.

A no-frills omakase experience. The $48 omakase lunch offers two appetizers, 10 nigiri sushi and miso soup. Dinner is a nine-course affair with appetizer, sashimi, soup, steamed item, deep-fried item, grilled item, pickles, nine nigiri, the touchy-to-make tamago and dessert, roughly following the progression of a kaiseki meal. Bargains, both! No liquor license, so BYOB. K.appo, which means to “cut and cook,” refers to a chef-driven meal with the chef cooking in front of guests.


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Carlota dessert at Monarca Cocina Mexicana.
Carlota dessert at Monarca Cocina Mexicana. Photo by Mia Stainsby

Monarch Mexican Kitchen

Where: 181 Carrall St., Vancouver.

Francisco Higareda acquired fancy food moves in restaurants like the three-Michelin star Arzak in Spain and one-star Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris, but here he elevates the Mexican food he knows by heart. “It comes from my background, what my mom used to cook. It’s traditional Mexican cuisine.” As the world is discovering, Mexican cuisine can be super-sophisticated. I found a lot to love at Monarca, starting with the tortillas, made fresh daily by Chancho Tortilleria with organic corn from 32 Indigenous communities in Oaxaca. Don’t miss the beef tenderloin with truffle corn esquites and his living mole to which he adds and rebalances and, in this case, adds raspberries for “perfume.”


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Novella Coffee Bar

Where: 2650 Main St., Vancouver.

Another love child from the Boxset Collection (see Bar Susu, above) and I’m loving it. A coffee bar? Not so fast — in the new year, it’ll be adding a prix fixe dinner menu (I pant in anticipation). Meanwhile, the coffee bar includes beautifully imagined brunchies, lunchy dishes. Steel-cut oats sound pedestrian but it’s like a dee-licious risotto topped with wild buttery mushrooms and a perfect poached egg pouring out its yolky goodness. Ditto the bavarois yogurt that behaves like a mousse, flavored with sea buckthorn. Or you’re welcome to just settle in with a coffee and croissant. An adjacent micro-grocer opens soon offering products from Boxset, local producers, wines and other yummy things.


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Salmon sashimi from Sushi Hill, on Main Street in Vancouver.
Salmon sashimi from Sushi Hill, on Main Street in Vancouver. Photo by Mia Stainsby

sushi hill

Where: 3330 Main St., Vancouver.

The former co-owner and chef at the popular Temaki Sushi for 20 long years cut loose at the peak of its success and opened this small place, more focused on premium sushi and appetizers. You can order the sushi and sashimi individually or in sets — choose from nigiri, chirashi, maki or vegetarian.

Causa with crispy prawns from Suyo on Main Street.
Causa with crispy prawns from Suyo on Main Street. Photo by Amy Ho


Where: 3475 Main St., Vancouver.

Ricardo Valverde, who was chef at two Ancora Peruvian restaurants, is now captaining his own iteration. The Peruvian food is refined but Main Street casual and the room evokes “suyo,” or the homeland Ricardo is honoring. At the bar, Max Curson-Price creates magic with cocktails holding tales of Peru. Valverde’s suyo story isn’t complete yet—he hopes to establish a restaurant group around Peruvian food, including one with a charcoal kitchen.


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Wild Blue

Where: 4005 Whistler Way, Whistler.

Three ace players in the industry converge here — Alex Chen, a masterful chef, Neil Henderson, former long-time Araxi manager, and proven restaurant entrepreneur Jack Evrensel. The room is gorgeous and the 150 seats are eagerly filled. Top-notch, gorgeous food, from the very fresh chilled seafood towers through to the fresh pastas and hungry-boy steaks.

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