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3
  • Food3
  • Service2.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews28

James Street Cafe & Grill

3819 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G1G6
Tel: (604) 676-1876
Fax: (604) 676-1874
  • Cuisine: African
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Reservations: Large groups only
  • Service: Catering
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30AM - 10PM, Sat: 9:30AM - 10PM, Sun: 9:30PM - 10PM
  • Make yourself at home with African inspired Indian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 28 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Nice place to get out of the rain.
By chasiubow of North Van (675 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 11:37pm [Dine in]

Mrs. C and I were looking for food after we found out that the Harry Potter movie was sold out at Metrotown. We remembered seeing the JSCG on our travels, and it seemed like a good opportunity to try. When we arrived, the friendly server seated us at once. The décor was nice and comfortable, with lots of wood everywhere and a nice fireplace. We also noticed there was cricket on the TV, but this was because the owner is Indian. In most of India, cricket is like hockey is here.

The menu was quite comprehensive and had everything from calamari to pannekoeks. I chose the mountain burger, which had a ½ pound of beef, bacon, cheese, and the usual toppings. I had a Caesar on the side. Mrs. C had the eggs Blackstone, which is like eggs Benedict but with ham and spinach. On the side, it came with potato cubes and some bits of pepper mixed in, and a salad too. Both entrees were excellent, and my burger was particularly tasty and juicy. I also had a pint of beer which was not expensive.

The yummy meal was incredibly satisfying on a damp night, and the menu was so encyclopedic in scope that my beloved and I promised each other we would return. Plus it was cheap, which is a huge incentive for repeat business.

I’ll be back.

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Okay, I guess
By epicurious of Burnaby, BC (507 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 2:02pm [Dine in]

Came here last Friday for Brunch on my day off. I've been to the old James Street before and wasn't all that pleased, so I was a little hesitant to eat here. At first I wanted to order one of their famous pannekoek, but I had this strange craving for toast, so I ordered a ham and cheese omelette. My sister order a burger and noted that it wasn't all that great. Not much seasoning and no sauce to help flavor it.
My omelette wasn't much to write about either. Just a regular ham and cheese omelette that I can easily whip up at home. I thought the ham would be diced into it, but instead they were pretty big pieces that I had to cut into with a knife.
The good thing was they were well-sized portions. Plenty of hashbrown potatoes (mini fries) and a nice side of fruit and shredded lettuce and tomato to accompany the dish. Food could be better and prices were a little bit on the high side.
Service was okay and the ambiance was fine. I didn't like the washroom though. One-staller, kinda dirty.
There are other places I would visit before returning here.

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Solid all around
By applepie of Burnaby (129 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 18, 2010 - 7:31pm [Dine in]

I passed by this restaurant quite a few times and finally got around to visiting it. I ordered a specialty crepe for lunch, with apple and granola filling. It was a little bit different from the average crepe from other restaurants, and I liked it. Service was pretty good too, polite and prompt. Their prices are quite fair for what they offer. I should go back and try their other menu items. Recommended for casual meals.

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Varying levels of goodness
By Kujibo of West Vancouver (127 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 3:29am [Dine in]

Eaten here several times now.

The food is a bit interesting here as a lot of it has a twist on it. For example the souvlaki is spiced with curry or whatever. You may be in for a surprise in what you get compared to what you might think you get, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. The owner does seem to be Indian. I think he also owns the greek place down the street. So the menu items may become interesting because of this. The menu items are well priced, probably tastier than equivalently priced restaurants, but not as tasty as say Earl's or Cactus Club overall.

Service levels can vary. They don't have too many servers so when it gets busy things can get a a bit strained. The quality of each server varies as well. So you may get great service or you may get sub par service.

Ambience is nothing special but there is a fireplace, some TVs to watch, and the place is fairly new.

We often go here for a work lunch as it doesn't get lineup busy, is well priced, and tasty enough.

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Proabably not again but ok
By princessgaga of burnaby B.C. (120 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 10:47am [Dine in]

Went with a party group. Almost everyone ordered Indian food. I was not sure of the quality so I went with a cheese burger. The Indian food smelled good and came mostly with rice, naan and salad. All the salads, including the one with the burgers came predrizzled with a shocking orange color dressing that was not very good. It might have been mango? I did not like it.

Most people said the Indian food was “alright “ or “okay”. Not a rousing verdict. The burger was “okay” and the person who had the veggie burger said it was “alright”. I guess that sums the whole thing up.

The only bright spot was the french fries - they were above average - nicely done.

One sour note was that they provided the organizers with a “take out” menu that was scanned and sent around our office to preorder. They didn’t tell you that the “special of the day”was only for take out and no where on the menu did it say that. A LOT of people ordered the special of the day and then were shocked to find their entree cost about $4 more than they expected. When that was pointed out, the waitress just blew off as “too bad for you” and made no attempt to remedy it.

For that reason alone we will not have another party there.

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Food was good. Service was ok
By cyberspace of vancouver (89 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 11:17pm [Dine in]

Went to James Street Grill for lunch. Had their meat platter and butter chicken. Both were very good. Also had their Mogo for appy which was good. Had chai and raas mal for dessert. It was a bit expensive for lunch as Indian/African food should not cost this much. I liked the food and they were not too busy at lunch time. I think maybe if we had their specials then these would have been fine also. I will go back.

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Good food but...
By Rayzach of West End, Vancouver (57 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 21, 2008 - 5:54pm [Dine in]

We have been here a few times and always order a couple of Nyma Choma Platters which consists of BBQ beef ribs, beef skewer and a chicken skewer with fries and salad. It is accompanied with some tamarind chutney all for about $16 for each platter.

The food is usually pretty good but the last time we ate there the service was awful. One particular waitress was so rude and basically ruined the entire experience and totally turned me off the place. I doubt I will ever eat there again. Will probably continue to get take out since the food is good for the price.

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Used a Entertainment Coupon for Breakfast
By aquadl of Vancouver (44 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 4:06pm [Dine in]

Location : Joyce & Boundary

Came here for breakfast this morning with the family.

We were the first ones in the restaurant. The waitress greeted us warmly and was very friendly - gave some colouring books to the kids and we got a current newspaper.

Coffee came quick and was hot. The kids got water in a kids friendly cup - straws were built in.

We ordered the Habs breakfast and the basic Sausage and eggs. My wife enjoyed the French Toast that came with the Habs breakfast. We had enough to share with the kids as the breakfast meals are pretty substantial.

Coffee was refilled quickly and waitress was very attentive to us and the kids. They even got stickers from her, which they very very happy to get. By the time we left, the restaurant had about 12 customers in there enjoying breakfast.

W/C were clean and the overall look of the place was good.

I would like to go back on weekdays between 7am & 9:30 to try the Sausage & eggs and toast breakfast for 3.95.

We paid by CC and gave her the Entertainment coupon, she was more than happy to accept it and with her kindness towards us and the kids ... we gave her a good tip.

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Below par.
By Apollocanada of Burnaby (31 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 11:34am [Dine in]

Second time I tried this spot. Ordered the cheese and meat omelete.There was a sliver of cheese melted on top,more like scrambled eggs,cook couldn't be bothered to fold the omelete,very dry,devoid of taste.Potatoes were clearly from a bag and tasted more of lard than potato. On the bright side the waitress was very friendly,polite and a breath of fresh air. Don't restauranters realize packaged hollandaise tastes like crap?.Was going to try the eggs benny..Thank god I asked to taste the hollandaise sauce first.Great waitress.Poor quality food.

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average cafe/diner, a little eclectic
By Maverik of Yaletown, Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 26, 2007 - 9:13pm [Dine in]

I've had prime rib burger and an Eastern African dish similar to butter chicken (forgot its name) for $9 each.
The service was good, but pretty slow, because there was only one waitress serving all tables, and cleaning up.
My prime rib burger was just ok, it came with veges, and sautee'd onions. I couldn't really tell if it was regular beef patty or prime rib. Then that Eastern African dish turned out to be almost same thing as Indian butter chicken, substitute butter with coconut milk. It was served with basmati rice and pita-style bread. Both of them weren't bad, but not really memorable either.
I won't be back unless I happen to be in the area again. Their crepe style pancake did look good in pictures, though.

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Decent Food and Service
By yumyumsigsig of Burnaby (15 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 7:44pm [Dine in]

This restaurant is located in a relatively quiet area on Boundary and Joyce. We went for Sunday lunch, not sure what to expect. From the outside, it looks like a neighbourhood restaurant with a big banner advertising its $2.99 breakfast. On entering, however, I found the inside made me feel more comfortable than the outside. The walls are decorated with pictures and wall murals. The overall tone was nice and relaxing.

The menu consists of a good selection of breakfast and lunch entrees. I ordered a prime rib burger with soup. The burger was served as a prime rib beef patty covered in grilled onions on a sesame bun. My dish came about 10 minutes after I ordered. I took my first sip of the beef barley soup and was quickly impressed with the taste. The burger was very good too, even though some part of the patty was half burnt.

Overall, this is a decent place for dining and a restaurant I would love to go back.

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A solid place
By Jonathan of Burnaby (15 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 7:14pm [Dine in]

This place is pretty much good on every level, but nothing that will really stick in your memory after you're done. If you're with a group of people and can't agree on a choice of food, this place is pretty good as they have a lot of variety. You can see the potential for this place to be better by doing a bit of extra touches with the food; but as it stands, its just okay.

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Going Down Fast !
By jollygood of Surrey (13 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 9:55pm [Dine in]

Tried this restaurant one more time and was very disappointing.
Althought the place appeared empty but there were estimated 30 patrons
and only ONE server. Service was the worst for the price you pay.
Quality of the food was average. Rumours has it that the chef who attracted
the diners has quit too.Unless the service improves 100% and quality of food gets better
i have no intention to eat here.
There is Jambo Grill on Kingsway which serve very similar dishes with excellent service.

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Amazing unique tastes, I thought indian but realizing african is not surprising
By iknowwhatsgood of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 11, 2013 - 9:09pm [Dine in]

Ate here two or three times, always more than enough food for the price, always left full. Have done their takeout, which the menu does not seem to be available online sadly. Most entre's under 13 dollars, and take out most things are $11.

But the main thing is the tastes in the food. Excellent flavourful, ingredient filled curries. Truly excelling in quality, with little details such as cilantro on the masla potatoes (melt in your mouth). I have had delicious lamb, beef kebabs that tasted as if slow roasted on a spit all day, juicy and filling. Lentil soup, complimentary delicious chip things, the list goes on. They have an interesting take on channa, if you are used to the east indian versions. It was quite unique. It reminds me of Ethiopian food, albeit more approachable. Most dishes served with rice and naan.

As for the restaurant, its quite elegant inside with a bar and lots of banquet tables. They have a small patio but as it under-looks canada way, its pretty crappy. We drove by this place many times, before deciding to go in, and now we have been back a few times. I really just thought it was some sort of diner, not at all flavourful indianesque cuisine. It has been packed as well as empty, so you might want to call ahead. Remember to take a take out menu for your next visit. You will go back. Especially if you live in the neighbourhood. Reminds me of a fusion place as well. An undiscovered gem :) 4 stars

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Incredible Food, overall as solid 9 out of 10 for food
By ksuleman of Yaletown (12 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 7:57pm [Take-out]

We have done two takeouts from James Street grill - Kuku Paka, Biryani, Butter Chicken, and Beef samosas. Wonderful food - if you are a foodie, and love flavors from different parts of the world, you will love the food at this place. The flavor is definitely a blend of east african and indian spices, wonderful smells, fresh, and super tasty all at an affordable price point, the takeouts at about $11. And to boot, they packaged it all very well indeed, nothing spilled and to our surprise it came with some rice and naan!! We plan on many takeout adventures from JSCG as I understand their takeout menu has just expanded. We especially loved the Kuku Paka, and being indian, this was even better than what my mom can make!!

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patience m'boy.
By busterwantstofish of East Van (12 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 27, 2008 - 11:24pm [Dine in]

Prime rib burgers? East African barbqu'ed meats? I like this place because the food is very good, unique, and the price is reasonable. People are starting to notice due to the quality, and i hope it continues because it is off the beaten path. The PR burger is excellent and the house special consisting of fire grilled chicken, beef and beef is delicious.

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Slow, Slow, Slow
By torok of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 7:46pm [Dine in]

Went here for Brunch. There is one waitress in the whole place; it took 10 minutes between ordering the coffee the first time and receiving it. When we asked for coffee refills they came almost 20 minutes later. The food, once ordered, was about 20 minutes in coming. The menu said all breakfasts served with multigrain toast, but they didn't actually have any, so we got dry "brown" bread (like white bread, colored brown). The food was edible, but not all that great. I will not be going back.

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There are better places to have a meal.
By UBCalumni of Burnaby, BC (6 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 10:53pm [Dine in]

A small group of us went here for dinner. Sometimes at a restaurant the service is bad and sometimes the food is bad. However, at James Street Café on this particular evening, both the food and the service were very bad. When the food arrived, I asked for extra napkins and by the time we left was still waiting for them. The food was cold and the beef was very tough. Some pieces of the meat were undercooked. Other people in our party said the meat smelled bad but I didn’t notice this myself. When the bill came the waiter insisted we must select 15 % or 20 % for the tip. Personally, I don’t think the servers or the kitchen staff deserved any tip but we gave 15 % as that was the mandatory minimum. Would not return here again. There are many nicer establishments in this city with better food and much better service.

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Good all around
By garammasala of North Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 - 8:05pm [Dine in]

James St. is a newer restaurant that my family frequents. The best time to go is Friday night (that's always "Indian night" with live karaoke and dancing and it's almost impossible to get a table unless you're a regular or go early enough).

After going a few times, you'll realize that there's no need for a menu. Talk to your server, or owners sometimes, and tell them exactly what you want and they'll make it for you. Best is the Nyma Choma, although you can always swap items around.
The food is sometimes a hit-or-miss, although I'd say that 4 out of 5 times it's perfect.
They also have some amazing chicken wings (one of the spiciest I've ever had in my life). If you're lucky and daring enough and really want them, talk to the owner and he just might get you some!

The service is a bit slower when they're busy, but which place isn't. It's a smaller place so when it's busy it's a bit hard to move around. Most of the time, one of the owners is there coming around to the tables to see how you're doing, which is always a nice touch.

All in all, a good place to go with family and friends. Wouldn't really suggest it for a romantic night out with your significant other though.

Highly recommend it.

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Food is simply 5 star, service not
By calex of Florida (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 4:06pm [Dine in]

This is a restaurant know what their cooking. Food is mouthwatering. And the price, I don't how that keep it so low in this market.

Service sure needs some work. Need some work with décor, surely confusing.

And one more thing, why do they call it James Street...I don't know. But coming back for food.

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