For the last few years I’ve been trying to make it to The Sandbar in Vancouver for their famous sushi. Everyone raves about how great it is and it’s a common recommendation I get from locals. Somehow, after three tries, I still haven’t had the sushi! Either they were under construction or closed–so if you are heading there for sushi, make sure you time it right. I’m happy to report that I’m actually very glad we were there too early for the sushi (the sushi bar opens at 5pm), otherwise we would have missed out on the amazing meal we had.
First of all, I could eat cardboard and enjoy myself at The Sandbar because the views are magnificent. I think it’s one of the best views in the city because it completely captures the essence of Vancouver. You’ve got bridges, water taxis, high rises, the public market, kayakers, and all that hustle and bustle with a birds-eye view.
The Sandbar has an industrial maritime ambiance. There’s a boat hanging from the ceiling inside, and there are concrete floors, and exposed wood and steel beams throughout. The patio has different seating options with tables, a bar, and lounge style comfortable leather chairs. There are fireplaces and heat lamps to keep you nice and warm.
We had a fabulous server who directed us to the best menu items, and for specific things The Sandbar is famous for, like their seafood. We started with the Dungeness Crab Cakes with Chili Lime Aioli and Fennel Slaw, and Wok Squid with Garlic, Chilis, Cilantro and Ginger. I could have been completely satisfied with that because they were both show stoppers.
I’ve never had squid that was tender before, it was seriously the best squid I’ve ever tasted. Not undercooked at all, but not rubbery. I would not have ordered this without our server’s strong recommendation, and I didn’t think I’d be the one eating it, but I was pleasantly surprised and so excited to find I really do like squid depending on how it’s cooked. I’m a huge fan of Crab Cakes and order them whenever I see them on a menu. These were delicious as expected, cooked to perfection and crispy on the outside.
We shared the Signature Alderwood Grilled BC Halibut with Coconut Jasmine Rice, Vegetables, Citrus Butter Sauce and Crispy Capers. It had a smoky flavor, was cooked perfectly and delicious. We also shared some melt-in-your-mouth Alaskan King Crab Legs with drawn butter and lemon.
We tried Red Velvet Cake, New York Cheesecake, and Chocolate Truffle Cake. I never ever see Red Velvet on a menu, so that as a thrill to order, and it was served up cute in a little mason jar with a ground cherry on top. All desserts are house made and we liked each thing we tried. Our favorite was probably the cheesecake, but it was a tough call.
The Sandbar Vancouver Bottom Line
If you’ve never been to The Sandbar, make it a priority for your next Vancouver trip. I would make the trip for the sole purpose of eating here–of course, I’m lucky to live close enough to BC to actually do this. I can tell you The Sandbar will be a tradition for my Vancouver trips from now on and I will bring all my friends there too. I can’t believe I’ve been going to Vancouver all these years and I’m just now discovering it!
I can’t say enough good things about it. Even if you just go and have a beer on the patio for happy hour, that alone is a spectacular experience. It’s nice to have so many wonderful things–fabulous atmosphere with amazing views, great service, excellent food–all rolled up in one place. Find out more on The Sandbar’s Website.
I will eventually have sushi at The Sandbar, and when I do, you can count on a full report which I will link to here.
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- We were guests of The Sandbar, opinions are my own.