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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews82

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 41 - 60 of 82 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
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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Good food and service
By 54321 of Richmond (26 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, June 1, 2009 - 6:33pm [Dine in]

Arrived early evening on a Sunday and were seated right away, it filled up quickly though. we were out for a night and went all out with appies, salads, sworfish, clams, crab, bevies. Everything was good. We felt like we got good value for what we had, the view, the real estate, etc. Overall we were very happy with our dinner.

The service was also good, though seemed a bit rehearsed at times. Still she was attentive.

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nice view nice seafood
By kuma of Coquitlam (26 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 9, 2009 - 2:33pm [Dine in]

I have been here only once but it was a great experience after a long walk on granville island. The seafood was yummy altho I find some of the mussels weren't that fresh. Loved the prawns! The service was really friendly and helped us on deciding what to get since we just wanted to try a few dishes with right portion. Overall we finished everything, the atmosphere is nice, love the big sofas and wooden tables. The place is busy and so a bit noisy but didn't bother me at all. Infact, it feels right since it's on granville island :) Great place to try! Definitely recommend and will go back!

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View isn't everything
By oldbrogene of Kits (23 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 2:04pm [Dine in]

That's right. View isn't everything. Service is like fast food, lets go lets go, lets go. (Is time money). Food not too bad, not too good. If you want WOW, wrong place. The ambience is one of a kind. The view fantastic. Good drinks, by the way, cold beer and reasonable list of wines. May be with a strong manager the place will fly high.

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Fine example of why you should order seafood from a restaurant by the sea!
By guybrushthreepwood of Vancouver (downtown) (11 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 22, 2010 - 9:17am [Dine in]

We have never been dissapointed with the seafood we order at Sandbar and this restaurant taught me the rule to only order seafood from a seafood restaurant by the water =) Oysters, salmon, tuna ... you name it, and we've ordered it at Sandbar and loved it everytime.

Service is a bit spotty at times however ... not consistent.

All in all .. one of Vancouver's best seafood restaurants.

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Great way to spend a Monday afternoon....
By goingdutch of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - 11:17am [Dine in]

Went to the Sandbar yesterday after shopping at the Market. The patio was hopping, as expected, but we were able to be seated right away. Ordered some bevies, blue shell mussels and the scallop kebabs. Service was laid back and a tad slow, but was to be expected on this busy afternoon. We didn't mind, seeing as it was a sunny day! The mussels were in a curry broth which was devine! The scallop kebabs were delicious! Served with salmon eggs and a heavenly aioli. The scallops were grilled to perfection. Little mouthfuls of heaven:) Our server was excellent and engaging. This was our first time to The Sandbar in a long while and we have unanimously made this our new lunch "spot" when we are down shopping at the market. Would recommend this spot to anyone.

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dine out 2010
By gap87 of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 7:28pm [Dine in]

My friends and i went to Sandbar Restaurants for dineout 2010 and it was a pleasant experience. We had the 3 course meal and my friend ordered the wok squid for appetizer. At first i was skeptical about the quality, however it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't say it's total authentic chinese type cuisine but it's still good. My main entree was the slow braised pork and garlic mash potatoes. It was good. The meat was very tender. I was so afraid the meat texture would be very tough, but thank goodness it's not. My favourite part was the dessert. My friend and i shared the chocolate truffle cake with a raspberry sauce and the cheese cake. Both tasted very good, i do prefer my chocolate truffle cake over the cheesecake, because i love chocolate. it was just so decadent with the rich taste of chocolate.

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Freshest Mussels in Vancouver
By clau_foodie of Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 7:43pm [Dine in]

Went there last Sunday and we had the best mussels we have had for a longtime. They were big, juicy and simply so delicious that we ordered a second.

Presently they have a Sunday special, 3-course meal for $28, Cesar salad, juicy prime rib and a chocolate desert. The portions were quite good and it is definitely one of the better amongst the usual 3 course menu fixed menus around Vancouver.

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Surprisingly Disappointing
By JonJ of Kitsilano (19 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 10, 2008 - 11:09am [Dine in]

We came here for a late lunch, around 3pm. Between lunch and dinner they do a small menu, so not much selection then. So 3 of us ended up getting burgers.
We thought that being a more high end place, and charging $15 for a burger, that it should be quite good....wrong!
It was obviously full of filler. It was bland and flavourless. All 3 burgers. And it was tiny. About the size of a burger king burger. That maybe a healthier portion, but for the poor quality and high price, I'd expect a larger portion than that! I have had better burgers at the various neighborhood pubs. True that is what they do at these pubs, but again a highend restaurant should be able to out do a pub where the burger costs under $10.
One at our table had the caesar salad. What is this thing with high end restaurants serving the salad with the lettuce uncut, and the dressing just plopped on top. She actually chopped up the salad and attempted to toss it herself. Hard to do on a plate at your table. So she had globs of dressing on some parts, and none on others. I tried some and the dressing just tasted of mayonnaise.
So I am guessing you are paying for the location only. And I wouldn't say it's that great. From where I sat I had a great view of a concrete wall!
I won't be returning here.

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One of the best patios in the city
By rachel83 of North Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 8, 2007 - 2:35pm [Dine in]

Went to Sandbar the other night with an old friend. We had to wait about 45 mintues at the bar for a seat on the patio even though it was a Tuesday night. The wait was well worth it! We got a seat right up by the glass and could see into False Creek. Beautiful view, espeically as the lights in the city come on as the sun sets.

Food and service were both great. Our server was attentive and happily catered to our requests; checking on us often enough, but not so often that it was invasive.

We shared the spicy squid and asian chicken wrap appies. Spinach salad and crab cakes for me, steak and prawns for him. Food was spectacular for a decent price.

Highly recommended. Great date place and definitely a great patio for those upcoming summer months.

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Its Grrrrrrrrrrreat!!
By eugene of Richmond (19 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 1:58pm [Dine in]

You like fish? You’ll love the Sandbar. It’s a big raucous fun place to visit. Our birthday party lucked out and got the table facing the night city lights. Too bad I was too drunk not appreciate the view. Our server was excellent. Free bread + butter appeared out of no where. Water glasses were refilled without asking.

Their martini list was succinct and excellent, with quality ingredients. The wine list could use a little work, only because there few BC wines, and a small by-the-glass selection.

The food was above par. I had the wok squid, which you GOTTA have. Tender meat, in a light batter, with a spicy garlic and chillis vinaigrette on top. Really good quality, and by far the best I’ve ever had; way better than any Greek place, a bargain at $8.

Even though they have a daily feature sheet with “catch of the day” ($18-$23) with snapper, monkfish, trout, and others, I wasn’t that hungry, so I ordered the warm beet salad with a champagne vinaigrette with blue cheese and walnuts, plus rare seared tuna on the side. Both were excellent.

By bill included 3 drinks and 2 food items and came to just above $50 (plus $10 tip since the service was excellent). Couple of my friends had the salmon burger, which was very good and juicy. One ordered half of roasted chicken, was moist and flavorful. Also seen on the table were a really good fisherman’s stew and a salmon dish.

If you want great seafood at a bs-free place, this would be the one. While this is not the cheapest of places, the quality, the view, and the service make up for the cost. The only time I would not come here would be for a date, as it is a big and open room that is often loud with no table to have an intimate conversation with your partner.

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Good Seafood & Location
By wannabefoodcritic of Vancouver (37 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 21, 2008 - 6:33pm [Dine in]

Went on a Friday night for dinner. It's in a great location on Granville Island, just under the Granville St. Bridge. Restaurant is spread over three levels, though the first level appears to be strictly Sushi.

We had the squid wok to start which was probably the highlight of the meal. Not too much batter and not too chewy or too tough. Coated in sauted onions and herbs. I had swordfish for an entree and it was decent - didn't love it, but enjoyed it nonetheless. For Desert we shared Creme Brule which was also very good though it seemed to lack any liquer which would have made it better.

The ambience is loud - definitely wouldn't go here to impress a girl or on a first date. That said, it is supposed to be that way and doesn't pretend to be that sort of place. Overall enjoyed it and would return just for the calamari.

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Food was okay, the service was less than okay
By ciarabc of Yaletown (6 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 9:09am [Dine in]

They say for a restaurant to be successful they need to have only two of these three things; great food, great space and/or great service. In my opinion the Sandbar is successful because they have great food (actually okay food) and a great space. The service was not okay.

When we arrived there was some confusion of who our server was. We were seated by the hostess and almost ten minutes later we saw a server. This was after the hostess pointed us out to the server. Then there was a discussion of which server was really responsible for our table. We arranged for water while we perused the menu.

We asked if there were any specials when she realized we didn't have the fresh sheet which she quickly brought it to us and then went on and on and on and on and on explaining what was listed there. I can read. A few highlights would have been fine.

A new server then came to take our order. We placed it including some wine. Our food came and it was okay. Nothing special but nothing to really complain about. We had lettuce wraps and an appetizer chicken dish. Lettuce wraps were okay and the chicken was dry and could have used more sauce.

My friend mentioned this to the server when she returned who said "you shuld have told me and I could have got more sauce.". If we had seen her prior to finishing our meal we would have 1) ordered more wine, 2) arranged for more water, 3) and asked for more sauce. Instead when she returned her only interest was arranging for the bill. We didn't ask for the bill but it was apparent it was time to go. When she returned for payment i asked for water which had been empty for most of the meal. Instead of getting it right away she waited for the payment to go through on my credit card then I waited for the person next to me to pay for his bill and then I got my water.

The sandbar is not the most expensive place in town and it's not the cheapest. I expect better service than I received. It's easier for me to stay home than have service like that.

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Disappointing
By Pixienik of Coquitlam Centre (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 19, 2012 - 6:01pm [Dine in]

I don't know if the economy has hit the Sandbar hard or if there is new management, but what I do know is that the Sandbar has changed... My first experience was 6 years ago (2006) and the food, service, ambiance was great. Visit #2 was about a year after my first and I was blown away!!! The seafood tower and entrees were fresh and impressive. Unfortunately my last couple of visits have been sub par and my last visit was the last nail in the coffin. Spending $30+ on an entree at a nice restaurant is totally acceptable, however when your entree arrives and is the size of a Weight Watchers meal, it's a problem. The piece of fish was small, which is not a huge issue, however the fish was accompanied by 3 small vegetables and, at most, 1/3 of a cup of plain cooked rice. Come on Sandbar, put a few more vegetables and some more rice on the plate and while you're at it, maybe opt for a wild rice mix for extra colour/texture and season the vegetables please. Totally disappointing.

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It was all around great!
By Justin Grant of kit's,vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 3:11pm [Dine in]

This will be my second review since I've just discovered these wonderfully helpful online review sites.

Recently enjoyed a wonderful night out with friends. The food was nice, we had one of their Chilled Seafood Platters "The Sandbar Tower" it was $75 but well worth the money. The seafood was fresh and prepared wonderfully. The Ambiance was delightful and our server was very outgoing and professional. I was especially impressed with the wine list. The selection was tastefully put together, so I was more the happy to splurge for quality. Over all the experience was more then positive.

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Great place to impress girls and eye candy
By latexgloves of Vancouver Area (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 6:33pm [Dine in]

Took my girlfriend for a surprise summer dinner, because nothing says real man like getting away from the ball and chain and dedicating time to your girl! Made reservations but it didn't matter because the lady that took them wrote it in the wrong day in her book, but you know what that was okay because as we waited they brought us drinks and were extremely apologetic and the service from there on in was top notch! The wait staff really make you feel like you're the only person there and the food was very very good. The seafood soup was excellent, and if you order the right stuff be prepared, it impresses the girls, and it comes loaded with a great array of sushi, fresh and delicious and between the both of us we only came up to about 60 dollars. There were many attractive ladies in fashionable skirts there making the ambiance very impressive. Considering the quality and freshness of the ingredients you can't beat that. From now on it's Sandbar for dates for me.

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I like this place
By tasteofvancouver of Vancouver (28 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 10:24am [Dine in]

I went to this place a year ago for Dine Out Vancouver and most recently for an early dinner in the lounge. Both times were great! I love seafood and there is a great selection to choose from. The place feels nice and comfortable inside with a nice view of False Creek if you get a seat by the window.

Last time I went, I was there specifically to try the Mussel Mania from 4-7pm in the lounge. For $10, you get a pint of Granville Island beer of your choice, a good serving of mussels served one of three ways, fries, and bread. I think it's available only Monday to Friday, but I'm definitely going back! Normally, prices are moderate, but I feel it's good value for the quality you're getting.

Service was good. It wasn't particularly busy either time I was there so we were well looked after. I'd recommend this place as somewhere to take out of town guests or for just a nice, but casual meal out.

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Came away impressed again
By rimrod of New West (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 5:07pm [Dine in]

This wasn't my first visit. However this time I took a group with me. Sandbar has consistently good food and service in a fun and comfortable atmosphere. You get great value for your money, and that's why we go back again. That and the blondes in heels. This is our favourite Granville restaurant.
Parking is easy in the small free parking lot or in the metered spaces nearby. Love the ladies eating there too. Excellent in every way possible when the clientele is so popular.

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Great anniversay venue
By Hildebrandt of Van (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 11:35am [Dine in]

We celebrated an anniversary here last week and as always, thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Excellent, courteous servers with personality, amazing quality seafood, and a bustling busy atmosphere with a beautiful view make an evening at Sandbar always memorable, and our anniversary was perfect. We are certain to return very soon!

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Definitely a keep!
By sambel_belibis of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 6:15pm [Dine in]

Been here several times and expectations were always met. Everyone is friendly and energetic. The ambiance is nice, although the noise level was a little too much for me. I like the open kitchen concept and different types of fish hung on the wall. Their daily sheet selections are the items to go for. I find the items from their regular menu "unattractive". Sablefish was the best ever! Salmon was yummy too! And I looooove their creme brulee and lemon tart!!! Seafood quality is only second to The Cannery, but far more affordable. Definitely worth going for special occasions.

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