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Upscale, Interesting, Not Available in Vancouver

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My brother is coming to visit for a few days in June, and has said he'd like to try a nice restaurant while he's here, preferably something that's not available in Vancouver. He suggested perhaps African or Caribbean style cuisine but anything they don't have a ton of in Vancouver (so, not Japanese, Chinese or other mainstream Asian cuisines, and not Indian) would be welcome.

Now, I can think of a ton of great Caribbean places, but most of them barely qualify as restaurants rather than takeout counters, and there isn't one that I frequent that I'd describe as 'nice'. Good food is more important than good decor, so if the answer is 'There aren't any!' then I can live with that, and I'll just take him to a great dive instead.

My best thought in this vein thus far has been Ethiopian, since there are some at least reasonably nice Ethiopian places around. They're not high-end, more mid-range, but they have tables--and table cloths!--which is more than I can say for any of the West Indian places I frequent.

Any suggestions?

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  1. i forget the name but go to that spot on harbord, 90 or 93 or whatever, i believe they do african and have heard they do excellent food and seen that they have a very nice space.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dannyboy

      93 harbord does modern take on palestinian and moroccan cuisines, not african. however, may fit what you're looking for in terms of uniqueness, decor and good food. it is one of the places i myself take visitors to.

    2. On a totally different note, I've heard that Chiado (on College) makes the best Portuguese food on the continent. Do report back if you end up going somewhere interesting...

      2 Replies
      1. re: chloe103

        I was just about to suggest Chiado - Portuguese is definitely hard to come by in most places including Vancouver and Toronto has some pretty good stuff on offer.

        1. re: chloe103

          If the criteria is 'upscale'. then definitely Chiado. May be Perigee as well for its ' open kitchen/hands-on chef interaction' concept. For first-timer experiencing this theme, definitely interesting. But be sure to book table surrounding the open kitchen!

        2. Irie on Queen West is nice, and their jerk is pretty good. Cool patio, too.