From Mexican to omakase to a tearoom, these hot new Vancouver restaurants get rave reviews from five of the city's top chefs

It takes a lot of guts to open a restaurant in year two of a pandemic, so we salute these five spots which opened this year and come with the recommendation of some of our favourite chefs and bartenders in town. From my personal new favourite, Bar Susu, the sister restaurant to Published on Main to a cool new tearoom in Cambie Village, make sure you check these new places out and give them your support.


1. Behshad Zolnasr, executive chef at C|Prime

monarcavancouverInstagram/monarcavancouver“My new-ish place to go is Monarca Gastown. With no shortage of great Mexican restaurants in Vancouver, this is a fun place to dine. I've been there a few times, and with their modern approach to Mexican food, well-balanced modern drinks and a beautiful contemporary room, this is a hot place to go if you're feeling like Mexican cuisine in Gastown.”


2. Douglas Lee, executive chef at Winston

ElephantElephant“Every weekend I find myself at Elephant on Powell Street for their extensive wine selection and knowledgeable service. I always order their omakase and sit at the bar because the menu is always different and the flavours are a delight.”


3. Justin Cheung, chef and co-owner of Potluck Hawker Eatery

Paragon Tea RoomFacebook/Paragon Tea Room “We’re so excited to welcome our new neighbours, Paragon Tea Room to Cambie Village. They are by far the very best tea shop in all of Vancouver (there are no shortage of great coffee shops already) and have a specially curated list of tea pastries, such as matcha white chocolate cookies and Earl Grey croissants. My go-to order is their chocolate chip mochi bubble waffles, each made to order and a perfect balance of crispy and chewy.”


4. Max Curzon-Price, bar manager at the eagerly anticipated Suyo

Bar SusuFacebook/Bar Susu“One of the newest places in Vancouver that tickles my fancy is Bar Susu, once The Whip off Main Street. The program is now overseen by general manager Aaron Sayomac, whose wine program looks a lot like Wreck Beach in mid-Julyall-natural. Chef Ashley [Kurtz's] duck-liver parfait served on a honey crueller with quince jam knocked my socks off, and when paired with Fattoria al Fiore’s ‘Ciao! Ciao!’ wine, it reached stratospheric levels of acid, fat, salt swirling in symphony as I gorged myself bite after bite.”


5. Chris Lam, executive chef and owner of Straight and Marrow

Wild Thing Snack BarInstagram/Wild Thing Snack Bar “We are very lucky to welcome Wild Thing Snack Bar as our new neighbours. Our little block [1800 Powell Street] is turning into quite the destination for some great eats and vibes. Wild Thing specialize in plant-based snacks, and the one dish that I have had the pleasure of trying was the ricotta, black garlic and sunchoke-stuffed ravioli with nettle pesto. I am all about balance and this dish fulfilled all my requirements. Chef Todd is amazing, as well as the rest of the teamjust overall great people! I am more than excited to see what they have in store for the future.”