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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 61 - 80 of 81 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Lovely Place with great food, atmosphere and service!
By jag524 of vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 1:08am [Dine in]

Sandbar is one restaurant that you can count on for great food, excellent service and a beautiful view. I love their fresh sushi, pad thai noodles and calamari. The prices are decent as you are paying for a great view and atmosphere. The service is always impeccable, it's like they only hire the most attentive and pleasant ppl.

Absolutely reccommend this to everyone.

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Location, Location, Location
By cnewwest of New Westminster (28 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 11:10am [Dine in]

Top notch location and welcoming interior, but a little pricey for average food. Good beer and and OK wine list. Even though we were seated in a lousy location (when other seat were available), we still felt that we were part of the enjoyable scenery.

I would not go here for the food, but if I was entertaining out of town guests, I would bring them here instead of a similarly priced place such as the Keg. The ambiance is worth it. I used to live in the area, and love to be reminded of my time there.

Service was decent and we were generally satisfied.

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Nice place on Granville Island
By ryyeung of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 1:36pm [Dine in]

Went here for dinner on a busy Saturday with a party of +10. Were seated next to the window on a spacious round table.

Food: Started off with six fresh oysters, which was only decent compared to other places. At $3.00 a pop, I expect a little bit more. For entree, I had the black cod with rice. Cod was nicely seasoned with soy and cooked perfectly. Very delicious. The gf had a 2 lbs lobster, which set me back $50.00. Nonetheless, it was grilled nicely. I was a little disppointed they didn't deshell it for us after the initial presentation. Also had risotto cakes as a side, which was well done.

Service: Was quite friendly, even though our large group made lots of request. We ordered another order of bread AFTER dinner and desert. Weird. Our waters were always refilled, and empty plates taken away promptly, no complaint.

Ambiance: Very nice place. Bright enough to see eachother, but dim enough to enchance the atmosphere. It was full, but the restaurant never seemed too noisy. I liked the big round table for conversation, which is a plus since not all Western higher end restaurants have round tables.

Overall, this is a nice restaurant with a pleasant ambiance.

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Refreshing
By Sterling of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 4:42pm [Dine in]

Went out for dinner on Sunday and we were headed for Bridges but decided to go to the Sandbar instead. We were very happy with our choice as the Sandbar offers various Fresh Seafood options. We started with the crab cakes, spring rolls and Shrimp Hagow...all very tastey dishes 5 Stars for the Spring Rolls. Entree's Artic Char and the Sword fish. We were very happy the Artic Char was very well presented and was delicious. Sword Fish also was very good and had a nice spicy kick to it. The staff was very attentive and Sandbar is moderatley priced for the Fresh Seafood; honestly our bill was only $100 with a few drinks included very good value. I will go back!

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great sushi!
By eatmore of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - 9:56pm [Dine in]

The guy making sushi at the sushi bar downstairs looks familiar. I think I saw him at Shijo a few years back but I'm not sure.
The sushi he creates is very good and the toppings are quite fresh.

After dinner, it's nice to sit on the roof area and sip some nice cocktails.

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Great For Counting Calories
By wahine of vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 4, 2011 - 4:51pm [Dine in]

Thought we'd try a new restaurant so here we were. We've been to one other restaurant from this group and it wasn't bad so hopefully, this one will be good too. Not so.

It appears you definitely need reservations for this place because the hostess was either turning people away or having them wait in the lounge because wait time was about 45 minutes. Once seated, our waitress came and took our drink order which was simply one Coke and three waters. Did you know you're only allowed one glass of water for the entire night! I observed the three busboys near our table and noted that the only thing they did all night was clear away dirty dishes when patrons have left. They did not come around with water jugs to refill the water glasses. After reviewing the menu, we ordered: a salmon burger, a steak and from the Fresh sheet, halibut and sockeye salmon. The last three dishes came with seasonal vegetables. Seasonal vegetables today are carrots and broccoli.

The steak was okay. The halibut and salmon plates came sparingly with: a two-bite size piece of fish, 1/2 length of carrot, two spears of broccolini and lastly, an itty bitty 1/4 cup of rice. If I was on weight watchers, how many points is that? The salmon burger wasn't really a salmon burger because the salmon was as thin as a slice of ham. No lie. You get a bigger piece of salmon at White Spot and for less money. After the "enormous" meal, we just didn't have room for dessert. So the portions were tiny and we had no water since once the food was served, the waitress disappeared and the busboys don't serve water. Hmm. Well, we came, we tried and we'll drop our money elsewhere. This gets four thumbs down. Maybe your experience will be better.

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Not a place for anniversaries
By hungry_hippo of Richmond, BC (24 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 5:51pm [Dine in]

My boyfriend and I went there for our anniversary. A friend of mine was kind enough to make the reservation for us and asked for a really nice view since we were celebrating our anniversary. They told her they would take care of it and that "it is their priority". We got there expecting a really nice table by the window, we ended up in a table upstairs close to the washroom, no view at all. It's not like it was super busy and they couldn't find a nice table for us, there was an empty table right by the window close to where we were!

The food and the service was so-so, I was expecting better from a place that I have heard good reviews about. I probably wouldn't go back...

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Great Place to Dine Outdoors
By foodcritic81 of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, December 4, 2010 - 1:27pm [Dine in]

Been here a few times and each and every time has been an incredible experience. The food is always good and the servers are on top of everything. I love having dinner out on the deck here because it's such a wonderful view and offers an amazing sunset in the summers. When it gets cooler at night, they offer heat lamps and a blanket, which I think it a nice touch.

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Desserts only
By JLgirl of West Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 11:27pm [Dine in]

We came here for desserts only. At a price tag of $8, it was not bad. The sorbet trio was light and refreshing; while the creme brulee was a hit and miss. Some parts were burnt. My dining mates said the cheesecake was "light", compared to the richness of New York or Boston cheesecakes. The server left us alone most of the night as it was a pretty busy place on a Saturday night. One thing to note is the dress code. Most ladies (regardless of age) dress to impress, as there's a small dance floor for those who want to mingle.

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Mostly for the view
By tsej of Richmond (15 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 10:26am [Dine in]

You can tell this place is mostly caterred towards tourists, great view (if you get a window) and good service but the portions are pretty small for what you pay. I ordered the seafood hotpot and it was like $20 for what I would deem to be a little bit more than an appetizer. I ordered a beer and it was $6 as well, and this for the Granville Island Hef, supposedly brewed just down the street.

A lot better selections I think in the rest of town I think but the service was good and they do serve you fast. Little value for money though.

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Great View and Location!
By richmondsfoodie of Richmond , BC (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 6:07pm [Dine in]

I was pleasantly surprised with the location and ambiance of this restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed the view and service. It was outstanding and a very good time. The front of house service staff seemed very busy but overall they were great. On the other hand, I was less than impressed with the sushi (appetizer) and the fish. If you are unsure of fusion restaurants, this is not one to come and try first. I think the executive chef has a long way to go with his menu choices. There was a distinct smell of sterno wafting throughout the patio area...it was very warm though! Overall, I will return to The Sandbar because of the ambiance and patio bar atmosphere.

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Second time at the Sandbar
By iaries of vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 3:31pm [Dine in]

Last time I came here and went away with a great memory of their sable fish (black cod) dish off of their fresh fish list. This time I wanted to try something different. I had the Mahi mahi as the waitress recommended it if I wanted something spicy.

I also forgot about the small portions, but this time I had a bowl of clam chowder for appetizer. First of all, the clam chowder was watery, and did not have a pleasing texture as I've had at some other restaurants, it was mediocre at best and wasn't worth the $7 price.

The main dish came with usual small sized fish, with a scoop of rice, and some veggies for sides. The fish it self was VERY dry, I'm not sure if it was due to the type of fish or due to our large party, (8 people) but the skin underneath was also burnt... unlike the sable fish where it was a nice crispy burn and very tasty/edible. The spicy sauce was great, good mixture of flavor and can still give a zing to the tongue.

I was there for a birthday, and the waitress brought a free desert with a candle. The service here has always been excellent.

I will still recommend this place for people to go, and probably try a different fish myself.

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Best sablefish ever!
By lolabeans of kamloops (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 1:53pm [Dine in]

Best fish ever period! The sablefish is incredibly good as is everything else on the menu. Never tried the sushi, the sushi chef looks really lonely downstairs. I don't generally get sushi at places that aren't sushi restraunts because it's usually relatively overpriced. The service is attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly. The ambience is great, right under the bridge, if it's cold they bring you blankets which I thought was a very nice touch. For the quality I think the price is quite reasonable, definitely recomend it.

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Great location, overpriced food
By xnomad of North Van (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 2:22pm [Dine in]

We were going to the Waterfront theatre and so chose Sandbar for dinner. Very pleasant staff, nice ambience but the food was subpar and overpriced. I highly recommend the Cats Meow over Sandbar when it comes to food on Grandville Island.

The crabcakes were soggy, must have been microwaved and were not flavourfull. The sauce and garnishings were nice though.
The feature pasta at $19 had fresh prawns and scallops but the the sauce tasted like something out of a can, no fresh spices, etc. My partner had the cedar plank salmon which was good but nothing special.
I recommend Sandbar for drinks at the Bar and possibly the Wok squid which I have had previously and was quite tasty but avoid if you want a good meal for a good value.

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One of our favorites!
By foodingworth of West End, Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 3:30am [Dine in]

What can you say about the Sandbar that hasn't already been said? It is a favorite of ours for friends from out of town, it has amazing food and has never disappointed! We went again a few weeks back when I had an old friend from University back in Van. from New Zealand. We started with some lettuce wraps, mushrooms, some salt prawns and oysters all of which showed up fairly quickly and looking delicious! I am a sucker (as is my buddy) for a frosty pint of lager and we washed appies down with a couple of GI's as the ladies had some red wine. For the life of me, I can't recall what our friends had for dinner but I had a big Rib Eye steak that was cooked perfectly and the wife had the salmon with fresh beans and we both enjoyed them. We relaxed and enjoyed some great conversation and frangelico in one of Vancouver's finest! Love it!

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Good food. Average Service.
By foodcraze of Burnaby (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 10, 2006 - 12:40pm [Dine in]

Went there on a Wednesday night, the place was packed, glad we had made reservation. The place was really noisy, I had to yell across the table to have a conversation. I guess that's what you would expect for a place that busy. The waiter was ok, we had to ask for our bread & refill of our drinks twice. The pan fried oyster was good, but the portion was small. The fish (salmon & black cod) was really good, tasted really fresh.

Will go back again.

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food that melts in your mouth
By patatas of Main Street, Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, May 2, 2008 - 6:53pm [Dine in]

I went there for a quick dinner before heading over to Theatresports and was surprised at how friendly and quick the staff were after I told them my predicament.

Even though the food came quickly, it was really really good. The fish literally comes right off of eachother and melts in your mouth. Tip for future reference, if you're going on a weekend, reservations are a must. Or go really really early. Otherwise, on weekdays, it's a good crowd.

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simply the best
By kare39 of Richmond (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 12:07pm [Dine in]

This a fabulous place for a night out on Granville Island with friends. Every time I've been here, the service has been great and the food has been amazing (get the salt prawns for an appy). They always make us feel so cozy. Try to sit on the upper floor -- on a clear night, the beautiful view sets the tone. A must try!!

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Great decor, great food!
By quicklunarcop of Ottawa, Ontario (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, April 21, 2007 - 8:23pm [Dine in]

I had research Celiac-friendly restaurants for my day trip to Granville Island, and I had initially planned to go to another restaurant, but someone from the Running Room recommended I check out the Sandbar. After checking out the menus of several restaurants on the island, I decided to try it out and I'm glad I did.

The waiter checked a few menu items for me to make sure that they were gluten-free, and I ended up choosing a delicious salmon dish that was both delicious and a feast for the eyes!

I sat on the patio on a cloudy April day, but the gas heaters, fireplaces and blankets made it feel like a sunny summer day. I highly recommend the Sandbar for people who are looking for a dining experience on Granville Island.

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Nice patio
By robafter of University, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 5:53pm [Dine in]

I really enjoy my visits to Sandbar. The rooftop patio is mostly covered and is even quite comfortable in the off season. We got there at 6 pm with a group of 10 last week and stayed until 12 midnitght. They made us feel comfortable and didn’t rush us at all, unlike other restaurants that I have been to. The food is probably the worst part the experience but reasonably good none the less. We also enjoyed our service.

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