Kristina’s Gold Medal Plates

Monday, 17 June 2013

Vancouver has a lot of wonderful restaurants, many of which I frequent regularly. And when I do, I tend to order the same dishes over and over again. Why mess with perfection? Here are my top ten, in alphabetical order.

Bao bei: Kick Ass House Fried Rice

So aptly named.  Rice, egg, veggies, nuoc cham (dipping sauce) and then it gets interesting; mint, prosciutto, and iceberg lettuce.  You may want to order your own bowl.

Photo: Bao Bei

Bacchus Lounge, Wedgewood Hotel: Pizza Rustica

I’ve talked about this pizza* before. OMG, it is truly the best. Super thin crust, slightly spicy chorizo sausage, not too much cheese.  The pizza funghi with mushrooms and goat cheese is a close second.

Chambar: Fig Martini

Not technically a dish, granted, but it does come with a bit of blue cheese on the side so let’s call it an appetizer.  I love all things fig and this martini is not too sweet and packs a punch.  I can’t imagine dining here and not having one. Oh, and the Mussels Congolese are awesome too.


Photo: wyn ♥ lok/flickr

Earl’s Restaurants: Santa Fe Chicken Salad

I keep trying to order other things at Earl’s but I always come back to what I consider one of the best salads in the city. Chicken, avocado, black beans, corn, feta lots of greens with lime vinaigrette. But what really makes this dish is the dates. I often go easy on the dressing, as it can be a bit heavy handed with it.  

Le Crocodile: Pan fried goat cheese served on curly endive salad AND Dover Sole with Classic Butter sauce

This is probably my favourite fine dining spot and I’ve been coming here with my family for special occasions for almost 30 years. The goat cheese salad makes me want to cry, it’s so good.  And the sole, drenched in buttery goodness, is perfection. 

Q4 Restaurant: Spaghetti Quattro

This is perhaps my favourite pasta* dish in all the land.  Ground chicken, black beans, garlic, chili peppers and a whole lot of yum.  I have tried to duplicate this at home and it actually turned out pretty well. 


Photo: Q4

Shota Sushi & Grill: Maple Roll

Shota in Kerrisdale makes my favourite sushi in the town. It’s always so fresh and they go easy on the rice. The Maple roll is my go-to. Spicy tuna topped with avocado and spicy salmon, and then drizzled over top, what appears to be maple syrup.  I love the sweet and spicy combo.

Sweet Obsessions: Moon Cookies

Technically a half moon, these cookies are melt in your mouth hazelnut shortbread, with one end dipped in dark chocolate. It’s a real dilemma – do you start eating on the cookie end or the chocolate one? This has probably been my favourite cookie for about 10 years now.

Vij’s Restaurant: Lamb Popsicles

I don’t eat lamb, but inevitably, someone at the table orders this dish (or I beg them to) and I dive right into the sauce. To call it divine is an understatement. I could eat a whole bowl of this sauce with some naan bread or rice.  I have actually made this dish at home, and replaced the lamb with chicken.


Photo: world of jan/flickr

White Spot: Legendary Burger

Hands down, my favourite burger. I get it with lettuce and tomato too. Doesn’t even need cheese, the secret sauce is so delicious, topped with a sweet-ish bun. Anna still hasn’t tried one, and it makes me crazy.


Photo:  A Lau/flickr

Dish on your favourite dishes.  I’d love to try them. (No offal, please and thank you.)


* Though I generally eat gluten-free, every once in a while I have to give into my pasta and pizza cravings.


Top photo: Adam Fagan/flickr


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  • Tim Edwards

    Hi Kristina, I love your list maybe Ill have to visit your fine city someday. You should ask Anna for her list, I wonder if any of them are the same.

  • nunnyabiz86

    I can’t believe Anna has never tried the Legendary Burger…it is a fave with my family =) Was the first burger I ever tried!

  • Sue

    Since there are no White Spots in Ontario, Anna has probably not tried the Pirate Pak either! What fun as a kid to order that! Maybe you can order White Spot burgers and invite Anna over for lunch… just hide the take-out bag!

    That pizza sounds so delicious! Now I know where I’ll ask my brother to take me for a very belated birthday meal! 😉

  • glenstromquist

    Have to disagree about the White Spot burger Kristina, at one time they were unique and tasted like no other, and my childhood memories are full of stops at their drive-ins on family trips to Vancouver.

    But now.. not so much.

    It happened when they changed the bun sometime at the end of the 90’s, from the lightly toasted crinkly topped bun to a plain white bun that looked like someone picked it out of a bulk bin at a discount chain.

    I took my wife to a White Spot her first trip to the west coast, she was literally amazed at how good a burger it was, and had never tasted anything like it. That was in ’98 or so. Then our next trip out, White Spot was at the front of our list in places to go. We were a few bites in and she said that this burger was not at all like the other one. I had noticed the bun change, and it changed the whole dynamic of he burger.

    Likely some bean counter at corporate figured that the bottom line could be improved .x% if they sourced the buns somewhere else – or something like that..

    I wasn’t even excited when White Spot finally showed up in Alberta, since they were more or less like any other burger place now (only more expensive) I think a few others had the same opinion as some of them closed in short order. Had they had the original burger this would not have been the case I’m sure.

    We used to look forward to getting to Kamloops on trips to the coast because that’s where the first White Spot was – now we just keep driving.