Located right on Main and King Edward.
I don't come here often, but I came here tonight with a friend. We both ordered the jumbo burger platter (consisting of 2 hamburgers and fries) after the first bite I was afraid it was going to be as poor as Bino's, but surprisingly it was good. I also decided to order a single pancakes which was really good. At first I thought it was going to taste burnt, but after eating it, it was so good I wanted another one.
This place is a little bit more expensive than Bino's, but I definatly would rather spend my money here than there (so much better)
Mrs. C and I were shopping for radio parts in the area and we decided to give this place a try. We both love diner food, and Helen's sure looked like a retro place. Inside was like a time warp back to the '70s. Sadly it looked like that was the last time they did any renos on the place. Everything was worn out and the w/c was just plain nasty. Service was okay, so no complaints there. We shared a club sandwich, onion rings, and some coffees. The food was neither great nor gawdawful, but the price was higher than many similar diners in town.
We won't be back.
If you happen to park right in front or the bus lets you off a few steps away and you're hungry, then try Helen's. Otherwise, ther's no reason to go there. The food is absolutely nothing to write home about. Those frozen potato chips give me the willies. Being so dry, you would think they'd soak up gravy or vinegar, but they don't. I think everything here is from packages or frozen.
I recently checked out Helen's as part of my endeavor to eat my way through the finest greasy spoons of Vancouver. My friend and I sat in a booth on a Saturday morning, complete with a comfortable dent for my rear end from years of patrons eating at Helen's. I ordered the standard breakfast, sausage, eggs, hashbrowns and toast. Our server was pleasant enough and efficient. Our order came roughly 5 minutes after we placed it. No complaints although I would prefer chunky hash browns over the shredded potato ones they use there. Coffee, breakfast and tip came to around 15 dollars which is on the expensive side compared to some of the east side diners. I would go back but you won't get an experience that would make this a destination if you're not from the neighbourhood, just reliable diner cuisine.
I cannot stand people who post inappropriate reviews. Helen's is not a trendy cafe, nor is it a commercialised family restaurant, nor is it hot brunch spot...it is a greasy spoon. Thus, it should be reviewed as such. As a family diner - a local restaurant serving decent meals at a decent price - it is great!
Helen's has ambiance: tableside jukeboxes, waitresses with attitude and those old, slippery plastic booth seats. The breakfasts are worth going back for. The pancakes are cinnamony and fluffy, there is plenty of syrup at every table and the service is fast.
You will not find poached eggs, outstanding French toast or lattes here. You will find good prices, reliable food and greasy utensils. Love it.
Wasn't sure what to expect with the bad reviews this place has gotten in the past, but my experience was more in line with the more recent reviewers.
Went here with my friends this morning. I had a ham omelette with mushrooms and cheese which was quite good. My friend said that she got the best french toast she'd ever had, and overall, we had a laid back, cheerful breakfast.
The service was prompt and friendly, and the restaurant (including bathroom) was clean. If I lived closer to this neighbourhood, I would definitely be a regular here.
I never typically write a review... partially because I typically think that the people who take the time to write reviews are seriously picky and maybe had a "one time" bad experience (or they're just never happy). They have nothing else better to do.
Never will you get the customer that enjoyed his meal write a review to say "that was good". He or she will just continue on their day and not really take the time to write.
I have been heading to Hellen's Grill now religiously for the past 4 years. I know now what to expect.
1) The servers will remember my name.. and what I like to order
2) The food will always leave me with a smile on my face.. because it's good.
3) Excellent coffee. Don't listen to the other stupid review. It's better than starbucks and tim hortons... but yes.. they don't offer lattes.
There is a reason this place has been around for decades. It's because it's solid. If it sucked... It would have gone out of business like the other places on the block.. It's not trendy.. cause as you all know.. trendy places don't last.
I'm here from New York where there's a diner on every corner. I couldn't find a good greasy spoon since I moved to Vancouver and then I found Helen's. Since then, I've been going there nearly five times a week and I love it. I've converted my roommates and friends too. A mom n' pop joint with old school flavour and tasty home cooked, albeit, greasy food. Good for the taste buds, not so good for the heart but still a great place to eat and hang out with friends.
I'm a Canadian, so I don't like to complain about a place, I just tell my friends and don't go back.
But again I have to ask WHAT HAPPENED to Helen's?
Many years ago I use to go here for breakfast or lunch and sometimes dinner.
But in the past ten years something has happened to Helen's
Today I ordered to steak and eggs special for $9.00. I was not expecting a 28 day dry ageded filiminon, but I did not expect to get a piece of end cut shoe leather either. I had to ask for a sharper steak knife in order to cut it. I ended up just chewing the juice out of it like chewing on a piece of steak gum.
The eggs I asked to be hard over ended up being soft, and the hash browns was/were damp and on the raw side. Yet this help keep the toast that was placed onto from being crispy. Who wants crispy today after all.
Its a bad thing when most of your order is left on the plate,and you have to go to a second restaurant to order breakfast.
The waitresses seem so use to hearing about the food they have a scripted remembered. "Do you want to talk with the owner" No! This would be the same person who allows this food to be served, so I don't see how this would help. "We try" Really? Try harder or just give up. "Come again , and have a Merry Christmas" No I will never go again, but I will have a Merry Christmas!
I wasn't expecting much, which is just as well. Went there on the weekend with a couple of friends for a cheap and simple meal. It was cheap, and it was simple, but it wasn't very good. The lambchops I had appeared to have come from "lamb" that had died of senile dementia, and the coffee had a distinct oily metallic flavor. One of my companions said his veal cutlet was ok, while the other didn't bother to finish his porkchops. The service was fine, and the ambiance has the '60's diner down pretty well, although its not exactly clean.
Parking in this area is non existent so it was a bit of a hike. The food was very dry and the service was bad.
Even the coffee was warm instead of hot. no refills are offered. They never came with the glass of water requested.
Yes- the place somehow looked like a diner in some lonely town somewhere in the boonies but I have been to those and they usually have huge portions and very good coffee.
This was in the middle of Main St and surrounded by pretty decent places to eat.
Nope - this is definitely rates a C- grade.
I have fond memories dating back over twenty years ago of Helen's being a great place for food...the ambiance is still there. The service and the food suck...something I couldn't keep doing with that god-awful "milkshake" they charged me 4 bucks to spit out.
Several years ago, Helen & George finally retired after becoming the longest-running original-ownership of any establishment in BC. The new management is mickey-mouse with careless teenage waitresses, higher prices, and the clincher, new recipes with lower quality.
This is Helen's in name only. The fries are dried out greasesticks, the pancakes went from huge to silver-dollars, the milkshakes are inedible. My strawberry shake was made with no name vanilla ice cream from the yellow tub, and a liberal squirt of Nestle's strawberry Quik syrup. Mmm sweeten up some ice cream, all it a shake and expect it to taste good. How about strawberry ice cream to start? This is only one example of the ignorance that has made this place a waste of time & money.
Helen's was legendary. In this century, however, Helen's bites the dust. Self parody is not what I want in a diner. This review is based on a visit just yesterday, but I could have written this 4 years ago. I thought I'd give the place another chance. Don't make the same mistake I did.
I have recently moved to Hillcrest from Kitsilano and have found this to be a fantastic area to raise a family. We've been dining at various restaurants along the Main st. strip and believe to have found a diamond in the ruff. Helens grill is a restaurant that we will certainly be returning to. The staff was friendly and the food was teriffic. I especially liked that the chef came out and joked with our children. Such a friendly guy.
My wife ordered a clubhouse that was described by her with one word "satisfying." My children both had chicken burgers that they devoured quickly. They didn't say much, but judging by what was left on their plates I assume that they too were satisfied. Normally I would order small meals for myself because I would end up eating whatever my children had left over. Not this time. I ordered the steak for myself, and how fantastic it was. I've never spent so little for a steak and at first was a little suspicious of what I might get. I was pleasantly surprised.
Helens is great value. My advice to others is to dine there quickly before they figure things out and raise their prices Lol. I thought I'd pass this along to others who appreciate good food at very reasonable prices. Nothing fancy. Just a good meal, good value, and friendly service.
I don't understand why this place is loved. Service is as rude and abrupt as the Elbow Room, only you expect it to be so at the Elbow Room. I watched one customer walk out after being treated rudely by the waitress. I could hear other customers complain about the waitress's sarcasm.
The pancakes in my breakfast were dry and nearly charred. The sausage was bland. Bacon, however, was excellent and crispy.
There isn't enough going on at Helen's for me to recommend it.
My girlfriend and I have been on the Vancouver diner tour for the last 3 months or so. The last 4 diner dates have been at Helen's grill, mostly because of the jukebox at your table. It doesn't matter what format the potatoes come to you in (whether it be fries or hash browns) they're never done right. The hash browns are ALWAYS either extremely old, sitting on the grill for waaay too long, or intensely powdery and inedible. And the french fries have been re-fried, hopefully not left over from someone else's lunch. This is all really too bad because the omelets are good and the sausage and eggs are a good value. Also, be careful how many quarters you put in the jukebox because not all of your songs will be played.
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