Sneak peek at the 2017 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Every week, it seems, there's a new restaurant opening up in the city and Vancouver Magazine's annual list of best restaurants is a go-to guide for new foodies and savvy restaurant-goers alike.

This year's Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards ceremony is coming up next Tuesday, with more than 140 restaurants up for an award. There are a couple of new changes to look forward to this year, said On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson, who gave host Stephen Quinn a rundown on what to expect next week.

This is the first time, after 27 years of presenting the restaurant awards, that Vancouver Magazine has released the names of the finalists.

"In the past, all of the nominees were kept a big secret," Johnson said. "But as the magazine's food editor, Neal McLennan, explained to me, it would be weird to show up at the Academy Awards and not even know if you were nominated and had a shot at going home a winner."

The list of finalists is broad, including both new and more established restaurants and with a range of cuisines from Adesso Bistro to Zest Japanese Cuisine. The winning restaurants will be selected by a panel of 19 judges who spent the year dining at the different establishments.

Best brunch, best sushi and other new categories

There are six new categories of awards this year to add to the well-loved existing ones such as Best Dim Sum, Best Food Truck, Best Thai and Best Upscale.

"There's Best Bakery and Best Vegan–Vegetarian," Johnson explained. "Best Brunch is another new one — that one's been a long time coming, given how much people love to go out for that midday weekend meal here."

The other new categories are Best Pacific Northwest and a split in Best Japanese — Best Izakaya and Best Sushi.

There are 41 gold award categories this year and any restaurant that wins gold has a shot at taking home the prize for Restaurant of the Year, the best-of-the-best award.

Johnson listed her top picks for the various categories: Salted Vine, Kissa Tanto, Nightingale or Savio Volpe for Best New Restaurant, Bauhaus for Restaurant of the Year and chef Pino Posteraro for Lifetime Achievement Award.

CBC Vancouver is a media partner of the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and hosts Stephen Quinn and Gloria Macarenko will be at the awards ceremony to celebrate the winners on April 18, at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

With files from On The Coast.

To hear the full story, click on the audio link on the upper left corner Sneak peek at the 2017 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.