Still full after the holidays? Too bad. No rest for you! Canada’s largest restaurant festival, Dine Out Vancouver, is right around the corner. This post will to tell you everything that you need to know about it.
Produced by Tourism Vancouver and presented by American Express, the city-wide culinary celebration known as “Dine Out” sees thousands of local and visiting food-lovers sitting down and digging in to value-priced three course menus – many with suggested BC VQA wine pairings courtesy of Wines of British Columbia – for the 2+ weeks between January 17th and February 2nd.
For 12 straight years, it’s not only been an outstanding way to stay up to date with Vancouver’s constantly shifting foodscape, but also a vitally effective antidote to the winter doldrums. Because let’s face it, these are 17 calendar days we’d happily trade for any others.
This year, there are more than 260 eateries participating in DOV. That’s a festival record. The massive list of restaurants covers a representative cross-section of well-reviewed award-winners, hole-in-the-wall ma and pops, cocktail shops, casual icons, and the titans of the trade. In other words, it’s the wealth and breadth of cuisines and dining styles that this city is famous for on display, showing everything from casual Japanese and formal French to hip Chinese and West Coast fine dining. And cheaply, too! Depending on where you book your table, a three course meal will set you back only $18, $28 or $38. The complete list of participating restaurants, menus and booking details is now available here.
This year’s menu of festival events is packed with freshly-baked experiences crafted by Vancouver’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food experts. The carefully curated mix of brand-new events and returning favourites includes Chef Soup Experiment (50 chefs each toss an ingredient into a boiling pot with the entire city invited to taste the result), a dinner and drag cabaret, an exclusive screening of Jiro Dreams of Sushi at the Shangri-La of this foodie film classic followed by a Jiro-inspired feast at MARKET by Jean-Georges, Plated & Paired at the Public Market (bigger than ever), Street Food City III (showcasing Vancouver’s exotic array of food trucks – our favourite!), the Secret Supper Soirée presented by Swallow Tail Supper Club, The Grape Debate, and much more. Prices for event tickets range from free to $130. Get the complete skinny – dates, times, tickets, etc. – on all Dine Out events here.
Eating and drinking your way across the city in dedicated fashion will eventually require a place to rest, so it’s a good thing that hotels also participate in Dine Out. Diners can make a special night of it with a base of operations at The Sylvia, The Listel, or any of the other 20+ hotels that are offering special packages and room rates. Price points at $78, $108 and $138 per night. The list of hotels, package information and booking details are available here.
The newly revamped Dine Out For a Year contest invites diners to submit a picture or video of their Dine Out stories via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (tag “@dineoutvanfest” and hashtag #MyDineOutStory). Every day of the festival, one entrant chosen by a panel of judges will win a gift certificate to a participating Dine Out restaurant. At the end of the festival, a Grand Prize winner will be selected among all submitted entries to take home the Big Kahuna: 52 gift certificates to some of the city’s top restaurants.
The Dine Out Vancouver food festival has been a lot of tasty fun for us so far (L’Abattoir last night especially). Part of the reason we’ve been enjoying it so much is because we’ve been test driving (on invitation) a new multi-platform service called Fanbase. It allows us to manage, curate and present in gallery format every Instagram with a specific hashtag. Beibg the food lovers that we are, we decided to do our test campaign with Dine Out’s official hashtag, #DOVF, and the images just started pouring in. Fanbase is still in a closed beta, but it’s been working seamlessly for us. You can take a look at the ever-growing public gallery of local diner’s images here or by clicking the screenshot above. Keep the photos coming everyone!
With the 11th annual Dine Out Vancouver food festival (the largest of its kind in North America) on the immediate horizon, it’s high time that we told you everything that a discerning food and drink lover should get really excited about. Feast on the intel after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | This is for all the restaurant industry folks coming off shift tonight. Dine Out Vancouver and Feast Van are both nearing their respective ends (Feb. 5th), and having worked the former for many years, I know you must be dog tired and dreaming of a trip far, far away in order to recharge your batteries and blow some of the cash that you’ve toiled so long and hard for. Might I suggest Midtown Manhattan? There, you can pay a visit to Prime Burger, where some of the staff have been on hand for 50 years, and where you just might find the inspiration to look forward to your first night back, whether it be at Hapa or Hawksworth. Of course, if you’d sooner go to Maui, knock yourself out. Maybe just enjoy the film above on the flight between well-earned beers.
For many of the guys that work here, the restaurant is like a second home – some of them have been slinging burgers, making shakes, and waiting on customers at this location for decades. Opened in 1938, the place hasn’t been altered since the early ’60s, and it looks all the better for it.
The GOODS from The Waldorf Hotel
Vancouver, BC | Join us on Monday, February 6th for a special, multi-room edition of the Ice Cream Social. We’re calling this event “Dine Over” because it’s the first night after Dine Out and Feast Van. So come on down if you’re a waitress who got yelled at because something from the set menu had been 86′d or a waiter who got stiffed because a customer thought the gratuity was included. To show our appreciation to all the brave souls who toughed it out during for the two week dining festivals, we’re offering 2 for 1 admission to service industry employees so they can blow off some steam, enjoy cheap drinks and dance to the best rock and pop from the 50′s and 60′s… Read more
The GOODS from Oakwood Canadian Bistro
Vancouver, BC | Only four days remain of Tourism Vancouver’s 2012 Dine Out (the celebrated festival comes to a close this Sunday, February 5th). Take your Dine Out adventures this week to Kitsilano’s latest room – The Oakwood Canadian Bistro – and try their tasty $28, 3-course menu while sipping premiere BC craft beers and hand crafted cocktails. Menu after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Today was the first day of Street Food City, the three day food truck smorgasbord component of Dine Out Vancouver. Located right in front of the VAG, the laager-cloister of trucks made for a scene that sucker-punched our gullets and amped up our appetites, even in the rain (hooray for the covered tents with tables and chairs). While it would be nice to see the City arrange for something like this on every night of the summer, I’m grateful for any sort of baby step, and this looked and felt rather like a leap. The good chow was hot and flowing, so much so that some among the sellers had already sold out by the time we upped and left. Moral: whether the weather rules or sucks tomorrow (Wednesday) or the next day (Thursday), this is where you should be getting your bites on between 11am and 3pm.
The GOODS from Dockside
Vancouver, BC | Perhaps it’s just post-holiday blahs but there’s sometimes a tendency for Vancouver restaurant staff to turn a jaundiced eye toward Dine Out, the now 10-year old celebration of Vancouver’s vibrant dining scene. Not so, here at Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Company! The 10th edition of Dine Out Vancouver is set to be the biggest yet and we’re proudly jumping with both feet by participating in two Dine Out Special events while also offering a three-course set menu throughout the festival. Read more
Frustrated with server complaints about parties of 15 booking for Dine Out and only ordering tea or hot water with lemon to drink, Tourism Vancouver commissioned this ad depicting an Iranian server making short work of the same. See? It isn’t such a big deal…
UPDATE: No they didn’t.
News from Scout supporter db bistro moderne
Vancouver, BC | West Broadway’s db bistro moderne is entering Autumn with a unique deal for each night of the week save Monday. These include specials on each of chef Nathan Guggenheimer’s gourmet burgers (paired with a beer), cocktail deals, tableside apple tarte tatins, 45-day dry-aged Kettle Ridge Cote de Boeuf, and more. Take a look at all the details after the jump… Read more
DB Bistro chef de cuisine Nathan Guggenheimer is a fun-loving shit disturber. His kitchen talents aside, it was he who dreamed up last year’s memorable Guggenheimer Dog Gobble (a truly terrifying hot dog eating contest for debaucherous restaurant industry staff). Now he’s got it in his head to host an oyster shucking showdown. A $10 entrance fee gets you in, a pint of Tree Brewing Co. beer, plus the loan of a chef’s towel and shucking knife. First place wins a wine-soaked dinner for two at sister restaurant Lumière. Second gets lunch for two at DB Bistro. Third scores winner a DB Bistro gift card. I presume fourth place receives only scorn and ridicule. They’re probably going to be sending out a press release with all the skinny, but we already have some of the awesome details – like the rules and what’s in store for spectators – after the leap. Read on, mothershuckers… Read more
News from Scout supporter db bistro moderne
Vancouver, BC | db Bistro Moderne Vancouver is pleased to announce the continuation of special Dine Out Vancouver prix-fixe pricing, all summer long. “It was an easy decision for us,” comments General Manager Chris González. “Our loyal clientele asked, and we answered with an enthusiastic commitment to continue the $38 and $28, three-course, prix-fixe menus we originally created during the popular Dine Out promotion.” Read more
With the Olympics arriving around the same time as Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver promotion, it was plain that some rescheduling was in order. The whole point of Dine Out is to help put bums in seats during what is traditionally the slowest period on the restaurant calendar (end of January and the beginning of February), so with reservations in scarce supply during the Games it would be wise to find another time of the year in need of a steroidal shot in the arm. The following note – just arrived from TV – makes total sense:
The official Dine Out Vancouver promotion dates for next year are April 26 to May 6.
That’s a pre-patio, rainy, shitty, not-yet-nice-out time here in Vancouver, when I assume everyone will be piss poor and spiritually broken from all the revelry of the months previous. It’s sort of refreshing to imagine a life after the Olympics, no?