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Canada’s best new restaurant is located right here in B.C.

Two B.C. restaurants named to top 10 list of best new restaurants, while 20 eateries earn spots on Canada’s hot 100 list

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Canada’s “Best New Restaurant” has officially been crowned. And the top honour goes to Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar in Victoria.

The Vancouver Island eatery, owned by the Aquilini family’s Top Table restaurant group, topped the list of 10 best new restaurants to open across the country last year.

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Featuring “global and local seafood,” according to the restaurant website, Marilena also offers dishes that have a “straight-from-the-farm feel,” according to Vancouver Sun food critic Mia Stainsby. Read our review of Marilena, first published July 19, 2023, HERE.

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Marilena wasn’t the only B.C. eatery to earn a place on the list. MICHELIN Guide-recommended pastificio Magari by Oca on Commercial Drive took the number 10 spot on this year’s best new restaurants list.

Selected by a national judging panel put together by the publication Canada’s 100 Best, judges submit a list of their 10 top dining experiences from the previous 16 months, ranked in order of preference.

“We convert the individual ballot rankings — first, second, third, etc. — into points earned for the respective restaurant,” Jacob Richler, editor-in-chief and publisher of Canada’s 100 Best, explains. “When all the votes are in, we pool the results, and the 100 restaurants with the most points end up on our list — ranked according to their point totals.”

A similar process, which Richler says turns “personal preference into something mathematically quantifiable,” is put to work for the best new restaurants and 50 best bars lists.

“The judges share an informed passion for great dining. But they are from different backgrounds. Some are food writers and critics, others work in the industry, as restaurateurs or chefs or front-of-house managers,” Richler says. “And another group is restaurant aficionados who dine out well, regularly, and with a smart critical eye. It’s the consensus that works so well, and I like to think that you see that in the quality of our lists.”

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This year’s Canada’s 100 Best list was topped by Montreal restaurant Mon Lapin — a destination Richler says promotes a “singular and enjoyably complete new notion of what dining out should be about” — but 20 B.C. restaurants also made the coveted dining list.

Previous winner Published on Main came in this year at number seven, while Kissa Tanto rounded out the top 10. Frequent favourites St. Lawrence, L’Abattoir and AnnaLena all appear within the top 20 spots on the list.

Best New Restaurant Marilena predictably made the top-100 list, coming in at number 27. In fact, with new and existing restaurants appearing on the Canada’s 100 Best list, Richler explains the top spot for new eateries is awarded simply b selecting the new restaurant that ranks highest on the top-100 list.

“The other new restaurants that follow it on the top 100 do the same on the New Restaurants list,” Richler explains. “But the ten new restaurants on that list don’t all make the top 100 cut. Since we have many more judges today, our data is improved, and we have credible rankings down to the top 150 or 200 restaurants. So, we pull other new restaurants from that ranking to extend our new restaurants list to the top 10.”

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An impressive 14 additional restaurants in Vancouver were named to the list including: Boulevard; Botanist; Maenam; Masayoshi, Mott 32; La Quercia; Burdock & Co.; Cioppino’s; Hawksworth; Tetsu Sushi Bar; Savio Volpe; Elephant; and Sushi Hil.

One of only two restaurants in B.C. to make the list that are located beyond Vancouver’s borders (what about the Okanagan, we can’t help but ask?) Wild Blue in Whistler snagged a spot on this year’s assemblage.

For the beloved beverage set, the judging panel also put together a list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars. With big buzz around Vancouver’s mixology scene, it’s no surprise to see a few local bars on the list. In fact, eight establishments made the top 50 for 2024. In Vancouver, The Keefer Bar, Laowai, Bagheera, and Botanist were given a placing. Victoria garnered an impressive three spots with Clive’s Classic Lounge, Citrus & Cane, and Humboldt Bar. Whistler’s The Raven Room rounded out the B.C. bar presence on this year’s list.

While meant to provide a prestigious ranking for Canadian restaurants and bars, Richler says, above all else, The Canada’s 100 Best lists are about celebrating the country’s restaurant scene — and driving more diners to the establishments.

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“It’s a privilege to be able to drive business to those quality restaurants that best deserve it. That’s what I hoped to achieve when I worked as a restaurant critic years ago,” Richler says. “And helping diners make better-informed decisions about where they spend their money is a major motivation for Canada’s 100 Best.

“The business is undoubtedly challenging. It’s also blessed with a lot of talented people highly motivated to work extremely hard to produce a quality experience for their guests.”

And, of course, provide really good food.

“Great food is what it’s all about,” Richler says.

Here is the list of 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada

1. Marilena (Victoria, B.C.)
2. Casa Paco (Toronto, Ont.)
3. Sushi Yugen (Toronto, Ont.)
4. Bar Prima (Toronto, Ont.)
5. Sabayon (Montreal, Que.)
6. Casavant (Montreal, Que.)
7. Espace Old Mill (Stanbridge, Que.)
8. Buvette Daphnée (Ottawa, Ont.)
9. Parapluie (Montreal, Que.)
10. Magari by Oca (Vancouver, B.C.)

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Here is the full Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants List

1. Mon Lapin (Montreal, Que.)
2. Edulis (Toronto, Ont.)
3. Alo (Toronto, Ont.)
4. 20 Victoria (Toronto, Ont.)
5. Langdon Hall (Cambridge, Ont.)
6. Restaurant Pearl Morissette (Jordan Station, Ont.)
7. Published on Main (Vancouver, B.C.)
8. Beba (Verdun, Que.)
9. Bar Kismet (Halifax, N.S.)
10. Kissa Tanto (Vancouver, B.C.)
11. Monarque (Montreal, Que.)
12. Quetzal (Toronto, Ont.)
13. Montréal Plaza (Montreal, Que.)
14. St. Lawrence (Vancouver, B.C.)
15. Dreyfus (Toronto, Ont.)
16. L’Abattoir (Vancouver, B.C.)
17. Giulia (Toronto, Ont.)
18. Prime Seafood Palace (Toronto, Ont.)
19. Toqué! (Montreal, Que.)
20. AnnaLena (Vancouver, B.C.)
21. Cabaret l’Enfer (Montreal, Que.)
22. Boulevard (Vancouver, B.C.)
23. River Café (Calgary, Alta.)
24. Canoe (Toronto, Ont.)
25. Eight (Calgary, Alta.)
26. Hexagon (Oakville, Ont.)
27. Marilena (Victoria, B.C.)
28. Riviera (Ottawa, Ont.)
29. Bernhardts (Toronto, Ont.)
30. Sushi Masaki Saito (Toronto, Ont.)
31. Wild Blue (Whistler, B.C.)
32. La Cabane d’à Côté (St-Benoît de Mirabel, Que.)
33. Aburi Hana (Toronto, Ont.)
34. Casa Paco (Toronto, Ont.)
35. Mimi Chinese (Toronto, Ont.)
36. Portage (St. John’s, N.L.)
37. Botanist (Vancouver, B.C.)
38. Sunnys Chinese (Toronto, Ont.)
39. Deer + Almond (Winnipeg, Man.)
40. The Pine (Collingwood, Ont.)
41. Joe Beef (Montreal, Que.)
42. Maenam (Vancouver, B.C.)
43. Atelier (Ottawa, Ont.)
44. Bar Isabel (Toronto, Ont.)
45. Famiglia Baldassarre (Toronto, Ont.)
46. D.O.P. (Calgary, Alta.)
47. Mott 32 (Vancouver, B.C.)
48. La Quercia (Vancouver, B.C.)
49. Sushi Yugen (Toronto, Ont.)
50. Salle Climatisé (Montreal, Que.)
51. Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal, Que.)
52. Major Tom (Calgary, Alta.)
53. L’Express (Montreal, Que.)
54. Otto (Kitano Shokudo) (Montreal, Que.)
55. Paloma (Montreal, Que.)
56. Nora Gray (Montreal, Que.)
57. Fogo Island Inn (Joe Batt’s Arm, N.L.)
58. Auberge St-Mathieu (St-Mathieu, Que.)
59. Masayoshi (Vancouver, B.C.)
60. Tanière3 (Quebec City, Que.)
61. Lawrence (Montreal, Que.)
62. Burdock & Co. (Vancouver, B.C.)
63. Bar St-Denis (Montreal, Que.)
64. Cioppino’s (Vancouver, B.C.)
65. Pompette (Toronto, Ont.)
66. Giulietta (Toronto, Ont.)
67. Hawksworth (Vancouver, B.C.)
68. Pichai (Montreal, Que.)
69. Bouillon Bilk (Montreal, Que.)
70. Actinolite (Toronto, Ont.)
71. Arlo (Ottawa, Ont.)
72. Alma (Outremont, Que.)
73. Mastard (Montreal, Que.)
74. Clementine (Winnipeg, Man.)
75. Supply and Demand (Ottawa, Ont.)
76. Ankor (Canmore, Alta.)
77. Bar Prima (Toronto, Ont.)
78. Tetsu Sushi Bar (Vancouver, B.C.)
79. Sabayon (Montreal, Que.)
80. Le Vin Papillon (Montreal, Que.)
81. Don Alfonso 1890 (Toronto, Ont.)
82. Savio Volpe (Vancouver, B.C.)
83. Foxy (Montreal, Que.)
84. Gia Vin et Grill (Montreal, Que.)
85. Oddbird (St. Catherine’s, Ont.)
86. Elephant (Vancouver, B.C.)
87. Casavant (Montreal, Que.)
88. Hearth (Saskatoon, Sask.)
89. Arvi (Quebec City, Que.)
90. Sushi Hil (Vancouver, B.C.)
91. Espace Old Mill (Stanbridge, Que.)
92. Yujiro (Winnipeg, Man.)
93. Liverpool House (Montreal, Que.)
94. Barberian’s (Toronto, Ont.)
95. North & Navy (Ottawa, Ont.)
96. Hoogan et Beaufort (Montreal, Que.)
97. Buvette Daphnée (Ottawa, Ont.)
98. Le Mousso (Montreal, Que.)
99. DaiLo (Toronto, Ont.)
100. Park (Montreal, Que.)

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Here is the full Canada’s 50 Best Bars List

1. Bar Pompette (Toronto, Ont.)
2. Civil Liberties (Toronto, Ont.)
3. Cloakroom Bar (Montreal, Que.)
4. Atwater Cocktail Club (Montreal, Que.)
5. Bar Mordecai (Toronto, Ont.)
6. Library Bar at The Fairmont Royal York (Toronto, Ont.)
7. Dear Friend Bar (Dartmouth, N.S.)
8. The Keefer Bar (Vancouver, B.C.)
9. Cocktail Bar (Toronto, Ont.)
10. Proof (Calgary, Alta.)
11. Mother Cocktail Bar (Toronto, Ont.)
12. Coldroom (Montreal, Que.)
13. Missy’s This That (Calgary, Alta.)
14. The Narrows Public House (Halifax, N.S.)
15. Clive’s Classic Lounge (Victoria, B.C.)
16. jjacques (Quebec City, Que.)
17. Laowai (Vancouver, B.C.)
18. Cry Baby Gallery (Toronto, Ont.)
19. Clockwork (Toronto, Ont.)
20. Bagheera (Vancouver, B.C.)
21. Botanist (Vancouver, B.C.)
22. Bar Banane (Toronto, Ont.)
23. The Raven Room (Whistler, B.C.)
24. Overpressure Club (Toronto, Ont.)
25. Bar Raval (Toronto, Ont.)
26. BarChef (Toronto, Ont.)
27. El Pequeño (Montreal, Que.)
28. Milky Way (Montreal, Que.)
29. Citrus & Cane (Victoria, B.C.)
30. Rain Dog Bar (Calgary, Alta.)
31. 416 Snack Bar (Toronto, Ont.)
32. Simpl Things (Toronto, Ont.)
33. Clementine (Edmonton, Alta.)
34. Reposado (Toronto, Ont.)
35. Gift Shop (Toronto, Ont.)
36. Humboldt Bar (Victoria, B.C.)
37. Bisou Bisou (Montreal, Que.)
38. Nacarat (Montreal, Que.)
39. Roost (Winnipeg, Man.)
40. Bar Bricco (Edmonton, Alta.)
41. 1608 (Quebec City, Que.)
42. Pop Wine Bar (Saskatoon, Sask.)
43. Le Majestique (Montreal, Que.)
44. Paper Lantern (Calgary, Alta.)
45. Archive (Toronto, Ont.)
46. Bar Henrietta (Montreal, Que.)
47. The Bar At Alo (Toronto, Ont.)
48. Stillwell Beer Bar (Halifax, N.S.)
49. Paris Paris (Toronto, Ont.))50. Baijiu & Little Hong Kong (Edmonton, Alta.)

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