Wine Culture Magazine

Okeya Kyujiro, a Yaletown omakase sushi bar, was the sole new one-star designee in Vancouver for the 2023 Michelin Guide, bringing the city’s total to nine one-star establishments. Photo courtesy Okeya Kyujiro/Michelin Guide

It’s been a year since the Michelin Guide (and its coveted stars) first arrived in Vancouver, which means the prestigious publication has refreshed its picks for the city’s best restaurants for the year ahead.

The 2023 Michelin Guide designations were bestowed upon Vancouver restaurants Thursday night (Oct. 5) during an invitation-only awards ceremony at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

There were very few surprises this year, except for perhaps there was no movement among the ranks; no 2022 designee earned an additional star nor did anyone lose a star or move into a different category. Additionally, despite being temporarily closed, both Nightshade (which is in the process of finding a new location) and Oca Pastaficio, which shuttered temporarily in July following the sudden passing of its 38-year-old chef and co-found, Greg Dilabio and just announced the previous night it would be relaunching under the banner Magari by Oca.

Once again this year, no Vancouver restaurant earned the Michelin Guide’s “green” award – despite Vancouver’s mission to be the world’s “greenest city.”

In fact, there was just one new star awarded this year, and it went to Okeya Kyujiro, the Montreal-based premium sushi restaurant in Yaletown known for its pristine omakase sushi in a theatre-like setting (with a big price tag per seat).

The Young Chef Award was given out in Vancouver for the first time this year, going to Warren Chow of Wildlight Kitchen & Bar, who was recognized for his potential and for being representative of the future of the dining scene in the city.

Max Curzon-Price of Suyo Modern Peruvian, a Michelin Guide recommended restaurant, accepts his award for Exception Cocktails onstage in Vancouver with event host Mijune Pak on Oct. 5, 2023. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A. photo

Additionally, three other special categories of awards were handed out, with honours for Exceptional Cocktails going to Max Curzon-Price of Suyo Modern Peruvian; Sommelier Kelcie Jones of Burdock & Co; and Outstanding Service for Okeya Kyujiro’s Front-of-House Team.

While several “Recommended” restaurants were released in two previous waves over the past few months, the new “Bib Gourmand” restaurants were announced Thursday night.

All told, there are 77 Michelin Guide-recognized restaurants in Vancouver for 2023.

The Michelin restaurant guidebooks have been around for over a century and the starred ratings since 1926. While over the years the public and industry’s sentiments towards the value – perceived or actual – of the ratings have gone through several cycles of favour, it’s only recently that Michelin has set its eyes on Canada, having initially ventured to Toronto as its first foray into the country. (Toronto’s sophomore Michelin Guide awards took place last month.)

How does Michelin determine stars or mentions?

The Vancouver restaurant selection follows Michelin’s historical methodology, based on five universal criteria, to ensure each destination’s selection equity: 1) quality products; 2) the harmony of flavours; 3) the mastery of cooking techniques; 4) the personality of the chef in the cuisine; 5) consistency between each visit (each restaurant is inspected several times a year).

In addition to stars, Michelin awards the “Bib Gourmand” nod. “Not quite a star, but most definitely not a consolation prize, the Bib Gourmand – named after Bibendum, the friendly Michelin Man and the official company mascot for the Michelin Group – is a just-as-esteemed rating that recognizes friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices,” explains the publication.

A second sub-category for “Recommended” restaurants features an array of notable local eateries, from upscale to more laid back.

Vancouver Michelin Guide restaurant rankings 2023

One star

  • AnnaLena
  • Barbara
  • Burdock & Co
  • iDen & QuanJuDe Beijing Duck House
  • Kissa Tanto
  • Masayoshi
  • Okeya Kyujiro
  • Published on Main
  • St Lawrence

Bib Gourmands 

  • Anh and Chi
  • Chupito
  • Fable Kitchen
  • Farmer’s Apprentice (New)
  • Fiorino
  • Karma Indian Bistro (New)
  • Kin Kao Song
  • Little Bird Dum Sum
  • Lunch Lady
  • Motonobu Udon (new)
  • Nightshade (relocating)
  • Oca Pastificio (relaunching as Magari by Oca)
  • Phnom Penh
  • Say Mercy!
  • Seaport City Seafood (new)
  • Sushi Hil (new)
  • Vij’s

Recommended Restaurants

  • Ask For Luigi
  • The Acorn
  • Acquafarina
  • Archer (new)
  • Arike
  • Bacaro
  • Bacchus
  • Bao Bei (new)
  • Bar Gobo
  • Bar Susu
  • Bonjour Vietnam Bistro
  • Botanist
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
  • Cafe Medina
  • Chef’s Choice Chinese Cuisine
  • Carlino
  • Chang’an
  • Cioppino’s
  • Como Taperia
  • Delara
  • Dynasty Seafood
  • Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
  • Elephant
  • Elisa (new)
  • Folke (new)
  • Hanai (new)
  • Hawksworth
  • Homer St Cafe
  • The Mackenzie Room
  • L’Abattoir
  • Lobby Lounge and Raw Bar
  • Maenam
  • Miku
  • Moltaqa (new)
  • Nammos
  • New Mandarin Seafood Restaurant
  • Neptune Palace
  • Nightingale
  • Ophelia
  • Osteria Savio Volpe
  • Per Se Social Corner
  • Pidgin
  • Riley’s Fish & Steak
  • Regal Mansion (new)
  • Sushi Bar Maumi
  • Sushi Jin (new)
  • Suyo (new)
  • Tetsu Sushi Bar (new)
  • Torafuku
  • Wildlight Kitchen & Bar (new)
  • Yuwa

Exceptional Cocktails: Max Curzon-Price of Suyo

Sommelier: Kelcie Jones of Burdock & Co.

Outstanding Service: Okeya Kyujiro Front-of-House Team

Young Chef Award: Warren Chow of Wildlight Kitchen & Bar

—This story by Lindsay William-Ross originally appeared on Vancouver Is Awesome

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