Forget elbowing your way through Whole Foods tonight. Head out for dinner instead, bring someone along, and try one of these five great restaurants in Kitsilano.

1. Baru Latino

A long standing favourite, Baru’s warm atmosphere is a touch exotic, and along with its Latin flavours (try the Short Rib Tacos and the Paella, and ask for a side of Patacones), it’s the perfect outing on a rainy Vancouver evening. Catch Baru’s happy hour every evening from 5pm till 6:30pm (the $5 sangria is smooth and refreshing), or arrive a little later to enjoy the live jazz which usually starts sometime after 9pm. Oh, and the Latin Flan for dessert is just superb.

Baru Latino, 2535 Alma Street, 604-222-9171,

2. La Quercia

Impress your date by brushing up on your pasta lingo ahead of time. Then order off of the fine Italian wine menu and settle into an elegant seven course meal with guidance from the excellent servers. Reservations are recommended for this snug and award-winning restaurant.

La Quercia, 3689 West 4th Avenue, 604-676-1007,

3. Au Comptoir

Rather than a date night, make it a brunch date at this Parisian-inspired bistro. The relaxed decor is cafe-romantic, the coffee is eye-opening, and the menu features all the classics – Pain Au Chocolat, Croque-Madame, Bavette Frites. Sadly though, Au Comptoir doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait.

Au Comptoir, 2278 West 4th Avenue, 604-569-2278,

4. Ramen Danbo

Bowls of hot savoury broths filled with rich and satisfying ramen noodles, topped with thinly sliced braised pork, soft-boiled eggs, and a sprinkling of nori. It’s student comfort food but it’s affordable, and the setting is casual with friendly, speedy service.

Ramen Danbo, 1833 West 4th Avenue, 778-379-8977,

5. AnnaLena

Modern Canadian dishes with daring twists of flavour and texture are served in cool surroundings here – both the menu and the decor will certainly inspire conversation. Start with the fresh bread with tallow butter, then the tomato salad with melt-in-your-mouth burrata, move on to the wagyu steak, and finish with the chocolate covered fried chicken skin. Seriously.

AnnaLena, 1809 West 1st Avenue, 778-379-4052,

Last modified: June 20, 2020

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