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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."

Read the story of Water St Cafe

Ratings & Reviews - Water St Cafe

How would you rate this business?
  • Atmosphere: 5/5
  • Food: 4.8/5
  • Service: 5/5
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Heid2815
By

Visited as a guest in this awesome place and restaurant for lunch just today. I enjoyed good food and a delicious wine. Must try!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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adri1277
By

We just visited with my infant daughter and parents in law. I love this restaurant. Our server Clint had loads of personality and was an absolute riot. He had us laughing and had a personable yet professional style. The bread is a favourite. I had the carrot ginger soup, shared the crab cakes and don’t normally eat pork belly (but heard their sandwich was awesome) and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The red lettuce and apple paired with it perfectly. Utterly delicious! I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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elvi1772
By

The atmosphere is warm and friendly. The service is tentative and amazing. Water Street Cafe has a wide variety of choices from appetizers to main dishes and an entree. Reasonable prices and food that melts in your mouth. Their tomato soup is to die for.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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deni8732
By

We went for dinner on Nov.17th and it was excellent. The staff were great right from the beginning and made our dining experience worth every penny. Love the location right in the middle of Gastown and the ambiance is very warm and cozy. The menu has something for everyone and save room for desert!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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kaitpineau
By

I loved my experience at the Water Street Café. It was the perfect warm and romantic spot to grab a delicious meal. The staff are friendly and provide great service right from the moment you walk in the front door. I've enjoyed my meal every time I've been, but their gnocchi is my favourite!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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griffinguy
By

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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July 16, 2018

Great food. Great service. Very timely. A nice memory was made.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

July 9, 2018

This restaurant has to be on your list to stop by for dinner

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 9, 2018

Amazing food and atmosphere. My only complaint was our server forgot to bring bread over.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

July 2, 2018

Great meal and glad we followed up on the recommendation

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 1, 2018

Service was top notch. Food was a bit lacklustre compared to my last visit ... crab cakes were a bit sad ...

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

July 1, 2018

Appetizers took almost an hour too be served; Dinner was over an hour wait after the appetizers were served; When dinner was finally served ithe food was very disappointing for what they charge for an entree. You would think they would at least comp our appetizers or dessert for the ridiculous wait. Will not be returning and/or recommend!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 1/5

Service: 2/5

June 30, 2018

This is the 2nd time we have had a group meeting in the upstairs private room, and will certainly return. The service was friendly and efficient. The food very good.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

July 1, 2018

Came here for the special crab fest menu. The Crab Benny was a classic with super fresh dungeness crab meat, perfectly poached eggs and delicious hollandaise sauce. The Surf and Surf featured half of a crab and moist tender halibut. Best views of Gastown and the steam clock was right outside. Overall an incredible brunch experience. Would come back here soon.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 24, 2018

Great friendly service. Excellent menu. Waiter was excellent

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 22, 2018

Delicious food, great ambiance and excellent service. And how about that wonderful view of the steam clock in Gastown? An absolute must if your in Downtown Vancouver!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 21, 2018

great

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 18, 2018

I have been to the water street cafe many times before as I really love the food, location and atmosphere. I brought my fiancee and a group of friends for a dinner here on a Friday night. The service was great as usual, we had a reservation and were seated in our table pretty much right away. Our waitress was very attentive and even brought my fiancee a birthday dessert on the house. The only thing is I feel like their menu has changed slightly and the food taste/quality was not nearly as good as it used to be. The food was decent, but not excellent in comparison to previous times. Hope this was just a one off and will try going there again.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

June 17, 2018

We had a wonderful engagement party. The food and service was impeccable.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 16, 2018

Food was amazing!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 13, 2018

Awesome from start to finish. The halibut lunch special was to die for

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

June 7, 2018

I am not happy and disappointed with the service because our waiter. We came on time for our booking and the restaurant was not full. He was not accommodating. We want the table near the famous clock and there was 3 vacant. He insisted that we can not have it since, there was just two of us. The tables he said is for 4 people seating. I told him I can get 4 main course order and just have the other food to go. It was a special occasion because I was having a dinner with my future mother-in-law. I have booked prior for a good table with my reservation. He declined it right away. In the middle of dinner, they sat only 2 people on those tables I wanted. We were seated in a small table that was not fully stable at all. The waiter put a block to stabilize it when I complained. The waiter was not friendly the whole evening we were there. We waited quite long for our food and the couple that came after us (that was seated on the table we wanted) have their main course ahead of us. Their halibut special was overcooked and slightly burned. It was not really a good experience. The manager/owner tried to make it up by giving us a free drink for our next visit, but honestly I do not think I will go back there at all. My would be mother-in-law liked their service before from all her previous visits...(that is why we went there)..but she did say that the service we encountered was so different than what she remembered. They should hire and train better staffs that will make this restaurant, live up to the name they are famous for. To those who are looking for a great place to dine for a special occasion, maybe think twice...of going here

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 1/5

June 8, 2018

Our server Chad was great! We did our annual office lunch outing at Water St. Café and everything was perfect! The service, food and atmosphere all were all outstanding for our group of 15, leaving everyone full and satisfied. Making the reservation was easy and accommodating. We will definitely be back for our next group event.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 6, 2018

Kendell was an awesome server, so welcoming, so adept at giving us attentive service while also honoring the need of our group for privacy as we engaged in an intense discussion with a guest speaker. Five gold stars for Kendell!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 5, 2018

I brought my team of seven to the Water Street Cafe for dinner and we had a SPECTACULAR evening! The food was incredible - we did a full three course dinner with wine and everyone loved it. The server was attentive, helpful and friendly. Plus his recommendation of the ribs was perfect! It's also in a wonderful location in the heart of Gastown with huge windows looking out onto Water Street. A well deserved five stars on all counts.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 4, 2018

We've lived in Vancouver for many years and have also been in the industry ourselves, and this was our first time dining at Water St. Cafe. We were very pleased with the atmosphere, service and food. Though they were quite busy and the service (very friendly) began a bit slower than it likely normally is, the owner made up for it by ensuring we were well taken care of throughout our evening. The menu offers versatility in selections, so regardless of your dietary restraints or preferences, you will be able to enjoy a delicious meal! Our server also went out of her way to offer helpful suggestions that enhanced our meal. With a view of the steam clock and located right in the heart of beloved Gastown, new visitors and long-time Vancouver residents will enjoy the experience. The only suggestion we'd make is possibly thinking about building restrooms downstairs. Thank you for a lovely evening. ~The Tazzman's

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 31, 2018

We really enjoyed your appetizer specials.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

May 28, 2018

You shouldn’t be able to hear music over the conversation and more importantly it shouldn’t be music you can sing to. Maybe some avant garde jazz!? Otherwise the service was great and the food was good.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

May 27, 2018

Thank you for making it a great night . It was a father daughter date . She tured 18. And she remembered a meal she had years back at your restaurant. Salmon with a dill sauce . The waiter made it happen as it was no longer on the menu! Appreciated. Visiting from Winnipeg

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 28, 2018

Excellent from my first contact with the restaurant , (requesting a certain table), to the welcome at the door and the great food. Always a favourite. Friendly service . All excellent

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 27, 2018

Music too loud and not quite right for atmosphere

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 4/5

May 22, 2018

Went to Water St. Cafe for date night this past weekend and the husband and I had an amazing time! Loved the atmosphere of the restaurant ... reminded me alot like a cafe in Paris. We had the perfect table in a quiet corner of the restaurant with a perfect view of the Gastown Steam Clock directly across the street. The service was exceptional ! We ordered a wide array of dishes and each and everyone was delicious and unique in it's own way. I recommend the Grilled Salmon and Grilled Chicken mains. I would definitely recommend checking out Water St. Cafe for your next date night! Thanks for a great dining experience <3

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 14, 2018

Our sever was fabulous! Everything was perfect! Thanks, Helga Murray

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 15, 2018

Awesome, thanks

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

May 12, 2018

We all enjoy d our appetizers and mains. The food was super fresh and tasty. Our server was friendly, and efficient. Will definitely come back! Thank you

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 10, 2018

It was a good experience, food was good but not amazing. We were seated at a fairly small table which did not have enough room for our food and wine. Would come again if I was in the neighbourhood.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

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Appears in 3 Smart Lists

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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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