Top Vancouver recommendations from Tim Zagat

The Olympics are so exciting that we forget ourselves. Once bestowed with a ticket, we find ourselves a flight and forget the rest.

Fortunately, there’s a Zagat Survey for the rest. Co-Founder, Co-Chair & CEO Tim Zagat just released his newest guide to Vancouver. “[Zagat Surveys] are based on a large number of avid, local consumers and are put through a careful editing process,” says Zagat of why his guides are so legendary. The other secret? “We have always kept our personal selections independent from the survey to avoid playing favorites.”

Zagat took the time to answer a few of our questions about Vancouver. Check out the interview below for a peek inside the Survey’s top picks for food and what tourists should expect.

Gadling: What should one look for in Vancouver? What is special about the destination (besides, you know, the Olympics)?

Tim Zagat: Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience or an attraction for the family, there is no shortage of excitement in Vancouver. Besides being a very attractive city, nearly 300 of the region’s finest restaurants, nightspots, attractions and hotels can be accessed in our 2010 Vancouver Survey and on Surrounding areas such as Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver Island are all appealing.

G: With what cities would you compare Vancouver, for someone who’s never been there?

TZ: Seattle and Portland

G: If money were no object, what would be the ultimate Vancouver experience?
TZ: Most Popular:
1) Vij’s
2) Keg Steak
3) Blue Water Café
4) Le Crocodile
5) Chambar

Top Food:
1) La Belle Auberge
2) Vij’s
3) Cioppino’s
4) Le Crocodile
5) ToJo’s

G: Is there a specific local cuisine one must absolutely try?

TZ: I would recommend trying some of the great Pacific Northwest and Seafood restaurants in the area.
Top Pacific NW:
1) Bishop’s
2) West
3) Diva at the Met
4) Refuel
5) Cru

Top Seafood:
1) Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar
2) C Restaurant
3) Go Fish!
4) Sun Sui Wah Seafood
5) Rodney’s Oyster House

G: Any customs of which tourists should be careful?

TZ: As an expected 2.3 million attendees are expected to come for the Olympics, tourists should plan for changing traffic patterns, enhanced security zones and extra travel time for all local and regional travel. In certain areas and hours, vehicles will be banned, so tourists can plan on foot-traffic.

G: What do you think the Olympics will do for Vancouver in the long run?

TZ: In the long run, any city that hosts the Olympics experiences an international spotlight on its culture, customs and traditions. Similar to the experiences in other Olympic cities, Vancouver should anticipate a long-term boost in economic growth and tourism.

You can access the 2010 Vancouver Zagat Survey for free here.

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