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Arts in Review

Top restaurants of 2014

Top 10 restaurants of 2014 as ranked and reviewed by contributors and staff.

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Print Edition: January 21, 2015

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It’s pretty easy to find a Japanese restaurant in Abbotsford, but after Yummy Sushi there’s not much reason to shop around. The menu is diverse, offering a wide collection of elaborately displayed gourmet rolls and hot dishes. If you’re dining in, the atmosphere is open with large windows and comfortable booths. Prices are on par with other dine-in sushi restaurants in the area, but they take the experience a step further with the complimentary volcano roll that accompanies your meal — always enough for every diner to enjoy. It’s the little touch of extra that earns Yummy Sushi a place on this list. — JW


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Afterthoughts specializes in cheesecake, rotating through some 60 varieties. A customer favourite is the Vancouver cheesecake: the classic plain, topped with a choice of Afterthoughts’ specialty sauces and doused with whipped cream. While Afterthoughts also offers breakfast muffins and a lunch menu with soups and sandwiches, their desserts are their crowning jewel. Try a divine almond Copenhagen, a freshly baked pie, decadent trifle or the perfectly flakey turnovers in peach and apple blackberry. There’s also a gluten-free cheesecake option. The store itself has plenty of cozy seating, and is always comfortably busy. Sit by the window with a specialty coffee drink and a piece of cheesecake for some excellent people-watching. — NM


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Since opening one year ago, Duft & Co. has gained a substantial following. With the popularity of its golden buttery croissants and homemade doughnuts, it’s the sort of place that has to close early because it’s sold out of everything by 4 p.m. Duft & Co. is no one-trick pony; its lunch menu fills up the downtown Abbotsford location on a daily basis, with soups, sandwiches and flatbread pizzas. They also offer artisan coffees made with their own flavourings. On top of all that, the people are genuinely nice (the owner works the front counter daily). Duft & Co. is Abbotsford’s own Parisian bakery — with much friendlier service. — NM


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Mitch Millers

I have never been disappointed with a meal at Mitch Miller’s; its salads are as good as its main courses, but what I keep coming back for is the breakfast. They make the best eggs Benedict, with perfectly soft poached eggs and creamy hollandaise made fresh in restaurant. One of the greatest features of the restaurant, though, is that most menu options (including the eggs Benedict) can be ordered gluten-free, making it a great dinner spot for those with allergies or dietary restrictions and preferences. I also often find myself appreciating the clever layout and ambience of the restaurant itself: the tables are arranged at different levels and divided in ways that take as much advantage of the space as possible without giving the room an overly crowded feel. — KS


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Sagano Sushi

Abbotsford is not lacking in sushi restaurants, but sadly most of them are a la carte. Sagano is a great all-you-can-eat option for those looking for a little more variety. The fish is always fresh, the service is quick and attentive, and the rolls are stuffed tightly with a good amount of rice. Lunch is cheaper than dinner by $10, but the menu changes slightly at dinnertime to allow you to order an unlimited amount of any special chef roll you like. You know, the ones that are normally $10? Have as many as you like. This is definitely the best all-you-can-eat sushi place in town. — AM


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Mission Springs

There is no brewpub to rival Mission Springs in the Valley. It’s an easy-access building, situated right on Highway 7. The décor is outstanding with its wooden siding and random assortment of paraphernalia. But really, it comes down to the food. The menu is very fairly priced and offers generous portions. Being a brewpub, they have unique and amazing hamburgers and sandwiches, as well as pizza and pastas. The appetizers are also to die for. It truly is hard to find another place that offers the quality of food that they offer. To top it off, you can also order any of the superb Mission Springs beers to accompany the delicious food. — JJ


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The Yellow Deli

The Yellow Deli is a wonderful place to grab a coffee or a simple bite to eat. With a homey atmosphere, home-cooked meals, and affordable prices, it’s a hit! Whether you’re there with a significant other or accompanied by textbooks and earphones; it’s a great place to be. The staff’s super friendly, and your coffee cup is always full. The food is great and affordable, and you can dine almost 24 / 7 (they are closed on Saturdays), so hey — need a coffee, sandwich, and a killer piece of cheesecake at 3 a.m.? You now know where to go! — JS


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Wendel’s

The fact that Wendel’s is located in pretty Fort Langley is one just one part of the charm. They also serve a damn good cup of coffee. Plus, half the shop is a little bookstore. While the pastry selection is varied, they aren’t the stars of the show. The wraps and sandwiches are made with gourmet ingredients like roasted garlic mayo, caramelized onions, brie or pepper jack cheese, quinoa, bean sprouts, and roasted meat. Try the wild salmon wrap with bean sprouts and quinoa. Sit down — you get free refills on coffee — and enjoy the friendly, peaceful atmosphere that comes in a little historic tourist town. — SM


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O’Neill’s Home Cooking

O’Neill’s is a long-time UFV favourite. We’ve watched it grow from a little sandwich shop run by Vern O’Neill to an expanded sandwich shop with several employees, but the classic sandwich remains as beloved as ever. With a delicious sweet potato bun and the melding of flavours in the ham, cheese, and egg, you’ll never taste a breakfast sandwich so good. O’Neill’s provides a great, colourful experience, and attracts Abbotsfordians from all walks of life. The walls have awesome local art, the owners are invested in what they’re doing, and hot damn — that sandwich. Eat in or take out. — SM


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Sumas Mountain Coffee

Sumas Mountain Coffee Company Inc. roasts all their own coffee in-store. The espresso is mellow and smooth, and the baristas are laid-back, experts of their craft. Every latte is topped with a beautiful design. The atmosphere is perfect for studying, meeting with friends, or curling up in one of the lounge chairs with a book. Possibly the best part about this place is the giant roaster in the back of the shop. The owner and baristas are often found fiddling dials, pulling levers and dumping giant bags of beans into it, filling the shop with a glorious aroma. — MH

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