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Calabash Bistro
Calabash Bistro

Calabash Bistro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.calabashbistro.com
  • Phone: (604) 568-5882
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00 pm -1:00 am;
    Friday - Saturday: 5:00 pm - 2:00 am
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10am-3pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Caribbean
  • Executive Chef: Cullin David
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
  • Catering: Calabash can provide all types and sizes of catering, from food to bar to rentals. We can also take care of the music.
  • Private Party Facilities: Calabash provides family style set menu's, Canapés, Buffets, live music and fully themed evenings.
  • Private Party Contact: Sam (778) 881-8065
  • Entertainment: Calabash is a restaurant, with a licensed live music venue.

    The entertainment features live performances of reggae, hip-hop, funk, and poetry. Local artists are making Calabash an epicenter of the Vancouver music scene. There is a DJ spinning all evening. Music is essential to the Calabash experience where the island sound is bumping all day.
    The downstairs lounge area of Calabash hosts Foundation Radio, an online radio station that plays roots, reggae, jazz, blues, Motown and funk music. Calabash has created an intimate live venue that Vancouver needs.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Pender & Carrall
  • Public Transit: Number 22 bus, Number 19 bus, Stadium Sky train.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking, public lot at Tinseltown.
A word from Calabash Bistro
The Calabash is a Vessel that Supports Food, Drink, Art, and Music.
It is our vision to provide dynamic and flavorful Caribbean food in a healthy and creative atmosphere. Our menu has been designed to deliver fresh and uplifting cuisine using local and free range product, complimented by original cocktail recipes & a rum list boasting 80+ varieties Calabash is truly unique to the downtown dining experience. We are trying to provide an inspiring and artistic experience while maintaining the highest levels of quality and service and staying true to the roots and traditions of the Caribbean. We feature a chef’s fresh sheet, where our guests can discover unique combinations of West Coast and West Indian cuisine.
There is live music shows and house DJ's most days of the week.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerLate Night Find
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Diner Reviews
  • "The food is amazing. Ambience also very energetic and service was good."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "We've been to Calabash before and this second time also did not disappoint. I specifically went back to try the Curry Goat and it was as close to authentic as I've had in north america! Almost as good as my mother's! My dinner mates also enjoyed their meals and there were no complains all around. The service was good and I was quite pleased that they were able to meet my request for raw scotch bonnet pepper which I usually add to an already 'hot' dish. I'd certainly go back to try everything on the menu at least once!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The food was great.it was nice to try some carribbean food. We found the crab cakes. Bit to spicy couldn't really get the taste of the crab,the fish wa good,but was expecting a whole fried fish,the curry was excellent,the roti was very fresh,loved the beef patties. Definitely will come Again.the neighbour hood was a it scary though. Didn't like the two guys making faces by the window,and strange looking people passing by,wish you were in a different location."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Been meaning to go here for ages. After watching Triple D, I made up my mind to go check it out. Portions were tiny and flavours were lacking to be a true Caribbean meal. Drinks were the most enjoyable part of the night. Would not come back for a meal, but maybe for a stop over for drinks."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "The oxtail stew was very flavorful and tender. The coconut dumpling is slightly sweet with a soft but yet crunchy texture, very tasty that you would want more. The coconut jumbly drink was very refreshing. Funky atmosphere and friendly servers. Will definitely be back to try their roti with curry as it looked really good too."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "I am never disappointed at Calabash. I come from a Jamaican/Trinidadian background, and when I get craving for some "home-style" cooking, I know I can get what I am looking for at Calabash"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I suppose we should not have been surprised since all reviews good but it was better than expected - especially after walk through "seedy" (but apparently safe) neighborhood. The food was well spiced and tender meat. Seafood great as well. Fun servers who were also prompt. Everybody in there - staff and diners - seemed to be having a great time!! So did we!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We had a fabulous meal. Rum was outstanding...highly recommend."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Calabash is a great place to share a meal with friends and maybe take in a live show. The service is both attentive and relaxed and the presentation of many of the dishes is pretty unique in Vancouver."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant - the food is intriguing, different and delicious; trying different high quality rums is fun; the atmosphere is lively and friendly. Will be going back sooner than later."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Excellent food and great service. You can't go wrong with anything especially the curries. I will definitely be recommending this place and returning"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I love this place. After our first visit, my wife and I ate here at least once a week for about 2 months straight when we moved to Vancouver. I highly recommend the curry goat or chicken roti for a main course. The roti bread is one of the richest and tastiest that you will ever eat. If you are going for a small dish/ appetizer , the roti dip, coconut dumpling, and patties are popular. Its great to go on Saturday nights. After 11:30pm they open up the dance floor in the basement for some more partying. Feel free to watch from the bar or join the party and dance. Its a great crowd. The staff is also friendly. After going to Calabash for a little over a year, they feel like a part of our family."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I absolutely am going back to this place for dinner again, I would like to try their brunch now that I've had such a wonderful dinner experience! The food quality is amazing and the brilliantly paired spices create an explosion of deliciousness in your mouth! I love this place and will definitely be going back!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "I brought my boyfriend here because I know he loves Caribean food and the dark and stormy drinks. We both LOVED the food. The server was great and always there when we needed her. With my celiacs I felt very comfortable with their suggestions for gluten free choices and my meal was delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "This was my fourth time here and absolutely wonderful once again. Their drinks from the extensive rum menu are to die for! The cocktails are punched with so much flavor. Every item on their menu has been cooked to perfection that I've tried. I've not been let down once with any plate I have ordered or tried a bite of from a friend's. Also it's a great place to people watch as it's pretty close to pigeon park.. I have yet to be there when they have entertainers downstairs but I'm sure it's fantastic. They have a calendar for entertainers that will be there in their menu. I always seem to go here before a concert. "
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "the food and service were great! it was the neighborhood and the rif raf next door at a pub....there were drunks all over the place and fights broke out...not the best neighborhood we got a cab very quick!!!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Quaint restaurant, with good service , and quite reasonable prices, the food choices were interesting and tasty ."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "This was my second time at Calabash Bistro, my first experience was last year when for a part and every person recommended. Fast forward a year, and i was on a first date at Calabash. With all the coconut dumpling recommendations, this was an easy app selection. For dinner I had the jerk chicken (the waitress asked if I wanted it spicy hot... and yes I did ;) ) and my date had the fish duo. The dumplings were nothing special, in fact the order came with 4 and we each only finished 1. They were hard and tasteless with a dry inside. My jerk chicken terrible. It was like they BBQ chicken and then added sauce on top, which ended up somewhat burnt, the rice was under cooked..veggies okay. My dates food was better. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "extremely pushy waitresses did not enjoy my time and felt stressed out to keep ordering "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I've previously gone to calabash twice and loved it. The third time was very disappointing. The food was very salty and portions were smaller than I remembered. Even my dark and stormy wasn't made to par. I don't know if I would return. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "First time visitor to this Caribbean Bistro. Pleasant surroundings with interesting art work. Attentive wait staff, pleasant and willing to explain the different dishes. Flavourful food...jerk tenderloin was excellent as was the chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Reasonable prices. Certainly will visit again!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Innovative and delicious Caribbean-inspired meals and rum-based drinks. Servers are friendly and knowledgeable about what's in the food, which helps if you have a special diet. Try the plantain gratin and the coconut dumplings with brie :)"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "How wonderful to discover a restaurant with a unique menu! As a vegetarian there were great options, and my meat-eating friends were delighted too. Large portions, very flavourful and the friendliest service ever!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Last Sunday was my third time at Calabash and the first for brunch. I have enjoyed each occasion immensely. It is not your normal brunch menu and everyone in our group of 10 found something great to eat. Great ambience as well. We will definitely be back:)"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Fun cocktail menu and the biggest rum selection in Vancouver if not Canada. The jerk sauce with make you tingle too. We will be back again and again and so will our friends. "
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Been here a few times now, and food and service is consistently good. The dark and stormy is one of the best ive had! Cant go wrong if you're looking for a lively good night out!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Good goat is hard to come by in Canada, so Calabash is a welcome addition. On the menu as part of a dinner with rice and peas (not Jamaican style) and veg, or in a roti, the curry goat eaten by all 3 in my party was excellent---tender, lots of meat, not fatty or oily, and the unavoidable bones were big enough to see, so not likely to be swallowed by accident. I think a a narrower focus---more specifically Jamaican---would sharpen the menu. Although they did serve Ting, more Jamaican treats would have been welcome. I would love to see calaloo on the menu (a Jamaican staple green, a bit like spinich), and festival (sort of a sweet hush puppy). We all loved the absence of dancehall "music" and hoped it was a full-time permanent choice."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "I love Calabash! I love taking people from out of town there. Usually they are secretly disappointed when I describe it to them only to be blown away when we get there and especially after we eat. It's fun, different and reasonably priced. I took 4 out of town guests there last weekend and it was ridiculously slow. We sat down and ordered appetizers right away and it was a Full hour between when we sat down and when our 3 apps were delivered (maybe 45 from ordering). I wouldn't have cared if we were given any sort of warning or status update. When i asked she said 'sorry, we are so busy'. Not good enough. Don't seat more than you can serve and be proactive about service to manage expectations. We ended up leaving after 1st course."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Very good and authentic food (for a non-expert in Caribbean cuisine), with good variety for a vegetarian (myself) and a fabulous selection of drinks. The service is awesome and the waiter was knowledgeable, friendly, and just fabulous. The only little unfortunate thing was that my partner is quite sensitive to spicy food, and it got in the way of fully enjoying some of the dishes."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "This restaurant has delicious Caribbean food and drinks, which was actually a bonus for our table of 4. We went there to hear our favourite music. The groups, Skylab Sounds and Cocojafro were playing on the same evening and I have to say, the sound system downstairs was absolutely amazing. Even better than other music venues! Our server was very attentive and reserving online worked great. You can add a note on the site as to where you want to sit, etc."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Dine there quite often. Always great food and service . Staff is welcoming and the music keeps the energy going. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "I have been to Calabash several times and the food is consistently delicious with perhaps the best muscles I have ever tasted. The staff are very friendly and the music is excellent and not too loud. I will continue to return here and would consider this location for a group event as well. It has a unique atmosphere that feels very authentic and not forced."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Well must say great place to reserve on a Friday for old school hip hop make sure to get a table downstairs . Great dark and stormy drink mmmmmmmmm a must go"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "The food was really great and the service was as well. Great suggestions by our waitress, and the rum drinks were superb. The tables were a little tight together so it felt a bit like we were dining with strangers, so not necessarily where you'd go to catch up with an old friend to get into a deep conversation. Depending on what you're comfortable with, the restaurant is also in what many may still consider a sketchy area, but certainly we had no troubles with the characters on the sidewalk. That said, I will definitely go back and will recommend the restaurant to others."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Amazing Food.Drinks & Service. What more could you ask for? Defiantly will be back. Not to mention we ate 4 appetizers, 4 Main courses, 7 Drinks, 4 coffee & 2 desserts for just over 200$ That is really good for Vancouver and the portion sizes and FLAVORS YUMMY!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Cozy place, funky decor. Music is is a little off- putting being so loud. However, the most important part of any restaurant is course the food, and it was incredible. It is rare that I enjoy every dish I order, but in this case, I was very happy to find the exception to the rule. Coconut dumplings w mango butter- OMG to die for! Jerk fries..very tasty & crispy. Crab cakes - very nice. Papaya & prawn salad was delish! Big selection of yummy rummy drinks. Lots more on the menu I would like to try. Waitress was a little on the cool side (and by that I mean a bit stand- offish, not hipster!) but she was nice enough to offer to split our bill for us for all the appies ordered & shared. Overall, a great dining experience..will def go back :)"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "My wife and I ordered curry roti and a salad, both which were very tasty. The music was fun to listen to but not overpowering, and the service was quick, if not particularly personable. We'd definitely go back!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "I really enjoyed the food at this place. There were a ton of things on the menu I wanted to try and will definitely go back to try more. I highly recommend the Salt Spring Mussels to start, add roti - so good!! I also had the Jerk Fish Duo for my main course. It was delicious and I left feeling satisfied without overly stuffed, perfect portion sizes! The service was great as well, our server recommended food to us and seemed genuinely friendly. They have live music at 9pm daily that we missed this time but I'll for sure be going back to check that out."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "i always bring my friends and guests in vancity here coz i know they will definitely have fun. I even celebrated my bday here at one point. food and drinks are great.. and love the staff!! theyre all friendly and accomdating! wont get tired coming back!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Really loved the food here, haven't found too many restaurants that specialize in Caribbean cuisine and this one will become my go to when I feel like having Caribbean roti."
    Dined on 2/6/2014