The world recognizes that any restaurant with a Michelin Star distinction is considered exceptional, and the first-ever stars for Vancouver establishments were handed out with a celebratory in-person evening last week. Proud of the talent and restaurants here in our fair city? Let’s say bursting is an understatement. The Michelin Guide first launched in France circa 1889 (and yes, it’s named after the tire company) with a guidebook for European motorists; the first awarded stars for fine dining were added in 1926. Every year the guide rates more than 30,000 restaurants across three continents. Toronto joined the guide last year, and Vancouver is the second Canadian city to do so, with Michelin’s secret inspectors rating our restaurants on five categories: food quality, mastery of cooking, flavours, techniques, the chef and consistency. Here are the eight well-deserving Vancouver restaurants honoured with one Michelin star each, in alphabetical order. —Catherine Dunwoody
AnnaLena This restaurant keeps it real and unpretentious, but memorable indeed under the direction of Chef Mike Robbins’ culinary vision in Kitsilano.
Barbara Chef Patrick Hennessy has worked at Eleven Madison Park in New York, and proud to call Vancouver and his special restaurant, complete with coolest wrap-around bar, home on Pender Street.
Burdock & Co In Mount Pleasant and known for Chef Andrea Carlson’s commitment to local farm-to-table cooking. “Burdock & Co’s Michelin star means the world to me and my incredible team,” she says.
iDen & QuanJuDe Beijing Duck House Known and loved for the best duck in the city, Chef Allen Ren’s traditional Asian dishes like bird’s nest soup, sea cucumber and whole king crab have not gone unnoticed.
Kissa Tanto With a modern spin on Japanese and Italian cuisine, this East Pender eatery has an atmosphere folks love, but it’s Chef Joël Watanabe’s food that keeps us coming back.
Masayoshi Chef Masayoshi Baba is truly an artist when it comes to the sushi he so lovingly creates. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Published on Main Chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson, formerly of the acclaimed Pear Tree restaurant is thrilled that “Vancouver’s culinary scene is recognized internationally, allowing us to showcase some of the best ingredients in the world, most of which grow in our own back yard.”
St. Lawrence This Québécois bistro has received numerous awards, including number three in Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants List earlier this year, but to “receive a Michelin star is a dream realized for me,” said Chef/Owner J-C Poirier.