Food columnist highlights new Vancouver restaurants that focus on fresh fish

Check out three Vancouver restaurants that focus on upscale fresh fish while maintaining chill vibes.

Gail Johnson suggests checking out 3 spots that feature high-end food paired with chill vibes

Mid-range seafood restaurants can be hard to find in Vancouver. (Tammy Wood)
Vancouver has a lot of outstanding high-end seafood restaurants as well as casual sushi joints, but not much in between, food columnist Gail Johnson told On The Coast's guest host Gloria Macarenko this week.

That's why Johnson wants to highlight three new fresh fish spots that find the middle ground between casual and upscale.

Hook Sea Bar

Hook Sea Bar overlooks English Bay in the space that used to be Milestones.

Johnson talked with owner Mike Gayman, who also owns the nearby Blind Sparrow restaurant.

"Gayman was telling me that at Blind Sparrow, he'd regularly have people come in and ask them where to go for seafood, and he'd find himself stumped. He wanted to offer high-quality fish in a fun and relaxed setting," Johnson explained.

The restaurant has its own raw bar with fresh oysters and sushi, as well as steelhead and ahi poke.


Johnson also recommends checking out the newly opened Oddfish in Kitsilano.

"I was speaking with Mike Jeffs, one of the owners, and he was saying he doesn't like fussy restaurants or fussy servers who aren't allowed to show their personality. He wanted a place for simple fish in a comfortable room with reasonable prices."

While the menu changes seasonally, you can find dishes like ceviche made with sidestripe shrimp.

Coquille Fine Seafood

Coquille Fine Seafood will be opening sometime early in the new year in the heart of Gastown.

One of the chefs, Lee Cooper, also owns the upscale L'Abattoir in Gastown.

"He was saying that they want to offer a slightly dressed-down version of L'Abattoir, but with a focus on fish, a place where you can expect outstanding food and excellent service in a place that's fun and boisterous," Johnson said.

Click below to listen to the full interview:

With files from On The Coast.