If you haven't dined at Vancouver's Folke restaurant yet, it might be a little harder to snag a reservation as of today.
That's because the upscale plant-based Kitsilano spot (also known for its "no tipping" policy) was named one of Canada's Best New Restaurants for 2023 by EnRoute Magazine.
The esteemed annual awards drew from the nation's top restaurants that opened their doors between late spring 2022 and May 31, 2023. In particular, the judges look for restaurants that "deliver exceptional experiences through the quality of their food, level of service and commitment to culinary creativity," according to the official "top 10" announcement issued Wednesday (Nov. 1) night.
Folke, which ranked seventh on the list, also earned another distinction: Its owner-operators Pricilla Deo and Colin Uyeda were named "Trailblazers of the Year." Deo and Uyeda have "forged a path for an equitable and sustainable future, where staff are cared for, and so is the Earth," notes the publication, citing Folke's all-local wine list and its "living wage" for staff that negates the need for diners to tip - along with the restaurant's delicious desserts by pastry chef Deo.
Of Folke, EnRoute summarizes: "In the hands of co-owner and chef Colin Uyeda, Folke's vegan food is for anyone who enjoys gorgeous, inventive and extremely delicious food that happens to be plant-based. Co-owner and pastry chef Pricilla Deo bakes a magnificent chocolate cake, layered with mousse, strawberry gelée, Earl Grey custard and fudge crunch."
In September, EnRoute revealed its "longlist" of finalists, naming 30 incredible new restaurants coast to coast in contention for the coveted top 10. Folke was one of two Vancouver restaurants on the longlist, joining modern Peruvian spot Suyo. Richmond's Acre by the Seasons also represented the Metro Vancouver region, while several other contenders from around the province were in the running.
Two of those B.C. restaurants ranked high on the top 10: Whistler's Wild Blue landed in second place, with Victoria's buzzy Marilena in third.
Here is the complete list of Canada's Best New Restaurants 2023:
- Kappo Sato (Toronto, ON)
- Wild Blue (Whistler, B.C.)
- Marilena Café and Raw Bar (Victoria, B.C.)
- Rizzo's House of Parm (Fort Erie, ON)
- Petit Socco (Winnipeg, MB)
- Bonheur D'Occasion (Montreal, QC)
- Folke (Vancouver, B.C.)
- Le Molière par Mousso (Montreal, QC)
- Espace Old Mill (Stanbridge East, QC)
- Darlings (Bloomfield, ON)
"Dining and travelling are important economic contributors within our communities, and part of our objectives every year is to help new businesses flourish and for our travellers to see the possibilities of where culinary experiences can take them," said Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand at Air Canada, in a media release.
For those looking to meet Deo and try her food, consider grabbing a ticket to Yes Shef, the fundraising event that spotlights women in the food and beverage industry in B.C. It takes place Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.
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