Seated on the Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that Vancouver is known for some of the best seafood in the world. We were inspired to create a Seafood Series for the readers of our Vancouver food blog, and so far, we’ve covered the best places for: Oysters, Tuna and Fish and Chips.
Yet, if there’s one thing that seafood lovers consistently look for when they visit Vancouver, it’s got to be salmon. Salmon is BC’s largest agri-product and a significant contributor to the local economy. BC is home to hundreds of salmon-spawning areas and the Salmon Run is a spectacle to see.
Countless places to eat in Vancouver feature salmon on their menu, but of course, there are items that stand out from the crowd. It’s always good to look for the “Oceanwise” symbol on the menu, as this marks that the seafood used is:
1. Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures.
2. Well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research.
3. Harvested in a method that ensures limited bycatch on non-target and endangered species.
4. Harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats and negative interactions with other species.
You can read more about Oceanwise in Vancouver here.
5 Mouthwatering Ways to Enjoy the Best Salmon in Vancouver:
1. Salmon Nicoise Salad at Bel Cafe in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Technically speaking, Bel Café is a hotel café, but locals will know that this little corner stop is far from typical. Their modern interior and well-crafted menu makes Bel Cafe a coveted place for intimate business meetings and foodies alike.
The Salmon Nicoise Salad is a stand-out item as each ingredient is perfectly prepared. The salmon is tender, moist and light; the egg is poached just enough to hold its shape. There are fingerling potatoes to ground the plate, but the dill and citrus make the dish light and refreshing. The half portion ($8) is pictured above!
**Local Tip: The Chocolate Almond Croissants from Bel Café are some of the best in the city! They’re only available on Mondays and Fridays and tend to sell out before noon.
2. CURED: Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel at Siegel’s Bagels
We don’t know about you, but we’re a savoury bunch of Foodies in the morning! Nothing can satisfy our smoked salmon cravings quite like the Lox Bagel at Siegel’s Bagels.
**Local Tip: Siegel’s has two locations in Vancouver – One at the Granville Island Public Market and one along Cornwall Avenue in Kitsilano. The Kits location is open 24 hours!
3. SEARED: Salmon Aburi Oshi Sushi at Miku Vancouver
The Salmon Aburi Oshi Sushi at Miku might be the most-famous salmon item in Vancouver. After the layers of sushi rice and raw salmon are pressed together into a rectangular shape, the chefs add a drizzle of their signature sauce and flame-seared the top with a piece of bamboo charcoal. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth smoky flavour that you’ll never forget!
4. ROASTED: Plank-Roasted Salmon at Edible Canada
A unique aspect about salmon is its ability to embody flavour. At Edible Canada, they actually roast the salmon on a plank of birch wood, which gives the fish a well-bodied, rustic taste. You can also find pre-cut planks of wood in Edible Canada’s retail shop (the finishing point of our Granville Island Market Tour), should you like to give the technique a try at home!
5. RAW: Steelhead Sashimi on Crispy Rice at Market by Jean-Georges
If you’ve never tried raw fish before, Vancouver is one of the best places to do so. Not only is the seafood notoriously fresh, but there are also high-standards for preparation and storage at each restaurant. At Market by Jean-Georges, they put a twist on the traditional Japanese Salmon Nigiri by pressing the vinegar rice into a rectangle, crisping the sides, and adding a smear of chipotle emulsion. The delicate balance of texture and flavour is so unique and is a highlight of our Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour.
***Local Tip: A great way to experience the French-inspired, West Coast cuisine at Market by Jean-Georges is during the lunch hour, Mondays – Fridays. They feature a 3-course meal for $32 and guarantee 50-minute service. It’s fantastic value for an upscale restaurant in downtown Vancouver.
If you’d like to share where you’ve tasted the best salmon in Vancouver, tell us about it in the comments below.
Thanks for the read, Foodies! We’ll see you here for even more seafood next week!