eve oliveEve Olive

Eve Olive

5281 Rutherford Rd., Nanaimo
eveolive.com

Who Singer-songwriter Ambre Rippon brings her passion for plant-based food to her hometown
Why we’re excited The low-key wine bar marks a welcome turning point in Nanaimo’s culinary offerings, and is the first licensed vegan restaurant in all of Vancouver Island: in the rustic space, find a carefully curated wine list, creative cocktails and plant-based dishes like cashew cream Thai curry.

alloraAllora Everyday Italian

Allora Everyday Italian

114–326 Aspen Glen Landing SW, Calgary
allorarestaurant.com

Who Chef Thipphakune Xaykasem, who cut his teeth at Banff Springs and Concord Group
Why we’re excited If the ingredients in Allora’s kitchen aren’t locally sourced and handmade, they’re coming in straight from Italy—load up on house-marinated olives and shaved-to-order salumi in the cheery, Tuscan-yellow room. 

finfolkFinfolk

Finfolk

1600 Franklin St., Vancouver
finfolk.ca

Who Vancouver-born-and-bred Darren Brown has done a stint at CinCin and cooked for Spanish princesses—now he puts a northwest spin on Scandinavian flavours.
Why we’re excited As obsessed as we all are with Scandi design, the region’s cuisine is suspiciously absent from Vancouver’s food scene. So bravo, Finfolk, for paving the way for the much-ignored Nordic palette with fresh foraged ingredients and pickled everything. 

harbourHarbour Oyster and Bar

Harbour Oyster and Bar

1408 Commercial Dr., Vancouver
harbouryvr.com

Who Seafood-loving party animals
Why we’re excited The hyper-casual seafood spot does happy hour right (or, rather, happy hours—running 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) with $1.50 oysters, prawns by the dozen and sweet deals on by-the-glass wine (and tequila shots, if you’re feeling frisky). Pull up a stool at the mint-coloured bar and shuck the night away. 

magnetMagnetMagnet

309 W Pender St., Vancouver
themagnet.ca

Who The beer nerds behind Alibi Room and Brassneck Brewery
Why we’re excited The cozy, brew-centric venue just seems to pull us in like a you-know-what. Chef Paul Finlay crafts “good grub” with British DNA to pair with a wide range of craft taps—think chicken-liver parfait and meat pies.

Annabelle’s Kitchen

Marda Loop, Calgary
annabelleskitchen.ca

Who Leslie Echino of Blink and Annabelle’s moves from her wine-bar beginnings into the restaurant sphere
Why we’re excited Echino’s already proved herself adept at curating cool, cozy, date-night-approved spaces; add in pizza, pasta and a patio plus a design from McKinley Burkart and Annabelle’s Kitchen is already a slam dunk.