Our Top 8 of the best and gay-friendly restaurants Vancouver – The West-Canadian metropolis is known for its multicultural lifestyle and, of course, for its culinary scene. Fresh seafood, traditional Canadian dishes, and the fine art of modern cuisine, Vancouver has it all, not to forget the best wines in Canada and tasty crafted beers of the West Coast. And the Vancouverites know them all, from highlights in Chinatown to the chic restaurants Downtown, the Vancouver food scene offers variety for everyone. During our trip to British Columbia in January 2018, we had the chance to test some of the best and gay-friendly restaurants in town.
Therefore, the Dine Out Festival Vancouver offered us the keen opportunity to try the special three-course menus for a fixed price, if you will, a journey through the diverse restaurant scene of Vancouver without being a costly affair. Together with our gay travel blogger buddies from the Nomadic Boys and the local gay couple Claus and his boyfriend Eamonn, we assembled seven of the best and gay-friendly restaurants in Vancouver: among others, the award-winning vegetarian restaurant ‘Acorn’, the Chinese highlight restaurant ‘Mott 32 Vancouver’ to the local restaurant ‘Juniper’ in Chinatown. Enjoy our restaurant reviews of the 8 Best Gay-friendly Restaurants in Vancouver through a couple of men‘s eyes.
We found some great deals with flights worldwide and in Europe via Amsterdam (and return) with gay-friendly KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. That includes direct connections with KLM or their partner airlines, Air France and Delta Air Lines. *subject to availability / last check: 2023
Gay-friendly Restaurants in Vancouver
Vancouver as the third-biggest Canadian metropole is undoubtedly one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. The staff of the listed restaurants below was friendly, openminded, respectful, courteous, and judicious, without exception. A kiss in between, a selfie moment arm in arm or holding hand while waiting for the food was not a problem at any time. So enjoy your next dinner in one of the gay-friendly restaurants and bars in Vancouver we assembled in our Top 8 list tested by three couple of men traveling and living in Vancouver, BC.
The Acorn | Mt Pleasant Vancouver
3995 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3 | Open: Sun – Thu 5:30 pm – 10 pm Fri – Sat till 11 pm | theacornrestaurant.ca
Located at the Main Street 10 minutes south of Downtown, the award-winning Vegetarian restaurant Acorn does exactly what it says on the tin. The food is fantastic, diverse and the staff of this little green oasis super friendly. It was a last-minute decision to pay one of the best restaurants in Vancouver a visit. Its no wonder, that there was no table left for us. But sitting at the bar and having the bartender for small talk had something to be said for it, too. Karl loved the Beer Battered Halloumi with Zucchini and Potato Pancake, Mint Yogurt, and Acorn Garden Lemon Balm while Daan couldn’t get enough of the Hay Smoked Galeux d’Eysines Cavatelli Pasta with Pickled Knotroot. Tip: Don’t miss the homemade Acorn House Ginger Beer! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Karl & Daan
Mott 32 Vancouver | West End
1161 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0C6 | Open: 5 pm to 10 pm | vancouver.mott32.com
One of the highlights of our food tour was the dinner at Mott 32. Named after the address of the first Chinese convenience store in New York, the Mott 32 in Hong Kong became one of the most rewarded restaurants in Hong Kong. The Mott 32 in Vancouver is following in the footsteps of the celebration of Hong Kong culture and cuisine. We cannot even recall the diversity and variety of dishes we tasted throughout the evening. But every single piece of meat, fish, and vegetable was just superb and memorable. And so was the staff always keeping an eye on our cocktail glasses offering nonstop the exact right drink composition to support the taste of the following course. Undoubtfully, one of the highlights was the Black Sesame Sphere with small kumquat bites & tofu ice cream and the Hot and Sour Shanghainese Soup Dumplings with minced pork in a spicy and sour soup base. Thumbs up! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Karl & Daan
Honey Salt Parq Vancouver | Downtown
39 Smithe Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0R3 | Open: 6:30 pm to 22 pm | parqvancouver.com/honey-salt
The Honey Salt is the gorgeous restaurant part of the Douglas Hotel restaurant in downtown Vancouver. The interior is very classy, chic – definitely a place you want to dress up a bit for. The staff is incredibly welcoming and friendly. Honey Salt makes a variety of delicious international dishes with an Asian twist. We had a yummy seafood starter and steak for a main. The real highlight, however, is the enormous banana cake dessert, which they are so famous for. It’s huge – we recommend sharing it between 2/3 people. And it’s bloody goooood! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Seby & Stefan
Italian Kitchen | Downtown Vancouver
860 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1X9 | Open: daily 11:30 am – 11:00 pm | glowbalgroup.com/italiankitchen/
We had a delicious dinner at the Italian Kitchen located at 860 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. This place is very popular and one of the highly-rated restaurants in Vancouver, so it gets super busy. We recommend reserving a table beforehand. The interior is very sophisticated with dim lighting to create a romantic ambiance, which we love. The food is classic Italian dishes, including some delicious carpaccio starters, salads, and kinds of pasta. They do great wine pairings to match each dish, including some locally produced wines you probably didn’t know about – Canadian wine, it’s a thing! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Seby & Stefan
1886 – Chinese Fine Dining | Downtown
39 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0R3 | Open: daily 5 pm to 10 pm | parqvancouver.com/1886/
Together with our friends Steve Polyak from Gay Calgary and Superstar Daniel Newmann we tested the restaurant 1886 – Chinese Fine Dining in Downtown Vancouver. Conveniently, the restaurant 1886 is located at Parq Vancouver, home of our hotel The Douglas Vancouver. Good to know: Vancouver is home to the biggest Chinese community outside Asia. No wonder, that admirer of Asian cuisine will find a variety of the best Chinese restaurants in Northern America in Vancouver, like the 1886 restaurant. Starting with a Chinese Tea, the 1886 restaurant served up the best of the best of Chinese cuisine. The Shrimps and beef for the meat-eater and tofu for our vegetarians, every course of the three-course menu were delicious. But nothing compares to a freshly prepared Jasmin tea, truly a celebration together with the fresh, tasty food. 胃口好! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Karl, Daan, Steve & Daniel
Notch 8 Restaurant & Bar | Downtown
900 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2W6 | Open: 6:30 pm to 12 am | notch8-dining.com
The restaurant in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was recently redesigned with a luxury 1930s travel-themed decor to pay homage to the hotel’s history in a relationship with the Canadian Pacific Railway. With a contemporary luxury feel, Notch 8 has become a favorite for locals for after-work drinks – they have a fantastic cocktail list! – as well as a home base for guests of the hotel. We had the woods-inspired venison and lingonberry tartar and the chargrilled octopus with sea asparagus and shellfish as a starter. As a main, we enjoyed the juicy porcine and scallion-crusted Angus beef served with BC mushrooms and a cedar-smoked BC coho salmon. The last course was a decadent maple chocolate cake with whiskey raisin ice cream. No meal is complete without a tipple of Notch 8’s Hickory-infused old-fashioned! Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Claus & Eamonn
L’Abattoir | Gastown
217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2 | Open: daily 5:30 pm to 10 pm | labattoir.ca
Also located in the heart of historic Gastown, L’Abbatoir serves impressive French-inspired dishes, inventive cocktails, and a wide section of local and international wines, in a relaxed setting. The restaurant is housed in the site of Vancouver’s first jail and its décor accentuates the original 19th Century structure with exposed brick walls and the addition of tiles, steel, wood, and glass features. We started our dinner with L’Abattoir’s famed avocado gimlet to accompany our starters: a buttery foie gras and a crispy octopus soaked in lemongrass and fermented chili. For our main, we ordered a beautifully-cooked Beef Bavette with kale and brandy jus, paired with a BC Syrah, and ended the night with light and sweet desserts of deconstructed lemon meringue and yogurt pannacotta with beetroot mousse. Check reviews & make a reservation >
>> Recommended by Claus & Eamonn
Bars 1181 and XYYVR | Davie Village
Gay Bars & Drag Show Vancouver
Gay Travelers who are looking for the gay neighborhood of Vancouver for some drinks, drag shows, and dating opportunities, should keep an eye on the so-called “Davie Village”, the neighborhood in West End around Davie Street. Together with our good friend Barb Snelgrove, we had a great time during the Sunday drag show The Shequel at XY at 1181 and XYYVR hosted by Vancouver’s Drag Superstar Alma Bitches. Sunday became FUNday with those wonderful and unique Drag performances. Thank you to every single performer, we had a blast!
Annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival
The best way to explore the food scene in the cold and dark winter months is the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival. Since the reasonable beginning of 2002, Dine Out Vancouver became the biggest food festival in Canada today. More than 200 restaurants, bars, breweries, and food-related events are offering the best creations gourmets and food lovers can find in Northern America. For 17 days in January and February, all participating restaurants offer three-course menus for a fixed price, 40 CAN $ in 2018. One of the world’s greatest food hubs makes dining out quite affordable, even in normally expensive restaurants. For an overview of all participating restaurants and the newest updates for Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2019, check out the Dine Out Website! And then, Bon appétit!
8 Best Gay-friendly Restaurants in Vancouver for Dine Out
Good to know about dining out in Canada
Similar to the United States of America, you are paying the staff of a restaurant/ bar with your tip. Therefore, normally 15-20 % should be added to the amount stated on the bill. The only two circumstances when you are allowed to decline additional tip: if the service costs are already included on the bill (mostly when you are eating in groups) or if the service was seriously beneath contempt. If you are paying with (credit) card, a tip percentage option will show up right before you enter your pin code. Canadians, in general, like to go out for dinner. Especially during weekends, it is advisable to make a reservation well in advance. If you wanna consume alcoholic beverages, avoid driving a car a take a cap. Caps are easy to order from the hotel reception or on your way back from the bar by the waiter and are affordable. Check out all Restaurants in Vancouver >
If you want to know more about travel news from the LGBTQ + community, then follow us on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook! See you at a Gay Pride or CSD demonstration somewhere on this wonderful, diverse and eclectic world!
Karl & Daan.