Here’s where to find izakaya-style plates in Calgary, seafood tapas in Vancouver and Asian-fusion fare in Victoria.

Tacofino Ocho

8 E 5th Ave., Vancouver

Who  The royalty of Baja-meets-West-Coast Mexican, Kaeli Robinsong, Jason Sussman and executive chef Stefan Hartmann

Why we’re excited  There’s seemingly no end to the Tacofino empire’s expansion (Tacofino Ocho will be the sixth location—yes, it’s a chain, but it’s our chain), though the new 88-seat Mount Pleasant room focuses on fire-grilled meat and veg dishes.


762 Broughton St., Victoria

Who  Chef Jeff Kalesnikoff of Foo Ramen Bar fame

Why we’re excited  Victoria may be the master of fast-casual lunchtime fare, but Kalesnikoff is set to up the game further with his Asian-fusion fare—think spicy Korean-style meatball sandwiches with fermented chili mayo and smoked tuna salads with kimchi-citrus vinaigrette.

Bar Bincho

2204 4 St. SW, Calgary

Who  The team behind Calgary’s Ikemen Ramen Bar

Why we’re excited  Bar Bincho’s menu skews izakaya style, specializing in very shareable plates of yakitori (mocha bacon, anyone?), gyoza and Asahi-battered oysters in a no-fuss neon-lit Mission space.

Como Taperia

201 E 7th Ave., Vancouver

Who  Ace bartender and friend to all Shaun Layton teams with Meat and Bread’s Frankie Harrington

Why we’re excited  The overwrought tapas scene of the ’90s is due for a revisit, and there’s no better duo to tackle the concept. Expect a heavy-on-the-sherry wine list and smart, snackable seafood plates in a cozy Main Street space.