New Vancouver Restaurants/Cafes to Check Out This Month

The new 1931 Gallery Bistro in the Vancouver Art Gallery

The holiday season usually involves considerable dining out with family and friends who may be in the mood for trying out a new place.

There’s been a flurry of café and restaurant openings in the city that could add something new to your eating calendar. Here are a few to get you started:

1931 Gallery Bistro

The Vancouver Art Gallery has long housed a café on its second floor. The previous incarnation, Gallery Café, featured one of the best patios in the downtown core. It was very popular, but as the years past, was in great need of a revamp.

The result is the newly launched 1931 Gallery Bistro (750 Hornby Street), a clean, airy space that is both contemporary yet classic in its aesthetic (there’s still a fabulous patio). The name of the eatery refers to the year that that the Art Gallery opened, connecting diners to a long history of exhibitions and other arts & culture initiatives.

This new bistro expands the dining options beyond what existed at the old Gallery Café. Similar to before, there are grab & go options during the weekday mornings (8am to 11am), such as duck confit and fennel quiche, and various baked goods, like almond croissants.

Downtown workers will enjoy the lunch options that include delicious sandwiches, like warm chicken and brie, as well as salads (e.g. Italian bean and bruschetta) and bowls (e.g. confit B.C. salmon filet).

Weekends feature a brunch menu that includes four eggs benedict selections, such as one with braised short rib. And finally, there’s a happy hour on the weekdays during the late afternoon (e.g. $6.95 6 oz wine; warm olives), and a dinner menu Tuesday through Saturday, with items like chicken vegetable soup, chicken orzo salad, and roasted pork loin.

Beta5 2.0

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Beta5 Chocolates (413 Industrial Avenue) has expanded next door to open Beta5 2.0 (409 Industrial Avenue), a breathtakingly gorgeous café and retail space. From the mural on the side wall, to the bauble light fixture, to the pristine display case full of chocolates and desserts, Beta 5 2.0 exudes an artistic sensibility.

White forest éclair with pineapple curd, coconut whipped ganache, and coconut crumble; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Their signature cream puffs are no exception. The holiday season will feature special versions, such as Rudolph’s Nose with strawberry mousse, milk tea mousse, and genoise sponge cake. Also bound to be popular is the Christmas Tree with black sesame mousse, yuzu curd, and matcha whipped ganache.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Perfect stocking stuffers for your loved ones (or yourself because, c’mon, you deserve it) are seasonal chocolate offerings, such as a lump of coal, with dark rum caramel, egg nog ganache, and sparkling pecan praline. Or, go for a bar of peppermint crunch, with 66% dark chocolate, peppermint meltaway, crushed candy cane, and cocoa nibs.

Bufala

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Popular Kerrisdale pizzeria Bufala (5395 Boulevard) is always a great choice for accommodating a range of palates over the holidays. Bufala has just opened a second location (3280 Edgemont Boulevard) in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. It maintains a similar cozy neighourhood feel, but is a much larger space with a more extensive menu. Food quality is top notch even out of the gate, with deep flavour notes to its rigatoni with beef and pork bolognese, and its lovely ricotta ravioli with sage, lemon, and parmigiano.

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

You’ll find standout pizza, especially a showstoppingly decadent bianco one with roasted bone marrow, cotechino sausage, mushrooms, and parsley. Mains like a tender braised Peace Country lamb shank with mushroom risotto are perfect on a chilly night.

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