Vancouver’s all about the scenery, and you see it everywhere you turn. Fine dining restaurants capitalize on this fantastic city with impressive water and mountain views—and charge a premium for it. But it is possible to enjoy Vancouver’s natural landscape over a relaxed meal without maxing your credit card. Here, 11 of our top picks for casual restaurants with a view in Vancouver.
See the list of 11 best casual restaurants with a view in Vancouver »
The iconic yellow building alone makes for a worthy photo-op, nestled between the Burrard and Granville Bridges on busy Granville Island. This restaurant with a view has great sightlines to downtown Vancouver and the Coast Mountains from both the patio and the downstairs bistro. A menu of gastropub bites and casual mains includes a rather tasty smoked salmon pizza that we recommend. Head upstairs to the chandelier-clad dining room for more upscale tapas-style dishes.
Bridges, 1696 Duranleau St., 604-687-4400, bridgesrestaurant.com
Cactus Club Café (English Bay)
This chain of restaurants is now the king of casual cool in Vancouver, with a revitalized menu courtesy of Iron Chef America winner and local celebrity Rob Feenie (think duck clubhouse sandwich). Locations throughout Metro Vancouver are no match for this brand new addition, which secured the best restaurant spot of all: shore-side on English Bay Beach with breathtaking views.
Cactus Club Café, 1790 Beach Ave., 604-681-2582, cactusclub.com
Steamworks Brewing Co.
The granddaddy of Vancouver restaurant-pubs, this massive multi-level spot brews its own beer on-site and offers cool comfort food. Try the heated patio or comfy lounge chairs near the oversized windows, both with great views of the Burrard Inlet and the mountains.
Steamworks Brewing Co., 375 Water St., 604-689-2739, steamworks.com
Cardero’s Restaurant Marine Pub
Seafood steals the show at this waterfront surf ‘n’ turf spot in Coal Harbour. Whether it’s a steaming bucket of mussels and fries in the Live Bait Marine Pub, or a shrimp wok in the casual restaurant, selections from the sea make the perfect pairing for a local brew. This Vancouver restaurant with a view is perfectly positions to offer unbeatable vistas of Stanley Park, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains.
Cardero’s Restaurant Marine Pub, 1583 Coal Harbour Quay, 604-669-7666, www.vancouverdine.com/carderos
Mahony & Sons Public House (Burrard Landing)
Enjoy the food of the Emerald Isle (try the Irish sausage bangers ‘n’ mash) on picturesque Burrard Inlet, backed by the equally photographable Vancouver Convention Centre West—a sustainable design masterpiece complete with a living roof. The view from this Vancouver restaurant alone is worth an extra “cheers” with your pint of Guinness.
Mahony & Sons Public House, 1055 Canada Place, 604-647-7513, mahonyandsons.com
The Galley Patio & Grill
Sick of seeing the same views in downtown Vancouver? Probably not, but you may still be interested in this licensed cafeteria-style gem just a short drive away. This restaurant offers a gorgeous view of the city, English Bay and the mountains—perspectives that you won’t find at another restaurant. Burgers, sandwiches and soups are all you’ll find here, so the food will likely not distract you from from view.
The Galley Patio & Grill, 1331 Discovery St., 604-222-1331, thegalley.ca
Tap & Barrel
The addition of this pub to the burgeoning Olympic Village area was welcome not only for its creative comfort fare (peanut butter and bacon jelly burger, anyone?) or for its cool concept of BC beers (24 of them) and wines (14) on tap, but for the restaurant’s stunning views of Vancouver, False Creek and the mountains. Grab a seat on the enormous heated patio for the best vantage point.
Tap & Barrel, 1 Athletes Way, 604-685-2223, tapandbarrel.com
Whether you sit inside or out, you’ll be treated to an awesome view of Vancouver at this Coal Harbour restaurant. The movable glass walls open up on nice days, and the heated patio is the perfect place to watch the sun set as you sip wine by the outdoor fireplace. A super selection of sushi and oysters pairs well with eclectic Pacific Northwest mains.
Lift Bar-Grill-View, 333 Menchions Mews, 604-689-5438, liftbarandgrill.ca
[RELATED: 5 Hot Oyster Restaurants in Vancouver]
The Mill Marine Bistro
It’s all about the view at this Coal Harbour restaurant: the cozy interior has only 60 seats, leaving it up to the large heated patio and expansive views of the North Vancouver mountains, Stanley Park and Burrard Inlet. Watch floatplanes buzz in and out of the harbour while noshing on a wasabi salmon burger or lager-drenched mussels.
The Mill Marine Bistro, 1199 W. Cordova St., 604-687-6455, millbistro.ca
The Boathouse Restaurant
Feel like crab today? How about shrimp, lobster, mussels, or fresh fish? Seafood’s the star at The Boathouse (they turn out a stellar steak, too), and you can enjoy it three ways: in the casual pub area, on the patio or in the relaxed dining room. And with eight locations offering enviable views in Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, White Rock and Port Moody, this local chain is a don’t-miss.
The Boathouse Restaurant, 1795 Beach Ave., 604-669-2225, boathouserestaurants.ca
Locals love this seafood shack, which is about as casual as it gets with a handful of outdoor-only seats (if it’s winter, bring gloves). One taste of the salmon tacone with cilantro salsa and chipotle cream, or the oyster po’boy with homemade tartar sauce, and you’ll know why the line-ups here are usually long. Bonus: the restaurant’s prime spot on Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek means stellar views of downtown Vancouver.
Go Fish, 1505 W. 1st Ave., 604-730-5040, gofishvancouver.com
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