Meet the owner

Located in the Gastown stone-clad heritage building, the Edward Hotel, Water Street Café has been featured in movies, television shows and numerous dining guides. "We've been here since 1988," says owner Dom Sabatino. "So we're no flash-in-the-pan affair. The restaurant business is all about consistency, value and quality." The iconic view of the Gastown steam clock, which can be seen from the restaurant, adds to the allure.

"We offer what we like to call an upscale, casual ambience," says Dom. "We're very much a traditional kitchen in that we make all our own breads, desserts, demi-glace sauce and so on, on site. Our pasta sauces, for example, are made by reduction. There are no artificial additives or thickening agents. You don't find that in too many places in Vancouver."

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Ratings & Reviews - Water St Cafe

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  • Atmosphere: 5/5
  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5

Perfect Little Gastown Restaurant

I hit the Water Street Cafe recently for a business dinner and remembered what a great little spot it is. With straightforward simple decor the Water Street Cafe mostly lets the large plate glass windows speak for themselves. With a lovely view of the streeet-scape in Gastown you feel like you are in a cafe in a city much older than Vancouver. The food is always good and I tried the beef carpaccio for the first time in my life and based on the excellent experience I had I will definitely try that dish again...very tasty! I had the tuna nicoise for my main and that was also very good. They have a wide and varied menu and seem to offer something for everyone. Can't wait for my next trip to the Water Street Cafe!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Appears in 3 Smart Lists

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The high ceilings and large windows of this café make for a bright and casual atmosphere. In the summer, the sidewalk patio is ideal for people watching and enjoying the true flavour of Gastown.

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Located in the heart of Gastown, this beautiful restaurant is an iconic Vancouver dining destination that nearly always requires a reservation. I was lucky enough to try out Water Street Café spontaneously last winter when I simply ducked inside to escape the cold and managed to score a seat – no reservation! Since then I haven’t been so fortunate, but Water Street Café has remained as one of my favourite spots for a romantic and yummy meal. Menu options range from Italian inspired pastas to sumptuous seafood dishes and meaty mains.

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This Gastown institution has been going strong despite the increasing gentrification of the neighbourhood in recent years. It could be thanks to its fresh and predictably lovely European-inspired West Coast fare, but it may be equally due to its outdoor patio, rounding Water Street and stretching up Cambie. You can’t help but feel transported to a charming French or Italian town as you dine al fresco with white tablecloths, housemade focaccia and a perfectly chilled glass of Pinot Gris. Its staying power is undeniable.

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