The Elbow Room was started in 1983 by Patrick Savoie and Brian Searle. It's original location, at 720 Jervis Street, was located in the first mayor of Vancouver's house and was declared a heritage building. In 1996, we moved to our present location and also acquired a new partner, Soheil Sadri. After almost 20 years, we are still going strong. Come and check out our World Famous Breakfasts or our Fabulous Lunches.
Food: Fritata and the Boss Burger were ordered and they were both delicious with big pieces of pepperoni in my omelette and greasy-goodness in the burger. Hash browns were a bit on the limp side - definitely have had better pretty much everywhere else. Saw the cook take beans out of the can to serve... I guess not everything can be homemade. Wipe the canned soft drinks before you drink as mine had a lot of debris on the top.
Service: Didn't experience any of the insults, and it wouldn't have bothered us if we did however, our server had to be new as she forgot to get us our drinks, couldn't get our orders straight and was generally quite lost.
Value: Food was great as the portions were quite big but charging 2.75 for a can of pop and 5.75 for a root beer float (basically two scoops of ice cream with a can of root beer) is pretty ridiculous. Just get your own water next time and skip out on their beverages.
Ambiance: lots of history and stories on the wall with many conversation pieces. Great to see a small spot like this have so much history behind it. They also support A Loving Spoonful, a great organization that provides meals to HIV/AIDS patients - and they make it easy to donate which is nice.
Overall, would return if I were ever in the area and wanted a nice big breakfast but I wouldn't drive a distance for it either. Try at your own peril!
Yes, we know what this place is supposedly famous for, and I concur with the previous reviews. That sort of "edge" just didn't quite seem to be there in the quantities we were expecting. However, that's not a selling point for me anyways and I imagine it would start to wear thin after doing it day in, day out for so many years.
So let's get right down to the food. Portions large? Yes. The 6" pancake was for sure larger than 6" and it was pretty good. Menu is loaded with all sorts of standard breakfast goodies, eggs benedict, omelettes, pancakes, etc. Based on what we've read on their menu and how it tasted and how we felt post-meal, they used good quality, healthy (relatively, I mean how healthy are slabs of bacon?) ingredients.
Would I go back? Not sure. I go to dine out for the food. This was food done well, but on the other hand, it wasn't amazing and it wasn't something I couldn't whip up in our own kitchen. And when it came down to pricing? Well, you got large, large portions, but the prices also reflect that.
If you're hungry and need some great energy to start a long day and you're too lazy to cook, I could recommend this place, but otherwise, I probably wouldn't go back. You can't run on just attitude and reputation.
I walked into the Elbow Room for breakfast, fully aware of it's reputation for surly and/or abusive servers. So I was actually a bit surprised.
The service was not nearly as bad as I might have expected. But I was also surprised by the food. I guess I had higher expectations, given their reputation for service, I expected better fare.
The coffee was good, by the eggs benny and the side of hashbrowns were just okay, granted the portions were fairly generous.
For that reason, I'm thinking that the Elbow Room is more a place for a dining experience than a great meal.
I haven't been in the Elbow Room for about a year, and wanted to have breakfast. I was well aware this is the place that's well known for their teasing and fun insults. I had amazing server who was fun, friendly and he was very quick witted. I was told I could sit anywhere, as he joked with me and took my ordered for eggs, hashbrown, toast and coffee. I thought the coffee was great, and if you want seconds or thirds, you have to get it yourself. My server arrived with my food, and the taste of everything was excellent and loved their hashbrowns. I had to go back for my second cup of coffee and finished off my meal. I was totally happy, what great service, the breakfast are allways good and will have to return for their coffee.
Will be back for enjoyable experience.
My boyfriend and I have been going to the Elbow Room for the past 5 years. After a year's hiatus, we decided to take his friend out for some post-Grind brekky. Their so-called "abuse" is tame - if you want to call being addressed as "Princess" an abuse...
Food is so-so, but was forgivable as it was once rather affordable. My last experience was anything but.
Our order included two breakfasts with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, with sides of baked beans, and one with eggs, hashbrowns, and toast. We all had tea, and one had orange juice. Our bill was $57.00. Yes, FIFTY SEVEN DOLLARS.
We looked at the gibberish on the bill, looked at the menu and discovered they charge $2.75 for a bag of leaves in hot water and $5 for orange juice. We swallowed the hard pill and left $64 lighter in the wallet.
I couldn't give up the fact that something was wrong, so I went back. The guy admitted he overcharged me for my breakfast by $4. When I got home, I told my boyfriend what a rip off that they charge $2.75 for beans when he said on the menu it said $1 to add beans.
So, the moral of the story boys and girls, is that you should question what's on the bill because the guy purposely writes in chicken scratch and overcharge you. They just hope we're too full and stupid to question it.
They lost a customer in me.
I love this place. Took some cross burning Prince Georgians there today for the treatment. They loved it. Nothing like getting a tongue lashing from the gayest man on earth to get the tears of laughter rolling. I've seen some people get right choked in here but, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the damned kitchen! The Trucker Burger with fried egg, advocado, shrimp and pineapple clogged my arteries but for $11 I won't have to eat for the rest of the week. Fun for the whole family.
Went to this Restaurant for breakfast quite some time ago. I haven't been back since. The reason is mainly because of the hashbrowns. To me hashbrowns are a very important part of the meal. Thses came in a little bowl and looked like frozen/canned corn. The tasted not-so-good.
The ambiance is kinda odd. There are autographed pictures of people who might have or might have not been slightly famous at some point in the last 50 years. I think I saw Richard Grieco...or maybe not.
What is cool is that they have many different kinds of bread to choose from.
But honestly the prices are pretty high for what you get. I guess they are on the edge of Yaletown and maybe most people don't care. There are few places, if any, to get a good reasonably priced breakfast in Yaletown.
I must begin by saying that the pancakes here are incredible! Packed with fresh fruit and huge, I loved every bite! I totally get the concept of the café and what they are trying to pull off, but I must say I was expecting a little more attitude and fun from our server. Too scripted and our serve seemed a little awkward with the entire situation...that or she was just tired of “performing.” Other than that it was well-worth the experience and food.
Even though it's been 10 years, one never forgets the Elbow Room experience.
A bunch of us used to come up for Pride from Everett, WA and stay at the
Chateau Granville. Abuse and wonderful food was within walking distance.
When we met Patrick, holding court on the floor as usual, the love affair
was in motion. They referred to us as Border Trash. We loved it all. There
was a note we recall on the chalkboard over the kitchen area to the effect
that if you ordered pancakes and did not eat them all, you'd best rub them
on your thighs as that's where they are going anyway. If you did not finish all your meal, you were assuredly asked to leave a donation in the Loving Spoonful box next to the register. At Pride we heard the
fantastic $$$ amount contributed via Loving Spoonfulls to help ensure meals for AIDS clients. We were so proud of the Elbow Room. Though we are further away now, we still brag about all of you to anyone who will listen! Blessings Abundant are
wished for you. Nile and Jim
When I'm in Vancouver, breakfast at The Elbow Room is a must! Standard breakfast fare with a splash of West Coast-ism. I have only experience the notoriously foul service once, and I loved it!
Suggest the Benny for breakfast, but anything on the menu will do. Always good to go with friends and family (over 14 years of age). Check out the "star" wall! Everybody has been here!
If you want a taste of contemporary Metro Vancouver, take a bite out of the Elbow Room!
Didnt like it. Had the worst poached eggs there. Didnt even want to eat it infact. The cranberry muffin was gross too. Wouldn't go back ... If you want good breakfast with a reasonable price plus good view I suggest going to a golf place in Richmond somewhere.. $6.95 gets you two eggs, two sausages (huge), two bacon, really good bread, watermelon, & hashbrowns.
I have always wanted to visit the Elbow Room after hearing about the unique dining experience, but I was pretty disappointed. When I heard that they insult you, I was expecting something more… maybe actors/servers with certain lines that they dish out constantly. I was told to get my own water and other than that, I wasn’t as entertained as I hoped. The flamboyant man that served us was fun though, especially when it would be hard to constantly joke with everyone. Okay, now about the food. We ordered one coffee and two eggs benny: four eggs total, two English muffins, veg, meat and some hollandaise. The bill was $40 after the tip- and I’m talking a 15% tip. Maybe we are paying for the Yaletown location? The visit was fun, but I don’t think I will be back.
After hearing all the rave about this joint. My friends and I hopped on over to the place for some attitude with food on the side. The menu was incredible. It had all the things a person with a huge morning appetite can dream of. The waitress came and took our order, she was a bit fussy about not getting us some aqua. We joked and that was it...we expected more fun than was served.
Anyhoo, we ordered the Thelma, Hilary Swank, and a Cindy Williams. The dishes were wholesome, Elbow Room doesn't skimp on ingredients. The portions were decent and the plates were polished off easy.
Did the pricing reflect the amount and quality of food? Not really...it was an expensive breakfast. Walk around the corner for The Templeton to get equally delicious food for a bit less.
Was I served with the 'fun' that Elbow Room is famous for? Not really...I finished the whole dish and still managed to stomach the quips. Head on over to 10th Ave for The Diner if you really want some fun with words. Stella, the owner of the Diner, will set you straight...British style!!!
Any time I end up being downtown during the morning hours, I go here for breakfast. If you get there early enough, you can park on Davie right in front of Elbow Room. And why do I go there? Because I don’t like bullshit, and neither do the people who work there. You want coffee, you know where the cups and your hands aren’t broken, so go get it yourself. You want water? Ditto.
The food is solid breakfast food. Its not dirt cheap, but its greasy, filling, wholesome, and good. Just like mom used to make. Leave your attitude at the door and enjoy the gay atmosphere. It’s the most fun you’re going to have on Davie (well ok, maybe not the MOST). Make sure to finish what you ordered, or you going to donate money to the Loving Spoonful. And that’s always a good incentive to eat at the Elbow Room.
Met up with a few coworkers for breakfast at the Elbow Room. It was everyone's first time and we all had a good time. Food was surprisingly delicious and fresh, my benny was much better than expected.
We did get some degree of abuse from our server, who was very talkative. He didn't say anything too offensive and overall was efficient and helpful. Other patrons in the restaurant seemed okay with the strange style of service; however, a couple didn't seem too pleased and the server politely left them alone.
I did have get up to get my own coffee refill - you can say it's part of the unique experience they offer but I am not sure if I like it.
If you are a snob don't bother to come in because the official policy is to be able to take "abuse"... but, as I found out with my wife, the abuse is the fun part of the whole experience...not to mention great food for a reasonable price that does not bankrupt you! There are also lots and lots of autographs of famous celebrities all over the place... it reminded me of New York. The service was informal and friendly, the staff knew what they were doing real well and worked together as a fantastic team to bring us what we wanted. And, you serve your own coffee, real good coffee... and water! Would we go there again? Absolutely!!
I was but a few short years ago when cafeteria's banished crappy food: cold hashbrowns made from frozen, powdered hot chocolate, overcooked scrambled eggs, but the Elbow Room gave me a nostalgic experience! Brought guests from out of town, paid $9.00 for bacon and eggs which were cold! A little brown cup of cold diced hashbrowns get real! The waitress discouraged us from ordering hot chocolate because it was the 'cheap' stuff from an envelope. Wake up Elbow Room! You are surrounding by exceptional restaurants with quality fresh ingredients. The fruit omelette arrived with canned pineapple; if you are going to be so gusty as to create a menu item like this, hit it out of the park or don't bother. My scrambled eggs were overcooked and kind of spread all over the plate, without care. Your food, and schitk are about as old as the photos on the wall. You are a candidate for Kitchen Nightmares, I can here Gordon Ramsey yelling at you already - out of your best selling bread at 10am?! cold food?! Cheap hot chocolate?! Watery, crappy cheap coffee?! Canned, unfresh food/!
Some good things don't last, or do they just fail to keep up with all the progress surrounding them?
I've been to Elbow room a few times and has a fun concept of acting as a New York style restaurant. Rude staff is their game and can give you a good chuckle. For me, I find it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, so unless I'm in the right mood I normally won't choose this place first.
The food is typical good ol' breakfast fare: tasty and large portions. I can never finish my meal so I usually end up donating to the charity.
I used to live a few blocks away and when friends would be all hung over after houseparties or clubbing we would go here for breakfast. they had the combination pancake which i liked. bacon, sausage, cheese busted up into a huge pancake. food was decent. plus i didnt know many other breakfast spots walking distance..
This place has this gimmick as you may notice from these reviews.
They advertise as having the worst service, "you want coffee? fuck off get it yourself!" how the fuck is that funny? ok whatever. im hung over i dont really give a shit too much. but when the gay servers/owners start hitting on your or saying sexual shit i lose my appetite.
I must have really needed hangover breakfasts cuz i dont know why i went there on numerous occasions.
My husband and I escaped the teenagers and went for a little retreat to downtown ( 5 glorious days!) I was feeling a little bereft of abuse
(no kids) and we thought we'd head to the Elbow Room for some. What we received instead was good food and attentive service!
My husband said the burger he ordered was one of the best that he had ever had, I had the BLT, it was good. A nice restaurant, next time I'll bring the teenagers ! (staying downtown for Mother"s Day)