Nuba is located in the basement of the Dominion building on West Hastings and Cambie Street. This recently renovated space features authentic Lebanese cuisine.
I have been exposed to Middle Eastern food the last few years so was excited about going to Nuba. We were told the owner is Lebanese and when asked about the chef, the waitress only said he had cooked in a something star (can’t remember if 4 or 5) restaurant in Mexico….. She didn’t elaborate to say his specialty was Middle Eastern or Lebanese….OhhhhKaay… Let the food speak for itself. We ordered lamb kibbeh, beef tenderloin, catch of the day, with sides of roasted potatoes and taboulleh. It was hit and mostly a miss for me. The lamb kibbeh had good flavour. Nothing special about the catch of the day though, which was more reminiscent of a fish prepared as west coast cuisine. The tenderloin was done to my liking (med-rare), had a nice slightly sweet glaze to it and the caramelized onions were tasty. But is this Lebanese ‘cause it sure tasted like a regular steak. The tahini rice was not fully cooked through and was very thick and dense. I think I was expecting more of a pilaf not a failed risotto. The potatoes seasoned with thyme were too dry and boring. I know cinnamon is a widely used spice in the cuisine but neither of us appreciated it in the taboulleh. I didn’t mind the ambiance. I know it’s a popular place to hang out with it’s warm dim lighting but there was something about the layout that felt cold.
We had the veg. sampler platter.... fantastic. lots of food for 2 people, excellent value. The best hummus I have ever eaten, handsdown. everything on the sampler was so delicious. service is great, good selection of local beers, funky space. Can't wait to go to back fo another round.
I'm a Lebanese guy and I know what Lebanese food tastes Like.
I can tell you simply That Nuba is an OK restaurant but their food doesn't taste really like Lebanese Authentic Food, their recipes is adjusted to suit Vancouverites and their prices is high comparing to the portion that they're offering.
Just want to share my experience with you guys
There is so much that I like about Nuba... the trendy, urban styling, the cool groove music, the different configurations for seating, and eclectic mix of people, the soft lighting... the incredibly thin wait staff.
It's right at the corner of W. Hastings and Cambie, across from the War Memorial. As you sit at your table, you look up at the street as urbanites scurry by.
I had one of the best dishes of my life there... I always forget what it's called, but it is literally grilled cauliflower, with lemon and salt. Three ingredients for this incredible taste! I have never been disappointed, with the food, service or ambiance. I look forward to taking out of town friends there to impress them with how urbane and cool I am... :)
I loved Nuba before it moved: it was small, friendly and the food was prepared in front of you with care. The new Nuba only shares the name and the menu, it seems. I've found the service horribly lacking from where it once was and the quality of food has dropped considerably. I get that they wanted a bigger place; I just don't see why they had to deviate so far from what was working.
Nuba is definitely a place to check out! The food is absolutely amazing, so full of flavour! You get such great food for such a decent price - you won't leave hungry. The staff are very helpful and courteous, and the facilities are so clean and well cared for. It is so nice to find a restaurant that can accomodate vegetarians and vegans (as well as meat eaters!). You won't regret trying Nuba out. The only problem you may encounter is trying to decide what to order - there are too many delicious choices!
my friends and i tried this little place as we were in search of falafel and having read that they recieved the best falafel joint in a newspaper we decided to check them out..we recieved our food fairly quik and enjoyed from the menu the feast which consisted of a sampling of their vegetarian items all of which were delicious. all the while listening to some awesome music .the best thing is the contemporary setting in such a small space
I have a friend who goes here a lot and he'd said good things about it.
I thought the place was great, I just shared a couple of mezze plates and they were all cheap and very tasty. One of my dinner companions had a few things go wrong (substitute fish, missing mezze plate, unsatisfactory dessert) but it didn't seem to ruin the night and the staff were quite apologetic and dealt with the issue appropriately.
The ambience was nice and it was just the sort of place I could sit in for a few hours with good friends snacking and drinking.
One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. You must must must try Najib’s Special (crispy cauliflower with lemon). So tasty. The duck was also very yummy – it was served with a dried fruit salad (tastes better than it sounds!). My absolute favourite dish at Nuba is the lamb hushwie (sauteed lamb served over hummus). For dessert we had the homemade ice cream. It was light and not too sweet. The only part of the meal I did not enjoy was the Turkish coffee. A little too strong and ‘thick’ for my taste. Other than the coffee, this was an almost perfect meal!
The service was great and the prices are very reasonable. Will be back for sure!
been to nuba about 3 times (once to the cafe on main) and have nothing but good things to say! the food is amaazzzzing! tried the falafel, baba ganoush and lamb kibbeh and they were all equally delicious. value is decent (about 20-25/person) and service is excellent. the main attraction is definitely the food - it's consistent, light but irresistible and comes with alot of variety. i definitely definitely recommend this place!
It is good. Good food, can work on the ambience, the basement thing is a bit harsh.
However, great service. The clientele is quite a mosaic of people from the tree huggers to
the executives from all walks of life. So it is certainly loved thruout.
The food that night could have been a bit more flavorful and firery, so I think a bit of more spicing up
is in due order, or maybe have the option.
First time visiting this below street-level spot at the far east of West Hastings and overall a good experience. The menu offers a range of meat, vegetarian, and vegan options and based on what we ordered it was obvious that everything was very fresh. Between the two of us we shared "le grand feast", which although may not live up to the name in quantity, was definitely a great way to enjoy a variety of menu items all at once with lots of Middle Eastern spices and flavors. Aside from the chicken and prawns, both cooked perfectly, the highlight was the hummus and pita. There's something so good about a simple dish involving bread and dip, and it makes a world of difference when the bread is fresh. Our server was great, very friendly, attentive, not over-bearing, and really knowledgeable of the menu. She didn't even hesitate when we asked about a substitution for our order, the pita bread was always refilled quickly, and her drink recommendation was spot on. One minor downside could be the perception of value, given the many cheap falafel joints to be found downtown, but there's a huge difference in quality and overall dining experience between that and the fresh, organic, etc. foods to be found at Nuba. If you've never tried Lebanese food before this is a great place to take the plunge.
First time to this restaurant, and first time to this location at Hastings/Cambie, which has seen many other restaurants here before. Inviting space, a bit dim (but not so dim that one couldn't read the menu!) and very busy for a Wednesday night. We came without reservations, but were greeted with a big smile from the host and seated very quickly. Great start when one truly feels like a wanted guest. Service was good throughout.
I've eaten Lebanese food before so knew some of the items on the menu. Good shared 'little feast', with enough pita to match the quantity of hummus and baba ghanous (other restaurants you'd have to ask for more bread; this was just the right amount). The hot mezzos sizes weren't large, but with a glass of wine each and an assortment of shared dishes, we had only a little room for dessert. Dessert wasn't elaborate (a cardamon custard, shortbread), but nicely finished the meal. We were very satisfied with the whole evening!
Only downside is that it can get very noisy and we had to strain to hear each other, especially later in the meal.
Definitely worth a visit!
Tried this for lunch today with a friend and we were both impressed. The place was full but not noisy and service was good. The decor is nice and they've done a good job to get daylight into a sub-grade space.
The food is delicious. We opted for the 2-course vegetarian sampler for 2, which is great to get a bunch of different flavours, and it costs only $13/person! The waiter mentioned that their vegetarian dishes are their strong points. It started with the baba ghanooj, hummus, and taboulleh - all very tasty with nice, fresh pitas. Then came a round serving platter with several compartments: deep-fried cauliflower w/ lemon and salt (outstanding!), mjadra, falafels, veggie hushwi, and olives w/ feta, plus tahini, hot sauce, and tzaziki as accompaniments. There wasn't one item that wasn't really good. Phenomenal value and an enjoyable lunch.
It was a good finish to a hectic day in the kitchen at VCC, taking the culinary arts course. A couple of classmates and i decided to go for lunch, on a very hot day. Thought it would be a lot cooler in nuba since i was baking in the heat, and well i was baking in nuba too. Some of us only wanted a light lunch so we ordered la feast which was excellent! pretty good, for the price can actually feed 3 people or 2 very hungry people. Cucumber water is an excellent exception to the cool hipster kinda place. the decor is very different like a little lebanese cave it was. the lebanese food was awesome particulary cuz it was vegetarian too, no meat and i was satisfied. the cauliflower, humus were excpetional so was the tatziki. hmm very good little niche place that i never thought of going too!
It was past five pm and the only meat dish left was the lamb kibbeh. At $10 including GST, it was good value. The lamb was tender and moist. The potatoes was nicely cooked and perfectly spiced but the tabouelleh was a bit overpowering. The server was a very nice person so I gave her an extra large tip.
The food was really good. I think it may be more of a lunch place for us, as some of the items on the plate are served cold, but it was all really really good. Loved loved loved the crispy cauliflower.
The service rocked! Our server was super friendly and genuine. The owner even came out...he also cleaned tables...seated people and just genuinely cared about his restaurant. He is 73 yrs old and cute as a button.
For sure we would go back! Great place for lunch as well because the service is fast...oh ya and did i mention - really good!
Ordered the Lamb Kafta with brown rice & hot sauce, and the red lentil soup. The meal arrived with about 30 grams of cold rice, the absolute worst salad my taste buds have ever had the misfortune of tasting, a slab of meat roughly the size of my index finger, and a single drop (literally!) of hot sauce. The soup was only mildly different from a warm cup of water. The two olives in the salad were the highlight of the meal. Not quite worth the associated ~$20 price tag.
I went here once a few months ago and the food and value were okay. Decided to try it again recently, and went into the restaurant on two occasions: once at about 9:55pm and once at about 9:40pm (both during the week, I believe). First time, I was told the kitchen was already closed. Second time, at 9:40pm, I was told by the host that he was 'concerned' because the kitchen would be closing in 15 minutes and that we would have to 'hurry up' and order if we wanted to eat.
No hours are posted on the restaurant's front door, and Nuba's website for the Hastings location clearly states they close the restaurant 'late' during the week. In what world is 10pm late??? Perhaps if the restaurant were located in Maple Ridge or Delta, but downtown Vancouver?? Even this website lists the restaurant's closing time as 11pm during the week. Please update your information and stop parading as a trendy, lax restaurant with flexible hours!! You close at a firm 10pm, just like the Pantry, Pizza Hut, IHOP, ABC, etc....
I've been to Nuba a few times, this location and the one on East 3rd, and the quality is consistantly there. I've had the chicken, falafels, and vegetarian platter, and all were fantastic. The hummus that comes with them I could eat with a spoon, and I always leave here thinking how fresh and healthy the food is. The servers are always nice, not really around too much, but that I dont mind. I like that you can see everybodys feet walking down the street at this location, it makes it a bit different. The prices are good, I would recommend going more for lunch though, the dinner menu doesn't interest me as much, I wish they had the same menu all day. Next time I go back I will be sure to try one of the wraps that my sister swears by.