Dine Out Vancouver all about preparation 0
Food bloggers caution local diners to be diligent in checking out menus and comparing price points before they invest their dollars and time in restaurants participating in Dine Out Vancouver. (SUBMITTED)
Between less-than-stellar menu options and stress-inducing attempts to book reservations, local food bloggers warn it’s up to diners to do their homework before they start licking their chops in anticipation of the 11th annual Dine Out Vancouver festival.
Mijune Pak of followmefoodie.com said she has a love-hate relationship with the restaurant festival, which returns Friday for 17 days.
“I like it because it’s a time when restaurants have slower business and so it helps support them,” she said before adding eateries often play it safe with their set menus during the festival due to increased traffic.
Pak noted the difference between a Dine Out menu and a standard menu is like reading the back of a book without delving into the rest of the novel.
“Your experience may or may not be (a representation) of what it’s like on a regular night.”
Although menu prices at restaurants range between $18 and $38, Amy Smith from thefoodqueen.com said full-time students have a tough time parting with the few dollars they have in their wallets. But the Simon Fraser University undergrad added there are still great options for budget-conscious diners.
The festival includes events such as Street Food City II, where people can grab cheaper food-cart fare outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Diana Chan of foodology.ca cautioned diners to make reservations long before they head out.
“A lot of the $18 (menus) are really not that exciting except one or two restaurants,” she said. “Especially Bistro 101 (1505 W 2nd Ave), those reservations went away a long time ago.”
Chan said the best bet now is to hop on opentable.com to scour for seats at some of the most in-demand establishments.
Grace Cheung of xmasbb.blogspot.ca recommended making a full night out of it by targeting Dine Out restaurants with bars featuring the Canucks.
“Don’t plan on just going to this restaurant and then go home — have a game plan.”
Top tips for Dine Out Vancouver patrons:
Diana Chan @foodologyca
“Definitely check out the menus because even the big restaurants might not have a good menu, but smaller, not as well-known restaurants may have a killer menu.”
Mijune Pak @followmefoodie
“Do a little bit of research online on which restaurant you are picking. Also, you might want to do the calculations if you are a little particular about the budget.”
Amy Smith @Food_Queen
“You have to kind of look at their regular menu and compare it because some of them aren’t as great of a deal as they make it out to be.”
Grace Cheung @gracecheung604
“Definitely book ahead. I know that if you’re an American Express holder you’ve got earlier access than the rest of the public.”