Vote Now: Diner’s Choice Awards – Chinese Restaurant Awards 2011

There are so many best restaurant awards in Metro Vancouver but if there is one I respect and follow, it’s the Chinese Restaurant Awards (CRA).

I am not saying that the CRA’s selection is fool proof but I know that they take pains in ensuring that their selection processes are credible. Frankly, I can’t say the same for many restaurant awards in town. I think you know what I mean. Sometimes you see some newspaper awarding restaurants like Hon’s as the best Chinese restaurant … and it doesn’t take a lot to skew the results. All it takes is organization.

When we are barely into the last quarter of 2010, the CRA has started the selection processes already. As they did last year, there are two sets of awards:

  • The Diner’s Choice — awarded to the best restaurants and voted by the public in general
  • The Critic’s Choice — awarded to the best dishes and selected by a panel of judges

Between the two categories, I love the Critic’s Choice simply because they are selected by experts. The Diner’s Choice, well, they are voted by the public. You can cast as many votes as you have email addresses. I am not sure if there are any mechanism put in place by the CRA folks to minimize abuse in such public voting.

Anyway, the voting for the best restaurants for the Diners’ Choice is now opened. This will stay open for the next one month or so until November 12th.

There are a total of 15 categories with two new categories (Modern Chinese Restaurant and HK Style Milk Tea). He he he … I was wondering why that odd category for the … HK Style Milk Tea while Bubble Tea is lumped under Taiwanese Restaurant. And the Modern Chinese Restaurant category, I am not quite sure what that is when you have Legendary Noodles and Negative Space added into the mix like Hakkasan and Bao Bei. Just saying …

Anyway, all you need is an email address to cast your vote for your favourite restaurant. To do so, just go to, create an account and vote away.

If you are curios as to what I voted for, here it is:

  • Northern/Shanghainese Restaurant: Shanghai River
  • Cantonese Dim Sum: Empire Chinese Cuisine
  • Fine Dining: Fisherman’s Terrace
  • Modern Chinese: Hakkasan
  • Casual: Ken’s Chinese Restaurant
  • Hot Pot: Fatty Cow
  • Taiwanese/BBT: Delicious Cuisine
  • Hong Kong Style Cafe: Lido
  • Hong Kong Style Milk Tea: Can’t decide
  • Congee/Noodle: Tsim Chai Noodle
  • Vegetarian: My religion is forbid me to shun meat.
  • Barbeque Shop: Parker Fresh Meat
  • Bakery Shop: Kam Do
  • Best Service: Red Star (because they hosted the 8GTCC Cantonese so well)
  • Dining Environment: Hakkasan

So! What do you think? Tell me what’s your favourite!

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Anonymous?

    best milk tea; icafe (:

  2. Teresa

    I’m glad that there’s an award to recognize the quality and variety of Chinese food here. I have friends who are from high Asian population cities like Toronto and New York and they claim Vancouver has the best Chinese food around.

    I do hope that the little gems and small neighborhood joints get recognized too

    1. Ben

      Hi Terea: I find it hard to claim that Vancouver has one of the best Chinese food outside of China … must better than other metropolitan cities worldwide that has more Asians (in numbers). But it’s a claim that is echo’d a lot everywhere and by a lot of people. So yeah, I’ll put that in the pocket and consider that I’m living in the “best place on earth” … and I am not saying that because I am with the BC Liberals. Ben

    2. Buddha Girl

      My mom-in-law’s friends from HK or China all claimed that some of the restaurants in Vancouver are better than the ones in HK or China…but this is more strictly for Cantonese-style cuisines…which is one of the more popular Chinese cuisines.

      1. eatingclubvancouver_js

        Agreed. For a certain kind of Cantonese cuisine, Vancouver has the best. For other Chinese cuisines, well — not really.

      2. ike

        Vancouver has BETTER Chinese restaurants but not the best. Because of high tax, it’s more expensive to buy food ingredients in Canada than US. Therefore, restaurants sometimes pick and save on the ingredients and hold on to their stock forever. The Chinese restaurants in major US cities with big Asian population are much better than Chinese restaurants in Vancouver because they just go all out to make something rich and satisfying.

        Certainly Vancouver has many good Chinese restaurants than small towns in North American because of the condensed Chinese population and demand.

  3. fmed

    (Disclosure – I am one of the judges at the CRA Awards)

    Ben – The CRA does have methods to detect ballot stuffing (domain name checking, IP tracking, etc).

    Get out there and vote for your favorite spots!

    1. Elaine

      My aunt and her family from California used to come down to Vancouver all the time for Chinese food!

    2. Forum Vancouver

      After browsing Chowhound and eGullet for years, it’s nice to finally put a face to the fmed alias, plus I get to know what it means.

  4. Buddha Girl

    Just voted…I realized I spent quite a bit dining out…mmm…maybe I should starting saving money and eat at home more often…on the second thought…nah! FOOD! FOOD! FOOD!

    1. Ben

      Hi Buddha Girl: Yeah, eating out is getting more expensive these days. It’s just not the HST but I “felt” that even the prices are higher. I see you have Google Ads on your blog but that doesn’t pay much, does it? Ben

      1. Buddha Girl

        Yes…we can’t do much about HST…but I think some restaurant use it as an excuse to up their prices…

        Yea…honestly, I don’t like ads on my blog…but Buddha Boy kept on bugging me to put couple on…so I compromised…LOL!

  5. pinoygourmet

    Hi Ben Actually Terea is correct,Conde Nast Magazine which is one of the top travel magazines in the world recently proclaimed Vancouver as having the best Chinese Food outside China.Terea is quoting a respected source for her claim

  6. pinoygourmet

    Correction Its Conde Nast Traveler and it was the Febraury 2010 issue and it was featured on CNN which disagreed .Other people felt Vancouver deserved Best Chinese food outside Asia or Best in north America.Whatever reality We are doing well by any standard regardless

  7. grayelf

    Hmm, that’s quite a busy website and confusing too — it looks like the votes are already in for 2011 but obviously they’re not. Also not sure why they need my name and DOB for a Diners’ Choice Award. I’ll pass.

    1. Ben

      Hi Grayelf: Yeah, I know … I also think it odd that they ask me for personal information like Date of Birth. I don’t think it is necessary to ask these questions because a lot of people will fake these information rendering the information pretty much useless. He he he … when I created the account, I told CRA I am 25 years old. 🙂 Anyway, once the account had been created, I kind of like the way you vote in each category one by one and the category changes color to let you know which had already been voted. Ben

    2. Rae

      HI grayelf,
      We have removed the DOB from the registration. Please enjoy voting your favourite Chinese restaurants in the city.

      The voting deadline is Nov 12. Thank you.

      1. Ben

        He he he … Grayelf is just sitting across from me right now and told her about it! Ben

        1. Rae

          Nice thank you 🙂

  8. Crispy Lechon

    I think its seriously missing the Best Chinese Foodcourt Stall and Best Chinese Foodcourt Dish.

    1. Ben

      Hi Crispy: I like that suggestion to have a category for Chinese Foodcourt STALL. A lot of people relates to that too. Expanding on your idea, there should also be a category for that small 15 seats mom-and-pop hole in the wall. People loves that kind of places. Hmmm … but then I guess the winning hole in the wall will be a one time winner only. Once they win in this category, they will have more customers and then they will expand. Strike that idea! LOL! Ben

      1. fmed

        Great ideas! BTW – There is a Foodcourt Dish category in the Critics’ Choice Awards.

  9. Doug

    The same restaurant is nominated again… big surprise… I wonder if the same dishes going to be awarded to same restaurant again…

    1. Rae

      HI Douglas,

      Please understand that diners were allowed to nominate their favourite restaurants from 9/28 to 10/5. Only the 20 most nominated restaurants in each category are listed in the final nominee list for online voting now.

      Thank you. It’s Diners’ Choice.

  10. pinoygourmet

    Hi Ben Correction CRA awards for the Best Chinese Food outside China and Hong Kong or possibly dare We say in the world?

    1. Ben

      He he he … I don’t care whether it is best Chinese food outside of China/HK or not. What I care about is Google thinks. Knowing Google, what is important is just “best chinese food” and not “best chinese food outside of china”. LOL! Ben

  11. pinoygourmet

    I googled Best Chinese Food in the world just now and it came out Vancouver,So I guess I can proudly shout out My home metropolitan area has the best Chinese food in the world.Go Metro Vancouver

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