Login or Register
Do a search below using the city or postal code search box if your city is not listed above.

3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews68

Guu Original

838 Thurlow St
Vancouver, BC V6E1W2
Tel: (604) 685-8817
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Izakaya, Japanese, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30AM - 1:30PM & 5:30PM - 12:30AM, Sun: 5:30PM - 12AM
  • Guu serves homestyle Japanese food in a loud and electric atmostphere. Food is served from an open kitchen and the dishes are generally tapa sized.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 68 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Tasty Japanese Fare in an Intimate Setting
By cherrybomb143 of Surrey, bc (218 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 12, 2011 - 10:43am [Dine in]

Small, dark and loud. Those words are usually negative descriptors when it comes to restaurant ambiance, but in the case of Guu, it works very well. The space is intimate, and you're seated right up against the next table during the lunch rush. The seats are small (and I mean very narrow) stool benches that weren't made for comfort. However, all of this creates an authentic Japanese experience (down to the hand written menus) of many in and out joints in Japan. The room is buzzing with conversation and best of all, anything lacking in decor, is made up for in the tastiness of the food.

I've been here multiple times over the past year, and have tried their dons, lunch sets, grilled fish and many other items. All were very well done, unique and yummy!

Prices are very reasonable for downtown and for the quality of food. Many lunch features are under $10 and are filling enough. Tea is of course, complimentary.

I have a great lunch here, every time.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Never fails to disappoint
By azn_msfyt of Delta (194 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 4, 2007 - 3:14am [Dine in]

Food: everything was really quite tasty. The panfried noodles were interesting, chicken/spinach/bacon salad was quite good and a lot larger than I thought it would be and the deep fried calamari and shrimp was my favorite out of all of the dishes we ordered. If we hadn't been in a hurry and if it wasn't already so late, it would have been nice to try a few more dishes.

Service: an order was forgotten and servers seemed a little flustered. Overall, not so bad as the chefs and servers seemed quite friendly. 25 minute wait on a Saturday night at 9:30... kind of ridiculous but it's Guu so understandable at the same time.

Ambiance: I like the dim lighting and intimate atmosphere but I would prefer to have a little more elbow room but all of the Guu's (except maybe the Aberdeen location) seem to be quite cosy in that respect. A little loud but I think we like it that way - more entertaining.

Would def. return if I can stand to wait a while for a table. Wouldn't mind trying some of the other dishes as well.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Oh, I'm glad I came here for lunch
By curmudgeon of Downtown Vancouver (100 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 28, 2007 - 2:20pm [Dine in]

I've been looking for a good casual place for delicious food at a reasonable price, and this looks to be one of them.

After hearing so much about Guu and it's related restaurants, I met a friend for lunch at the Thurlow location, and I wasn't disappointed.

I ordered the pork cutlet curry. Being a fan of indian, thai and malaysian curries, I figured I'd given japanese curry a try. While much milder than those of other cuisines, it was still very tasty. The pork cutlet was perfectly prepared.

Its a little bit loud in there, so not a place for an intimate dining.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Absolutely delicious
By pkwok of Shaughnessy, Vancouver (123 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 6, 2006 - 11:51am [Dine in]

What a fun place, and what delicious food! After going to Japanese restaurant after Japanese restaurant, all serving the same kind of food, it was a most pleasant surprise to find this place that serves a "different" kind of Japanese food, but most delicious nonetheless. No need to repeat all the comments already posted by other reviewers. Just go there and try it for yourself!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
My favourite Japanese tapas location!
By foodfanatic of South Vancouver (286 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 26, 2005 - 11:45am [Dine in]

Although it seems the staff previous to the current were more skillful in the setting of the flavours, it's still delicious. Just not AS perfect as it was before. Do they rotate the kitchen staff and the waitresses between their 3 locations? Or maybe just a changeover in staff... I liked the previous bunch that seemed to have been there forever. However, it's still good; inexpensive and yet very tasty. You can eat a lot of variety and still not be gorged come time to pay the bill. This is their best location! The gastown one is more fancy in menu and display, but only comes 2nd to this one. I'd have to say the Guu with Garlic on Robson comes 3rd.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Guu IS Addictive
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:38am [Dine in]

I LOVE this place! It's always so much fun!! Every single time we come here, we are exhilarated, curious and ravenous! First off, the menu is extremely unique and delicious, added along with the warm inviting atmosphere, you can't help but go back for more. From when you enter, sit down, eat, and leave, the chefs and the waitresses holler in Japanese at each other - it's hilarious. I can catch snippets of "Welcome", "If you please", "Table 4, 5, 7,8" , "Thank you very much", "No problem" with my small knowledge of Japanese. It's great! It's a noisy and cozy place but I don't mind it at all because it's all a part of the fantastic hip and happening ambiance of Guu. We often get seated at the bar, where we see the chefs in action. Our favorite scene is the engorged flame of the wok and the chef's handy flip work without dropping anything out of it, WOW! We've tried several dishes in our past 3 visits, but here's few worth mentioning: Japanese Pickled Rice, Grilled Chicken Wings, Sweet Potato Croquette, Grilled Beef Tongue and Deep-fried Prawns. The Rice is filling and yummy, the wings are tangy and spicy, the sweet potato croquette melts in your mouth and leaves a warm tingly feeling, the beef tongue is delicious and the prawns huge and mouthwatering!! Our favorite so far is EVERYTHING!! We found that around 5 or 6 of their tapa style dishes are pretty good for 2 people, but every time I see an order go out from the bar, I'm always curious what it is and want to order it even though I'm full from my own dishes! The food usually comes fast so no worries if the wait to get into the restaurant is around 15-20 minutes even on a Tuesday evening at 9:30pm! We've tried to go around 5:30 or 7pm before and it's always the same wait, but once you get in, you'll be addicted for sure!! =)

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

not your typical japanese place
By alpha_dog of richmond (61 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 8, 2008 - 12:55am [Dine in]

if you want cali rolls or bc rolls, this place does not serve them but that doesnt mean its a bad thing either.
wanted to try something "different" so we came here when it opens at 5:30pm and we arrived a little earlier than that. surprisely, there was already a line up to get in and fortunately for us, we were one of the last couples to get through the door.
the menu is basically all tapa-based so my gf and i ordered a wide variety of dishes and with all honesty, everything tasted great.. their food is packed with flavor, i can see why people enjoy eating here so much!
our waitress was sweet but forgetful, she didnt remember to fill up our waters when we asked and didnt bring our bill when we wanted it but the fact that she was very polite made it easy to overlook those things..
the atmosphere is very loud, everyone is talking and not to mention how everytime a customer leaves, the staff perform some cheer in japanese... kinda entertaining at first but its overdone after 10 or so people leave the store.
no real complaints here, would certainly love to dine here again but i would wanna try the other Guu restaurants and see how this place compares with the others

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Great Food
By kwailan of Coquitlam (75 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 8:21pm [Dine in]

I went with a friend and we had Chopped Salmon Sashimi topped with a raw quail egg, raw beef, grilled snow crab legs and stewed beef tendons. Other than the beef which was a tad tough, the rest of the food were all very very good.

We ordered tea but was told they were brewing and that it will take a while. After 3 dishes were served, the tea was still not served. It was served almost immediately after I order a beer. Perhaps a coincidence, but you get the feeling they want you to order a paying drink.

Overall, good food. Will definitely return.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
An apres work place
By sgtoca of Kitsilano, Vancouver (103 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 3:59pm [Dine in]

its Japanese tapas style here and they do it so well. great drink features, loud and fun service and quaint well prepared dishes make it such a delight. I patronised this place on a regular basis and it never failed to impress. not a romantic place nor a good business place to meet but rather a place for friends and family to get together, dine, drink and be merry. Stellar dishes include chicken karrage, okonomiyaki, fried calimair, beef yaki udon amongst many others.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
VERY attentive servers...
By doodlebug of vancouver (58 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 31, 2008 - 11:58pm [Dine in]

and lots of 'em! Felt like they were hovering around us, took away our dishes before we were done. Food was mostly good. You have to know what to order. The assorted carpaccio was GOOD! The prawns and calamari were very good! The pumpkin croquette was good in a weird kinda way. Wouldn't order it again. The steamed mussels were quite bland, the cabbage roll tasted like it was stuffed with SPAM and the pickled veggies in rice wasn't good. The rice was hard and crunchy (stale crunchy). Loved the atmosphere. It's loud, fun and everyone around you is having a good time.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
One of the Original Izakaya's
By LordofFoods of Vancouver (55 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 3:04pm [Dine in]

With so many Izakaya's opening up now all over the city, both Japanese and Koreans, I decided to try an old fav haunt. I remember the first time I tried the(i think) quall egg, wrapped in sweet potato, battered and deep fried. It was unique. That was many years ago now.
Guu's still solidly satnding with many actual Japanese frequenting the place. It is debatable which Guu is better. I have noticed that they precook alot of the items. Not happy to see precooked grilled items that get warmed up before serving. A big no-no for me.
Still as well frequented with similar experince to before. Good place to meet a couple of friends and share some sake and japanese tapa's. Recommend you try so you can compare to Hapa, Kingyo etc...etc .

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
It's All Guu....!
By moussy of Vancouver (60 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 12:50am [Dine in]

Went with a friend.....welcomed by many....overwhelming sound!
The ambience is very very noisy, so brace yourself! If you don't like noise, then it's not the place for you. I sat in the bars too, and my bag had to be on the seat, so it was a bit crowded and uncomfortable.

The food is very good. Had a bunch of food....the pumpkin croquette ball, the beef tongue, sweet shrimp sashimi and chicken karaage. ALL delicious! I can't pick a favourite! Then had some Oden and shark fin daikon salad. The cassis drinks are AWESOME! Definitely try the Aloe Vera cassis cocktail. The white sangria was alright, but the cassis blew me away. You can't taste the alcohol at all!

Definitely trying out the other 2 guus and coming back :)

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Great food and service
By madddskillz of Burnaby (57 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:38pm [Dine in]

Went here with a party of 4 today, ordered around 10 dishes, and in total the bill came out to only 55 including taxes!

Was really impressed with the food. My favorite dish was the Yukke of salmon, a salmon tartar with shrimp chips! Good stuff!

Service is great, only had to look up for a couple of seconds to get a waitress' attention. Food also came very quickly.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Gotta go to Guu
By Trevor of Vancouver (60 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 5, 2007 - 5:22am [Dine in]

This place really is as good as the other reviewers say. I went with a friend recently and we had a ton of food! It all tasted very good. Despite forgetting one of our orders, service was still good- friendly, polite, and prompt. Great atmosphere- quite noisy, but the loud greetings and people yelling out orders actually make it a fun place to be in. Definitely will be back.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
yum!!
By yummitummi of Vancouver (46 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 5, 2008 - 2:13pm [Dine in]

I brought some out-of-town friends here for a quick meal on Canada Day and we were all quite impressed. The food was tasty and nicely presented. We were very happy with the marinated eggplant and the calimari. The oden was also very tasty and adding additional items into it wasn't expensive at all.
During ordering the waitress yelled out a few of the items to thek kitchen. I could take or leave that aspect but it's all part of the ambiance. Service was friendly and fast.
We spent about $10 a person (not super stuffed, but comfortable feeling). If you're really hungry then you could potentially break the bank eating here to stuff yourself silly but I suggest saving some room for a dessert crepe down the street to finish off a great meal.
Affordable and tasty - I like!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Great Izakaya
By papercut11 of vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, November 7, 2008 - 5:23pm [Dine in]

We loved it. An authentic Japanese Izakaya.

The other reviews were right about the noise. But this was fun and part of the atmosphere.

The food was great. We sat at the bar and watched them make everything.

The servers were nice and worked hard.

We were lucky and didn't have any lines to deal with.

The only bad things I could say, is I could have eaten more, as the dishes are small. It's not expensive, but it's not cheap either.

We enjoyed ourselves.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Fun times, okay food
By criacow of Mt. Pleasant, Vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 15, 2008 - 12:02pm [Dine in]

The ambiance of this place is amazing. It feels a lot like the sort of places you'd find in Tokyo; loud, happening, exciting. You're greeted at the door, everything's good, the chefs will comment on your food choices and help you find other ones.

I came here with a friend one day after work, and we tried a bunch of different menu items. I wasn't super-impressed by anything; it was all pretty good, but nothing fantastic. Same for the drinks we tried.

But the service is friendly, the ambiance is excellent, and I'd totally go back.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
A Breath of Fresh Air
By Atarius of Burnaby (12 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 7, 2007 - 12:46am [Dine in]

Guu isn't like any other Japanese restaurants I've been to yet. It's more modern, young and fresh. They're more of a tapas/appies place. I loved how our servers would yell our orders out loud and then some chef off by the bar would echo it back to show that the order's been taken. I thought that was very amusing.

It's a pretty snug restaurant, I think the capacity's about thirty people if they're packed together like sardines. They have tasty food and good presentation. Plus, the servers are friendly and polite. I love the ambiance of the place, it's a cool hang out, although it can get quite busy and they don't take reservations. I highly recommend Guu to all!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Guu is pretty good!
By LADYEATSGOOD of Lower Mainland (15 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

Went here with some friends on a Saturday night. Get here quickly, it fills up pretty fast. Fairly quick service, pretty solid food. I recommend the Japanese style calamari, beef tongue and pork cheek. Only issue, dessert was slow to arrive. Fairly awesome place to go, and loud. Recommended.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Awesome Izakaya, casual dining experience
By foodi of Burnaby, BC (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 5:59pm [Dine in]

Guu menu consist of small dishes that are diverse and unique. Each can hold its own well, and are relatively cheap, but the value of a dish can depend a lot on personal preference. Over all, the food offers above average menu.

The ambience is fun and casual with a lot of yelling from servers and chefs. Izakaya is a Japanese version of cheap pub food, and it shows as most dishes work very well with beer and sake.

It's a place where the food is of restaurant quality, but there's no need for dress up and there's no akwardness dining alone. That's one of my favourite thing as I like to try out new restaurants alone.

The service can be slow. The servers are not good at English, and are not familiar with the concept of serving automatically. It's because the type of restaurant I suppose, so just yell out for a server when you need something. It's fun.

I've been there three times, and will probably try every dish in the menu soon.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance

Images

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 Images Found