Steamworks is a popular pub and brewery located in historic Gastown. Steamworks gets its name from the famous Gastown steam line that runs through their premises.
We all ate Steak and Prawns - all overcooked.
Sauce was extra, and it was terrible. $50/person for steak and wine, and the food wasn't even average. Prawns tasted of no seasoning at all, and again, the steaks were all very overcooked. They changed the steaks, and then overcooked them again - slight improvement the second time; instead of well done it was medium-well, but medium-rare was the order. Waitress was very nice, and so is the patio, but don't order anything expensive or that requires an ounce of skill to prepare.
Steamworks has been the only place where another patron bought me a beer. As a League member the night would not start out here, but it makes a great end point.
The waitresses are very courteous and happy, which makes the mood even better. The Works has various selection fo craft beer, some good and some bad. The fact that they have these selections make it place for the average beer lover.
One of my favorites is the Heroic Oatmeal Stout. Smooth, but bold taste with every drop. For food you can't go wrong with the Chicken Tenders and Fries, especially after a nght of drinking.
Steamworks is solid and doesn't need to change.
Food is good, reasonably priced and is varied enough to satisfy most continental dinners. Looks great on the inside, especially the different rooms, the view and the huge size of the place in general. Love love love the beer, and love how cheap the JT wine is for downtown.
The reason I ever hesitate to come here is the service. The service tends to be slow, with either too much "spunky attitude" personality or none at all. The last time we were there I was with a hunky man, and it started out fine. Good looking guy server, who could barely describe the seasonal beers, but still nice initially. When we finally got our pitcher of the wheat ale he didnt pour our pints for us, which is fine he had some other drinks on his tray so I totally get it. But then he didn't ask or bring us menus, so we had to ask the person at the front for one. We finally manged to get our server to notice we wanted something to munch on (Spicey bbq chicken pizza, no onions because i HATE onions). Well we got it after a decent amount of time, but it had onions. I asked the food runner if he knew abotu the no onions and he said no so it was a server fault. The server then blamed the kitchen (I work in the industry myself, it's not the kitchens fault 110% of the time) and we had to ask for cutlery napkins etc when it wasnt even busy. I decided just to pick off my onions cause I didn't want to risk it. Our beer ran dry and decided to switch to JT merlot, told the server who asked us repeatedly what kind.... a 1/2 litre of JT MERLOT!!! by then our friends came and he didnt talk to them for 15 minutes or so after arriving. He got their beers first, and forgot about our wine. When we mentioned it he started SWEARING! now I have a potty mouth myself but I would never swear infront of customers at a restaurant unless they swore first. Well our wine came and he was nice enough to fill it to the rim (dangerous with a red). But after a glass each we found the top of the wine bottle in it! (you know the part on top of the cork). He had a bad attitude about everything, was somewhat snobby and frankly not THAT good looking. He certainly was even snobbier when we gave him 10% on 75, which I had to convince the other people to give him instead of nothing (Don't like the idea of someone paying to serve us due to tip out, even if it was horrible).
I would totally come here more often if they bothered paying attention to service and correcting these problems. This was the worst of the times coming here, but haven't ever had great service here.
I have been to Steamworks many times in the past several years with small groups of friends and for large party functions. When I've been there with small groups of friends, it's been decent. But Steamworks has disappointed me in the service department with large group parties. I had a couple of big special events held at Steamworks and but I will never have another one there again for a multitude of reasons. They made a mistake on the billing and refused to give me a credit on my credit card, instead they gave me a gift card for the difference. They refused to bring out more bread for a table that asked for seconds and when dessert came, they said they brought out the correct amount even though we were missing one dessert. Finally, they grudgingly brought out another dessert to the table that was missing one. I will never choose to have a large party at Steamworks again. They really need to improve on their customer service.
Wow. What a disappointment. Great location. Great view. Horrible food. Horrible service.
That pretty much says it all. I live in Vancouver and have been to Steamworks a number of times but usually for a few beers and some appetizers. It's always been average but not great.
Recently I've had client meetings in the area a few times and my clients have suggested Steamworks. Wow. What a mistake. Rude servers. Slow service. Disappointing food (quality, portions, preparation, you name it). Expensive for what you get.
The last time I was there I expressed my dissatisfaction, very politely and calmly, to my server and she couldn't care less. She made no effort to address any concerns about the food or service. I then wrote an email to the restaurant expressing my dissatisfaction. Surprise, surprise - no response.
I won't be going here again. There are a lot of great restaurants in this same price point downtown and I would much rather give my future business to them.
Hit up Cardero's if you're in the area. MUCH better.
What a true disappointment to have such incredible beer, and such terrible food. The service is mediocre at best. I got up and went to the bar, grabbed a rag, and came and wiped my own table and chair with it. Our server laughed, and remarked that it was the busser's job to wipe ...
It went downhill from there
I went a few Sunday's back for lunch. It was a very bad weather day, so I am fairly sure they were understaffed as nearby businesses were closed due to weather.
I ordered the halibut with curry. The food came out after more than 30 minutes, but again given the weather, I didn't mind at all.
The halibut came out and was basically a large piece of hard rubber. I took a bite and it was extremely fishy tasting. Definitely not anywhere hear being a fresh piece of fish. I braved a small second bite from the middle of the fish and it was equally tough and disgusting. Completely inedible.
The curry was not even a mild curry, but more like a pool of melted butter.
The rice tasted like soap and given the quality of the meal so far I wouldn't be surprised if it did have soap in it. It was certainly not rinsed.
The vegetables were the only edible part of the meal. Even this was ridiculously overcooked and was smothered in butter.
The waitress basically ignored us despite being 1 of 2 tables and looking at my untouched plate asked if I wanted a to go box. The food was so hopeless on multiple levels I couldn't see the point of complaining. I looked for a manager but no one else was on the floor.
If they have a problem rotating stock with regard to the fish, then never ever eat here. If the caliber of the cooks are anything like the person that prepared my plate, never eat here. This was a shame because I had heard this was a decent place to eat, but instead got the worst plate of food I have seen in a very long time. To note, I had halibut at Water Street Cafe 2 weeks later and the food for me was absolutely unbeatable.
took a friend here for a B-day lunch. We shared a pasta and a pizza. The food came quickly, but we had to ask for plates for sharing (not a big deal, but the share plates were tiny. Not the food itself, but the actual plates to put stuff on) The pizza was wonderful. the pasta was good to, though the sauce needed something . . . spices, cream, I don't know, something to take away from the sraight tomato.
Our drinks were refilled, and the service was prompt and efficient. The room is really interesting with staircases and different levels and hiding spots and private rooms, so there is always something to look at. Because of this, be prepared to be greated in one area, then directed to another area, and then seated. Bizare but I guess it saves the hostess having to walk up and down the stairs.
So yes, do go, and enjoy!
It never struck me as a memorable place but I needed somewhere convenient to meet again. Again, nothing special. It’s a nice pub, with decent food. The service can be a bit inconsistent, and yes I agree sometimes it doesn’t feel quite clean upstairs like the carpet and tables. The two servers who wiped our table just swiped everything onto the floor. We had various drinks, the pizza, the stuffed mushrooms and crab dip, all ok. The mushrooms were very tasty, if anything a bit too salty and pricey. It reminds me a bit like Earls, a bit boring but you go there out of convenience and because it's kind of tolerable to the masses.
Ate at restaurant on August 13. Problem began with the hostesses on the lower level. I stood in front of them while they talked and took a phone call - all the time never looking at me. Finally I leaned over into their view and they asked if they could help me.
My husband ordered Fish and Chips and was told it was the best thing on the menu. He did not agree - portion was small and simply not tasty. I ordered prawns linguini which was supposed to have black beans - finally found some at the bottom of the plate. The pasta was dripping in a extremely salty soy like sauce. The Ceasar Salad was OK. The beer we ordered seemed stale.
Our waitress was very good and attentive.
The thing we noticed the most was that the place just looked worn and not very clean. As we came up the stairs to the upper level, we could not believe how dirty the stairs were.
Would not go there again and would not recommend it.
I've reviewed this place before, but I think it keeps going downhill. I always forget to never go back because the location is great. Sometimes, it's fantastic service. Other times, they ignore you in a totally empty room. It's really a crapshoot as to the experience you have here. The food spends so much time under the warming plate in the basement that you can rarely touch your plate once it arrives at your table. And their beer is so-so. I don't recommend this place if you have reasonable expectations.
Back when my office was located downtown, I used to make my way to Steamworks every so often for lunch. Aside from cold beers and a nice patio, they also featured a seafood pasta made with squid ink which I really loved. Finding myself back in Gastown over the long weekend, I decided to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and try the restaurant again.
Not much seems to have changed in the years since my last visit, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The interior is still very pub-like and inviting, and the patio has the same great view (if you can overlook the parking lot) of the harbour and North Van. The one big difference was the absence of squid ink pasta from their menu. That was a downer, although not entirely unexpected. Menus change, c’est la vie. I went with the lobster ravioli instead. They were large, nicely stuffed pasta pillows in a slightly sweet tarragon cream sauce. Not bad at all. The girlfriend chose the deluxe burger with fries, to which she assigned a solid 3 out of 5 rating. Prices for both dishes, as well as our drinks, were pretty much what you’d expect from a touristy downtown restaurant – i.e. there’s a small premium to be paid.
Service was efficient and polite, but not exactly friendly. Strange, but that hasn’t changed either since my last visit. Neither the hostess who greeted us at the door nor our server seemed overly happy. Our server in particular looked like she was just biding time until the end of her shift. It’s not that I expect huge displays of friendliness from my servers when I dine out, but a warm smile once in a while is nice, too.
In the end, this latest jaunt to Steamworks wasn’t all that different from previous visits. We had decent food, with so-so prices and so-so service. Although, now that they no longer offer one of my favourite dishes, I can't say it was anything more than an average experience.
I have gone to Steamworks quite a few times in the past two years. Why? Cause it is a bit of a hang out for some of my friends.
The last time i had their Quinoa burger except i don't eat wheat so asked for the patty with no bun. They were happy to oblige.
The menu advertised this burger served with lime mayo which sounded yummy. When my dinner arrived, it had the patty alright-all dried out and sitting on the platter with no mayo-no nothing on top with the accompanying fries and salad. For this i paid around $12.95.
At other times their food has been a disappointment and overpriced for what you get.
The beer is good but can get good beer at lots of other places.
Anyways, next time the crowd wants to go to Steamworks-i'll convince them to go somewhere else. Steamworks-you have got your last dollar out of me.
On mother's day weekend, we expected to go to transcontinental, but we did not regret going to steamworks instead. The food was delicious, the service was great, and I'm sure we'll come again. The recommendation of our teenage boys is the spinach, crab and asiago dip. The open faced turkey sandwich is one of our very favorites, and we have returned for this sandwich that we enjoyed. We look forward to raspberry beer in July. Steamworks serves up the best in the city! Mmm-mmm.
I've never tried the food, but I've been in for drinks. Don't like their sangria, mojitos, nor their beer. But its nice to sit inside, esp. next book case and the servers are pretty quick/let you linger. Beer prices are okay... I go only for the convenience - like when it rains and I don't feel like walking to black frog (better beer and cheaper if you on the right night).
We were in town for St. Patty's eve and started off at the Blarney Stone but after a couple of drinks it got crowded so thought about Steamworks for bite. That was our first mistake. We were told there were no tables but could be in the covered/heated tent. Well it was covered. Although in fairness we were offered blankets.
Ordered a couple of beer. They were pretty good, not great. But they were not inexpensive, but when in Vancouver, one expects to pay inflated beer prices.
We ordered food. My wife had a turkey club and I had a burger. Had to wait awhile and when it did come my burger was stone cold. Sent it back. Meanwhile my wifes food is mediocre at best. She finishes and my food arrives...cold, but I am very hungry and eat it anyway. Despite the inconvenience and poor food quality no offer was made in recognition of the problem. with persistence they knocked $4.00 off the bill. Gee thanks, hope I didn't break you.
At any rate, gave it a try, it sucked. Never again...even for the beer.
We had made reservations here over a month in advance in preparation for surprising the bejeesus out of our friends with news that we had just eloped. I dealt with the same manager the entire time, and he was more than happy to accommodate us in any way that he could.
My main concern was being able to make reservations for a large group of 20, without having to deal with things like minimum spend, a set menu, or a deposit. The manager heard my concerns and made everything happen that was possible under the circumstances.
Because our dinner event was on a Sunday night, which is usually slow, he gave us our own private room (the wine room!) without issue. Considering the fact that our group is an unusual bunch with certain musical tastes, he suggested that we bring our Ipod and allow him to plug it in for our enjoyment.
As none of our guests had any idea why they were all called there, my husband and I showed up last and were introduced into the room. All of our guests had drinks in hand. As soon as I sat down, our server was there at my side asking me what I would like to drink: "I'll have a vodka paralyser... a double..." . It arrived swiftly and was the tastiest beverage I could have asked for.
Our server was PHENOMENAL. He carried himself with a sense oh humour, grace, and a professional demeanour. He made eye contact with each guest, gave each of us his undivided attention, seemed calm and cool, and served each meal and drink promptly. The dude got a serious tip. And he deserved every penny.
The food was out of this world. My husband and I shared the chicken tandoori salad and a Hawaiian pizza (nuttin but class for our celebratory wedding meal!). The chicken was tender and juicy, seasoned to perfection. The lettuce was crisp and cool. The pizza was elegant.
The management and staff at Steamworks are amazing, the food was impeccable, and I highly recommend this place. This was our first time there, and certainly not our last.
Visited Steamworks for lunch with three friends. Two of us ordered the Tandoori Chicken Salad. The chicken was thickly coated in sauce and served cold = not at all what we expected. No sign of the cumin cilantro dressing on the lettuce, it was totally bare. My other friends ordered the lunch special - roast beef on a bun. The buns were so hard, my female friend could not bite through it. After struggling to tear the bread with her teeth, she finally gave up and took the beef out of the bun. The sandwich was lacking flavour and could have done with a little mustard. The yam fries were okay.
The server never checked back to see if our meals were okay - just sort of disappeared. We definitely won't be back.
I totally agree with the last review of Steamworks. They're relying on the fact that the place is on a prime location (great view, big spaces for parties, lots of walk-in traffic, convenient for transit) to survive. The food and service are both suffering. I'm not a big beer connoisseur so I can't comment on their taps but their value for dish portions isn't the greatest. I was there for a birthdy dinner on Sunday night. Wasn't too hungry so shared a lemon pepper chicken caesar salad with yam fries. The yam fries are nothing spectacular but the salad... oh sad times. Lightly dressed romaine lettuce and a slice of chicken that is so blackened and tough it makes chewing a nightmare, all for $12.99. Not to mention - the service is kind of dismal and non-existent. My half plate of yam fries was unfinished and the waitress didn't utter a word, started to pile used napkins and garbage in there to take it away. My friend piped in and said "we'll finish that if it's okay with you. This is food afterall."
I've stayed away in the past for good reason!
My colleagues often end up at Steamworks simply due to the good location for downtown office workers. They have a good selection of beer, but the food is mediocre. If you are looking for a burger, be prepared to receive some cardboard-y, frozen patties, and McCain-type fries. Prices here have been creeping up slowly over the last 18-24 months which has now pushed the price point too high for a weekday lunch (beer and a burger - you're looking at over $20).