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Dating all the way back to 1867, Gastown is the original settlement that Vancouver was built around, named after Captain John “Gassy Jack,” who first established business in the area. Others followed suit, and before you know it, Gastown had been designated as a National Historic Site.
Today, Gastown is a must-visit and one of the most popular tourist destinations for a good reason – heritage buildings and cobblestone streets meet modern boutiques and restaurants that span 12 blocks in the heart of Vancouver. As a Vancouver local, Gastown is an area I take everyone who visits me, and none are disappointed.
And one of the best parts about Gastown? All of the amazing Vancouver restaurants, of course!
Every corner of this neighborhood is picture-worthy, and so are all of the diverse food you’ll find! Of course, planning where to eat in Gastown is a major priority, and we wanted our list to be as diverse as the city itself.
Keep scrolling to read about what we found as we share our picks for the 10 Best Restaurants in Gastown!
The BEST Restaurants in Gastown
1. Momo Sushi
- Location: 6-375 Water Street
- Type of food: Sushi/Japanese
- Average cost per meal: $18.50 CAD
- Why we love it: Top-notch sushi at a great price
If you’re near the historic Gastown Steam Clock, you might want to do yourself a favor and visit nearby Momo Sushi. A popular stop, this small restaurant keeps decor clean and simple while serving some seriously good food! Plus, you can’t visit Vancouver and not eat sushi…it’s one of the best things to do in Vancouver!
We first visited this popular sushi spot on our Vancouver food tour. We’ve since revisited many times. My best advice is to visit after the lunch rush to avoid having to wait too long for a table – this place is popular! The menu here has loads of the usual options – rolls, nigiri, sashimi, noodles, Udon, and even a few Korean dishes.
I zeroed in on the rolls while Dan eyed up the bento box section, and our order was quick and arrived not much longer after we ordered. I was feeling some flavor, so I ordered the spicy combo – one spicy tuna and a spicy scallop roll, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried.
Dan’s Bento Box “B” was a variety of mouthwatering items, and he gave the California Roll a big nod of approval. Everything we ate was so fresh and filling, and not to mention really affordable. Lunch for under 20 bucks in this area is a big win, especially one with such fresh fish and generous portions!
Peep their menu and add them to your must-visit list.
2. Tacofino Taco Bar
- Location: 15 W Cordova Street
- Type of food: Mexican
- Average cost per meal: $10 CAD
- Why we love it: Authentic Tacos & So-Cal vibes
Calling all taco lovers! Followers of this blog will know that we’ve had our fair share of tacos in Mexico, and we weren’t about to pass up this highly recommended Gastown food stop.
Tacofino Taco Bar shares a building with their popular Burrito Bar, but the entrance is around the corner in Blood Alley – a neon taco sign will guide you!
I love the SoCal-inspired design here – the patio is breezy retro with bricks and breezeblocks (the perfect place to sit if you’re visiting Vancouver in the summer), and the trend continues inside with bold geometric patterns and light colors. We ended up here during their daily happy hour between 3 to 6 pm and tried the Jalapeno margaritas made with Jalapeno infused Tequila – refreshing with a spicy kick!
On the food side, I went for Tortilla soup (a fave of mine) and the Pork Al Pastor taco topped with the perfect flavor combo of juicy pineapple, pickled onion, and cilantro. Dan had that as well but also ventured to the veggie side and got the Crispy Oyster Mushroom taco with kimchi – so much flavor and crispy, crunchy texture in every bite.
Click here to see what they have going on, and make sure you check the drink specials – one for almost every day of the week!
Related Read: A Mexican restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Whistler – a mountain town nearby and well worth checking out.
3. Twisted Fork
- Location: 213 Carrall Street
- Type of food: Brunch
- Average cost per meal: $23.50 CAD
- Why we love it: Filling brunch from a short & sweet menu
There are lots of things we really loved about Twisted Fork but at the top of the list? The short and simple menu. I know, I know – variety is the spice of life, but there’s also something about a simple list of equally-priced, delicious brunch items.
There wasn’t space for us on the patio when we last visited, but we happily sat inside – exposed brick, wooden decor, and great views thanks to their big windows. We ordered a couple of Mimosas (a Brunch staple!) and decided on something sweet and something savory. I went for the banana stuffed brioche French Toast – definitely some of the best I’ve had! Dan enjoyed his eggplant Shakshuka, and I stole a bite to confirm it was delicious and had the softest house-made pita for sopping up all the rich, flavorful sauce.
On top of the food, their coffee is delicious and comes to your table fresh in a French press!
We left here feeling satisfied and ready for a post-meal stroll to check out some more of historic Gastown.
Twisted Fork serves brunch daily between 8 am-3 pm, with Happy Hour following from 3-6 pm. It’s worth noting that they don’t take reservations. You can check out the menu here!
4. Brioche Urban Eatery
- Location: 117 Water Street
- Type of food: Italian-inspired
- Average cost per meal: $21 CAD
- Why we love it: Rustic café with options for all budgets
A Gastown staple since 2003, Brioche brings a little bit of Sicilian culture and cooking into the neighborhood. Simple, rustic decor makes for a casual dining experience, with big windows looking onto famous Water Street.
Though they also serve up drool-worthy breakfast items like Pesto Eggs on Toast, we were feeling for a hearty lunch. We took others’ advice and headed there a little before the midday lunch rush and were glad we did!
I didn’t have to look too far down the menu -there’s no way I was gonna pass up house-made Gnocchi! They offer a few sauces and I chose Pesto Cream which was fresh and flavorful, and the portion was generous. Dan opted for a lighter lunch with the Prosciutto, Tomato & Bocconcini Panini – a classic combo you can’t go wrong with. You can get paninis here on a regular baguette or Sourdough, which was new to us and added some extra flavor – I’d recommend trying it out!
If you’re looking for a Gastown food stop with lighter fare, Brioche also offers daily pizza slices, fresh quiche, and pastries. Click here to browse all their dishes!
5. Black Frog Eatery
- Location: 108 Cambie St.
- Type of food: Pub food
- Average cost per meal: $15 CAD
- Why we love it: Comfort food & daily drink deals. Their burgers are also delish!
A few steps away from the famous Steam Clock, you’ll find one of the best restaurants in Gastown for pub food: Black Frog Eatery. Decorated with sports paraphernalia and big-screen TVs, it’s an excellent spot for a casual, comforting meal and an ice-cold brew.
We ended up here mid-week, a little tired and definitely needing a pick me up and a good chow down. Black Frog serves various dishes, from pub food to healthier selections, but we came here hungry for one thing: a big, juicy burger. And that’s exactly what we got!
Dan got the trusty classic beef burger, and I went all out with the Moon Burger, topped with melted brie and caramelized onions. Both came with a sun-dried tomato mayo, which was yummy and I thought was a nice switch-up from the regular mayo. Our burgers were juicy and well-seasoned, and the only thing that made them better was washing them down with a cold one.
6. Di Beppe Restaurant
- Location: 8 W Cordova St.
- Type of food: Italian
- Average cost per meal: $25 CAD
- Why we love it: Classic, authentic Italian
We stumbled upon Di Beppe while searching for coffee and wound up enjoying espresso and views from their bright front room. We did a little menu-peeking and decided to come back the same day for dinner – because why not?!
Their description as “a young Italian restaurant with an old Italian soul” is right on the money – a bright, cheery modern space with a no-fuss, classic Italian menu. Although I usually go right for some pasta, we decided to share antipasti and pizza for a change (with some glasses of wine, of course!).
We started with some Sourdough bread and olive oil, then onto Beef Carpaccio with crispy garlic and mustard aioli. That was an out-of-this-world flavor combo! Our pizza was equally impressive – rectangular with perfectly bubbled-up crust, a little crunchy but not so thin that you’re left hungry. We opted for the large fennel sausage, onion, provolone & rosemary pizza, which was the perfect salty, herby, cheesy trifecta.
Definitely one of the best restaurants in Gastown for classic Italian; they’re open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner (and morning coffee, too!). Start planning your meal by checking out their menu – and don’t forget to check out their Aperitivo Hour from 3-6 pm daily.
7. Catch 122
- Location: 122 W Hastings St.
- Type of food: Brunch
- Average cost per meal: $19 CAD
- Why we love it: Inventive, delicious brunch dishes
Great brunch in a cute cafe with a literary referenced name? Sign me right up! Trendy Vancouver vibes echo through Catch 122 with exposed brick, simple chairs, wooden tables, and warm lighting. Spacious and bright, it makes for a nice spot for a Sunday brunch date with a friend or two.
This is not your run-of-the-mill brunch, though! We went for the sweet treats here, and I ordered their Tres Leches Dutch Baby Baked Pancake – served up so beautifully I almost didn’t want to touch it. The mix of tres leches, dulce de leche, tart berries, and crunchy candied almonds was amazing. Dan went for the even more interesting Cornflakes Crusted Hazelnut Babka French Toast, which knocked it out of the park with many different textures and flavors. The drinks are equally awesome, with delicious lattes, cocktails, organic juices, and wine and beer options.
This was not just one of my favorite Gastown restaurants, but maybe even one of my most memorable brunch experiences. Their menu is available here, give it a read and make a reservation while you’re at it!
8. Rodney’s Oyster House
- Location: 52 Powell Street
- Type of food: Seafood
- Average cost per meal: $27 CAD
- Why we love it: Freshly shucked oysters
We couldn’t make a whole food list in a Vancouver neighborhood and not mention seafood! Rodney’s is the place to go if you’re in Gastown and craving famous, fresh West Coast seafood. It’s also the perfect romantic restaurant for couples or those visiting Vancouver on a honeymoon.
The dining room here is open and welcoming with a kind of casual, coastal feel and little nautical touches. They serve up a variety of seafood, but we felt we first had to do the name justice and dive into oysters, starting with the highly-recommended Pan Friend Oysters. Freshly shucked with a light breading and homemade tartar sauce, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular dish.
For mains, we tested out their Lobster Poutine with tender Atlantic lobster, fresh gravy, and squeaky cheese curds – a definite winner! The New England Clam Chowder also gets praise for its flavor and richness and for warming me up on a slightly damp/rainy Vancouver day.
While you’re there, add their signature caesar, cleverly named Zydeco Stew, to your order. You’ll thank us later!
Take a peek at their full food and drinks menu here.
9. MeeT in Gastown
- Location: Inner Courtyard, 12 Water St.
- Type of food: Vegan
- Average cost per meal: $18 CAD
- Why we love it: Creative, delicious Vegan food
We’ve visited a few MeeT locations, and we’re always impressed by their creative, delicious meals. Tucked away in a courtyard off Water Street, we snagged a seat in the outdoor dining area, but there’s also cozy indoor seating if you prefer.
We ordered their house-made pineapple peach soda and started off with their vegan cheese dip, which was so creamy and paired perfectly with fresh, warm tortilla chips. I opted for the Taco Salad as a main, which was crunchy, fresh, and delicious with a creamy guacamole dressing, pico de gallo, and sour cream.
Dan was a little skeptical about cashew cheez sauce but took a gamble on the Mac n’ Cheez bowl – which he loved! I taste-tested this too and was also surprised at the creamy, cheesy consistency that I’m sure would woo any dairy-lovers. We also ordered the cauliflower bites just to try, and wow, these are something to rave about!
Definitely one of the top Vegan Gastown food stops; they also have happy hour specials and a great brunch – check out the menu!
10. Meat & Bread
- Location: 370 Cambie St.
- Type of food: Sandwiches
- Average cost per meal: $12 CAD
- Why we love it: Straight-to-the-point sandwich joint
This is a place I could see myself going back to again and again because they adhere to a simple rule: do one thing and do it well! The crew a Meat & Bread takes sandwiches to the next level with fresh, quality ingredients. They have their menu down to a minimalist dream with just 5 sandwich options, a few sides, and even fewer drinks.
I quickly decided to get the Beef Cheesesteak with cheddar sauce and garlic aioli – fluffy bread with the perfect crunch, tender meat, and delicious cheesy goodness. Dan went for the Porchetta with crackling and a fresh Salsa Verde – relatively simple ingredients but bursting with flavor.
Each sandwich is served on a wooden plank with a perfectly sized dollop of sauce for dipping – no frills or fancy garnishes here.
Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver
Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So while you’re here, be sure not to miss some of the top attractions and activities:
- Whale Watching – Without a doubt, one of the most popular tours in Vancouver is whale watching. Set off from the city on a half-day on the ocean looking for whales. If you’re lucky, you might even see Orcas (also known as Killer Whales.) This whale-watching tour is a ton of fun, and at only about $200 CAD it is good value too!
- Hiking – There are a ton of amazing hikes in and around Vancouver. Challenge yourself with the famous Grouse Grind, wander the trails near the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, or even drive towards Squamish and do The Chief.
- Ride in a Seaplane – One of our favorite memories in Vancouver was riding in a seaplane. Taking off and landing on the ocean is super exciting, and then the views from the air are breathtaking. This seaplane ride lasts for 20 minutes and costs $160 CAD. It departs and returns to Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver. The best part is that seaplane tours in Vancouver operate all year round, so even if you’re visiting Vancouver in the winter you can take to the sky!
- Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.
Thanks for reading!
There you have it – the absolute best restaurants in Gastown for all occasions and tastebuds! Eating at any of the above restaurants is sure to impress – enjoy!
If you found this blog helpful, be sure to check out our other blogs about Canada’s West Coast including a few related reads below: