Get to Know the Vancouver MICHELIN Guide

Barbara; Photo Credit: Patrick Hennessy

In October 2022, MICHELIN released its inaugural selections for Vancouver, thereby recognizing the city as a global culinary destination. With MICHELIN set to announce new additions on October 5, 2023, now is the perfect time to get to know all the delicious and diverse restaurants in Vancouver that currently populate the prestigious guide.

The MICHELIN Guide began in the early 20th century in France as a way of providing restaurant and hotel guidance to people increasingly traveling by car around the country. Shortly after, a star system was introduced in response to the prominence of the restaurant section of the guide, with criteria for the ratings soon following. Since then, the MICHELIN Guide has grown significantly in both profile and scope, encompassing more than 40 places around the world and serving as an international authority on high calibre dining.

The respect accorded the MICHELIN Guide is due to its rigorous, consistent, and time-honoured evaluation process. Selections are made based on the reports of anonymous inspectors who pay for their meals in their entirety, and apply the same five criteria to the food quality, regardless of where they are dining: “product quality; mastery of cooking techniques; harmony of flavours; the voice and personality of the chef as reflected in the cuisine; and consistency of time and across the entire menu.”

After the anonymous inspectors have dined extensively in a given city, they then make selections according to various categories of distinction. The distinctions give diners multiple ways to enjoy dining in Vancouver. They are as follows:


Photo credit: Burdock & Co

The most coveted of the MICHELIN Guide distinctions are undoubtedly the one, two, and three-star designations. Inspectors evaluate only the food of a restaurant, awarding a star to an establishment that excels according to their five set criteria. They will visit as many times as needed in order to get a complete sense of the restaurant’s cooking, and will re-evaluate establishments that have been previously awarded stars, adjusting their rating depending on their more recent food experiences. The number of stars is determined largely by the craft of the cooking and the “personality and talent” of the chef as showcased in their creations.

Eight Vancouver restaurant currently have the honour of a one-star distinction due to the exceptional standard of their cooking and the quality of their ingredients.


The talent of Chef Michael Robbins shines at AnnaLena, an elegant yet unpretentious restaurant located in Kitsilano. Robbins, who currently oversees both AnnaLena and the more casual Their There, gained prominence for his work at the now closed Oakwood Canadian Bistro but has cooked in restaurants across the city and beyond. At AnnaLena, he showcases careful and thoughtful attention to ingredients and their interplay, as well as to the complex unfolding of a tasting menu.

Robbins calls each iteration of his tasting menus a Chapter, one that showcases the best of seasonality, such as in an end of summer tomato salad with gazpacho, fried dashi onion, and gem lettuce.

Burdock & Co

Burdock & Co was one of the path-setters for farm-to-table cooking in this city. Chef Andrea Carlson, who honed her craft and food ethos at the now closed Raincity Grill and Bishop’s, has a deep passion for food that celebrates this place: the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Her cooking allows natural flavours to take the spotlight while at the same time displaying her playfully confident artistry. The multi-course menus at the restaurant are poetically themed according to the seasons and sometimes ingredients, such as a “Flowergazing” menu and one called “Submerging Stones Under the Sturgeon Moon.” Fun add-ons, like their crowd-favourite buttermilk fried chicken, make the meal even more of a treat.


Situated in Chinatown, Barbara is a wee spot where chef Patrick Hennessy dreams up tightly executed small plates showcasing local ingredients. Hennessy has cooked in New York, as well as in exemplary Vancouver restaurants, such as Chambar and Kissa Tanto. His three-course menu is thoughtful, each plate a careful composition of flavours, textures, and visual impact. The room is intimate and inviting, with the focus clearly being the food and the well curated drink program.

Published on Main

Since it opened in 2019, Published on Main has been the darling of the local and national food scene. Garnering the top spot in the 2022 Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, this establishment on Main Street spotlights the craft of executive chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson, whose cooking experiences include top local restaurants as well as time at Michelin-star establishments in Europe, including Noma in Copenhagen. Stieffenhofer-Brandson makes local, often foraged, ingredients revelatory, drawing inspiration from food cultures around the world. Service is tightly choreographed while also putting diners immediately at ease.

St. Lawrence

There’s something nostalgically old school about St. Lawrence, which melds the best of French technique and cooking, with chef Jean-Christophe Poirier’s Québécois background. The result is luxuriant eating that manages to be both incredibly comforting as well as elegant. The changing menu degustation features a choice of starter, main, and dessert with add-ons like fried pork rinds with maple syrup and Montreal spices and a terrine of the day with house-made pickles and mustard. This is truly a restaurant for no-holds-barred pleasurable eating.

Other restaurants with one-star distinctions:

Kissa Tanto


iDen & Quanjude Beijing Duck House

Note: As many of these restaurants are very sought after, it’s advisable to reserve well in advance of dining.

Bib Gourmand

Fable Kitchen; Photo Credit: Jonathan Thompson

In order to broaden the MICHELIN guide beyond fine dining, inspectors also make Bib Gourmand selections, which are establishments that serve “good quality food for a good value.” These restaurants are favourites of inspectors since they offer satisfying meals that don’t come at a great cost. Like with the starred restaurants, the selections for Vancouver reflect the diversity of the city’s dining scene, which encompasses everything from Mexican tacos to Chinese dumplings. Below are some highlights from the Bib Gourmand list:

Anh and Chi

Originally a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Hoang, brother and son team Amélie and Vincent Nguyen launched Anh and Chi at the same location in 2016. In opening a restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a hip youthful setting, the Nguyens revolutionized the way people conceive of Vietnamese dining in the city. With their mother Lý Nguyen at the helm of the kitchen, Vietnamese classics, such as crispy prawn cakes, bowls of steaming pho, and vermicelli bowls, are vibrant with fresh local ingredients. Local beer and wine, as well as inventive cocktails round out the convivial eating experience.

Fable Kitchen

Originally opened by Top Chef runner-up Trevor Bird, Fable Kitchen is now under the expert culinary leadership of Josef Driemel, who continues the restaurant’s commitment to comforting, local-focused cuisine and sustainability. The cozy restaurant is the ideal setting for enjoying some of their long-running dishes, such as a duck meatball with tagliatelle, mushroom jus, and parmesan foam, as well as chickpea fritters with vegan curry mayo, pickled red onion, and arugula. Others dishes are equally as cosseting, like gnocchi with nettle pesto, parm crumb, ricotta, peas, mushroom, and kale; and pan seared ling cod in mushroom broth with seared leeks.

Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer

Jonathan Lee follows a proud tradition that his grandfather and father started with Flamingo Chinese Restaurant (now on SE Marine Drive): serving classic Cantonese fare that’s high in quality and served with a lot of heart. Little Bird Dim Sum + Craft Beer, located in Kitsilano, is similar to its big sister with its showcasing of dim sum favourites such as sticky rice, ha gow, and shrimp toast. However, Lee has added some of his own twists, introducing plant-based options like Beyond Meat siu mai, and local craft beer selections to pair with dim sum. The restaurant is primarily open at night, with weekend lunches.


When it first opened in 1994, Vij’s wowed diners with its interpretation of Indian cuisine that went beyond northern Indian staples like butter chicken. Vikram Vij, along with Meeru Dhalwala, were innovative in their embrace of local ingredients as well as their expansion of their drink program to pair their cuisine with cocktails and local wines, beer, and spirits. While the menu has evolved over the years, certain dishes remain, such as the wine-marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry. Hospitality is always warm at Vij’s, making for a night as comforting as the chai they serve.

Other Bib Gourmand restaurants in Vancouver are (Note: ones that are currently closed are not included below):


Fiorino, Italian Street Food

Kin Kao Song

Lunch Lady

Phnom Penh

Say Mercy!

Recommended Restaurants

Photo Credit: Ophelia

In addition to starred restaurants and Bib Gourmand selections, the MICHELIN guide features recommended restaurants, whose food the inspectors found to be excellent. Since the initial recommendations in October 2022, MICHELIN released an additional batch of recommendations in July 2023.


Over the past two decades, Cioppino’s has cultivated an enduring reputation for exemplary Italian-Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Giuseppe (Pino) Postero, who hails from Lago, Italy, is a master, producing a menu that draws from traditional dishes while updating them with modern technique and local ingredients. The Yaletown room is on the romantic side, for beautifully executed classic cooking and attentive service. Enjoy dishes such as lobster bisque with Pacific crab and apple-celery root rémoulade, spaghetti alla vongole, and roast rack of lamb with a shallot lemon rosemary reduction and Mediterranean vegetables.


Vancouver has numerous excellent steakhouses, including Elisa, which is part of the Toptable Group (e.g., Blue Water Café). Elisa features everything that makes a good steakhouse while also offering its own spin on the concept: a refined beautiful room, knowledgeable welcoming service, and exceptional ingredients. Chef Andrew Richardson specializes in wood-firing, which is perfectly suited to the cooking at Elisa. In addition to local and global beef (e.g., Hank’s from Abbotsford, Snake River Farms from Idadho), sustainable seafood is also featured on the menu. Sides like mac ‘n’ cheese with summer truffle and comté cheese and sauteed wild and foraged mushrooms are the perfect sides for the premium proteins.


Chef Angus An has been a huge presence in the Vancouver food scene due to his elevation of Thai cuisine in the city. While An operates many other Thai restaurants (e.g., Longtail Kitchen), Maenam remains his flagship for appreciating the calibre of his cuisine and the overall hospitality he and his team provide. While his lounge and bar serve à la carte options, midday focuses on affordable lunch sets, each served with rice, a daily soup, and a salad, while dinners entail chef’s menus served family style. Diners definitely won’t leave hungry with an all-encompassing menu that includes snacks, soup (e.g., hot and sour clam soup), salad (e.g., albacore tuna laab salad), a curry (e.g., lamb shoulder massaman curry), a stir fry (e.g., crispy pork belly), and desserts.


Many of the restaurants in the recommended category are ones that have been ground-breaking by pushing particular cuisines beyond the expected. Ophelia is one such restaurant. Chef Francisco Higareda, who also own Gastown’s Monarca, named the restaurant after his mother, drawing from her Mexican culinary heritage while also from his experience cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain and France as well as his training in Mexico City and Argentina. Food at Ophelia uses the best local ingredients to craft elevated Mexican cuisine, such as a chicharron de ribeye with rustic guacamole, and habanero refried beans, served with corn tortillas. A favourite is a corn crusted octopus with chorizo, cilantro rice, braised kale and zucchini, and white mole. A great drink program, which includes various margaritas and tequila/mezcal flights, makes for a lively night out.

The full list of recommended restaurants can be found here.

Vancouver MICHELIN Guide 2023

Published on Main; Photo Credit: Sarah Annand

The fall launch of the 2023 Vancouver MICHELIN Guide is highly anticipated, particularly for any restaurants that might join the starred list. Ahead of this launch, 6 new additions were announced in September 2023. MICHELIN also awards Green Stars for sustainability and other awards (e.g., mentor chef, sommelier) so stay tuned for them potentially appearing in future editions of the Vancouver guide.

See here for the complete guide.


Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.

  • Insider Access

  • Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube


    Vancouver Event Calendar

    604 Neighbourhoods

    TED Host City