Ringed by soaring mountains, with gleaming glass skyscrapers reflected in the still waters that surround its downtown core, Vancouver is easy to love, says local food writer Nikki Bayley. Over 40 percent of Vancouver’s residents were born outside of Canada, and the city is home to robust Chinese, Indian, and Filipino communities, to name a few. The thriving urban hub of British Columbia is “a proudly immigrant city,” Bayley says. “The combination of chefs from around the world bringing their own culinary traditions to the exceptional produce from the Lower Mainland and superb seafood from the cold clean waters around Vancouver Island has created a delicious and new style of West Coast cuisine.”
It’s been a while since Vancouver had such a pretty place to see and be seen, and since opening in April 2017, Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has been consistently busy. The Champagne lounge bubbles over with excellent options, and the wine list features a raft of exclusive terroir-driven picks from BC and beyond. Definitely stop for cocktails at the Lab — where drinks come with theatrical drifts of dry ice and other high-concept presentations — before diving into the wildly photogenic food of chef Hector Laguna (formerly of Hawksworth), airy dishes with whisper-light but flavor-dense foams, made with locally sourced delights.