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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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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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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

May 8, 2018

Very disappointing. Food was great - once it arrived. Having told the staff we had to be at the theatre (but had left more than enough time for a relaxed dinner), our food order was apparently not entered. We asked three times what was happening with our meal as we watched those who had ordered after us enjoying their meals, and our food eventually arrived with us having only 10 minutes to eat it. Staff were a little apologetic but not particularly, and did nothing to make it up to us. We have eaten at Water St Café many times, but will certainly think twice about going there again.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 1/5

May 7, 2018

The restaurant was busy which made it a bit noisy to have an effective business meeting.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 7, 2018

Wether you’re visiting from out of town or a regular in gastown, the water street cafe is a must do. The food is delicious and the service amazing! The only thing better is the wine list..lots of great choices!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 5, 2018

Lovely relaxed dinner. Excellent service. We loved the antipasto platter as a starter.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 6, 2018

vongole was excellent

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 6, 2018

Friendly and fast service!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

May 4, 2018

All in all, a good experience.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

May 1, 2018

We booked the Water St. Cafe for our small (11 person) wedding. It was an absolutely wonderful evening, and that was completely due to the amazing facilities, the delicious food, and the excellent servers in the restaurant. Eli, especially, was incredibly accommodating leading up to, and the day of, the wedding. I highly recommend the Water St. Cafe for anyone looking to have a small event of any kind.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 29, 2018

Well worth the value. They accommodated our group of 17 people with a nice private room. Excellent service and food. Definitely will return for other functions.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 29, 2018

Best scones I have ever had!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 22, 2018

wonderful atmosphere in the heart of Gastown. Service was on point with wonderful recommendations and attention to friends who had food sensitivities.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

April 18, 2018

Love this place!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 18, 2018

My lamb came rare, but they took it back and cooked it perfectly the second time.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

April 16, 2018

Dinner Saturday April 14, 2018 - 6:00 pm reservation through OpenTable. Our server was forgetful and the food was far less that the price they post on the menu. I would not return to this restaurant when there are so many great restaurants in the city. I had the pappardelle pasta seafood special and the food had a overbearing fishy taste. They had a very limited selection of drought beer on tap.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 1/5

April 15, 2018

WOW!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 6, 2018

Still my favourite Resturant in Vancouver. Comfortable and warm, friendly staff and wonderful cuisine.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 4, 2018

Great time

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

April 4, 2018

Crab cakes were amazing but the salmon was a bit dry.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 25, 2018

Great food, great location , great service. One of my favourites in Vancouver

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 20, 2018

Lovely and lively place. Excellent service. Caesar salad was average, Vongole pasta was perfection.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 18, 2018

Great service. Excellent food. Wonderful atmosphere. Loved it.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 18, 2018

Crab cakes need just a little more taste profile and less empahaisis on the deep fried exterior. Rack of lamb was excellent meat but cooked past a medium when we requested medium rare. Still tasty.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 14, 2018

I love the atmosphere and you can hear your conversations. Service was great and food delicious. Highly recommend the Water Street Cafe.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 11, 2018

Warm, friendly service and great food. Hi

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 12, 2018

Service outstanding and all the good was excellent. Busy and vibrant but not too loud.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

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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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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