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2.5
  • Food1.5
  • Service2
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews11

Kino Cafe Flamenco and Tapas Bar

3456 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z2W8
Tel: (604) 875-1998
Neighbourhood: East Side
  • Cuisine: American, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Dinner
  • Features: Patio, Wheelchair accessible
  • Hours: Mon - Sun: 3PM - 1AM
  • Steps away from the Park Theatre, this laid-back hangout takes its name from the German word for “cinema.” Vintage movie posters create a bohemian feel, enhanced by live flamenco dancing and swing music most nights. Jazz M-Tu. Open daily.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
I should have known the first time...
By mapia of Port Moody, Greater Vancouver (53 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 7:50pm [Dine in]

I wasted time and money at this place, not once but TWICE! I guess they're right in school, don't let peer-pressure get to you when your gut is telling you to run! I don't know how or why this place is still in business...probably because the second time I was there I saw Vikram Vij as a patron...WTF???

I first went for what was supposed to be an exciting night out with the ladies at work. Slooooooooow food, cold food, bad service. The potatoes were cold and mushy. The pizza (or was it bruschetta?) was tough and bland. And it was expensive. The servers couldn't be bothered with us. Cash only.

Second time. Much of the same. Except SOMEHOW my friends managed to convince me to pay $50 to spend my New Year's Eve here. Again slooooooooooow service. The buffet was not served until about 10. And most of the stuff was cold and uninspired. Some sausage tossed in tomato sauce. Same cold potatoes. And forget service. What service?

Vij, what was up with that??? How could you stand for it?? NEVER AGAIN.

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Shameful
By epicurious of Burnaby, BC (507 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 6, 2010 - 5:06pm [Dine in]

I had to add my 2 cents here. I came here for girlfriend L's birthday about 2 weeks ago looking forward to some good food with a great show. When making reservations, they said the show would start at 8:30 and we MUST be seated before then. So we arrived at 8...to a half empty restaurant. Felt strange that it would be so empty with a performance starting in just half hour.

We didn't really get any service up front...basically had to find our own table with our name on a white piece of paper taped to the table. We sat down near the cashier and noticed a small sign that said "cash only". I'm sorry, not a lot of ppl carry cash to dine out these days, it might be worth mentioning the "cash only" rule when taking the reservation.

We perused the menu and finally decided on a pitcher of sangria (very light and bland tasting), the famous patatas bravas (real let down - nothing more than deep-fried homefries with cocktail sauce on the side), a small calamari salad (probably the best item of our meal), smoked salmon pizza, pesto camembert melt (on a gum-impaling overtoasted baguette), and one more item that was completely forgetable because I forgot what it was.

Like all the other reviews, the food took forever to arrive - I would say we didn't eat until after 9pm. We sat, ate, drank, and finished way after the supposed 8:30 performance start. They actually didn't start until about 10pm. Yes amazing performance, but we were so tired of waiting, cranky from sub-par food, and nearly passing out from body odor stink and no ventilation, that we had to leave just after the first set. We requested our bill, and didn't get it until after a long wait. Apparently, they add up your order total only after you ask for your bill.
So we again we waited for our grumpy server to work up the calculator, paid our $100 for the meal and left.

Btw, they came around with a donation basket for the performers after the first set. Definitely worthy of a donation since they do not charge a cover, but again, who carries that much cash on them? I would have paid more of a donation if I didn't have to make sure I had enough to cover to cost of dinner. The owners should really invest in debit/credit machines, but then again I guess that would cost them money.

It was definitely an experience, but just make sure you bring lots of cash.

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Good entertainment...
By me_hungie of Marpole, Vancouver (33 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 11:45am [Dine in]

I've been to the Kino a few times, and each time has been about the same. The music and dancing is fantastic (for the most part; I came mid-week once and it was pretty bad), but it can be kind of awkward to face the stage if you're not sitting in the right spot.

Friends have suggested to eat before coming to the Kino, and it's understandable; the food isn't horrible but it isn't anything special either. The nachos were basically just overcooked chips and cheese with salsa and sour cream on the side.

The servers don't come around often; you have to call them over if you want service. It gets quite busy in there so it's not that the servers don't care, they're just all over the place. I tried to be patient when I arrived to see if they'd come to me, but i waited over a half hour and ended up going to the bar. My seat was facing the wall so it was hard to flag down a server.

Considering the entertainment, the value is good, but the drinks aren't exactly cheap. All things considered, the Kino is a great place for entertainment, but if you're not into flamenco music/dancing, go somewhere else.

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1.5 hour wait to get our food
By pierre1840 of vancouver (main) (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 7:58am [Dine in]

walked into Kino cafe last night at 8pm, way before the 9pm rush, placed order by 8:10 i was seeing dishes of food being delivered to tables ALL AROUND US , who by the way got there 30-60 minutes after us.....by 9:30 we are told that the order has been lost, and that the food would be on its way, well it took over 90 minutes from when we ordered... to get the food, then the food was about as good as a warmed up TV Dinner, yes the dance show is pretty good , but bad service took all the romance of the flamenco. The other thing that was annoying was the request to be quiet. This restaurant is competing with the elbow room cafe on Davie Street, where they are known for being rude to you , its their brand, you expect it there, but even there they get your food to you faster. Kino should pay attention , all it will take is a new flamenco restaurant to open up with slightly better food and the wave will begin.

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Grossed out
By katinvan of Vancouver (east) (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 4:55pm [Dine in]

Came in for a drink prior to movie at nearby theatre. Ordered drinks after a very long wait for someone to notice us, despite being half empty. Then got extremely grossed out when we noticed the wall we were sitting next to was completely covered in fruit flies...in the middle of winter. Moved to sit away from the walls, and drank up quickly to go. Took another long wait to get our bill, which was wrong. We paid up what we thought we owed (waitress undercharged, missing a drink) and left ASAP.
If the walls in the space are that nasty, can you imagine what the kitchen looks like? While the beer tasted all right, we worried the beer lines would be as dirty as the rest of the place. Really disgusting, I definitely recommend not to eat here.

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Don't Go - Not Real Flamenco
By vancitygirl2010 of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, November 15, 2010 - 1:26pm [Dine in]

Kino USED to be a real flamenco/tapas bar, it USED to be a little slice of Spain in the middle of Vancouver. I don't know what happened, perhaps they changed owners or perhaps like many other places, they started taking their clients for granted, started cutting corners to save a dime and while they were at it, took the authenticity and quality out of the only flamenco bar in they city.

I don't even know where to get started with the food: it's just bad. They could spend the same amount of money they do now on food and actually amp up the menu to make it more authentic. And don't even bother ordering their watered down sangria.

Then there's the "flamenco".... I would have to say that up until about last year, it was acceptable. There were a couple of girls that were really talented (dancers and a singer) and worth going to see if you love flamenco like I do, but now? Saturday's are a mess, completely westernized, modern dance they call Flamenco that would be booed off stage if they set foot in Spain. Fridays used to be better but like the food, it seems they prefer to cut corners, save money and hire the fat and untalented..oh and rude 'cause they'll shush you up in a heart beat if you speak yet will expect you to tip them when they come around with their basket ... so Im assuming the owners of the prestigious Kino don't even have the decency to pay their artists.

Kino cafe get two very big thumbs down on my behalf, I haven't gone back in a LONG time, will NEVER go back and have disuaded people from going when I've heard them bring it up.
Yeah, maybe Kino thinks that people in vancouver can't tell the difference between real flamenco and the crap they offer now, but WE DO and they should have more respect for themselves and for their paying clients.

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Worst service ever
By Allison of Burnaby (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 29, 2006 - 2:58pm [Dine in]

Not only is the menu very limited and the food mediocre, but the customer service is the worst I have ever experienced. Six of us went there for dinner -- we were there for almost three hours trying to get something to eat. It was impossible to get service; when we did get service, the server couldn't answer any of the questions we had about the menu (didn't know the menu at all). After about an hour wait, another server started to feel sorry for us and offered to bring us nachos while we waited for our meals. By the time she brought the nachos, the first of the six meals were coming out. Four of our six meals were brought out about 15 minutes apart; they brought the wrong meal to one person; and our final two meals never arrived at all. We finally gave up and went to pay our bill and they didn’t even offer us a discount! I will never, ever, ever return to Kino Café. Ever! (And to top it off, they would only accept cash!)

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Fun night out!
By luvlife of West Van, (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 7:06am [Dine in]

Kino Cafe is a hidden gem in the city its like taking a trip to spain but in ur Vancouvers back yard. Kino has been around forever...and u can feel that when u walk in but thats what makes it even more special.The dancers are amazing and sooo talented and its a shame that people have to be so neagative...especially when u walk into a restaurant that has wooden benches(seriously get over urself go to joeys if u want something like that!)The sangria is great and nachos are amazing! Flamenico is weds thru sunday and honestly i would have to say that all nights are special and to get a chance to watch them all friday,saturday, and sunday are my personal favorites:)service was friendly but u can tell they dont have enough staff but if ur enjoying the performace u dont really notice.

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Inspiring Music and Atmosphere
By Ashkabel of East Van (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 7:58pm [Dine in]

The Kino is one of the best-kept secrets in the Vancouver music scene. The food is nothing special, but it's inexpensive and more then edible, and the sangria is excellent. The real draw here is the live entertainment, which is exceptional every night of the week. There is flamenco on most nights, with impassioned performances by beautiful dancers and skilled musicians. Gypsy jazz Mondays are also worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of the likes of Django Reindhardt. The atmosphere is incredible, and on many nights I've gone for dinner and stayed into the long hours of the morning, as impromptu performance follows impromptu performance and couples get up to dance.

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Kino - fantastic
By Moniqueg of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 8:38pm [Dine in]

This is a decent sized cafe with numberous tables. I have been there a few times, the dancing and performances are great and highly-energetic, music great and service is very good. I suspect having read other reviews below that Kino has worked on their service issues. It is much better now!
The food is decent, not enough flavour I agree in SOME of the dishes, but the plates, chorizo and other small dishes are popular... tapas as they are meant to be, in the Spanish style!
The little pizzas are also popular.
I recommend Kino, a great way to spend your evening and something quite different!

M

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Wonderful Experience
By baller81 of Burnaby (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 6:00pm [Dine in]

I have been to the Kino Cafe twice. Once a few months ago and again on New Year's Eve. The first time I went I went for drinks with friends and to see the amazing Flamenco dancers and musicians they have. I enjoyed the experience so much I went back for New Years for their dinner and entertainment. The food was ok...truthfully nothing special. most of the food items offered in our buffet dinner were bland and I'm assuming the chef doesn't really have any culinary training. However they did offer a nice antipasto plate, and the calamari was cooked perfectly, although it could have used some more flavor. Besides the food, go to the Kino Cafe for the entertainment. It is high-energy, beautiful music and dancing, with an incredible Spanish Guitar player, a singer with a rich and pitch-perfect voice, and most of all, beautiful and talented Flamenco dancers. Our service was friendly and prompt the entire night. My second experience was even better than the first, and I will absolutely be back.

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