As producer of the 2015 EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival plus the Canadian Flavours Gala, Alan Fogel has taken the country’s largest food festival and upped the ante, turning it into a world-class, eight-day extravaganza. 

Alan's experience working with some of Canada's brightest talents gives him a uinque perspective on fine dining on the West Coast. Here are Alan’s five favourite restaurants in Vancouver:

CINARA, 350 West Pender Street

Husband and wife chefs Lucais Syme and Gillian Book have one of the city’s biggest culinary hits with their cozy, corner restaurant located in the 117-year-old Victorian Hotel. Serving modern Euro-cuisine with traditional Italian influences, the menu changes weekly. When it comes to ordering however, Alan says, “trust the chef's menu which is perfectly presented, paired and priced.”

YEW Seafood + Bar, 791 West Georgia Street (in the Four Seasons Hotel)

Chef Ned Bell launched the sustainable seafood concept, Ocean Wise, at YEW a few years ago, and has been inspiring chefs and restaurants everywhere to follow suit. YEW has a city-chic vibe that Vancouver’s downtown crowd seems drawn to, as do the hotel guests. Alan is a big seafood fan, and says, “each and every dish screams fresh.”

FABLE, 1944 West 4th Avenue

Chef Trevor Bird came up with the name Fable (a mash-up of the phrase farm-to-table) when he competed on Top Chef Canada. His comforting, unpretentious dishes like ‘canned tuna’ and what some claim is the best burger in the city are served in a laid back atmosphere. “Fable’s warm inviting specials never disappoint,” says Alan.

CHAMBAR, 568 Beatty Street

Alan believes “Chef Nico Schuerman's food presentation is matched only by the creativity behind the dishes.”

The Belgian-influenced restaurant has recently doubled in size, indicating Vancouverites and our visitors cannot get enough of Chambar. Mussels and Belgium’s best beers are a given, but the menu goes deep serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and what many agree is the city’s best weekend brunch.

ASK FOR LUIGI, 305 Alexander Street

Photo from Nomss.com

With its black and white floor tiles and cane cafe chairs, who doesn’t love this little Italian eatery? Fabulous antipasti, fresh pasta, including gluten-free options, a white-wine heavy wine list (for a refreshing change) and a few select grappas on rotation. Alan likes to kick back here, saying it’s “fun, fast paced, and offers delicious food served simply.”