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My top 5 restaurants in Vancouver: Tim Bedford's guide

Chef Tim Bedford of the Vancouver Aquarium has made his mark on Vancouver's food scene in multiple ways.

In addition to serving outstanding food at the many events the Aquarium hosts, he's a passionate advocate for the influential OceanWise program that has changed the way Vancouverites eat seafood. Tim also conducts workshops and demonstrations to help diners learn how to cook and prepare seafood properly. He will be appearing multiple times during the EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival.

Here are Tim’s five favourite restaurants in Vancouver:

Pear Tree, 4120 East Hastings Street, Burnaby

“I know I am biased because I worked there for four years, but what tops my list is the Pear Tree in Burnaby”, says Tim. “The focus on ingredients in a quiet space is a simple experience that is not overdone. I love the scallops and the lobster ‘cappuccino’, and if I’m going out with my fiancé for dinner this is the perfect date place.”

L’Abbatoir, 217 Carrall Street

Tim loves L’Abbatoir, a fixture of Gastown's fine dining scene. “Chef Lee Cooper does a great job and the staff is super knowledgeable. They serve amazing cocktails too — I tell them I love bourbon and they make great suggestions. They make a really good Manhattan.”

Secret Location, 1 Water Street

“Secret Location is always playful and fun,” says Tim about this underrated, not-hard-to-find restaurant that features dishes such as sturgeon fin, wild boar and coffee smoked elk. “Chef Jefferson Alvarez serves great food with a twist”.  

Fable, 1944 West 4th Avenue

Image courtesy of FaimOuiOui

Fable (the name comes from "Farm" and "Table") is "doing something different, that is what I like about it", says Tim about this Kitsilano restaurant. "Everything they do is focused on getting the best, local and sustainable product. I like the fact they do almost everything in-house, plus they buy from local farmers, meat and fish mongers.”

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, 845 Burrard Street

“I like Boulevard because it’s different from the rest of the city,” says Tim of the restaurant located in the Sutton Place Hotel. “Chef Alex Chen returned to Vancouver from Hollywood and he makes interesting food with a sort of California farmer’s market feeling. They have very nice mussels too and I like that they serve some dishes on slate, stainless or nice woods. Rustic fine dining, if you will.” You’ll sometimes find Tim at Boulevard kicking back with a group of friends sharing small plates.

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