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Dine Out Vancouver is back! Running from January 20 to February 5, more than 280 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and more than 100 food-themed events are planned over this 2-week period.

Beach Bay Cafe

The 3-course dinner are priced at $20, $30 or $40. Some restaurants are also offering a lunch menu, which could be at a cheaper price point. The menus are now live and reservations are open. Pretty excited about some of the participating restaurants this year. After perusing the menus, here are our suggestions, based on past experience as well as menu attractiveness:

$20 Suggestions

  • Banana Leaf (our review)
  • Butcher & Bullock
  • The Fish Shack (our review) – price reduced from $30 last year
  • Gyoza Bar
  • Rocky Mountain Flatbread
  • TAPshack
  • Timber

$30 Suggestions

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Happy New Year! Can’t believe it’s already January 6, but that also means Dine Out Vancouver is returning next week!

Did you know that in addition to dining at 277 participating restaurants for a prix fixe menu at $18, $28 or $38, you can also buy tickets to a variety of culinary events over the 17-day period?

Dine Out Van 2015

Dine Out Van 2015

Here are some that caught my eyes:

  • International Chef Exchange: You will feast on a delicious meal hosted by two vegetarian restaurants, Terre à Terre from Brighton, UK, and Vancouver’s The Parker.
  • Food-tography: A Culinary Photography Tour: On this culinary tour of Railtown, tour participants will eat and sip their way through three local eateries while getting tips and lessons from a seasoned photography pro.
  • Side Dishes – The Best of Hawksworth: Enjoy a three-course dinner prepared by Chef David Hawksworth and the team, with optional wine pairings to match.
  • Street Food City IV: For seven days (!!), gather and feast on delicious food prepared by more than 20 of Vancouver’s food truck vendors.
  • Feast on Film – Like Water for Chocolate: Guests will view the Mexican film Like Water for Chocolate, a film about the power of food and love, while enjoying a three-course meal, with VQA wine pairings, prepared by four emerging chefs from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.
  • Six Course Discourse: Join Follow Me Foodie’s Mijune Pak as she welcomes six Vancouver chefs, David Hawksworth, Pino Posteraro, Angus An, Robert Clark, Taryn Wa and Thomas Haas, to share what’s on their mind and their inspirations.
  • Brunch Crawl – West End: Visit 7+ restaurants throughout the West End neighbourhood as you taste all sorts of dishes in this brunch crawl. This is one of the six Brunch Crawls presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Menus for the prix fixe dinners will be available on January 7. (more…)

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Dine Out Vancouver is coming back for another 2 weeks of deliciousness. In addition to the traditional 3-course lunch or dinner menu, you can also participate in a number of foodie events between Jan 17 and Feb 2.

You can view the menus and other DOV events here: Dine Out Vancouver website

And here is a list of our recent reviews of some of the participating restaurants. They are not necessarily Dine Out experience, but hopefully they will give you some ideas on what to expect from each restaurant.

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Returning for its 12th year, Dine Out Vancouver 2013 will run from Jan 18 to Feb 3. During this two-week period, participating restaurants will offer prix fixe menus at $18, $28 or $38. The menus are now open for public to view, and restaurants have begun taking reservations.

This year, Tourism Vancouver has created a new website www.dineoutvancouver.com to provide a one-stop shop for all DOV-related activities. In addition to restaurant menus, there is also a schedule of events taking place concurrently, offering you multiple dimensions of culinary experience. Tickets are sold separately for these events. Be sure to check out Street Food City where food carts are gathered together to throw you a big food cart party!

Crowd @ Street Food City 2012

Crowd @ Street Food City 2012

We have done some DOV coverage in the past, so I suggest you to check out our collection of DOV tastings (unfortunately, some restaurants have closed since DOV 2012 or are not participating this year). In addition, use the Search function to look up other restaurant reviews that we’ve done outside of Dine Out Vancouver.

Angus Tenderloin at Black + Blue, DOV 2012

Angus Tenderloin at Black + Blue, DOV 2012

Based on our past experience, please keep in mind that what you experience during Dine Out Vancouver isn’t necessarily the true reflection of the food & service quality of the restaurant. Why that is the case still bothers me, as I see this as a marketing opportunity for restaurants to expand their customer base or at least get some word of mouth promotion through diners. Yet some restaurants that we visited in the past didn’t take advantage of this opportunity and failed to live up to the expectation that they establish through non-DOV time.

All in all, this is still a good opportunity to check out some of the restaurants at a more affordable price. Happy eating!

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In case you haven’t heard, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s Dine Out Vancouver time! I often take this opportunity to test the water, get a sneak preview of what some big players in Vancouver’s dining scene have to offer. Here on VanFoodies.com, each of the writers is giving you their Top 5 list. If you haven’t made up your mind, and/or have no idea where to go, check out the following list. Feel free to share your thoughts on these restaurants with us!

Mr.’s  top 5 places under $20 that he’s never been:

  • MIGZ BBQ on Broadway:  Having been quite satisfied with Memphis Blues, I’ve always wanted to try out another local BBQ joint. Both the St. Louis side ribs and pulled pork are making me salivate as I type. I couldn’t care less about their salad, soup, or dessert.
  • Chutney Villa: I have only had Indian food a few times in my life. It’s a crime considering how long I’ve lived in Surrey. I know little about the cuisine but I’d like to try something other than butter chicken this time.
  • The Calling: Ok I think it’s about time someone tells me what a Sheppard pie is…(Joyce: Yeah me too. I only know what a Shepherd’s Pie is. lol.)
  • Blarney Stone:  The pub that everyone has talked yet I’ve never been. Wouldn’t mind finding out what’s in an Irish stew and how badly can an Irish pub screw up tofu.
  • The Westward Ho! at the University Golf Club:  The menu would certainly suggest a higher price tag. At $18, I’d try this for what appears to be a great deal.

Frank’s top 5 dinners that he doesn’t want to miss:

  • hidden ($18): I was sold as soon as I saw pacific poutine with halibut cheeks, chicken and waffles, and root beer, hazlenut and maple ice cream parfait. Such comfort food is rarely seen elsewhere. The plus? It’s newly opened inside the Westin Grand Hotel (and, $18 for crying out loud).
  • Baru Latino ($28): Always enticed by empanadas and a sucker for Paella, I was immediately intrigued by the menu. The restaurant also seems legitimately latino.
  • db bistro moderne ($38): The Rock Hen duo and grilled swordfish got me fixated on the menu. The flavours sound uncomplicated and just delicious. How would I decide if I were to have dinner there?
  • Diva at the Met ($28): I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have Diva’s famed Caramelized Stilton Cheesecake. Oh, and the duck liver parfait with rhubarb chutney sounds like a killer combo. (Joyce: According to OpenTable, this menu will be offered until July 2010 so don’t panic if you can’t get a table. You’ve got a few more months to try it out!)
  • Boneta ($38): A favourite of mine… it’s always attentive with its dishes. The menu appears seasonal; and the flavours clean. Come on, they have pork belly! Also, it definitely has one of the better dessert menus.

Joyce’s top 5 restaurants that are worth returning:

  • Cardero’s Restaurant ($28): Decent menu offering with a view of the North Shore in the background. Good value for where it’s located.
  • Le Gavroche ($38): Voted “The Most Romantic Restaurant in Vancouver” for a number of years, this restaurant also has a fair share of wine offering to pair with your meal.
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House ($38): Joe Fortes has since redeemed itself from my very first DOV dinner there. This year’s menu, although has no surprises, offers some solid choices for seafood lovers.
  • Cru ($38): This menu is almost a replica of its regular prix-fixe menu. It’s usually priced at $42 so now you can save a few bucks and buy yourself a cocktail to start the night.
  • Trafalgars Bistro ($28): Mr.‘s and my favourite restaurant and of course I’d take this opportunity to encourage you to give it a try.

Now that you’ve got some idea, better act soon and start booking. Some restaurants sell out quickly – I heard that West was sold out on the first day, as did every year’s Dine Out. For a complete list of Dine Out restaurants, visit Tourism Vancouver’s website.

Happy eating!

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