8 Best Restaurants in Gastown, Vancouver

Ask For Luigi

$$$ Fodor's choice

Neighborhood residents queue before opening to secure one of the 30 seats in this cozy Italian bistro serving up house-made pasta and Prosecco on tap. Antipasti like burrata, fried cauliflower and—of course—meatballs, are served family style, so bring some friends for the best experience. It can take up to two hours to get a table, so plan to head elsewhere for drinks; the friendly staff (none of whom are named "Luigi") will text when your name hits the top of the wait list, or come for lunch if time is of the essence. Regardless of the hour, don't miss the house-bottled Spritz.

Calabash Bistro

$$ Fodor's choice

Located on the border of Chinatown and Gastown, Calabash Bistro is a laid-back Caribbean eatery known for their flavorful food, rum-forward drinks, and late-night weekend music. Appetizers include guacamole made with plantain chips, fried coconut dumplings, and jerk-marinated wings. Entrees include a variety of curries and rotis (chicken, fish, etc.) alongside slow-braised oxtail and jerk fried chicken.

428 Carrall St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 2J7, Canada
604-568--5882
Known For
  • DJs every Friday and Saturday night
  • rum flights
  • some of the best Caribbean food in the city
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed.

Nuba

$$$ Fodor's choice

You can make a meal of meze—appetizers like falafel, tabbouleh, or crispy cauliflower served with tahini—at this subterranean Lebanese restaurant. If you're looking for something heartier, the kitchen serves roast chicken, lamb kibbeh, and other meat dishes, but much of the menu is vegetarian-friendly. You'll also find Nuba locations in Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, and Yaletown.

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Jules

$$$$

From garlicky escargots and steak frites to duck confit, traditional French bistro fare is alive and well at this intimate Gastown spot. You won't find many funky fusion creations—just the classic dishes you might enjoy at a neighborhood bistro or wine bar in Paris. It's cozy (some might say cramped), but that's part of the charm.

216 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 2K8, Canada
604-669–0033
Known For
  • classic French dishes
  • wine selection
  • cozy room
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

L'Abattoir

$$$$

On the site of Vancouver's first jail, this two-level restaurant with exposed brick walls and classic black-and-white floor tiles has a bold collection of cocktails and an intriguing modern menu. From the restaurant's name—French for "slaughterhouse" (the surrounding neighborhood was once a meatpacking district)—you'd expect a meat-focused menu. And although you'll find veal sweetbreads on toast, seafood shines as well in dishes like the grilled lobster tail or baked Pacific oysters with Burgundy truffle. Before plotting your escape into the night, dally over the mille-feuille or the chia spice-infused rice pudding.

217 Carrall St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 2J2, Canada
604-568–1701
Known For
  • creative cocktails
  • modern meat dishes
  • tempting desserts
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

Meat & Bread

$$

At this trendy sandwich shop, you simply wait in line (there's almost always a queue), and choose from the short daily menu of five sandwiches. The rich and crispy house-made porcetta (Italian-style roast pork) with salsa verde on a freshly baked ciabatta bun is a must-try. Who knew simplicity could taste so good? There are now four Vancouver locations to choose from; all close at 3 pm.

370 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 2N3, Canada
604-566–9003
Known For
  • house-made porchetta
  • friendly staff
  • hearty soups
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner, Reservations not accepted

Monarca Cocina Mexicana

$$$$

Run by chef Francisco Higareda, this modern and stylish Mexican restaurant in the heart of Gastown is serving up everything from ahi tuna tostadas to chicken enchiladas to prawn tacos and more. A must-try is the eatery's signature Monarca margarita, complete with tequila, Curaçao, Valencia orange, and lime.

Pidgin

$$$$

The menu in this glossy white space draws inspiration from Asia for inventive sharing plates. From the ever-changing menu, you might choose chicken wings with gochujung and tosazu pickle daikon, a foie-gras rice bowl with chestnuts, daikon, and a unagi glaze, or the Korean rice cake with gochujang bolognese, and spiced hazelnut. Sake or one of the house-made cocktails stand up well to the bold food flavors.