Cozy comfort food restaurants in Gastown

Your shoes have been permanently wet for weeks, you’ve just lost your iPhone to a puddle, been splashed by a truck while running for the bus, and can’t remember the last time you saw blue sky (was the sky ever blue?). It can be tough to beat the winter blues in Vancouver, but you can find some warmth, an open seat, a welcoming bar and some of the city's best comfort food in Gastown. [Photo courtesy of Six Acres]

Tuc Craft Kitchen

1
60 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C9

The kitchen at Tuc delivers comfort not in spades, but by the shovelful. You can’t go wrong with the long list of meat heavy dishes here: think tender ribs, pork belly crackling, crispy eggs and bacon wrapped and fried in a tempura batter. Pair with a whiskey drink and the rainy weather outside will seem like a distant memory.

The Flying Pig

2
102 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2

With a name like The Flying Pig, it’s obvious from the get-go that you’re about to be treated to some calorific comfort foods. Here you’ll find creamy bone marrow, crispy Brussels sprouts, short rib mac and cheese, and pulled pork poutine. Portions are ample, so show up hungry! For a quick bite, visit during their Appie Hour everyday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, when many of their mains are available in a personal portion for about five bucks (and house wine is only $4!).

L'Abattoir

3
217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

While some still hold true to the adage that the French don’t get fat, that won’t stop the chefs here from dishing out hearty portions in an attempt to pack a couple pounds on to you. Serving up some of the city’s best French cuisine, L’Abbatoir offers shelter from the hustle and bustle of Gastown with a delectable cocktail list (my personal favourite is the avocado gin gimlet) and a seasonal menu that never disappoints. The bread basket alone will have your mouth watering, but save room for duck confit, steak, crab, baked oysters and much more.

Meat & Bread

4
1033 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6E 2M6

If you somehow still haven’t checked out Gastown’s Meat & Bread, do yourself a favour and make a beeline there the next day it rains – today even! The Porchetta is THE sandwich in the neighbourhood, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This signature Sammy delivers a decadent portion of pork belly including mouth watering crispy skin bits with salsa verde to cut the fat and a thick, chewy bun (plus a dollop of mustard on the side). Just go.

Six Acres

5
203 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

Six Acres sits perched on Gastown’s most picturesque corner, where Water, Alexander, Powell and Carrall streets meet. Head past the statue of Gassy Jack out front, and you’ll be greeted by the bar’s cozy, offbeat charm. Here you can pair house fries with cold micro brews, poutine with whiskey on the rocks, and beef or veggie sliders with any cocktail your heart desires. But of all the comforting foods Six Acres serves, the melted cheese Gorgonzola hot pot is the winner, hands down. What can go wrong with melted cheese, after all?

Nuba Gastown

6
207 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7

The best thing about digging in to the comfort foods at Nuba is that you are simultaneously allowed to feel healthy while doing so. The Lebanese inspired cuisine here is vegetable forward, with Najib’s special (blackened, crispy cauliflower tossed in salt and lemon) as the must-have item on the menu. Follow it up with a warm bowl of red lentil soup, the mujadra (stewed lentils with crispy onion bits on top), house-made falafel (served with tahini, a fresh green hot sauce, avocado and pickled cabbage) and let the warm fuzzies sink in.

The Irish Heather

7
210 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1

Grab a group of friends and head for the epic long table at the Irish Heather on a cold, wintry night. This (obviously) Irish pub serves up classic pub food to wash down with pints of (obviously) Guinness, poured perfectly, every time. You have your choice of the classics: crispy fish and chips, bangers and mash, or the Holy Grail: Guinness Pot Pie. A round of whiskey shots for the whole gang is another sure-fire way to beat the blues this winter.

Much in the same way that movie theatres and the scent of buttery popcorn can never be separated, hot dogs have a distinctly nostalgic element. These savoury snacks bring up memories of Little League games and beans-and-weinies at home. Thankfully there are more and more places in Vancouver serving the humble hot dog in a variety of grown-up flavours and styles. [Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
Locals and tourists alike love Gastown, and for good reason. This neighbourhood has the Old World charm of Montreal, and is chock full of independent retailers, bars and restaurants. Enjoying the neighbourhood can come, however, with a hefty price tag. So for those looking for a quick post-work pint, or a steal of a deal while out on pub crawl with friends, check out these Happy Hour specials! [Image courtesy of Six Acres]
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