Pino Posteraro of Cioppino's in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Pino Posteraro of Cioppino's in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hometown: Lago, Italy (Calabria region)
Occupation: Executive Chef and Proprietor, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Years worked as a chef: 34
Years lived in Vancouver: 18
Accolades: Chef of the Year, Vancouver Magazine (2008, 2014)
Best Formal Italian Restaurant, Vancouver Magazine (2004-2015)
Best of Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator (2005-2013)

Go to Chef Posteraro’s shortlist

What do you love best about Vancouver’s food scene?

The bounty of different ethnic cuisines.

Describe your “perfect dining out day” in Vancouver.

Hawksworth for breakfast; all of the croissants and pastries, especially the danish.
Pizza marinara at Via Tevere for lunch.
Omakase at Tojo’s for dinner.

What restaurants do you think any visitor to Vancouver should try? 

Vij’s, Thomas Haas, Cioppino’s, Tojo’s, Maenam, Via Tevere Pizzeria and Hawksworth.

What is your favorite neighborhood to eat out in and why?

East Downtown because there’s great variety.

Halibut and chips from The Fish Counter. Photo credit: Stephen Tang.
Halibut and chips from The Fish Counter. Photo credit: Stephen Tang.

Are there any foods native to Vancouver that you particularly like? 

JAPADOG hot dogs and many other food trucks, including Tacofino. The best fish and chips in the world are from The Fish CounterGranville Island for sure.

What is your personal favorite dish at Cioppino’s and why?

It changes every season (like the menu) and it depends on the best and freshest ingredient that a supplier or farmer brings me!

Where do you like to go for Italian in Vancouver?

When I go out, I don’t go out for Italian food with the exception of pizza.

What other cuisines do you enjoy eating most? And what restaurants and dishes in that cuisine would you recommend?

I really love Asian food: lamb popsicles and spicy eggplants at Vij’s, crispy rice and pork at Maenam, Tojo’s, and duck web at Dynasty.

Since Eats Abroad is geared toward travelers, are there any restaurants/bars at Vancouver International Airport or the city’s hotels that you enjoy visiting?

Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and Hawksworth at the Hotel Georgia.

Editor’s note: Since publication of this interview, Oru has closed.

Finally, what would you say is the one thing any visitor must see or do before leaving Vancouver? 

They should make a trip to Whistler and enjoy dinner at Bearfoot Bistro. Also Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Aquarium.

Chef Posteraro’s Shortlist:

Cioppino’s, 1133 Hamilton Street (Yaletown); Italian, dinner only Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday.

Hawksworth Restaurant, 801 West Georgia Street (Downtown); Canadian, breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Monday-Friday, brunch Saturday-Sunday.

Via Tevere, 1190 Victoria Drive (Grandview); pizza/Italian, dinner Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday.

Tojo’s, 1133 West Broadway (Fairview); sushi, dinner only Monday-Saturday.

Vij’s, 1480 W. 11th Avenue (Fairview); modern Indian, dinner only daily.

Thomas Haas, 998 Harbourside Drive (North Vancouver); chocolates and pastries, open Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday-Monday.
Second location: 2539 West Broadway (Kitsilano); open Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday-Monday.

Maenam, 1938 West 4th Avenue (Kitsilano); Thai, lunch Tuesday-Saturday, dinner daily.

Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, 777 West Broadway (Fairview); Chinese, lunch and dinner daily.

Oru at Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place (Coal Harbour); Pacific Northwest, breakfast and dinner daily, lunch Monday-Friday, brunch Saturday-Sunday.

JAPADOG, 899 Burrard Street (Downtown); Japanese hot dogs, lunch and dinner daily at all locations.
JAPADOG trailer: Burrard Street and Pender Street (Coal Harbour).
JAPADOG stand: Granville Street and Cordova Street (Waterfront).
JAPADOG restaurant: 530 Robson Street (Downtown).

Tacofino, 2327 East Hastings Street (Grandview); Mexican; lunch daily, dinner Monday-Saturday.
Tacofino truck, Dunsmuir Street and Burrard Street (Downtown); lunch Monday-Friday, closed Saturday-Sunday.

The Fish Counter, 3825 Main Street (Riley Park); seafood, lunch and dinner daily.

Granville Island, 1661 Duranleau Street; Public Market open daily.

Bearfoot Bistro, 4121 Village Green, Whistler, BC; international, apres-ski and dinner daily.

Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Road (North Vancouver); open daily.

Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way (Stanley Park); open daily.

About the Chef: In Vancouver, you don’t have to be a food fanatic to know about the fine dining Italian restaurant Cioppino’s. And Chef Pino Posteraro is a man who—let’s face it— really doesn’t need an introduction. It’s been 15 years since he opened Cioppino’s, and Chef Posteraro’s long list of accolades continues to grow. In 2014, Vancouver Magazine crowned him as the city’s best chef for the second time in six years, and Cioppino’s was deemed the city’s best formal Italian restaurant for the 10th consecutive year. And to think that all of this may have never happened; Chef Posteraro actually pursued a career in medicine before switching gears and moving to Canada in the 1980s to train at his brother’s restaurant. He then worked in kitchens in Europe and Asia before moving back to Canada and establishing himself in Vancouver.