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3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews71

Tanpopo

1122 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC V6G2M8
Tel: (604) 681-7777
Neighbourhood: West End
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Buffet
  • Features: Patio
  • Tanpopo is a sushi restaurant with an all you can eat menu offering a wide selection of Japanese fare including cooked items, sashimi (with wild salmon) and many rolls and nigiri items. Large rooftop patio. (Listed as Tampopo on the VCH website.)

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 71 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
The "BEST" A.Y.C.E in Vancouver and Lower mainland!!
By Apollocanada of Burnaby (31 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 12:20pm [Dine in]

The sushi and tempura we have had at FISH ON RICE in Burnaby, on Kingsway near were we live has been of such horrid quality the last two visits in March that we need an alternative for our AYCE cravings.,The venture that led us to to English bay was rewarding.! Thank you Tanpopo!! The salmon on our sushi is Sockeye..and fresh,The Tuna was fresh also..Our waiter .."Jason" was very polite,and I should mention the last 3 times we have been here the service from the female staff was also stellar.I love the welcome all receive from the chefs as patrons arrive at the top of the stairs.I had been here about 8 years ago,dined on the patio..thought at the time the food and service were average but not memorable..that was then.What a welcome surprise..all the dishes we tried last 3 visits were very good..and I'm picky..can't find any fault with Tanpopo. We look forward to going here now..It's $10 more for gas consumption with the car..But well worth it. Thank you Tanpopo!! Johnathan Z

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valentine night out!
By danielchang of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 9:34pm [Dine in]

Took my date here for the first time as our valentine's dinner. Thought it be fun to go for sushi before our movie.

We were seated immediately and given the all you can eat. I thought what the heck and gave it a try.
The lighting was dim and there were candle lit tables which I thought was a nice touch. Must be date night since other tables were all couples it seems.

They have a great menu to choose from as I love sashimi. The salmon was awesome and the toro melted in my mouth. My date had a great time and this turned out to be a great place to have our dinner here. We were so full we decided to pass on the movie! Haha. oh well its valentine's, so i'm sure we'll do something later

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All you can eat after 9pm at Tanpopo is the ONLY way to do sushi in Vancouver! Guaranteed excellence!
By DanaMay of WestEnd Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

I have been going to Tanpopo for over a year now and have literally sworn off all other sushi joints. If you want to try a variety of great sushi that includes fresh not farmed sockeye salmon and pay as little as possible this is your place. Go after 9pm and sit and enjoy endless green tea and a wide selection of all you can eat sushi.
The staff is polite, very knowledgeable and super quick. Only once during rush hour did I have to wait longer than I expected.
Ambiance is nice. There is a rooftop patio for dining on nice days.

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crappy service!
By cosmpolitan_girl of coquitlam bc (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 11:34pm [Dine in]

Went to Tanpopo to celebrate my friend's birthday. When we arrived, it seems like the hostess was too busy chatting with her co-workers.After she finished her giggling and chatting, she asked us how many. we told her 6. we asked if we could sit on the left side and she said no! The waitress took our order and we did not get what we ordered. food came either in a whole batch or very slowly. But the bill came super fast! Service and food is the not the greatest.

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Not bad, great value!
By angelwould of Vancouver (downtown) (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 6, 2010 - 1:28pm [Dine in]

Came here with a few friends after a few weeks vacation where there was no japanese food! Tanpopo is definitely one of top all you can eat places in downtown Vancouver. Great location right by English Bay, nice to go for a stroll right after a full meal! It may not be the fanciest restaurants in town but definitely a great price, solid food and a great location!

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Solid English Bay destination
By lime56 of Vancouver (Killarney) (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 27, 2010 - 8:44pm [Dine in]

I've been here a couple of times over the years now for the summer and their patio. I think they have one of the largest and unknown patio in town. They served us all you can eat menu even outside!! The food came fresh and fast and nothing was missed.

My buddies and me thought it was a really good deal to be able to spend 11 dollars for lunch and have great seating and food in this area. We didn't get the menu with unlimited sashimi, but for only 3 dollars more we will next time. The service was great and we were even greeted by the chefs on the way out.

Definitely come back and try their nite menus

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Good AYCE - Don't trust the other reviewers.
By dan42 of Yaletown (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 12:06pm [Dine in]

Ignorant amateur food critics make dinehere very hard to trust. These are the same people who complain about sesame in their gomae and the strange color and taste of the salmon.

Goma means sesame in Japanese. And perhaps, accustomed to the bland farm salmon you find in every single sushi restaurant, their palette couldn't handle the flavor of raw wild sockeye salmon. Farmed salmon is bad for both you and the environment - google it. Tanpopo is the only restuarant I know that serves wild in an affordable price range in Vancouver.

Tanpopo isn't perfect. It is a well priced AYCE restaurant. Adjust your expectations accordingly. Sometimes items that have sat a touch too long make it to the tables. Don't eat them. The waiters still use pen and paper ordering systems, and some items can slip through the cracks. The kitchen can get a bit overwhelmed sometimes.

Tanpopo serves AYCE lunch from 11 until late afternoon, and late night from 9:30-closing (not sunday) for 14$. The dinner menu is pricer and significantly more varied.

The ton katsu, age-gyoza and chicken teri comes hot, fresh, and crispy. The cones tend to be well filled with tasty ingredients. Their oysters, 1$ each at lunch or included with dinner, rival those I've had at Rodney's for three times the price. The sashimi is plentiful, served without the garnishes that are invariably thrown away.

Tanpopo has just changed many of their recipes. Many are improved, but I miss some others. They also seem to be working on their staff - our last server was extremely attentive.

The bottom line is that Tanpopo is one of the best AYCE Japanese in Vancouver, serving rare quality ingredients like wild sockeye at an amazing price.

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1st time here. it's excellent.
By luckyyear20074me of richmond (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 - 5:41pm [Dine in]

this place seems to be hidden from the map. No advertisement whatsoever, unlike so many japanese sushi place, like Robson Sushi, Sushi on rich etc. Couple weeks ago, my friend brought me to this place for their auce sushi for latenightz. the price is dececent for auce 12.95. the good thing i like is their unlimited sashimi, oh btw they serve whild sockyeye. which is unbelievable. the service is quick the servers are friendly, filled up tea cups consistently. haven't try their dinner yet, but since they have dinner and latenighz auce menus available, i took a peak at it. nothing very interesting compared to other auce. overall, i would highly recommended.

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there is no service here- eat before you arrive
By mahkesis of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 28, 2006 - 3:06am [Dine in]

we waited, and waited, and waited. When the waiter did show up, he brought a quarter of the order- and even then it was wrong. We ordered again, and got nothing. I guess he figured he was the best person to decide when and what we should eat. I didn't want to embarrass him in front of anyone, so I quietly talked to him aside and explained the problem in the most courteous way I could. He stared at me with the blankest of expressions, and then never came back to our table again. I complained to management, again away from the other customers, and they seemed concerned, but the episode was so frustrating none of us is likely to return anytime soon. Perhaps it is unfair to judge a restaurant on the incompetence of one waiter, and one day I might break down and return to see if there is an improvement.

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very impressed
By psycho71 of west end (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 11:53pm [Dine in]

I was very surprised by the restaurant's quality considering the past reviews I've read and the fact I have dined at many other "All You Can Eat" restaurants and by far Tanpopo is the best. For the price I paid and the quality of the sushi and sashimi selection, I felt it was well worth the money. I sat close to the counter and from what I saw, everything was very clean and professionally made. Everything I ordered from the sushi bar was very fresh and nothing seemed to be premade. The sushi bar items I felt are by far better than most regular Japanese restaurants and the chefs actually speak Japanese. But with all the positive aspects out of the way there are also negative points. I felt the kitchen food need alot of work...tenpura was hard and dry...teriyaki chicken also....gyoza was warm.....service staff needs to pay a little more attention to the customers....very friendly though not professional enough.

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All You Can Eat
By Rapunzel of Gabriola Island (25 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 9:14pm [Dine in]

I went here at lunch today with 3 colleagues for all-you-can-eat for $11.95. I am not a fan of raw fish (though I did have a couple pieces of salmon). I'm not knowledgable about sushi and prefer tempura and dumplings. I'd never heard of this place before and was a bit leery about the all-you-can-eat part of it.

We ordered salmon, gyoza, chicken teriyaki, tonkatsu, vegetable tempura, spring rolls, crunchy roll, california roll, some other roll, sunomo (I didn't try), tuna cones (I didn't try), tuna (I didn't try). Maybe some other items as well.

Service was quick and they topped up our tea as needed.

Unfortunately, there was no prawn or shrimp tempura on the lunch menu.

I wouldn't have minded some water, but that was okay.

I enjoyed it and would go back.

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Slow service, missing dishes, lukewarm food
By bearpaw of West End, Vancouver (23 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 1, 2007 - 5:47pm [Dine in]

I have been here a few times until I found a better place. The location here is great, right on Denman with a patio. Great summer location for lunch. The decor is fairly classy too, very bright and clean. But the food? No good.

Consistently when you order, you will lose 10-50% of the order along the way. So you order 5 dishes, you get 2 or 3 usually, and 4 if you're lucky. Friends I go with actually joke that we need to order more than what we actually want, since we know for sure that much of it will vanish along the way. Who knows what's going on? Is the waiter incompetent? Or is the owner purposely limiting what you get to try and minimize what you eat? Sorry but I know what I ordered, and will just order it again if you fail to deliver it. The organization system here is a joke.

The waiters also ignore you for loooong periods of time. Unlike Robson sushi (which is cheaper as well as being better) where you are often over-serviced for more water, more tea, more food. This place you have to grab a waiter most of the time if you want to order more.

The food is often lukewarm, even bordering on cold.

You pay a premium for the location here, and it's not worth it. The owners need to get more organized and service the clientele better.

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Raw Chicken? No Thanks!
By wright of West End, Vancouver (24 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 12:24pm [Dine in]

Although the All You Can Eat includes sashimi and a variety of other tasty things, watch out for the chicken!

I've ordered the teriyaki chicken, and it came RAW - when we showed the server, he didn't seem to care at all, and said that's the way it's supposed to be. Are they not concerned about their customers getting salmonella? Ugh.

The rest was good, but after seeing their lack of standards with the raw chicken, I won't go back.

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Fan-popo of Tan-popo
By Miles of South Granville (27 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 9:30pm [Dine in]

Tanpopo was one of the city's first Japanese restaurants to jump on the all you can eat bandwagon. I have decade old memories of wrapping uneaten maki in napkins, smuggling it into the bathroom and returning what came from the sea back to the sea via the vancouver sewer system. What can I say. Wasteful youths we were. Eventually I grew older and perhaps wiser and stopped frquenting the joint as quality eventually took a nosedive. My interest in Tanpopo has been renewed after a recent lunch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this has to be the only all you can eat sushi joint that not only has no limits on the amount of sashimi you order, but actually serves up wild salmon. If you're sick of the jelly pudding jiggly, striated fat wearing, flavour, deficient distant mutated relative that is farmed salmon, I recommend you give T-popo a try. Lunch is only 12 bucks. Hot Dang!

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Gone downhill - in a BIG way
By JKH of Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 9:41pm [Dine in]

I first went to Tanpopo a couple years ago, and thought it was amazing: an all you can eat with an extensive menu, where the quality was really good. Well, that quality is GONE. The AYCE now has three "levels" (ie, three prices) - we opted for the most expensive one, $25 each, because there are lots of extras on the menu. The food, quite frankly, sucked. Here are the things that were terrible: the deep fried scallop (tasted like it had come from M&M frozen foods - except worse); the fried rice (pre-frozen vegetable mix in it), the BBQ saba (it was overcooked to the point of burned), the vegie gyoza (actually so bad I spit it into my napkin), the dynamite roll (dried up), the seafood motoyaki (all mayonnaise, hardly any seafood), the BBQ salmon (just not good quality fish)... I could go on. Here are the things that were good: the spinach ohitashi, the bbq vegie skewers. Seriously, that's about it. You might be wondering 'what were you expecting from AYCE?' - but this place USED to be good. However, this was so bad I will never go back. We should have spent that $60 just going to a regular sushi restaurant where we would have had good food!

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Two strikes and you're out...
By doublemagnum of Coal Harbour (11 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 10:46am [Dine in]

This is a follow-up to a review I submitted on Sept 15/09. At that time I complained that Tanpopo was looking very shabby, was in need of a makeover or at least a good cleaning and a coat of paint, and the food was well below the already modest standards of most AYCE sushi joints.

The other day because my party of 4 was in a hurry and because our first choice of Akira on Denman was full, we opted for Tanpopo for lunch, and despite flashbacks to my last experience I silently went along with the choice.

Bad idea.

This place is filthy. There is no other way to describe it. The floors are dirty as are the baseboards. There are dead bugs all over the window sills (the windows are dirty too). The front entrance looks like you are entering a rundown flophouse. I didn't check out the restrooms - I'd want to update my tetanus immunity before trying that.

The service is slow, chaotic and indifferent. We ordered off the regular menu - a few very basic items. They came at haphazard intervals so that the four of us basically began and finished our meals alone. I had exactly the same dish as one of my friends, with the sole exception that mine came with "tempura prawns" and his did not. Otherwise identical. His arrived 20 minutes before mine and I finally had to ask 3 servers where my meal was. It finally arrived. A mixture of 2 prawns and the rest vegetable tempura - not as described. And the excuse was that "the tempura takes a long time".

Hello? They are slinging tempura out of the kitchen of an AYCE place on a non-stop basis.

There is simply no point wasting your time, money (and possibly your health until they clean it up) going to Tanpopo. This place needs new owners, a staff training course and about $100,000 of TLC to get it up to square one.

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Pleasantly surprised
By ooomph of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 20, 2008 - 1:17am [Dine in]

I live in the neighbourhood, but always walked by Tanpopo without noticing it. It's tucked away on the second floor and easy to miss, but I won't miss it anymore.

A lot of AYCE sushi places have a limit on sashimi, and to my delight this restaurant didn't have any limits, even for lunch. In addition to albacore tuna sashimi, they also had wild sockeye salmon sashimi for lunch! I'm huge on sashimi, so that alone got me hooked. The sashimi was fresh and delicious. The price for AYCE lunch is excellent at about $12 a pop. I just have to give 5 for value here.

Service was good. The waiter was ready and willing to take additional orders without attitude, and filled tea cups quickly. They also have a pretty good mango ice cream. Unfortunately ice cream is not part of the AYCE lunch menu.

I have added Tanpopo to my regular list.

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Excellent late night AYCE!
By roferg69 of Kerrisdale, Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 6:03pm [Dine in]

We went to Tanpopo last night for their late night sushi, and came away thinking we've found our new regular AYCE sushi joint.

We were seated quickly, and the service was very good - friendly and upbeat, and very unlike the begrudging attitude that seems to be prevalent at a lot of Vancouver AYCE sushi places. Our drink orders came lightning-quick, as did our first round of food.

The food itself was quite good overall - and the portions were nice and little, which made ordering far less daunting. You could just order one or two of a dish you wanted to try without worrying about being buried under an avalanche of plates...the quality of the fish was also quite high, and they had some items on the menu that are typically quite rare for late night AYCE (mackerel!).

The server was right on top of his game, too - as soon as he'd cleared the last of our empty plates from our first round, he was right back to take our order for round 2 - again, a huge change from what we're used to experiencing, and a very pleasant experience.

Overall, we had a great meal there, and will definitely return!

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What happened to Tanpopo?.....what a pig sty it is now
By 99north of Squamish (32 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 3:30pm [Dine in]

What happened to Tanpopo on Denman Street?
It used to be not a bad spot for all you can eat sushi but the place has GONE DOWNHILL badly. The carpet on the floor is SO ratty and dirty and the washrooms are disgusting,,,,scratches all over the doors,,,and really dirty!

They need a makeover badly....They have so much potential for their location,,,its a shame to see it so run down. The food wasn't as good as usual but it was screwed up as usual,,,you almost never get what you order and it comes in dribs and drabs or it comes all at once. Something never change!

We won't be back until the place has been cleaned up or overhauled. Does anyone know of another great haunt for all you can eat sushi that's clean and decent?
99north

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What is everyone eating?
By lifeoffood07 of Surrey (32 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 11:45am [Dine in]

Having read in the paper a while ago that this place was chosen top 3 Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, we decided to give this place a try since we were spending the day at Stanley Park. Not a fan of AYCE and this place really reenforced my reasons. The place was pretty busy when we went. We ordered a bit of everything. The food came out at a pretty good pace and the waiter we had was pretty attentive. Overall the service was okay but the food...

The sashimi (tuna, salmon) wasn't bad but they are definitely cutting costs by using cheap ingredients. They've simplified sashimi to fish on a plate. No garnish just fish. If the fish were really fresh then that would be okay. In our case it wasn't. The gyoza wasn't bad but the tempura cannot be even be considered tempura. It was just big blobs of batter on prawns. I've had lots of tempura at a lot of places (some good, some not so good) but this was the worst hands-down. We finished the meal with ice cream but you could tell it was pre-scooped stuff left in the freezer because of the ice flakes covering the ice cream.

I guess people who come here want to eat fill their tummies without caring too much about quality or flavour. Don't know who voted for this place, but there are tons of places much better.

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