Le Parisien Restaurant, Vancouver

In the early days of Dine Out Vancouver, the annual event seemed like such a brilliant idea all around. Restaurants could fill their tables during a time of year that was typically slower and diners would have the opportunity to explore the higher-end culinary offerings of the city at a discounted price. Dine Out Vancouver is back once again and it’s got some 277 restaurants for the 2015 edition, which runs from January 16 to February 1.

Some people will say that the quality and value of the annual event has deteriorated over time. There’s some truth to that. Many of the restaurants (and their staff) recognize that more bargain-oriented people will be visiting during this period and, as a result, the service can suffer. What’s more, some will say that portion sizes get smaller for Dine Out Vancouver too. That’s up to you to decide.

What is clear is that the level of value you receive will vary considerably from restaurant to restaurant. When you price out the three-course meal on the restaurant’s website, you may find that you are only saving a few dollars and you are limited to the smaller selection of the prix fixe menu. Other restaurants may offer something unique and they might give you a better value to boot. So, as with so many other things, do your research.

I’ve been a supporter of Dine Out Vancouver since its inception and I’ve gone to at least a couple of restaurants pretty well every year. Places like Forage and Chambar continue to impress me, while some restaurants that I visited no longer exist, like William Tell and FigMint. If nothing else, this gastronomic festival has encouraged me to try out many restaurants that I may not have otherwise visited.

As has been discussed previously on this blog, Susanne and I haven’t been eating out all that much since we had our little baby daughter. Even so, we’re hoping to hit up one or two restaurants for this year’s Dine Out Vancouver if we can. Cork & Fin looks promising. We’ll have to be a little more selective and I’m sure those reservations are being booked up quickly.

Are you going out for Dine Out Vancouver this year? Which restaurants are on your list?