By Brittany Tiplady

If there is one thing I am good at, it is picking the perfect restaurant. Skip the planning anxiety
this year and let us plan your Valentine’s Day date night for you.

Pro tip: If you plan on dining in, some restaurants are still operating at a reduced capacity, so be
sure to book a reservation where possible to guarantee your table.


635 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Transit: Buses R5, 20, 16, 14

Spaghetti and meatballs, mozzarella sticks, lasagna, cheesecake…. oh my. Pepino’s—a
Commercial Drive Italian joint that is part of the Osteria Savio Volpe family—pays homage to the
legacy of Nick’s Spaghetti House. Here you’ll find a selection of generous plates, lovely wines
and classic cocktails. Be warned however, you may leave with your waistband feeling a

Pro tip: Come to your reservation a little early, and grab a glass of beautiful Italian wine next
door at Pepino’s spot, La Tana.


1074 Davie St, Vancouver
Transit: Right near the 6 bus stop.

Flowers, but make it chicken, but make it…vegan? Beetbox, Juke Chicken’s vegetarian sister
restaurant, is once again offering their Fried Chick-Un Finger Bouquets ($25), available for
pickup from Saturday, February 12 until Monday, February 14.

Each bundle includes a dozen of Beetbox’s Fried Chick-Un Fingers (breaded and fried seitan)
accompanied with housemade Maple Mustard Dip—wrapped into a sweet, Valentine’s Day
bouquet. Zhuzh up your order by adding plant-based Crispy Onion Rings and Yam Wedges,
Beetbox x BETA5 Eat Your Veggies Chocolate Bar and Beetbox’s signature sauces.

Order yours online.

Sopra Sotto

4022 Hastings St, Burnaby
Transit: Buses 130, 160, 129

Sopra Sotto’s Burnaby Heights location (the flagship Sopra Sotto is on Commercial Drive), is
sweet and intimate and makes for a lovely Valentine’s Day date. The menu, developed by head
chef Enrico Fratoni, is a balance of traditional and contemporary Italian boasting fresh, seasonal
ingredients. Sopra Sotto’s drink menu is just as robust: offering a selection of Italian (and some
local) wines, and Italian-inspired cocktails.

My favourite dish at Sopra Sotto Burnaby is the Tuscan Farro Salad; $15 (Tuscan kale, farro,
roasted tomatoes, shaved pecorino). It is, dare I say, my favourite salad in the Vancouver-
Burnaby area. Also high on my recommendations is the Caserecce e Tartufo pasta (add the
smoked pancetta for $3); $23.50. As for pizza, I’ve enjoyed almost every one and none
disappoint–if you’re a first-timer, may I suggest the Pesto or the Margherita?

El Santo

680 Columbia St, New Westminster
Transit: A short walk from the New Westminster or Columbia SkyTrain station.

Photo by Andrea Iñurri

Located in the heart of downtown New West, just a stone’s throw from the New
Westminster Skytrain station, El Santo serves fresh and modern Mexican fare with a killer
cocktail menu to boot. Come for traditional menu items like al pastor tacos, chile relleno, and
enchiladas, or treat your palate to one of Chef Sam Fabbro’s inventive dishes such as the
Pescaito Frito or the Estofado de Res. Learn more about El Santo owner Alejandro Diaz, here.

Barley Merchant

Building B – 20090 91a Avenue, Langley
Transit: Buses 388, 501, 595

Craving something casual? Catch a movie at Cineplex Cinemas Langley and then hop over to
The Barley Merchant: a 210 seat tap house with an impressive, rotating lineup of 50 local craft
beers and ciders and a full-fresh kitchen. The Barley Merchant is helmed by longtime craft beer
enthusiast, Tim LayHay—learn more about Tim and his beloved Langley brewpub here.

Sabà Bistro

190-9220 Glover Rd, Langley
Transit: Buses 509, 562

Fort Langley is the Fraser Valley’s very own real-life Hallmark Movie set — perfect for
Valentine’s Day if turning up the cozy, idyllic vibes if your thing.

After a stroll on the Fort to Fort trail, pop into Sabà for brunch, lunch, tapas and dinner. The
Mediterranean-inspired tapas list is divine—may I suggest the Wild Mushroom Plate ($16), the
Lamb Meatballs ($16) paired with a Sabà sangria?

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