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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February 21, 2018

Great meal and service! Would definitely come back on my next visit to Vancouver.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 18, 2018

My husband and I went for a romantic dinner at the Water Street Cafe. The food was wonderful and deliciou, and Madeline was an amazing server! She was attentive, friendly, and professional. We will be definitely be making this one of our regular dining spots.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 18, 2018

The crab cakes eggs benny was delicious! It is such a beautiful spot for a Saturday brunch.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 15, 2018

The server was top notch. Very romantic setting and the food was great. Our favourite place to have dinner

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 16, 2018

The staff are so friendly and nice. I really like all of them were carrying a BIG SMILE. A very good customer service. Nice atmosphere with view in Gastown. Food were good too. Good for Business, couple or friends gathering.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

February 14, 2018

Main meal Portions could have been a little larger

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 12, 2018

The food and the service was exceptional.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 11, 2018

We were out to celebrating 2 birthdays, and reserved a table for 8. The night before our dinner, I received a call from the manager, who offered me the private room upstairs for our party. Our room was spacious, private, with a great view of Gastown. Our server was attentive and personable. There was a significant amount of time between our appetizers and our main course, which was our only complaint, and why we gave the service 4/5 stars. Would definitely come back!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

February 11, 2018

Trrrific dinner!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 9, 2018

My favorite restaurant in all of Vancouver!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 6, 2018

It was very nice!!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

February 4, 2018

Great lunch at Water St. Cafe as part of the Dine Out Festival. Excellent choice of Starters, Entrees and Dessert. The service was top class, always asking how we were doing and proactively coming to fill the glasses of water. The food was top quality, excellent leek and potato soup for starter (good consistency, and taste), great sockeye salmon for entree with vegetables and one of the freshest Tiramisu I've ever eating for dessert. Would return for brunch as it looked excellent (glanced at the tables next to ours). Keep up the quality and the service up!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 31, 2018

Great ambiance; food was very good; server was attentive. I’d happily go there again.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 31, 2018

The service is super slow. The food is awful. Disappointed

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 2/5

January 29, 2018

Great location, atmosphere and service. Food was very middle of the road. Nothing that made us excited to come back for. Parsnip and leek soup was sweet and needed much more seasoning. The olive oil on top was overpowering. Desserts were really nice. Mains were meh.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

January 28, 2018

Great atmosphere, great service. Enjoyed our night !!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

January 29, 2018

The service was top notch! I had the frittata which was a little dry and the potatoes a bit salty, but not so bad that I would complained about it. It just wasn't for me. Everyone else enjoyed their meals very much. I will definitely go back again!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

December 30, 2017

The owner of the restaurant emailed me shortly after the time of booking to confirm menu and drink options in order to prepare for a wonderful night...and it was a delightful night! Server was professional and accommodating. Definitely recommend!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

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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