1 Cactus Club Cafe Various locations, cactusclubcafe.com 2 Joey Various locations, joeyrestaurants.com 3 Tacofino Various locations, tacofino.com
honourable mentions Nuba, The Flying Pig
We live in a golden age of chains, in which even small operations are looking at expanding into multiple outlets—and if they need to look for guidance, they can do no better than this year’s Gold winner. There can be no doubt that Cactus
Club Cafe’s mix of quality and consistency has it residing at the top of the profitability food chain in any number of Canadian cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto), but it’s the home base with its mix of jaw-dropping locations (Coal Harbour, English Bay) and innovative cooking (Ash Street test kitchen) that delivers the top spot. Ironically, much the same could be said about Silver medallist Joey, which would win this category if it were up against anyone other than Cactus. Rounding out the group is the more local
Tacofino, which added a Michelin-starred chef (Stefan Hartmann), and still packs ’em in from downtown to Yaletown to Hastings-Sunrise with a blend of casual Mexican fare that helped reinvigorate Latin cuisine in this city.