dovRestaurants participating in Dine Out Vancouver 2009 have, as of yesterday, begun accepting reservations.

Dine Out Vancouver runs from Wednesday, January 14 to Sunday, February 1.

Not familiar with Dine Out Vancouver? Now in its 7th year, it’s an annual event in which participating restaurants (over 180 this year!) offer fixed-price 3-course menus. Depending on the restaurant, the price is $18, $28, or $38 per person (hmm…this is $3 more across the board than 2008’s prices).

Popular restaurants tend to get booked up very quickly and I’m sure that some are already booked full. To get in on the action, check out the full list of restaurants (with menus!) @ Tourism Vancouver’s website.

My personal opinion:

I think Dine Out Vancouver is slightly overrated. For most people, $18, $28, and especially $38 per person is still quite expensive. Bring a date, go to a $38 restaurant, add tax and tip, and you’re in triple digit$. Many participating restaurants serve food that just isn’t appropriate for 3 individual-course meals. Other restaurants take advantage of the hype and price ‘special‘ Dine Out menus that end up costing more than the sum of their parts. Additionally, it’s arguable whether or not the service you get during Dine Out season is as good it normally is.

Still, there are some absolute steals out there. If haven’t noticed the Porches, waterfront condos, and yachts in Vancouver, there are some pretty rich people living here. When their butler’s butlers are on vacation, where do you think these people dine? There are some fantastic high-end restaurants in our city. Dine Out Vancouver offers an opportunity for everyone to get a feel for some of the best restaurants and chefs in Vancouver that would normally be inaccessible to most.

In the end, it’s a fun event and a great excuse to dine out with friends and/or family.

Planning on booking? Did you Dine Out last year? Which restaurants are the best and worst? Let us know in the comments!