A few years ago, the only street food Vancouver residents could get were hotdogs and chestnuts.
Times have changed. This week, one of Vancouver's gourmet street food carts has won top honours in EnRoute Magazine's prestigious national best new restaurant awards.
Vij's Railway Express, a mobile restaurant run by Vij's and Rangoli owners Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala, won the People's Choice Award in the 12th annual restaurant rating.
"I love that the people's choice award went to a food truck from one of this country's great chefs," the editor of Air Canada's in-flight magazine, Ilana Weitzman, said in a statement.
One of the factors in their selection was that the company launched an intensive online social media campaign and contest offering a chance at a trip to Toronto or a catered meal for 10.
Two other innovative Vancouver restaurants placed among the magazine's Top 10 best new Canadian restaurant picks.
Pidgin, an Asian-inspired boîte helmed by chef Makoto Ono, took fifth place. It serves everything from pork belly rice bowls to roasted squab, in a spare modern setting right in the heart of the Downtown Eastside on Carrall Street.
And The Acorn, an atmospheric Main Street gourmet vegetarian restaurant that serves dishes ranging from beer-battered halloumi to raw zucchini tagliatelle, clocked in at number nine.
Toronto's Bar Isabel, a Castilian-inspired restaurant, took first place. Other Top 10 finishers included Toronto's Shoto and Electric Mud, Newfoundland's Fogo Island Inn, Ottawa's Supply and Demand, Calgary's Carino Japanese Bistro, Montreal's Maison Publique and Quebec City's Le Bouchon de Pied Bleu.