Cardero’s Restaurant in Coal Harbour offers spectacular waterfront dining, from the main dining room, their casual Live Bait Marine Pub, to the stunning outdoor patio. Sitting atop the waters of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour Marina, enjoy the non-stop urban activity while soaking in the peaceful waterfront views. Delight your palate with tasty wok dishes to share, fresh seafood, beer specials on tap, and an extensive wine list. Dine at the open kitchen bar and watch their talented kitchen team prepare your meal fresh, right before your eyes. Enjoy a special 'Game Day Line Up' menu during local sports games aired on the big screens, as well as live music from Vancouver’s local talent in the Live Bait Marine Pub.
On a Saturday night, I came here with the other half for a dine-out experience. It was 8pm and the place was super packed and super loud inside. I knew it was not going to be a good evening date because in order to talk across your private table to the other person, you're going to have to shout. My nostrils flare when I shout so I decided to not talk throughout the full hour of dinner. Meanwhile around us, there were just people left and right laughing, yelling and all intoxicated + having fun. Nothing wrong with having fun but the loud restaurant or bar scene is not my thing.
The good thing of course is the ambience of the restaurant (dimly lit w/ west coast architecture, cedar wood ceilings etc) + large windows with a great view of coal harbor. The bad thing other than the crazy amount of noise is that the kitchen is open to the dining area so your clothes will smell like bbq and grease at the end of the night.
The food was nothing special. I orderd the squid wok appetizer, chicken as main entrée and for dessert, there was just one option - carrot cake. After finishing all 3, I did not really have a "let's come back next time" feeling. The food was just average at best. Actually to tell you the truth, I had better tasting food at Crystal Mall or Aberdeen's food court.
If you do decide that you want to get ripped off, come here during M-Thur only. The weekends are too loud.
**Dine Out Vancouver**
We decided to try out Cardero’s after having gone to Seasons In The Park for Dine Out. Since they’re under the same chain of restaurants (Sequoia), we wrongly assumed that the food would be just as amazing as Season’s. Sequoia is known for having their restaurants face an absolutely stunning view for their diners, so Cardero’s was no exception. Being right on the Coal Harbour, this would make a nice romantic place for a date. The interior resembled something of the inside of a boat/ship - makes sense given that there were quite the number of boats docked. The food however, was good but wasn’t mind blowingly remarkable.
Tomato Bocconcini Salad - (6/7)
Presentation was definitely well thought out. Everything was laid out neatly to a pin, which showcased each ingredient that was put into this dish. The balsamic reduction definitely complemented the salad, and the basil gave it a nice hint of mint flavour.
Manhattan Style Clam Chowder - (regularly $4.50 (cup) / $8 (bowl))
This had no presentation value to it at all. It appears like they literally just scooped the soup out from the pot and into this small bowl. No crackers, no garnish. Perhaps it is not common for Manhattan Style Clam Chowder to be garnished or to be eaten with crackers, but it would have been nice if we were asked if we wanted crackers with it. However, this just tasted like a regular tomato based soup with lots of clams.
Braised Lamb Shank - (5/7)
The lamb was very soft, as we were able to peel it off the bone with ease. It was juicy and not chewy, and did not have that offensive lamb smell/taste to it. The mashed potatoes were sitting in the red wine demi-glace which made it taste a bit different - in a bad way. And the presentation of the vegetables were questionable. It’s as if they got lazy and didn’t feel the need to dice or cut it into bite sized pieces. Yes, we’re capable of cutting it ourselves, however, giving us a 1/4 piece of red pepper and the entire long carrot was quite troublesome and unexpected.
Grilled Steelhead Salmon - (5/7)
Having tried Season’s same entree, as previously stated, we had high expectations. Yes, it is unfair to compare as they are different restaurants with different chef’s and we should have an open mind, but can you blame us? They are under the same chain, after all! However, this WAS very good, though. A friend of ours said this was the best salmon she’s had. The vegetables tasted absolutely delicious with the brown butter sauce.
Cardero’s Chocolate Mousse Cake - (6/7)
We had mixed opinions on this. One doesn’t like chocolate so they automatically disliked it after the first few bites, but after trying it a bit more, they grew to like it. It was light and fluffy (as should be) and just melts in your mouth. Another one of us thought it was way too sweet. There was one thing we all agreed on, and that was that raspberry coulis does not mix well with chocolate.
Complementary Bread + Butter (5/7)
Yes, this needs to be reviewed only because the bread was rock hard, and they did not provide us with any butter knives.
Having been to a lot of restaurants in Vancouver, Cardero's left us very disappointed when it comes to quality of their service. Very strange and inconvenient seating system (you have to wait for a bell and a flag in the air when your table is ready) is one thing. Confused hostesses and less than happy waiters is yet another. Food was alright and so was the patio view, but everything else was highly disappointing. Not coming back.
The restaurant is in an amazing location in Coal Harbour, and I often walked past it along the water in the Spring / Summer. Eventually I decided to give Cardero's a try upon the recommendation of a colleague at work, and I was very sorely disappointed by the experience.
I came on a Thursday night, and the restaurant wasn't overly busy, but my girlfriend and I were ignored for about 10 minutes at the door. After being seated, the service started out okay, but what really took me back was how poor the food quality was. Particularly, I ordered mussels for an appetizer, and was surprised that 1/3 of the mussels were empty shells, and the rest were very small / blandly prepared. The service also started going downhill, and at the end of the meal (over $90 for two) I asked if there was a customer feedback form I could have which clearly offended the waitress. Eventually I convinced them to let me leave them a note for their manager to contact me about my experience, but I haven't heard back from them in over 2 weeks.
Cardero's has been around for a while, and always makes for a great dinning experience. Service level has increased and now matches that of sister restaurant at the Sandbar. The menu is simple and focuses primarily on local seafood. Their patio as always busy on a sunny day and makes for an enjoyable and unpretentious experience. Fried oyster are a personal favorite. Price and value is where it should be for the well positioned coal harbour location.
Great location, great service, but the food isn't anything to write home about. The Seafood Stew special was overcooked, the wild pacific salmon was alright but I found it overpriced for the portion. Only thing that saved them was the crab cakes and mussels for appetizers. If there was more "oomph" to their menu, it would be a whole lot better. I've been a few times in the past 5 years and this time wasn't as great as the other times. Hopefully there will be something new in their menu so that their service, location, ambiance, and food can be more consistent with each other.
We came here for an early dinner Saturday evening before leaving the downtown area. Carderos is in a wonderful location with fabulous views. Unfortunately, can't say the same for the food. We both had burgers and salad. The burger was pretty much inedible. The only flavour to the burger was salt. The salad was limp and old. If you can't make a simple burger and a salad then perhaps it's time to move on and give this prime space to a more deserving restaurant. The beer was great.
I have eaten here a few times and find its a better place to drink than to have a proper sit down dinner. The food is good; my favorite dish is the lamb shank which is falling off the bone and quite tasty. The view is spectacular as you are right on the water overlooking Stanley Park and Coal Harbour. My advice is to come early, sit in the bar section in one of the comfy chairs and use this place as a great starting off point for a nite out on the piss.
I had the Spinach Salad, which comes with pecans, dried raisins, goat cheese and beets. This salad was scrumptious. And as a main course Pan Fried Oysters and Wok Broccolini, plus a side order of Fried Rice. All delicious, although the fried rice contained peas which seemed a bit over-cooked. My dessert was Warm Chocolate Nut Brownie with vanilla bean gelato. Oh, this dish was excellent; a chocolate lover's dream.
Our server was top-nothc. She was friendly and attentive, and never left us hanging.
The location of Cardero's is stunning and the restaurant decor is warm and comfortable.
Overall, I think this place is good value for the money and yes, I will go back here and also recommend to friends.
I went with a friend to Cardero's and while we were primarily interested in drinking, we ordered a couple of appetizer's as well.
From the outside you see the outdoor patio on your left and the entrance to the restaurant in front of you. It's in a great spot, if you're walking along the path to or from Stanley Park, in between boats that are docked on either side of you. So you hear the birds, see people getting on and off their boats, see lots of people walking on the pathway. Lots of movement.
We wanted to sit on the patio ( nicer to drink in the sun ) because inside it's a little dark even with the many windows. The open kitchen is to your immediate left upon entering, it really adds to the action, and it's always entertaining to watch your food being prepared, if you decide to eat inside. The bar is to your right once in the door, it's your standard dark wood type bar. It strikes me that the owner(s) of this place probably haven't renovated in quite some time, as the dark woody features inside seem to hide the actual age of the furniture and the establishment.
The servers are in jeans, white shirts & don white aprons. The girl who tended us was efficient, but not chatty nor particularly friendly. She brought us what we wanted without any smiles nor pleasant banter. No exemplary service that day, and no complaints either. Very banal.
The appetizers were quite good, a Wok Broccolini dish and Wok Squid. Both were done well, the broccoli wasn't over cooked and was in a semi-sweet sauce while the Squid was not chewy cooked in its batter. Nice. The menu had a few Asian items to go along with the burgers/pizzas and seafood items.
I'd stop here again if I was in the area and next time I'll try one of the main dishes.
Excellent food... as one of my buddies puts it "great seafood, but you don't feel like you're paying premium." I'd highly recommend Cardero's for almost any occasion. This is a MUST for tourists imo. I always bring my friends from afar here as it sorta showcases what the West Coast Vancouver is about - great seafood, scenic moutain backdrop, and the water.
went for dinner here with a friend.
getting the tables was the hardest part. it was sunday evening and the waitresses didn't tell us whether we should make a reservation, or just wait....and made us wait quite a long time before i realized we had to make a reservation. but i guess she knew what happened so she tried to give us a spot quickly. we got in a booth inside right beside the bar. but being on the patio would have been beautiful, since it was coal harbour and all.
our server was courteous and made sure we got our drinks and the food was good. the food wasn't bad. i really like the wok squid!!! the sauce is delicious...a bit onion/garlicky, but nonetheless yummy. oysters were on special for 3 dollars. not bad....
i had the queen charlotte halibut. it was very soft and creamy. the rice that came with it wasn't the best...i would have rather preferred a risotto to be paired with it. my friend's burger was alright....i guess you could call it a "high class burger".
the dessert (Creme brulee) was good, but too cold for a creme brulee.
price-wise.....i would say it was adequate because of its decor. i think the appetizers are much better than the entrees...and dessert is sub-par. but the view and the live music (i loved it because the performer played Jack Johnson!) makes it a worthwhile visit. Be careful though, being right beside the bar is very noisy. Ask for a patio seat...and reserve on evenings!
If you're looking for hubbub where the food, prices and service are fair, Cardero's is one option. It's always busy and noisy so I prefer coming here in summer for its deck. I like lunch better than dinner here and overall the staff are great. The wine list isn't bad for a more casual place.
Have been to this place countless times but never had a table by the window as the place is always full and those tables are the first to go. For some strange reason the place was fairly quiet so I had a great view of the water, mountains and Stanley Park. We had a great server who kept everything happening and the food is always good but quite comparable to Earles & Cactus Club but a bit more expensive which is understandable with that great view
This is a cool place to dine. I like the atmosphere, the patio, the general feel of the place. I've been here about a half dozen times in a couple of years, usually @ lunch. I find the food to be inconsistent, ranging from excellent (big salads) to bad specials (halibut special that was dry as grandma's teat). The service is also hit and miss depending on who you get. And they have such a big staff it's not possible to pinpoint the good servers and request them. Last time we were there we got a server that treated us as though we were his long lost cousin Joe. I thought he was going to slap us on the back to thank us for tip but thank god it didn't come to that. He called us "guys" although I'm clearly not one and he was completely annoying. I will go back to Cardero's because I do like the place but I wish they would be more consistent with staff training and food quality. They have got the market cornered as far as location and ambience, though... and I know what to order now, so it's all good!
I keep coming back to Cardero's for the great staff and consistent food. It isn't fine cuisine and that is ok, because it lives up to its own high standard. For a pub, it actually makes a lot of restaurants look shabby.
They have the cleanest glassware next to Cin Cin. That means a clean, tasty pour of Kilkenny or Guinness.
Best burgers in the Coal Harbour area!!!!
I was at Cardero's with a relatively large party. We all began with a round of appetizers. I had the Wok Squid. It was like large Calamari. I was told it wasn't deep fried like Calamari, but, I think it was because it had a fried batter skin on it. It was Good. Not exactly sure if it was 13$ good, but, good nonetheless. I had the Jumbo Prawn Platter for dinner. The Platter came with 8 big prawns, 2 roasted Roota-bega, and a few pieces of other veggies. It also came with a small scoop of rice. The rice was pretty sad, I mean, by anyones standard the rice was pretty sad. It was over cooked and mush. The Prawns were good. Can't say it was a 30+$ meal good. Now the Ambiance, it was a really nice look restaurant. The Staff are all dressed like Proffessional waters, and, the service was great. We had someone in our party who wasn't feeling well that night (not related to the food), the Waiter came by with a few moist towels. And the Manager stood nearby to ensure things were alright. Great service throughout the night too. Drinks were brought promptly. The really great thing about this restaurant, is that you can ask any waiter to bring you anything, it's not where only your waiter will serve you and all other staff will avoid eye contact and ignore you. I enjoyed my experience there. This is a Restaurant that's good for bringing a date.
Been going to Carderos for years - what happened? The food is bad, the service was bad, and it wasn't even busy. Must say I love the lounge ambiance and the musicians. It's the only thing keeping me coming back, but in the future it will be only for a drink before heading elsewhere. Boo :(
I had family visiting and they were staying at the Westin, by the Cardero's. My uncle told me that he had been twice to this restaurant already, earlier that week, and loved the place, so we went there, again.
We got sited in a booths and had by the same token more privacy. Our waiter was always present as needed and very courteous. I shared a spinach salad with my aunt and the cook split it for us. Then I ate their Pacific Sesame Crusted Albacore Tuna and it was delicious! All the food ordered was appreciated by the guests.
We really had a good time and I'll go again! The ambiance was outstanding!
Unlike many I actually found the service to be good. My issues are with the food and the small portions. I had the Seafood Wok with Brocolini, two people had the Halbut special, and one person had 10 oz steak with mixed vegies. We were all disapointed with the food, with the only exception of the asparagus that came with the steak. The Seafood Wok was pretty small and flavour was bland. I think a more appropriate name for this dish would have been random seafood mixed with minute rice in Campbells Chicken Broth. Other people in my group had similiar things to say about their dishes as well. I would post more, but there is a line here on dinehere.ca that states highly negative reviews may get deleted so as such I thinki it is best that I stop.
Honestly this has to be one of the most overrated places I have ever been to, which is a shame considering the views. I really hope management takes all the negative comments on here seriously as this place has a lot of potential. Until then this place is on my to avoid list.