Book Diverse Multi-Course Meals: Dine Out Vancouver Festival Menus Are Now Live

Chef plating food. Dine Out Vancouver Festival; Destination Vancouver/Vision Event Photography Inc.

The Dine Out Vancouver Festival (DOVF) restaurants menus have been released—and this year’s multi-course offerings promise to be incredibly delicious.

With nearly 400 restaurants participating this year, DOVF 2024 is the biggest one yet. Here are 5 tips for maximizing your DOVF experience.

Decide What Menu Price Range Best Suits You

Photo: The Greek by Anatoli

Originally created in 2002 to encourage diners to support Vancouver restaurants after the holiday period, DOVF has evolved to become so much more. In addition to special tasty events, establishments across the city offer three- or more course prix-fixe menus, showcasing the very best of the city’s cuisine and the vibrancy of its cultural dining landscape. Running this year from January 17 to February 4, 2024, DOVF features three price points: $20-$35, $35-$50, and $50-$65.

DOVF can be an amazing and affordable way to experience some of Vancouver’s higher end restaurants, many represented in the $50-$65 range. In fact, numerous Michelin-recommended establishments are taking part. For example, the inventive Bar Gobo has crafted a three-course menu ($59), which begins with either gochujang roasted squash with candied pumpkin seeds and whipped ricotta, or braised and caramelized endive with puff pastry, chèvre, and prosciutto. Your entrée is either ling cod with potato cream, oyster mushrooms, and wakame butter or doenjang pork collar with wheat berry risotto, leeks, and pickled shallots before you end with a parsnip brown sugar cake with roasted rice cream or a black sesame praline mousse with black sesame shortbread crumble and butterscotch.

Or, you can visit one of the city’s newest restaurants, such as the chic Dahlia Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, which is serving a three-course dinner ($65), starting with avocado ritz with poached prawns, Marie Rose sauce, baby gem lettuce, and cognac or a dish of burrata and heirloom tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic, sesame, and melba. You then move on to either steak frites or half a Tuscan chicken with lemon and roasted garlic. Dessert is a lemon tart with Italian meringue and blueberries and strawberries. They are also featuring a prix-fixe ($49) lunch menu. The restaurant, located in the lobby of the AZUR Legacy Collection Hotel, is a cozy spot, ideal for a romantic meal or an intimate catch-up with family and friends. The menu, inspired by the French Riviera, is expertly executed, using high quality local/Canadian ingredients.

However, while the upper price range restaurants are sure to be fabulous, don’t forget the establishments in the mid- and lower price ranges, which offer really high-quality cuisine for a great deal. In the mid-range, The Greek Gastown and The Greek by Anatoli in Yaletown—a restaurant group that offers some of the best Greek cuisine in the city—are offering three-course ($49) dinners that feature some very tasty favourites. There’s Greek salad, keftedes (beef and pork meatballs) in tomato sauce with shredded saganaki, or kotopita (creamy chicken phyllo pot pie) to start, followed by five-hour braised lamb shoulder with rice, seasonable vegetables, and potatoes or a souvlaki platter with two skewers (chicken, pork, or vegan), served with rice, potatoes, and seasonal vegetables. You end with chocolate mousse.

Or, if you’re seeking a very reasonably-priced night out, try one of the $20-$35 options, like Gastronomy in Gastown, which is serving a three-course dinner ($35), with an initial choice between beef tartare with rice crisp, black garlic and charcoal mayo, and cucumber; or albacore tuna tataki with Calabrian XO sauce, shaved fennel, scallions, tarragon, orange vinaigrette, and crispy shallots. Your entrees are squash lasagna with roasted squash sauce, toasted pistachio, and 30-month parmesan; or a pizza with spicy soppressata, confit onions, gorgonzola, marinated figs, balsamic glaze, pickled mustard seed, and preserved lemon cream. Dessert is a hard call between bomba tiramisu or dulce de leche crémeux with caramelized pears, buckwheat tuile, and sesame ice cream.

Enjoy Diverse Multicultural Cuisines

Photo: A. Bento

DOVF very much reflects the vibrant multiculturalism of the city, celebrating the diversity of its culinary establishments. The cultures represented include Persian, Afghan, Caribbean, Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and Vietnamese.

Such a range of cuisines allows every DOVF meal to be an entirely different, exciting experience. For example, one night, you could dine at A. Bento for Taiwanese food ($40), with a dinner menu that opens with a sticky rice roll wrap with Taiwanese sausage, deep fried tofu with cabbage, or a clay oven roll with braised beef shin. From there, you’ll sup on Hawaiian fried rice, Taiwanese braised noodles, or a Taiwanese night market sizzling plate. Dessert is either a lemon tart or grass jelly with mini taro balls. If you’re going with a companion or a group of friends and family, dine family-style for more variety.

On another night you could feast on Himalayan cuisine at Addah in Chinatown with a seven-course meal ($55), which includes a first course of steamed cold noodles with spicy nuts, house chili oil, and green onion; in addition to other tantalizing dishes such as a pork, chili, and vegetable stew with house bread; and classic Tibetan layered pastries. Addah also had a five-course lunch menu ($35).

Book at Times Outside of Prime Dinner Rush

Photo: The Acorn

With the impressive number of participating restaurants this year, you should always be able to find a restaurant that will satisfy you on any given night of DOVF. However, it’s important to book well ahead, especially with establishments that are particularly popular or have a lot of buzz. There are a couple strategies that will help you get a booking at such places. First of all, try to visit them during non-peak hours. For example, go on a weekday versus a weekend, or dine earlier or later than the prime dinner rush.

Another great idea is to visit for breakfast/brunch or lunch, or even to get takeout if you’d prefer to enjoy your meal at home. The Michelin-recommended, vegetarian/vegan Acorn on Main Street is featuring a 3+ course family-style chef’s tasting menu ($45) during their weekend brunch, with vegan and gluten-free options. The meal also includes a coffee or tea. Meanwhile, the recently opened Dovetail in Yaletown has a three-course lunch ($32), which has three appetizer choices: mushroom toast; baby gem lettuce with balsamic Caesar dressing, pangratatto, and grana Padano; and butter beef tataki with crispy shallots, butter soy sauce, and cilantro. Mains are a double patty burger; a chicken parm sandwich on ciabatta; or a mortadella sandwich with Calabrian aioli, provolone, and banana peppers. Desserts offered are affogato, mini donuts, or lemon tiramisu.

And if you’re seeking tasty takeout, Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro, an Indigenous restaurant, has a three-course menu ($59.99) that you can take away (24-hours notice required). The first course is a bison hunter’s pie with sweet potato mash or a 3 sisters’ salad with crispy Haudenosaunee polenta crisps; followed by a course of either sage blueberry smoked sockeye with roasted baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables; elk medallion with fiddlehead pesto, baked hasselback potato, and seasonal vegetables; or butternut squash Anishinaabe risotto with a portobello steak and seasonal vegetables. Dessert is cedar poached apple caramel cobbler.

Get to Know New Neighbourhoods in Vancouver

Photo: Gary’s in South Granville

While the downtown core contains many amazing restaurants participating in DOVF, the festival gives you an opportunity to explore other neighbourhoods of the city, or even to visit nearby municipalities like Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Moody, West Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey.

South Granville has four establishments taking part in DOVF: Bin 4 Burger Lounge, Gary’s, Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro, and Impostori Trattoria. Gary’s is a recent addition to the neighbourhood, and is serving a five-course menu ($64) for the table, to be enjoyed family-style. It includes Hamachi crudo with citrus, cerignola olives, and herbs; pork cheek with spaetzle, mushrooms, sourdough, and tarragon; and chocolate mousse with bergamot cream and salted toasted almonds.

Meanwhile, Commercial Drive has 11 establishments participating. Another fairly recent newcomer, Vivace on the Drive, has a comforting three-course menu ($45) with carrot soup or roasted beet salad to start. Next, is a choice between gnocchi with leek, grana Padano, and ricotta; duck leg with polenta, red wine, and carrots; and striped bass with green beans, potatoes, and dill. Finally, you’ll conclude with a banoffee brownie or sticky toffee pudding.

Pair Your Meal with Other Vancouver Experiences

In addition to dining at the city’s many incredible restaurants, you can participate in the many tasty events (e.g., Introduction to Dim Sum) taking place during DOVF. You can also take advantage of a hotel promotion where you get a $75 Mastercard prepaid gift card for every night you stay in the city from January 15 to February 5, 2024 (up to 3 nights). With your accommodation taken care of, you can completely relax during your multi-course meals.

The full list of restaurants and their menus can be found here.

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