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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews81

Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

1535 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC V6H3R9
Tel: (604) 669-9030
Fax: (604) 669-9033
Neighbourhood: West Side
  • Cuisine: Pacific northwest, Seafood, Steaks, Sushi, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Weekend brunch
  • Features: Gluten free, Ocean Wise, Patio, View, Television, Live entertainment, Wheelchair accessible
  • Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30AM - 12AM, Fri - Sun: 11:30AM - 1AM
  • The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is a 300-seat restaurant in the heart of Granville Island with its very own sushi bar, earning bragging rights as a fresh seafood restaurant. Their unique, second-floor patio is under the Granville Street Bridge, overlooking False Creek. Hoshi’s Sushi Bar is one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets, open 7 days a week from 5:30pm onwards, Master Sushi Chef Hoshi makes the freshest sushi to order. Enjoy live music all week long, as the Teredo Lounge transforms into a trendy piano bar in the evening. Featuring a variety of local brew, the lounge at Sandbar is an exciting place to listen to live music, enjoy fresh tapas and meet great people.

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 81 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Nice time
By mia of Maple Ridge (21 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 7:20am [Dine in]

Solo dining experience early evening of St. Paddy's day. Sat at the bar, the place was near empty, the calm before the storm I think. Patrick the bartender - says his name was real, but not entirely sure I believed him ; )
did a real nice job, friendly and knowledgable about the menu. Had a couple of glasses of wine, a tad overpriced, but if the cost of being able to look out over the water is $1 more a glass, fine by me. Had the crab cakes - good and the flat bread which was great, like a mini homemade pizza and great value for the $6 or $7 it costs. Venue is great, almost worth the price to watch the beautiful waitresses and hostesses do their thing.

Not the first time I've been here, and certainly won't be the last.

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Pricy, but what a view!
By ngibzak of Burnaby (22 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 6:13pm [Dine in]

Went to the Sandbar pretty much on a whim a couple of weekends ago. We’d gone to Granville Island planning to catch a show, when the girlfriend suddenly decided that that she wanted to have dinner first instead. Sandbar was nearest, and despite the fact that it was a bustling Saturday night and we didn’t have reservations, we decided to give it a shot. It didn’t look good at first. We were told we’d have to waitlist, and were directed to another counter; but, as luck would have it, we managed to nab a table almost immediately. And not just any table, but a window-side table on the top deck, and the exact same table where we’d had our first date. Very cool, and lucky.

After taking our seats, and indulging in a little wine and bread, we decided to start with an order of veggie spring rolls. These arrived nicely deep fried – crisp but not greasy – and came with a plum and black sesame dip that was both slightly sweet and slightly tart. While adequate, both the girlfriend and I agreed that something with a bit of heat, such as a sweet chili sauce, would’ve made an even better accompaniment. Still, as an appetizer, it was alright. For her main, the girlfriend chose the salmon (coho, I think), which came atop a creamy risotto. I didn’t try any, and I’m a little vague on the exact details of the dish, but the girlfriend said it was fine. What she really loved, however, and I enjoyed as well, was my order – mahi-mahi with a burnt orange glaze. It was very good, with the sweet/spicy glaze giving the meaty fish a real kick. Definitely a dish to seek out again.

Service during dinner was polite, efficient and helpful. We’ve been to the Sandbar a few times, and have never experienced anything less. Ambiance-wise, it’s hard to beat dinner by candlelight on the rooftop patio. And as for value … well, in my opinion this is the Sandbar’s major weakness. The portion of rice that accompanied my main was so small I thought it must’ve been portioned out with a shot glass. And the only other things on my plate were a few sprigs of asparagus and a small wedge of tomato. While I realize that there’s a premium to be paid for food quality and location, it’s be nice if the Sandbar’s portions could at least approximate their inflated prices.

Still, value for dollar notwithstanding, the Sandbar’s not a bad place to go for well prepared seafood on Granville Island. Just be sure to ask for a table on the patio to in order to make the most of your visit.

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Quiet and relaxing lunch
By i ate it of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 27, 2010 - 6:38pm [Dine in]

Our party of six had lunch at the Sandbar on a Thursday afternoon. We were seated quickly and the restaurant was pleasantly quiet. Our server was was polite and quick. We were served bread and the food arrived quickly. I ordered the clam linguine and requested that cream be added to the white wine sauce. The pasta was delicious. It was a smallish portion for $17, and there were only a few clams in the bowl, but I was pleased with my meal. My friend had the salmon and said it was a little dry.

I had the chocolate mousse/pudding for dessert and it was lovely. Very light texture with whipped cream and pistachio crumbles. Everyone thought that it was quite tasty.

The restaurant is nicely decorated and spacious. It's a nice chance of pace but a little pricey. Give it a try!

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Great spot for lunch
By chefmom of richmond (17 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 2:17pm [Dine in]

My friend treated me to lunch here yesterday. We sat on the covered patio so enjoyed the fresh air and stayed warm with the provided blankets and the big patio heaters. It was your typical wet, cool, dark November day, but the view and the rustic charm of the restaurant perked us up. The food was a bonus. Lovely warm, flavourful clam chowder then wok squid, served with excellent rice. It was the best fried squid I had ever had, tender and flavourful. Portions were large so we had no room for dessert. The service was attentive and friendly. I am looking forward to going here again soon.

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omg. so good.
By monmon of Vancouver, Canada (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 2:26pm [Dine in]

My bf and I went here last night to have a mini celebration. We walked in at 8 on a Wednesday with no reservation and they were able to sit us on a booth near the kitchen. we were presented with a 'today's fresh catch' menu, which reminded us of a great seafood restaurant in Portland. Neither of us have been here before, and were a little apprehensive, waiting to see if Sandbar would deliver. And sure enough, it was a night to remember.

service: very attentive. our entrees look a long to come, but the server and manager dealt with it very professionally. the manager took out the food and told us that they would love to buy us dessert because of the delay. it's always nice when they show appreciation like that. However, our server was a little strange at the beginning. when he was explaining the menu to us, it was like he's explaining to teenagers..."ahi tuni is great, it's a little cooked on the outside and raw in the middle..."... um, silly you, you think i don't know what it is. strange!

ambiance: pretty good! i love the 3 levels. but where we sat, we didn't get a good view of the river... which was unfortunate. maybe next time we'll have better seats.

food:
appy: crab cake was average. entree: i ordered the ahi tuna ($28), bf ordered the swordfish ($26). Mine was perfectly cooked, smokey from the brick oven, such quality seafood too! i love tuna, but i've never had it THIS good before. my bf's swordfish was like the steak of fish! the texture and the taste was unbelievable! much better than the portland place (which was suppose to have some of the best seafood in USA!!) My bf's pretty picky, and even he said it was delicious from the first bite all the way to the very last. the rice side didn't do much for the meal, and it's a strange resemblance to chinese fried rice. we laughed about that. The dessert was yummy! really good berry crumble ($9) and Belgian choc pudding ($7.80~).

Overall, worth every penny. will go back as often as we can.

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Good service, okay food
By sydney2006 of vancouver downtown (13 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 23, 2006 - 8:58pm [Dine in]

I wasn't really impressed with the food here. I ordered the mussles which were done in a thai broth that was just alright. I also ordered a beet and blue cheese salad to start that was dry and lacked flavour. The two other people at my table were not overly impressed with their food, either. Probably won't go back.

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The hostesses are total snobs, but sometimes the servers are nice: in a stoopidly cute way
By bottomless of Arbutus Ridge, Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 9:36pm [Dine in]

Whenever I'm at Sandbar, I only sit on their patio, so my experience with the food is limited to the snack menu. On the rare occasion, good timing will allow you to sit at one of the tables on the northwestern edge of the patio. The view and ambience under the bridge with outdoor fireplaces is quite lovely. The food on the other hand is quite lacking in talent and distinction. The most interesting thing on the menu is probably the seafood club sandwich. The burgers seriously suck. And i think the only thing i would order at Sandbar is the oysters because they don't involve cooking.

The dining room downstairs seems packed a lot of the time. So maybe their dinner menu is much better. Either that or people in this city have bad tastes in cuisine.

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Fantastic Meal!
By tastytasty02 of Burnaby (44 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 2:35pm [Dine in]

My BF and I visited the Sandbar yesterday for a nice dinner. We were very impressed with the patio dining area where we were seated. The ambiance was great with a view and fireplaces around the dining area. Our server was stone cold with no smiles or warmth but she did the job right although she forgot to bring us our bread. Ordered the dragon boat platter to share and it included potstickers, wok squid, crab cakes, ribs, and wok chicken (b/c spring rolls were sold out) Overall, the platter was ok not awesome. The real stars of the show were our entrees my BF had the special steak and prawns and I had the swordfish accompanied with garlic mash (instead of rice) and asparagus. The steak was cooked perfectly charred for a great flavour. The swordfish was absolutely delectable with silcilan tomato, olive, and caper topping definately the highlight of our meal! I loved dining at Sandbar and plan to visit again and again!

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Some good some bad
By imonaplain of Richmond (39 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 19, 2012 - 11:33pm [Dine in]

Quick review: Been here twice, once last summer for a memorable night and I still remember the Arctic Char I had. Came here last week and was fairly disappointed. Their California rolls were horrible, sure they use real crab but I thought it was poorly executed and bland. Excellent sablefish though, it was rich and buttery and perfectly cooked to my liking. Fish is definitely their specialty. Our server was stretched and never brought us bread, besides a quick quality check and the payment he was pretty much non-existant, the service was just not there. They have an amazing view of the Granville Street Bridge on their outside heated patio though.

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Great Seafood, good views
By theschuay86 of Vancouver (32 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 4:25pm [Dine in]

Sandbar has great seafood, as it should. No complaints with the food.

I don't remember the service too well, which means is was not bad or good.

The restaurant is quite large. I wish we could seat upstairs, but they never do. Must be for large groups only. It has some fantastic views of the city, however, since it is so large, you most likely won't get a view.

From what I hear, the food is better at Sandbar, the view is better at Bridges (Another Granville Island restaurant).

Nice place to go after a day at Granville Island.

T. Schuay

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Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Pick Em Up
By business1 of Vancouver or area (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 22, 2011 - 2:11pm [Dine in]

atmosphere: great view and water, great for dates or picking up.
food: excellent. the portion is good and not too pricey. Speialize in fish/.
cons: maybe it's just me but the music at the bar is a bit too loud for the people in the dinning hall... I want to start a conversation and sometimes its tough talking em up
drinks: great full bar menu with aeptable markups

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Meat Meet Market MMMMM
By Bill.matthew of Vancouver suburbs (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 11:18pm [Dine in]

What an ambiance. Sexy waitress, group of unattached chicks. Went for long weekend evening the group enjoyed it. Very authentic seafood food very tasty and great. Service was OK but not too prompt and the pisco sours are amazing a few of those and you'll be dancing to the DJ in the wee hours. Girls aplenty and after drinks very accessible. What a time. View of water and lights of downtown. Easy choice.

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Fifth Time unlucky
By Triedit of Metro Vancouver (37 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 22, 2010 - 12:58pm [Dine in]

This was my 5th visit here and unfortunately the food simply was not good. It was 2:30 Sunday afternoon, the restaurant was about 60% full. My hamburger was overcooked and so dry, I am not a fan of well done meat at all so this disappointed me. I never have thought the food here was anything more than average but it is a good place to visit with friends, generally a good vibe.

The service was very good though so that was a positive.

Oddly enough people at three different tables within hearing of ours complained to their servers about their food and everyone had something different, so maybe the kitchen was having a seriously off day?

The more unhappy thing though was the menu showed the burger plate at $13 but when the bill arrived I was charged $16 with no comment. I debated questioning it then realized I needed to go and did not want to take the time to sort it out. However this is the second restaurant I have been in where the menu price and the bill differed and I did not order any extras or changes at all. Is this sloppiness on the restaurants part?

I did question it in the other restaurant and they adjusted the bill so perhaps the Sandbar would have if I gave them the chance to- who knows?

With the added cost of the HST this type of error makes eating out more complicated-not only is it costing 7%. More but you have to keep sorting out stuff. Time to eat a home I think.

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One of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver
By Anjew of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 21, 2008 - 6:17am [Dine in]

I have never had a bad experience here. I spent an intimate birthday dinner here and enjoyed every moment of it. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone I know.

The Sablefish is tremendous, the lobster is delicious, the chowder is soooo good. The portions are fair for what you pay and just typing this review makes me hungry and wanting more =)
If you've never been, give it a shot =)

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Awesome Fish!
By BCGirl of North Burnaby (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 3:37pm [Dine in]

My boyfriend took me to Sandbar for my birthday a month or so ago and it was great!
We were early for our reservation but they seated us right away anyways and had very fast drink service. Ordered appetizers (Wok Fried Squid and Spicy Tuna Roll) which were very good. The squid had great flavour but was a little bit chewy, still great though. The roll was really tasty with a nice bit of heat to it.
Dinner was the seared Ahi Tuna with cucumber relish and wasabi chipotle sauce....AMAZING....
The tuna was cooked to perfection and the sauce/garnish was delicious. My boyfriend got the steak and prawns and while his was good he wished he had ordered fish (he can't stay away from red meat though).
Ambiance was great, we sat on the patio beside the window, and it was a little bit chilly for me. Next time I will sit near the interior of the patio.
The only thing I didn't like was the lounge like chairs that we had! I felt like I had to lean so far over to reach my plate and couldn't stretch my legs under the table.
Service was very attentive and friendly.
All in all it was great food and I will be back!

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SUPER SMALL PORTION!!
By eminh83 of vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 23, 2007 - 5:34pm [Dine in]

It's at a nice location with good view if you are lucky. It was really noisy and you had yell across the table to talk to your friends. I ordered the seafood ravioli and there was only 3 peices (~ size of a tonnie) and a piece of scallop. It tasted excellent but seriously it was only 3 peices and I was like "...I paid 20 somthing for 3 peices of ravioli???" We asked for more bread but I felt kind of embarassing. Service was just ok...we waited a long time for anyone to across our table. Overall, left with 1/2 filled stomach and had to go else to get more food.

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Good food and value for the money
By vancouvermatt of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 22, 2007 - 11:01am [Dine in]

Went to Sandbar last night.

Good service, as was the food. Very good value for $25.00.

The only major mistake made by the server was taking away one persons plate, while the other one was still eating (this is a no, no as it makes it seem the other person is eating by themselves).

We also weren't given steak knives to go with our lamb shank until we asked another server, as there was a group of about 10 waiters at the back of the restaurant comparing and discussing two bottles of wine for a good 5-10 minutes - the manager should handle training before the shift, as opposed during the middle of a meal service. The bread also arrived late (she said it was still baking).

As well, when a glass of port was ordered, the server brought a quarter-ounce pour in a dirty glass -- and it was full of sediment! We complained, and she rectified it quickly.

I imagine the bartender didn't check the cleanliness of the glass, and didn't want to open a new bottle when he got to the bottom of the 1st one - lazy!

That being said, the above comments are being extremely picky and the experience didn't turn us off from dining here again (this was our 3rd or 4th visit here, including a birthday dinner a few months back).

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GOod service, average food
By bobo of vancouver (47 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, June 19, 2006 - 2:35am [Dine in]

I was there for my mother-in-law's birthday party, and once again, she brought her own cake to the restaurant. The waiters were so nice to first not condemn us for bringing our own dessert. After they sliced the cake for us, they even added extra straberries so that everyone got a piece with their cake. Where can you get service like this?

The food on the other hand was average. The seafood was fresh but not particularly tasty. I didn't find the price reasonable nor do I want to ever go back again. It was a great experience with excellent view but the food just doesn't cut it.

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happy customers
By junevisitor of New Jersey, USA (7 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 16, 2006 - 8:36pm [Dine in]

We walked in without any advance knowledge. Shared oysters then ordered separate items. The steamed Dungeness crab was superb, what it should be and not what it so often is. Recommended wine was a great choice. Good basic bread and salad. Excellent dessert and coffee. Service was friendly. Enjoyed the setting, with the fireplace, water view and open-air feel.

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Yummy food with good view to boot
By myomi of Richmond (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 5:36pm [Dine in]

I love Sandbar for many reasons. For one, the spinach salad's decent. The clam chowder's also pretty good. And the entrees are quite yummy as well. Haven't gotten around to the desserts yet, as am always too full when I come here to eat.

Made the mistake, however, of having brunch here one morning/noon. The benny was stale and yucky -- better off at Denny's.

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