Calabash Bistro
Calabash Bistro

Calabash Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.calabashbistro.com/
  • Phone: 6045685882x
  • 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 7788818065x
  • 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.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerLate Night Find
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Calabash Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (35)neighborhood gem (32)good for groups (24)late-night find (24)vibrant bar scene (19)hot spot (17)special occasion (16)romantic (8)great for lunch (4)great for brunch (2)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)notable wine list (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Food was tasty and well seasoned. Enjoyed the ambiance. The neighborhood is a little intense. While we were dining, a stranger smashed his face and hands against the glass windows outside for 15 seconds.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for vegetarian options
    Phil2405
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    A very good place for vegetarians who want to try Caribbean food. Great rum list, and many cocktails options. The food was really good and innovative. The staff is very friendly. A place to discover
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasty and Fresh
    VictoriaH
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Our group of 6 diners (+ 1 well behaved baby) had dinner at Calabash on a Sunday night. The chicken stew, seafood steamer, and coconut fritters were very flavourful and scrumptious. This was our last meal in Vancouver before heading back home, and we were glad that ended up such a good note.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lively and delicious
    qualityfoodlover
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We enjoyed Calabash for the warm and friendly atmosphere and the absolutely delicious food. The menu has an extensive selection that warrants going back again and again. Don't let the neighborhood scare you away (being from out of town, it almost did dissuade us as we approached it), it's worth venturing in for sure. We will go back the next time we visit the city.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • interesting Caribbean style
    ken0001VIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Food was ok, not the greatest but pretty tasty. We order chicken jerky and vegetarian curry roti; the roti was ok a bit dry and the jerky chicken was very good. The plantains we ordered as entree were not the best . Juices were good. Service was very good. The area where the restaurant is not nice at all, be careful.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ladylikeposture
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Best Caribbean place I've been to in Vancouver by far. The goat curry roti was just incredible and it was the perfect amount of food. My brother had the oxtail and it was also just amazing. Insane rum selection and unique cocktail menu, wish I could have tried more. Will definitely need to go back again sometime soon. Very friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive and disappointing
    Rowe
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I had my birthday dinner here years ago and it was the most memorable carribean meal I've had. We went back to fill a Jamaican craving the other night and the experience was a complete 360. Our drinks were over-iced and overpriced. Jamaican patties were very small and flat. $7.50 for 2 patties was robbery. The worst part, the previously delicious coconut dumplings were unrecognizable. Dry and fried to a crisp, I couldn't cut into these without exploding pieces of dumpling flying everywhere. Such a disappointment, needless to say, will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food
    ForLoveofFood
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The food is amazing. Ambience also very energetic and service was good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • As Close to Authentic
    Caribrice
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over promised, under delivered
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasty food
    seafoodfan
    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.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food is always amazing
    JamaicanTrini
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Surprise
    Nancy
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    Foodienv
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    We had a fabulous meal. Rum was outstanding...highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Meal in a Relaxed Atmosphere
    alibuto
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything is a discovery
    Living2eat
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great fine
    Tracy12
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Excellent food and great service. You can't go wrong with anything especially the curries. I will definitely be recommending this place and returning
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Caribbean in Vancouver
    tyshay2000
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Burst of Flavour!!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    KBear
    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!
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A spicy delight!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food bad neighbors
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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!!!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Quaint restaurant, with good service , and quite reasonable prices, the food choices were interesting and tasty .
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cool ambeince... not carribean food
    IHeartSpice
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lorenzona134
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    extremely pushy waitresses did not enjoy my time and felt stressed out to keep ordering
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    SuEJVIP
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Flavourful dining experience!
    Dining4one
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great service!
    mmmfood
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    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 :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique dining experience!
    worddancer
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great place to eat
    Maever
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    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:)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A jerk that tingles.
    BornMineDie
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lively night out
    Foodluvvie
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 33 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 1, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 49 reviews are from the Calabash Bistro reviews archive.
  • Go for the goat
    MatanteCate
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Normally perfect, this time SO SLOW
    JennieG
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely experience
    FlyingBarney
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun night out
    vikimor
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappointed
    Luv2dineout
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Dine there quite often. Always great food and service . Staff is welcoming and the music keeps the energy going.
    Special Features:
    Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All around enjoyable experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cheles
    Cheles
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.