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3.5
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews46

Irish Heather

210 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC V6B2J2
Tel: (604) 688-9779 Reserve Online
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Irish, Pub
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Service: Takeout, Banquet, Catering
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late night
  • Features: Live entertainment, Wheelchair accessible
  • Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30AM - 12AM, Fri - Sun: 11:30AM - 2AM
  • Located in the heart of historic Gastown, this GastroPub has garnered many accolades for its service, food, alcohol & ambiance.

    In a world filled with "Plastic Paddy" establishments, the Heather stands out as a beacon of authenticity. An Irish House that is owned by Irish people who actually work there...how refreshing!!

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 46 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Now this is Ireland
By Machineman of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, December 30, 2005 - 11:08am [Dine in]

This pub could be located in the Temple Bar district in Dublin. It's been frequented by U2 and many other stars. Go sit in the back for some close company or dine upstairs for a more formal atmosphere. They host large parties in the back room too. And don't forget to stop at the whiskey bar at the back. It's very exclusive. A must visit pub for any Vancouver native.

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Fun night but would rather return another night
By kells of yaletown (27 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:23pm [Dine in]

This restaurant is an example of twitter promoting a venue. I had heard a bunch of people rave about Irish Heather on twitter so my boyfriend and I thought we'd check it out while his cousin was visiting. It was a little hard to find as the entry is quite tiny and the numbering didn't make sense (or perhaps that was just us). There was an okay amount of people in there on a Friday night but it was by no means a happening place. The boys had bangers and mash which they said was good (and very very generous serving) while I just settled for dessert. The dessert was very tasty and came from the venue next door (salt room...???).
This experience itself didn't make me go back but I have since heard that going on a Friday night was a no-no and the right time to go is for lunch on a weekday or a weekday evening (local gastown workers are apparently what make the atmosphere great).
One thing that would make me go back anytime was that they sold Bulmers/Magners. I hadn't had this cider since the UK/Ireland and it was always a favourite so was certainly happy to have one again.

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I foine place, to be shure to be shure.....
By irishgit of New Westminster, (24 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 4:34pm [Dine in]

Very good food and drink, particularly recommend the lamb stew which just melts. Service is very good, friendly, charming and attentive. It brings back memories of my time spent in Ireland, and is one of the gems of Gastown.

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Fair enough
By Emileigh of Point Grey, Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 12, 2006 - 3:28am [Dine in]

It was a very busy night. We were seated in the makeshift covered patio area, and although they filtered in warm air, it was still too cold for most of our party to take off jackets.
Our waiter was friendly and prompt... Was that a hint of Irish lilt? Hard to tell--the voices of dozens of patrons drowned out all but the nearest conversations.
The menu featured a decent array of entrees, appetizers, and desserts. But the strength of Irish Heather lies in its drink selection. They offer several good Irish beers and some classic beer blends--try the Shandy.
The bathrooms were dirty, but what can you expect from an irish pub in Gastown? Anything less would make me question its authenticity.
Will I return? Not unless my friends really want to. Am I glad I went? Definitely! Give it a go, you might like it.

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Best experience yet
By Thehungryone of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 12:37am [Dine in]

have visited the Irish Heather many times in the past, and have never left short of extremely satisfied. Recently I have also had a wonderful experience joining a large group of friends in the Shebeen!

I have always thought it was just whisky and thus never bothered to venture past the big glass room. The room is amazing with the old charm that the rest of the Irish Heather radiates. Our party was catered with a large assortment of food platters that were all excellent, the artichoke fritters a crowd favourite! The staff were all friendly and very accommodating, and everyone had a great time, we'll definately be back soon!

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Prefered the original
By asianfusion of Seattle (15 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - 12:16pm [Dine in]

We had not been into the new location being we live in Seattle until last night. We loved the old traditional homey feel of the original local. The new room is beautiful but lacks an irish spirit. Food is much poorer and smaller portion than the past. Soup was boring, sandwich overpriced, and well the beer was just as good as before - thank god. The room is noisey and the crowd much younger and louder. Service was hit and miss. Waiting several minutes to even get noticed was a big let down. Gastown has been let down. We headed off to Cobre for dessert and a post dessert cocktail on the way back to the Pan Pacific. Both those places are 4/5 star.

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Overrated and overpriced-don't believe the hype
By foodgod of Vancouver, BC (14 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:57am [Dine in]

Went to the Irish Heather last night with a couple of friends and sat upstairs. It was 5:30PM on a Friday but there was no music playing and no other customers yet, so it was like sitting in a museum. The waitress was OK; she ample cleavage on display and made sure we noticed that, but I digress. Overall, our 3 hours in this place was just average. Nothing special about it. I did not feel any real "Irish" ambiance to be honest. The food was just OK and WAY overpriced; appetizers averaged $12-14 & the cheapest was $6 for a small plate of curry fries (!). The main dishes were unremarkable(we had a meatloaf and 2 pot pies).
All in all, a rather diappointing experience and we won't be back. There's better value elsewhere in this city.

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Worth a visit..Great with friends…very social
By shane8585 of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 31, 2007 - 12:24am [Dine in]

I miss the way it was years ago but Sean has done a great job with this place. You will not find a better pour on Guinness anywhere in Vancouver, Seattle, or Portland. I miss the soda bread from years past as well as the mixed root veggies; the new bread basket is a mix of what seems to be leftovers and i don't understand the curry dip. With a perfect Guinness pour you could get by with anything but the menu is not bad. Be sure to visit with friends and try a Guinness the way it was meant to be and you will end up making the Irish Heather a regular stop when you are in Gastown. Be sure to explore…There is more here than you will see with a quick glance.

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Nice Looking Venue, Service Was Unforgivable
By cannuckles of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, September 6, 2013 - 1:26am [Dine in]

First off the positive:
-The venue itself looked quite nice and it seemed to have a nice ambience.
-I didn't look at the food menu, but alcohols there was a large selection of whiskeys available, and moderate sized selections for beers and wines.

The negative:
-I ordered a red wine and the server brought a wine with the foot/base of the glass covered in red wine. I picked up the glass and started tilting it and the wine started dripping from the base, The server didn't spill any wine because there were no wine running from the top of the glass down to the base. I asked for the manager. The manager stated that she is also the bar keeper, thus she poured the wine. The apologized and then tried to rationalize the mistake as not a big deal because this is a "casual" establishment. So, somehow both the manager/barkeep and server did not notice that the round, transparent base of the wine glass was covered in red wine,

-Shortly after I ordered, I felt like I had been sprayed from above (I wasn't soaking wet as a result). I asked two people sitting near me and they told me that they had felt it too. A few minutes later, after I received my drink, we were sprayed again. The server agreed to move us after I complained, but I was left with the impression that the server was already aware of the leak.

-After we were moved, we didn't see any sign of the server for long periods of time. One person wanted to head out and was waiting for the server to show up to pay her portion of the bill. I estimate that we didn't see any sign of the server for over half an hour.

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Pretty good
By katcalls of North Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:27am [Dine in]

I see it's been a while since anyone reviewed this place. I ended up down here after a hockey game the other day and was pleasantly surprised.

I know that this place moved from across the street a while ago, making some people unhappy but I was pretty impressed with it. We were greeted at the door by a lovely guy who helped us get room for 6 people on a busy night. The waitress was great - really attentive - and the drinks flowed quickly.

A few of us were pretty hungry. I tried the bangers and mash and was pretty impressed. The sausages were great, and the gravy was really delicious. The other members of our team were also happy with their meals. Considering the fact that it's an up-scale Irish pub, the prices were decent as well.

Ambiance was great - it's a lovely space, and a group of 3 musicians played Irish reels throughout most of the evening.

All in all, I give this place a solid passing grade.

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Left side good, right side bad
By PrincePatron of Van (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 8, 2008 - 3:11pm [Dine in]

It was our first visit to the Heather since the renovations and I have to say it has a hint of identity crisis. The left side is authentic and intimate while the right side leaves you a little "wtf?".

We made reservations in knowing how busy the old location could get...so we arrive and are greeted with "ughhh, your reservation, ughhhh, yeah, what was your name again?"

Sure enough it wasn't taken down, they bluff their way through it and tell us they have a seat for us, no problem, we are taken past the bar (which is gorgeous) then to the right where there is apparently another room...we walk in and there is this single long long long table that is supposed to be this pseudo communal eating place for their patrons. Do you guys honestly think I want to be elbow to elbow with some WWE fan from calgary while I eat? I think this was a romantic idea on the owner's part gone bad.

Anyway, we order, the food was AMAZING, absolutely spot on. Pot pie rocked, bangers and mash were perfect and the service was spectacular, honestly some of the most attentive service I had had in a while but it all went down under BRIGHT flourescent lighting in a LOUD STERILE room with get this, plastic chairs to support us! It just doesn't make sense! Anyway, we stayed until they closed the kitchen and moved onto the shebeen.

Scotch flowed like water at that point, from what I can remember the bartender was knowledgeable and generous. He really put the icing on the cake for the evening.

In the end it was a solid night, the heather has gone through an evolution and the modern vancouver scene seems to have played a major part in some of it. That's really a shame. Still, I would recommend the location, the food and the pricing. It just sucks knowing you are going there having to endure a bad element.

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Solid food, nice pints
By superhunkdougal of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 4, 2008 - 2:12pm [Dine in]

Fish and chips were very tasty, not overtly greasy and well seasoned. Curry sauce was...interesting to say the least - I believe a visit to a proper Irish take-away is in order to properly understand what a curry sauce can do for a nice plate of chips.

Bangers and mash was also very nice, sausages were very mild tasting but at least they weren't covered in charcoal.

Menu is very small at this point, but I believe time and an emphasis on the quality of the food will only lead to good things.

Very nice pours of Guinness (and reasonably priced), but I personally believe the Black Frog a couple of blocks away has the best Gastown pint.

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Can it get better?
By FoodEnthusiast of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, January 4, 2008 - 1:15pm [Dine in]

I have visited the Irish Heather many times in the past, and have never left short of extremely satisfied. Recently I have also had a wonderful experience joining a large group of friends in the Shebeen!

I have always thought it was just whisky and thus never bothered to venture past the big glass room. The room is amazing with the old charm that the rest of the Irish Heather radiates. Our party was catered with a large assortment of food platters that were all excellent, the artichoke fritters a crowd favourite! The staff were all friendly and very accommodating, and everyone had a great time, we'll definately be back soon!

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A shame about the attitude
By k8t of North Van (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, December 7, 2007 - 1:33pm [Dine in]

We attended a birthday party at the Irish Heather and were in a private room for the event. The service was slow (40 + mins) but I don't believe it was the servers fault it seemed they were understaffed. I had the pot pie and it was decent.

There was about 15-20 people in attendance and we were singing a song when the "owner" rudely approached the group and stated something to the effect of "I am the owner here and this is a resturant pub not a pub you need to keep it down" (seems it is classified as a pub on dinehere and other sites). In any event, I can understand being asked to keep it down but the way she approached us was rude and harsh. I was then asked to "go down stairs" to talk the owner (like a naugthy school kid). After spending thousands of dollars the owner put everyone off side and we left. There were a few snide remarks sent her way by departing customers and it seems she did not understand why!
All it would have taken to keep people there was a nicer approach try "I know you are having fun but please, for others sake keep things a little quiter...no one would have objected to this! I will never return.

As to the ambiance, there really was not much to comment on. We were in a separate room. Furnishing is basic pub like thae patio out the back seems OK but we were not located there. The bathrooms need some work.

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Irish Heather - OK for beers & whiskys but not good for food
By Kelvin_Brown of North Vancouver, BC (19 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 15, 2010 - 4:08pm [Dine in]

The place has a good selection of guest beers & a comprehensive range of single malts from around the world, but the food is basic & over-priced for what you get. Poor value for money. I had a steak & Guinness pie. There wasn't much steak in it, though the pie was of a decent size. However, the pie was "watered down" with soggy vegetables. The vegetable shoudl have come as a side order - a selection of peas, carrots & boccoli would have been nice - like typical pub grub in the UK. Potatoes only came in a selction of chips (fries) or mash ! Too basic for $15 ! I know Canada is extremely expensive, but my local in the UK does 2 steak & ale pie meals, with vegetables & a choice of how your potato is cooked + a decent pint for GBP£5 (CAD$8.20). We really are getting ripped of here in Canada. Standards need to be raised.

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Liked Old Location Better
By Davros of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 6:08pm [Dine in]

Visited the Irish Heather since it's moved a few times now. While it's very pretty, the new Heather has lost its personality. The old Heather is clearly dead and gone, and they are looking for a different clientelle than me. I loved to go hang out all night drinking and meeting new people.
Now it feels to unfriendly and anti social. I havent eaten in the new version, as the menu doesnt really appeal. But regrettably I don't think I will be returning, as it no longer has that certain something it once had.

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Lovely Pub Night
By Epicurious-er of Point Grey (17 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 3:37pm [Dine in]

I went to this place for my birthday - we ordered some wine and appies. I was surprised at how much food we got! The cauliflower and hummus plate was delish! Service was also good, our server was very polite and pleasant. All around, I was really impressed with this place and I intend to make it a regular haunt.

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A sad state
By mondosteve of Vancovuer (10 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 1, 2009 - 1:22pm [Dine in]

Upon entering one smells the chemical/urinelike smell of the stupid chemical rinse glasswasher at the end of the bar. I don't know how the wait staff can stand there - the stench is putrid and burned my eyes and nose while paying my bill there recently.

That putrid glasswasher serves to ruin what would be a great pour of Guinness. Take a whiff of your glass next time and you will know what I mean. Good beer deserves a "Beer Clean" glass, period.

The menus are tired paper with spills and food shmeers all over. Disgusting. The menu also says three bangers when they only serve two (the only thing tasty on the menu), and the mash is repulsive.

The tart tatin featured raw pastry.....it gets worse from there.

I like the idea of the place, but they need to execute on the food, the service and the overall attitude much better to stay in the game.

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Great Place, Service Needs Work
By UsedCar of Burnaby (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 2:07pm [Dine in]

This is an excellent spot to go for drinks and a bite to eat. The food is very good for a pub environment. I had a duck confit that was delicious. You do not often see items like that in a pub. The feel of the room is equally impressive. I love old buildings and that timeless feel. I prefer this to the moderne feel of most new places. This has a coziness to it.
The service on the other hand is lacking. I dont know if its simply they cant find enough staff, or if they purposely keep a low level of staff on to save money. There was 2 serves when we were there, and the place was hopping busy. If they had just 1 more on, it probably would have fixed a lot of the problems of service.
Hopefully, they staff a little better, I think that's all they need to make this a great place.

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A great place for a Friday night
By Florentine of Yaletown, Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 - 1:32am [Dine in]

I've been here for lunch many times, but have never truly enjoyed a night here with friends like I did a few weeks ago. We sat in the back 'Gaoler's Mews' alley and shared pints of Guinness, Kilkenny, and rounds of 15 year old scotch. Because the Irish Heather also owns the Shebeen Whiskey House (in the little building in the alley), you have access to the most extensive whiskey/scotch menu in the entire city, and it's hard not to take advantage of that!

Service was fantastic. Cecilia is a gem, practically hosting our night, always making sure our drinks were in order and food was on our table. The cheese plate and the chips with curry sauce were highlights. That curry sauce is certainly addictive and I can see why it's such a popular snack food in the UK (and I'm assuming Ireland as well). As far as pub food goes, this stuff is great.

Ambiance is "incredible" because you're in one of the oldest alleys in Vancouver and it's closed off to everyone except the patrons of the restaurant. So you have this little historic square all to yourselves, especially when they set all the tables out there on Friday nights. The decor inside is tastefully Irish, not tacky at all. Just watch out for little fuzzy caterpillars falling off the trees in early September if you wish to dine outside in the evening. :)

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