This has been a favorite hangout for Vancouver’s business crowd ever since it opened in 1985, and it still has a bit of an ’80s feel to it—brass lamps, dark green furnishings, an ornate oak bar where guys in suits like to gather. It’s always busy on the main floor, and there’s excellent people-watching from the tables up on the mezzanine, but the best spots are out on the fantastic rooftop patio. Joe Fortes is named for Vancouver’s first lifeguard, a big guy with an outsized personality, which is fitting for this fun, vibrant spot. (He was immortalized on a Canadian stamp in 2013.) It’s considered Vancouver’s best oyster bar, and the chilled seafood tower is a masterpiece of lobster, crab, oysters, clams, and more. Food is usually simply prepared and pretty traditional. The real star here, though, is the service, led by everyone’s favorite maître d’, the charming Frenchy, who can organize anything from calling a cab to picking up an engagement ring.
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
777 Thurlow St
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown & Yaletown Hours Daily 11am–11pm Phone 604/669-1940 Prices Main courses C$18–C$65, C$38 fixed-price 3-course dinner (Sun–Thurs 4–6pm) Cuisine Type Seafood Web site Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House Other Reservations recommended