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Jul 16, 2012 09:31 PM

What is a cool Vancouver restaurant for a Sweet 16 dinner?

My oldest is turning Sweet 16 this August and I would like to take her to a really cool, trendy, hip, rocking (any adjective of the sort will work) restaurant.
It will just be the 2 of us and I am on a limited budget, but am willing to go to about $50.00 per person.
I do not eat beef or pork and I can not do very spicy so the place would have to have a good variety.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
For my daughter, if we had a 'Medieval Times' type place, it would be perfect, unfortunately we do not.
A bonus would be if they did something special for her like sing or something neat like that. I am not looking for places like Montana's or Olive Garden. I want her to feel special.

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  1. The first place that comes to mind is Guu Garlic down on Robson-lots of choice menu wise-very welcoming and always rockin'.

    Or if Guu is a tad hard core there's always Moderne Burger-more for her than you.

    1. Here's another, The Eatery, on the west side. I personally don't understand some of the stuff on their website. Then again, I ain't in my teens. Might be an age thing:

      Some other ideas, forgive me if they sound like I'm taking wild stabs at things:

      The Rumpus Room:

      Habit Lounge:

      The Foundation:

      Nuba (several locations):

      Eight & 1/2 Lounge:

      The Whip Gallery:

      Funny how all the above after The Eatery are all on Main or slight off of, within a km's stretch.

      1. My choices are Chambar, L'Abattoir, Boneta for non-Asian. I have taken my daughters (both of whom are not yet 16) to these places and got great service.

        I also second Sam's rec of Guu.

        26 Replies
        1. re: fmed

          I like your choices fmed but the OP did mention a limited budget which I wouldn't put them under. From her description, I'm thinking the Eatery might fit the bill best, though I personally am not a fan of the fusiony-Japanese food. I can't think of anywhere that would do singing, though. Guu can be loud and boisterous fun but also can get expensive.

          1. re: grayelf

            Guu and the Eatery actually sound perfect for my other daughter, she has her 15th the day before her sister's birthday (I am 2 days after), so it is a busy and expensive month. My youngest is into Manga and all things Japanese.
            My oldest is more classic in taste, but fun I had been looking at Cioppinni's, but not sure if that is too grown up? Another suggested Society?
            The Rumpus Room looks neat, but more for a family night.
            There used to be a restaurant (back in early 90's) that was on Robson and you had to go up stairs to get to it. It was very girly and fun, I keep thinking it started with "Pink" in the name...?
            I was also looking at The Boathouse, but is it fun or something she would like? I know she would love the view.
            Thank you for the suggestions so far, they are awesome.

            1. re: sparrowsong

              Cioppino's is lovely and sedate, quite grown up but by no means rockin' or any of the adjoining adjectives (unless Pino goes on a rant as he did one special night -- that was quite the show). It's also pretty expensive though less so if you avoid ordering wine which I suspect you would not be doing. It would be more for example than fmed's suggestions, all of which would be trendier/hipper FWIW.

              The Boathouse just has such meh food, if your daughter cares about it at all she will notice. This is a problem with any of our view restaurants here, sadly. Except maybe Fraiche which has been getting great reports (I haven't made it there yet).

              1. re: grayelf

                Sadly, for my finances, I have taught my girls about food, so she will care, lol! She is in the culinary course they have at school and I taught both girls how to cook at age 8. Within 2 years they were cooking full "gourmet" meals as well as Christmas dinners for 15.
                So yes, I would like to take her somewhere she can enjoy both food and a cool place.
                Most of all, I want her to feel like a "princess" :)

                1. re: sparrowsong

                  Okay if Princess is Paramount, then I say Chambar, L'Abbatoir (maybe ask for the atrium as it is lovely there and the upstairs can get pretty loud), Boneta or Cioppino of the places mentioned here, assuming that you are not ordering more than a glass of wine and can therefore keep things within your budget.

                  The other places have their points but are not IMO special enough for this occasion.

                  You sound like a very caring mum to go to this much trouble to make your girl happy. Best of luck with your choice!

                  1. re: grayelf

                    I took a quick look and these look wonderful! House Guest, Che Baba and Rumpus Room are some others that piqued my interest. I think it will be between Chambar, Cioppinno's or L'Abbatoir.
                    We are definitely going to The Eatery for my youngest! :-)
                    Oh, anyone have any info on Society?

                    Thank you for the kind words. My girls have been the greatest blessing in the world and don't ask for much but they deserve the world.

                    May I ask one more bit of info ?
                    If we chose to go somewhere just for dessert afterwards, are there any places that you would recomend?
                    i would love a place where there is just so much to choose from, but anything we chose would be "Chef Ramsey" approved, lol, she loves him :)

                    1. re: sparrowsong

                      Re: Society, fmed's comments on House Guest would probably equally apply there. Avoid.

              2. re: sparrowsong

                Hamburger Mary's still around (Davie), right ? Their website is down.

                Is the "cool, trendy, hip, rocking (any adjective of the sort will work)" ambiance more a factor or the food ?

                So neither The Foundation nor Nuba would do, eh ? Dang I must be old !

                How about House Guest in Gastown ?

                Or Cafe Salade de Fruits ?

                Che Baba ?

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Food is alright, but the scene is douchetastic.

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Food is definitely more the factor than those adjectives.
                    She is all that matters over all :)

                    1. re: sparrowsong

                      Let me rephrase. The food is secondary at House Guest. It is a nightclub that happens to serve food. I have two daughters - one nearing the age of 16. I can confidently say that House Guest is not a place I would take them.

                      1. re: fmed

                        Then that one is out :) thank you.

                    2. re: LotusRapper

                      With regards to LR's original comment, I discourage anyone and everyone from going to Hamburger Mary's. Their food has slipped from bad to borderline inedible. Kitchen is filthy.

                      The ambiance might be good at Hamburger Mary's but that's it. You'll get a much better burger across the street at the Triple O's in the Mac's convenience store.

                      Sparrowsong, I would say that Chambar is perhaps the best bet, I always feel like a princess in that restaurant, very charming staff and the food is beyond great. It's also nice to see so many ladies working in the kitchen! If you can, try to get a table overlooking the big windows in the back of the room, the views are great.

                      1. re: StarryFork

                        Thx for the intel on HM's. Obviously my last impression of them is outdated ! Sounds like they may be sliding down towards some inevitable shakedown/change-of-ownership at this rate.

                  2. re: grayelf

                    $50 pp will feed them well at those places IMO. (No drinks, I'm assuming).

                    1. re: fmed

                      Fair enough. They strike me as more than $50 but I'm thinking app, main and dessert.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        I was considering all 3 courses considering the schooling. Would love for her to be amazed at the food and knowing the way she is, she will be inspired to stive to be better :D
                        Forgive all my smileys, but she brings them out.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Ah yeah. That will push it to $60 pp. I often pass on the starter or share. The mains run about $27-30-ish. Dessert $10.

                          1. re: fmed

                            I was thinking we would share a starter and we may pass on the dessert and find something somewhere else. I also may not have a wine, just depends on the day.

                            1. re: sparrowsong

                              Then L'abattoir and Chambar are within reach. Go to Bella Gelateria for dessert.

                              1. re: fmed

                                Love Bella idea for dessert -- dessert is a conundrum mostly in Vancouver. Capstone does look like fun!

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  So, dessert is an area we have room to grow and improve in. Interesting. To me it doesn't matter what part of the meal it is, it should be an adventure for your senses.

                        2. re: fmed

                          I wouldn't mind a nice glass of wine :)

                    2. For dessert, I took two teenagers to Capstone Tea and Fondue in downtown and they LOVED it. It's a lot of fun to be able to dunk things like cookies, ice cream, and fruit in chocolate.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: focioncroci

                        Looking at Capstone, I may need to do that on another day as we may want one of everything, lol!! Looks SO good!

                      2. A way-out-there idea ....... lunch or tea at The Secret Garden in Kerrisdale .........


                        Who knows, might work for your 16-yr old. Or even if not, maybe someday for someone else in the family to celebrate a Sweet 60 ;-)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Is that a hint for someone to take you??? ;D (forgive me if I mis-aged you)
                          Actually, my Nana and Mom would love it there! My girls would feel so special and poud of themselves for going with us, a Ladies Day Out!
                          My Nana and Mom grew up in the British Properties and my mom has talked about going to these kind of places when she was younger.
                          What a wonderful idea :)
                          Thank you.
                          Everyone has mentioned so many great tempting places I am afraid I won't loose this weight any time soon, lol!