Acme Cafe offers a simple menu including diner classics such as meatloaf, mac and cheese, sandwiches and a wide variety of pies and pastries that are all made in house.
Upon walking into this new diner on Hastings, the first thing you notice is how out of place it seems. The area is under a huge transformation right now though so hopefully its an early adopter of what will be a spruced up block in the future.
They did a great job on the renovations; high ceilings with fans, cozy booths and stools on an oval counter. The room has a very modern diner feel and is quite comfortable.
I ordered the beef sandwich with coleslaw and potato chips and everything was great. The sandwich had real beef although it could have used some more meat on it as I found myself with a bunch of bread leftover with no meat to eat with it. The coleslaw was tasty; light on the mayo and a unique flavour containing almonds and broccoli.
I think I might have too high expectations when I eat diner food. I don't expect massive portions like you usually get in the US but I wouldn't mind a little more value. Sandwiches are about 11 or 12 bucks each which is a little on the high side, especially when you consider the lack of meat on my sandwich. I think I will try the mac & cheese or the chicken pot pie next time.
Acme is comfortable and clean, I think the lovely grey decor suits the Acme name!
I love to hit a diner for a coffee or drink and a meal and Acme does it well. Everything we tried tasted great and wasn't crammed with fat. Portions were good, I had leftovers, but i'm okay with that.
Mac n Cheese
Soup of the day: Zucchini apple!? SO GOOD!
The staff is friendly and relaxed. I thank them for making my first visit memorable... I'll be back for more.
P.S. I'll bet if they test ran a late night menu on weekends the bars around the corner would pack the place for late night snacks! Just a thought!
This little diner really stood out from its surroundings. We have not been to this neighbourhood for over a decade, but found this place worthy of our trip. It was clean and nicely decorated. We decided to have coffee and dessert here after trying a different place for dinner. The servers were friendly and spoke respectfully of the locals. Our server recommended two of his favorite desserts available, and we chose the Coconut Cream Pie.
It was delicious! We had a lovely relaxing time here, sipping our coffee, nibbling at our dessert, and chatting about what an interesting neighbourhood this is. We definitely will return.
My partner and I have been here twice. The first time, for dessert, we had the apple pie and torte with coffee. The pie was wonderful - a deliciously flaky crust and not too sweet. We are used to making pies ourselves without sugar, and this one tasted as though the apples they used were either sweet to begin with, or perhaps apple sauce was used as a sweetener. In any case, this is the best pie either of us have ever had in a restaurant (Pie at most restaurants tastes like glorified candy). The torte was also good, albeit a tad rich with the cherries inside (though I might have expected as much). The chocolate was also very fudgy, however, which was nice, and high in cocoa. Both desserts were very fresh-tasting.
We tried lunch for our second visit. The tuna sandwich was amazing - garlicky, flavorful, and with a hint of horseradish. The foccacia bread was a nice touch. The coleslaw was great; in my opinion, this is the only way broccoli should be served. I was skeptical about having potato chips with the meal, home-made or no, as it's a snack I have absolutely no interest in. Given the low sodium content of the meal, however, it made perfect sense, and I was surprised to find myself enjoying them. The spinach salad was everything a spinach salad should be - large, with lots of cranberries, and walnuts and goat cheese to spare. The raspberry vinagrette was fruity without being too sweet (which is a mistake other restaurants make in serving the dish). The endives were wonderful. One downside was that the "grilled chicken" I ordered on top appeared to be from one of those ubiquitous compressed chicken patties, which for some reason everyone is serving these days (including Moxie's, Earl's and the Cactus Club). It was nice to have the protein, but it didn't add any excitement or flavor to the dish.
One major upside is the location. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful inside, and fits in well with its improving downtown east side surroundings. I also noticed during my visit that the manager let several people from outside into the restaurant to use the bathroom - people who, to judge from their appearance, would not be paying patrons, present or future. In my opinion, for a business to be truly successful in such a socioeconomically challenged community, this type of goodwill toward one's neighbors is essential. I have no use personally for another economically polarized, "gentrified" Gastown, nice as it is in many respects. My impression was sealed when I went to use the washroom myself and found it spotless. I ultimately left the restaurant feeling as if I'd contributed in a concrete way to a socially responsible, DTES renaissance, with good food and reasonable prices besides.
The service has also been fantastic both times we've been there. The coffee is a good roast, and the refills are truly "bottomless," as the menu says (I think I had 7 cups over the course of my second visit, and finally had to turn down a refill). The servers we've had have been friendly and attentive. I look forward to trying their meatloaf next time and enjoying a pint or two. This place is a keeper. The meat loaf is next on my list to try. . .
I'm an Acme regular and I've tried most things on the menu. I love their daily quiche and crock pot specials and the soups are also really delicious. Their curried cauliflower soup really stands out. The staff and owners are really friendly people which definitely contributes to the great vibe - always buzzing but nice and relaxed too.
The beef panini is one of my favorites. But everything I've tried tastes real and wholesome. It's consistently good, non-pretentious, and very well priced. They also serve beer and wine so it's a great place to hang out in the evening too. It certainly makes a welcome change from the over-price, mediocre fare available at many neighboring establishments in Gastown. Also, if you make it over don't forget to order a shake too - they're very indulgent and a meal in themselves! :-)
Acme is an absolute gem of a place. We're fussy eaters and feel so lucky to have this place on our doorstep.
The Acme Cafe keeps getting rave reviews from all my friends but I have to say I was really disappointed. The design of the place is lovely. The old art deco diner style is great and I love getting booth seating! But the food was pretty terrible. I'd been there once before when they first opened and shared a Reuben with my husband on the advice of the waiter. It was a very tasty sandwich but it was tiny considering the dish was $12 plus tax and the accompaniments were minute. I think it came with a spoonful of slaw and pickle! I like to have some sort of vegetable with my lunch.
I decided to try it again today when the wait for Medina was going to be too long. I expected at the very least some tasty food.
My mom's quiche was blah, her potatoes were dry and flavourless, and her wilted greens barely had anything on them. I felt bad because this was her birthday brunch!! My guacamole and shrimp sandwich had so little guacamole on it and so much oil (it was drenched actually and the oil flooded my whole plate) that I didn't even get to taste my favourite veggie, the avocado. I spent the meal using up the entire supply of napkins in the dispenser! It was pretty gross. The slaw was really tasty. It was the highlight of my meal but could have used less mayo to make it less heavy/sweat and more refreshing. The chips were packaged greasy chips from Costco (kettle valley??). I know because my husband brought them home once and we threw them out! Considering the price for these dishes, I will not be back.
The service was okay. One of servers seemed nice but our waiter seemed bored and my mom had to ask him again and again to speak up because she couldn't hear him over the restaurant noises. He just didn't seem to clue in and just kept mumbling while staring at the wall above us. BLAH.
Too bad. I was hoping this would be a great addition to the neighbourhood.
My partner and I went in last Saturday for brunch, hearing the buzz about it. We heard they had a "world renowned" chef. From what we can tell this was food we could have made at in the comfort of our own home. The eggs were over cooked and burnt. The potatoes were dry and unsalted and the whole presentation was poorly executed. The "chef" looked frazzled in the kitchen, and seemed to be only making things worse for the other staff working. The value was all right, but if I am going to pay 10.50$ for Sunny side up eggs and the menu says sausage, roast pepper, scallions potatoes and toast I Damn well want to see all that in my dish. The toast did not even come with butter and the sausages and peppers were few and far between. Overall I was expecting much better value on the new up and coming Downtown East Vancouver. But with many other options we wont be returning.