HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Share your food adventure

What is the perfect combination of food and liquor on Main St.

the aleph Feb 13, 2009 10:17 PM

Dependent on the bartender Cascade room has the best drinks in Vancouver. When it first opened the bartenders were amazing. Now it is hit and miss. That aside the food has always been less than palatable at Cascade. It seems like a bar that serves food for license purposes. Since Habit is closed because of fire what is the next best combination of food and drink on Main. We used to hit Habit for food and cascade for booze. It seems pointless to go to Cascade anymore it's become the Earls of Main st. If you arrive after 8 the wait is ridiculous I don't care how much cleavage the hostess shows me it's not worth it since you can't eat there. I'm crestfallen. I've done the Reef and Locus plus most other joints on or close to Main.St. 3 Lions has great food but it's not comfortable to sit for 3 hours. The Narrow is weak. Little help?

  1. fmed Feb 13, 2009 11:29 PM

    I don't live in that hood and haven't dined there in a little while. I'm not a big fan of Habit and actually preferred the food at Cascade. (I hear that Tina Fineza was redoing Habot's menu...then the fire struck. (She did the menu at Les Faux Bourgeois and couple of other places). Any idea when Habit will re-open?

    Have you been to Pings? (I'm not a huge fan myself, but it has been getting some good reviews of late). Soma? (I'm also not a big fan....I'm no help at all here LOL.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed
      Cancuk Feb 14, 2009 02:27 AM

      Campagnolo is, IMO, easily the best restaurant on Main... but I don't think that's what you're looking for.

      Besides what's mentioned (by no means I'm saying these places are great, or even good): Grub, Burgoo, Foundation... ah.... not sure.

      1. re: Cancuk
        fmed Feb 14, 2009 07:13 AM

        Agreed on campagnolo (I had lunch there for the first time last week with a friend. He and I shared a number of dishes including their addicting fried chickpeas.)

        I think the Cascade is really the best bet for food and drink.

    2. the aleph Feb 14, 2009 09:49 AM

      I ate at habit a few times before the fire and was pleased plus they were moving away from the Tapas. The latest word on Habit reopening is maybe end of April.. The Public would also be a good choice but the last time I was there they had Tapas still and there seems to be no value in that.

      It's weird isn't it Grub, Foundation, Burgoo, Locus, Reef all okay Restaurants. I hate to be a hater but it's a frustrating street. Ping's was decent I like the interior. We were there the first couple weeks they opened so I need to take another stab at it. I think you are right for the combination of eating and drinking Cascade is as good as I will find in the hood. What other good combination spots can you think of? I've never set foot in the Hennessy Lounge anyone been?

      3 Replies
      1. re: the aleph
        fmed Feb 14, 2009 10:04 AM

        It has a good eating scene....perhaps take a different strategy: do a crawl. Eat at one place and Drink at another. They are all within a fair walking distance.

        1. re: fmed
          the aleph Feb 14, 2009 11:04 AM

          True true, the eat walk and drink walk and drink some more is my general rule. The issue I am having is I hate lining up or having to wait an hour to get in anywhere. Like any good place once you've got your table and your mates know where you are it's all good. Sometimes I don't want to wander I like to plant my ass have some good chats and good drinks eat when I am hungry, drink when I am thirsty. I haven't been to Zigz in a long time. Lots of restaurants on the street.

        2. re: the aleph
          gourmet wife Apr 9, 2009 09:13 AM

          I went to Grub a couple of weeks ago. Very small menu. The food was just okay. It's not very expensive but for the value I would go else where just because taste wise, it wasn't worth it. Great hummus though. I had the duck that other foodies have mentioned, it was overcooked, tasteless and very gamey. It tasted almost like lamb which I don't enjoy. The pasta it came with was way too salty.

        3. c
          ck1234 Feb 14, 2009 10:34 AM

          Has anyone been to Zigz lately? I haven't been in years, but I do remember a good meal & a good martini!

          1. balini Feb 14, 2009 02:32 PM

            I see no one has mentioned Crave...I enjoyed my visit there last summer and seems like a good combination of food and drink but it's not open late and it would be small when the back patio is not open so maybe not a place to drop in to. Another small but great place on Main is the Japanese place Zipang... again maybe not exactly what you're looking for but very good, reasonably priced sushi and Izakaya type fare in a fun environment, maybe add it on to the main street crawl list.

            4 Replies
            1. re: balini
              fmed Feb 14, 2009 07:29 PM

              I have only been to Crave for brunch and lunch....but yes - that is a good suggestion. I don;t recall what the drinks list is like (I don't usually partake so early in the day.)

              1. re: balini
                the aleph Feb 14, 2009 07:35 PM

                Crave is a top choice but only when the patio is open. I actually forgot that one!

                1. re: the aleph
                  waylman Feb 15, 2009 06:04 AM

                  I would agree the food at Cascade needs serious help. Public on Main and 17th has decent chow...nothing extraordinary though. Did anyone mention Zipang? The sushi there is fantastic and you can drink beer. You could also check out the Whip on 6th just off Main. Again, the food is nothing to write home about but it's a cool enough spot to hang out until Habit reopens.

                  1. re: waylman
                    alissers Feb 21, 2009 10:59 AM

                    Food at the Whip was not worth the money we spent. My friend ordered a smoked salmon wrap and finished less than half of it because she found it so dissatisfying. The drinks weren't bad, though.

              2. t
                twinkienic Feb 16, 2009 05:27 PM

                I've never been, but I read some reviews about Narrow Lounge that sound like it might offer what you're looking for.

                1. h
                  hakkagirl Feb 17, 2009 07:11 PM

                  zipang for great sushi at reasonable price and Zigz for the best edamame and roasted garlic and baked brie..otherwise, main street is overrated

                  1. m
                    Mawson Plan Feb 18, 2009 12:46 AM

                    Some other options of places to eat and drink are the 5 point, not great food but an ok place. Good patio. People seem to like Zoocolo (or something like that). I've had some good drinks there but not memorable food. Just off Main two blocks west on broadway there's the Three Lions. Some of their food is pretty good- if you order the right thing. It's a nice spot if you like the idea of a Vancouver style british pub. For Cascade try the duck- it was really good when I had it. Veggie burger not so good- like a big ball of hummus. But the duck was really good...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mawson Plan
                      Mawson Plan Feb 18, 2009 11:15 AM

                      Just saw that you reference 3 lions at the start. It does need better chairs. Let them know to get better chairs and a better set up- you are right that it would be much better.

                    2. j
                      jmil Feb 18, 2009 02:00 PM

                      While not on Main St. (or open yet!).. there will be a Stella's on Cambie/17th soon.
                      Decent food and excellent beer selection

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jmil
                        islandgirl Mar 23, 2009 11:30 AM

                        Does anyone have an update of when the new Stella's will be opening?

                        1. re: islandgirl
                          fmed Mar 23, 2009 11:33 AM

                          I heard from a reliable source that it is waiting for a shipment of furniture which is (unexpectedly) coming in 6 weeks late. They had expected to open end of March IIRC...but that will now have to be pushed out.

                      2. the aleph Apr 8, 2009 10:25 PM

                        Well my search has bore me limited fruit. Turns out things aren't improving all that much.

                        Anyone know about Latitude opening up on Main. What is it? Last week a friend compared Cascade to the Cactus Club of Mains st. I'm not willing to go that far yet but this Latitude looks like it may be in that realm. As far as habit I was at the barber shop and heard a guy saying that when Habit re-opens the chef doing the cooking started as a dishwasher at cascade a year and a half ago . So those of you expecting the return of Habit I suspect will be disappointed. I'm not hoping for much.

                        The food at Narrow is decent I really like the un-burger. the last few times I've been in they were sold out :( Thank god summer is here I'll drag the bike out and go farther afield to get my chow on. Down to the Alibi room for me.........

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: the aleph
                          fmed Apr 8, 2009 10:31 PM

                          Latitude's proprietors used to run Raincoast in Tofino. Scout Magazine has the scoop here: http://scoutmagazine.ca/2009/04/04/la...

                          1. re: fmed
                            the aleph Apr 11, 2009 09:58 PM

                            Sounds good I hope they do better than Soma. I think Soma had a great look and concept, decent food but I think they didn't promote well enough. Again it sounds like guys are trying to peg main st as the new yale town or gastown. Mid range wine bar seems a bit of a stretch for the hood. Cambie might have been a better location. I will check them out when they open regardless.

                          2. re: the aleph
                            Cancuk Apr 9, 2009 05:16 PM

                            The only thing that I find comparable to Cactus and Cascade is that I don't really like the food at either. But the room, drinks program, atmosphere, etc are ridiculously better at Cascade... IMO

                            1. re: Cancuk
                              the aleph Apr 11, 2009 10:01 PM

                              Not my comment . A friends but to tell the truth the crowd at cascade has been moving towards that Boneta on a budget crowd. I guess I'm just bitter that Main was getting to a really good place. Stable consistent neighborhood and all the property speculators started moving in to get onto the next "HOT" thing. Trendy changes the flavor.

                          3. busterbrown Apr 15, 2009 12:29 PM

                            cool to hear about the stellas opening there......even though it is on commercial i was gonna mention it anyway.......good news

                            Show Hidden Posts