Merchant's Oyster Bar
1590 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y2Neighborhood:
SeafoodPrice: CAN$30 and under
Merchant's Oyster Bar
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.merchantsoysterbar.ca/
- Phone: (604) 258-0005
- Hours of Operation:
Merchants is open Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm until close
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Wine Bar, Tapas / Small Plates
- Executive Chef: Peter Neirmann
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: View
- Private Party Facilities: Enquire with Sam Jonnery at the restaurant for details.
- Private Party Contact: Samuel Jonnery 6045123358
- Special Events: Merchants is available for your private event needs up to 30 seats sit down and 40 for a stand up cocktail reception.
A word from Merchant's Oyster Bar
Located on Vancouver's historic Commercial drive, Merchants is already gaining a reputation for serving some of Vancouvers freshest osyters. A 30 seat Patio provides a great opportunity to watch the action of The Drive any day. The warm and airy interior is anchored by the oyster bar on one side and the daily boards on the other. Alongside the oysters is a wonderful selection of small plates for any and all tastes.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
Merchant's Oyster Bar - Best Restaurants in Commercial Drive ›
Merchant's Oyster Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since July 25, 2014
- Ambiance3.7Noise LevelEnergetic
neighborhood gem (27)fit for foodies (25)great for outdoor dining (10)special occasion (8)romantic (8)good for groups (7)hot spot (7)vibrant bar scene (7)notable wine list (5)late-night find (5)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
- Not for us...too old?OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/16/2014- Superb fresh oysters, very well presented - salad with a faint wisp of dressing, if any at all - lobster bennies with nice tasting minimal lobster and stale muffins - very good filter - drip (?) coffee - well frequented by local younger crowd
- DisappointedCultchGoerDined on 11/13/2014I ate the Flank Stake. I found it extremely tough to chew, and should have returned it. Just don't do enough of that when I'm not happy with a meal. My wife's crab was woefully inadequate both in terms of the volume and flavour. Very disappointing. When asked specifically what a Flank stake was, the server did not know, except to tell me that it was "grown locally" and using "sustainable methods", which didn't really answer my question about what type of cut it was. Probed further about its quality - i.e. tender or not - I was told it was very tender. Completely wrong. When the bill came, it was extremely confusing to understand the pricing in how it was shown on the bill. Admittedly, there was a discount applied because of our Cultch tickets, but the server couldn't explain the bill very well, and then we (or more correctly I) discovered that we had been overcharged by $20. Given the quality of the meal, this irked us, further playing a sour note on the evening. On a single positive note. The wine was excellent. Unfortunately, it just couldn't make up for the poor meals. All in all, a surprisingly disappointing evening. Paying $120 for the dining experience, despite the great wine, was poor value.
- So much more than oysters!WellyDined on 10/27/2014Given how quickly restaurants come and go in Vancouver, it's great to see place that has its culinary feet firmly planted and knows what it is and isn't. MOB has managed to find the sweet spot with food and pricing that sets it above the myriad burger, taco and pasta joints on Commercial Drive, but doesn't catapult it into the pricey fine dining category. The kitchen crew at this place know their stuff. Excellent technique, masterful flavours and beautiful but not overwrought presentation. There are a variety of combinations of set menus or a la carte choices, something for everyone. I can particularly rave about the beef tartare and the flank steak, which were perfectly cooked -- like buttah! Melt in your mouth. Go eat at this place!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just bring it down a notchImpressingtheinlawsDined on 10/25/2014We love this restaurant for a special place to go when my parents are in town. Only we'd only ever been for dinner in the summer and sat on the patio. Our dinner inside on a rainy fall night was great -- except for the unbearable noise level. It wasn't so much the electronic music (although that didn't help much) but the reverberations of dozens of conversations bouncing off the glass and stone that made us have to scream to be heard at our table of four. I'd really suggest looking into some kind of muting decor to bring it down just a notch or two. Other than that the service is excellent and food reliably good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pammy54VIPDined on 10/25/2014Loved the crab salad! The Korean cauliflower was also amazing and I don't like cauliflower. Great atmosphere.Special Features:
- One of the best places in townJeffelliotDined on 10/20/2014Knowledgeable fun staff. Amazing food. Great attention to detail. I love this place so much and the best part is it's about a block from home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of Our FavouritesLadnerdsDined on 10/18/2014We love Merchants! For date night or out with a small group, this is one of our favourite Vancouver restaurants. Excellent food!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good foodchanr3Dined on 10/10/2014very good food, server was friendly and helpful, will definitely back againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Cultch Opening NightOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/30/2014Overall great as always. Good food and wine and the theatre patrin's discount is great.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is good, but too noisy to chatNanaDined on 9/28/2014Food is good, just too noisy to chat with friends, we ended up texting each other.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Marginal food over priced loudOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/21/2014Really not good. Weird menu that didn't match the website listings. So loud my head hurt. Bad service and over priced. Terrible experience. Take your money elsewhere.
- Delicious Eggs BenedictOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/7/2014Went here for a Sunday brunch. Enjoyed their happy hour oysters for 1.50 each. Their English muffins are delicious and I believe they are made in house. Our waiter was lovely and recommended a few coffee shops on commercial drive after our brunch. It was a overall great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service could be betterWong5058Dined on 9/6/2014Girls night out. Was looking forward to trying out this oyster bar, but very disappointed to find only 1 cooked oyster dish and raw oysters. Wish there was more cooked options. Ordered the baked oysters, but the price is 3 for $10.00, not the full dozen for $10.00 as shown on this website menu. Mentioned this to the owner, who comp'd us our French pressed coffees. Service was on the slow side, especially in trying to get us our coffees. Our food tasted great, but was a bit on the pricey side and the portions were quite small. Glad we tried this restaurant, but don't know that we'd return.
- TTTerrieVIPDined on 8/30/2014This eatery offers the best tasting home-made crusty buns for brunch benedicts & burgers!! Qlty of food is excellent and very reasonably priced!! Server is friendly besides humorous. Will definately go back for poached lobster egg benedict and Friday nite dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Horrible experienceCKDKDined on 8/24/2014Was excited to try their happy hour oysters. However, we waited about 45 minutes for a dozen oysters and the restaurant was only half full. Waited an hour and 15 minutes for our entree. Oyster portions were okay. Entree portion (the pork shoulder) was kind of small. We also ordered a glass of wine and after about 15 minutes of chatting, we looked in the wine glass (didn't even take a sip from it yet) and saw a small fruit fly in it. We informed the server and she took the glass away and brought another one but the new one only had half the amount of wine in it. Not impressed. Overall, our server was good other than the wine incident. Very friendly. Always kept our glasses full of water and was happy to take a picture for us.Special Features:
- Oysters' in the name!foodie4everVIPDined on 8/16/2014A great neighborhood gem on busy Commercial. Service was great and the oysters were phenomenal. Benedicts were also great :)Special Features:
- PefectionDianaDined on 7/26/2014Thank you so much for a wonderful evening. Our server was so great, the food and drink were incredible. We had a lovely birthday celebration here! I look forward to coming back soon :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 177 reviews are from the Merchant's Oyster Bar reviews archive.
- Great ChoicesimpleNdeliciousDined on 7/21/2014I was looking for a new place to try oysters and chose Merchants based on the Yelp reviews. Food was delicious. We got oysters, beef tartare and the flank steak. Server was friendly and let us know when we sat down that happy hour was about to end, so that we could order oysters in time to get them half price. My only criticism (which is more of a suggestion than a criticism) is that I would have like some more interesting sauces to go wit the Oysters. Other than that, everything I ate was great and I found everything to be reasonably priced as well.Special Features:
- Great Place for Oysters!mookDined on 7/5/2014Food was quite good. Unfortunately there weren't any Kusshi Oysters, but the server recommended substitutes were quite good still... sauces were decent and service was good... no complaints! Would definitely go back!Special Features:
- Oysters were not freshLilyDined on 7/4/2014Oysters were a little bit bitter. Overall the food are small portion, taste not bad, but we waited for too long for the food.Special Features:
- Merchants on Monday niteOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/23/2014Popped in for dinner before Jazz Festival ... great oysters as appies, then shaved fennel salad, pork shoulder, and a good local white wine. Service was excellent, we asked to be largely ignored as we ate, and she respected our wishes, but she nailed the orders and if we beckoned, she ran over. Love the drive Vibe as well, including the front seat to a little police action!Special Features:
- Oyster and MoreOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 6/14/2014This was our second visit to Merchant's, but first with their new chef. Wonderful meal. The beef tartare was a definite highlight and we enjoyed the locally sourced touches as part of the sides of each meal. The fennel salad, oysters, and pork shoulder were all excellent choices. We will definitely be back. I just wish Merchant's was in our neighbourhood!Special Features:
- DisappointingRealeatersVIPDined on 6/14/2014Wine is ridiculously overpriced. Service was pleasant but food delivery was very slow. Dishes were agreeable but not exceptional. Noise (music and bar patrons) was deafening. Conversation at dinner was near impossible.Special Features:
- AveragedddeVIPDined on 6/7/2014Mediocre food served by friendly but not overly efficient staff. Our meal contained a long delay and we suspect that part of our order was misplaced or confused. The two tables nearest us had the same problem. Also our menu may have been missing a page, from overheard orders around us. Creme fraiche dip was tasty but quite salty, the roasted cauliflower with Korean chili sauce was bland. Steak tartare with housemade sriracha was fresh and pleasant, but needed more pepper, more punch. Perhaps that evening's sriracha was not up to par. Gnocchi and sauce were ok, gnocchi a bit dense and chewy. Salmon and pork shoulder were average. Radishes with pork were quite nice. Nothing fabulous, wouldn't hurry back. Price was reasonable for volume.
- Slow service, noisy & pricey.ChirykDined on 6/5/2014Arrived 10 minutes early to meet a friend for dinner & gave 2 of the wait staff my friend's name before they seated me outside. Turns out my friend arrived on time and was seated at a table inside (no one asked her name). After 15 minutes of waiting, she got up and checked outside. The serving staff were friendly, but service was painfully slow. We shared the fennel salad -- dressing was tasty, but the fennel was flat. More than 1/2 hour later, we were finally got our entrees -- flank steak and pork shoulder. The flank steak was delicious. The pork shoulder, although tasty, was dry. We shared the chocolate ganache -- very good. Noisier inside than outside. Doubt I'll return.Special Features:
- Oysters on Commercial DrivehungrybearVIPDined on 5/30/2014Merchant's is one of our new fav's in the neighbourhood - a good selection of wines by the glass, local craft beers and gins, interesting choices of small plates and mains, and of course, tasty fresh oysters. Their oyster selection lets me keep trying something new. This time I enjoyed the Kusshi. We like to sit outside on the patio - even if its chilly the heaters keep you warm.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Oysters!!TinkerbarbellDined on 5/28/2014Went here for my birthday. Food was so so good and fairly priced. Will definitely be back soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just Awesome!JustOneMoreBiteDined on 5/16/2014Everything was pretty much perfect from the relaxed but knowledgeable service to the food which was pretty spectacular. The fennel salad with hazelnuts was particularly addictive and the sweet chilli ice wine we were offered with chocolate desert was an unconventional but perfect match demonstrating the staff know their way around customers' taste buds. We will definitely be back!Special Features:
- VicleeDined on 5/8/2014There's not much on the menu. Very pricy for the amount, the quality and the location are not there yet. The only good thing is the $1.5 oyster happy hour I would recommend, nothing else.
- Great oystersmerchantdinerDined on 5/7/2014Merchant's had wondrful ysters at reasionable prices (we went during their Happy Hour day, which is Wednesday). Our server was delightful and food was healthy and delicious (although slightly smalled sized than expected).Special Features:
- Don't waste your timeNotimpressedDined on 5/4/2014Went there for brunch with my girlfriends. They have very very limited selection for brunch. We all ended up ordering egg benedicts. Half of the bennies came with solid egg yolks! Disgusting!! You would have thought that if all the offer is egg Benny that they will do a good job...apparently not!
- Never Going BackQAMAXVIPDined on 5/2/2014Ordered 1/2 liter of wine, 12 fresh oysters, baked oysters, gnocchi, and the flank streak. Wine was quickly served. But after that, waited for ~45 minutes for our 12 oysters and baked oysters to show up. Another ~30 minutes for the gnocchi and, again another ~30 minutes for our steak. Service was friendly, but clearly under staffed. Asked for our napkins several times in order to get them. The food was so-so, nothing really wow'ed us. We were clearly not full with the amount of food that were served. The bill was just over a hundred and we know that we could have gotten much better service and food elsewhere with the money we spent. Never going back, we don't want to spend 2 hours on a $100 meal and still need to look for food afterwards.
- A gemOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/27/2014I will definitely be back to this gem! Comfortable and classy ambience. We sat at the bar and had charismatic and efficient service. The Chef popped out and was friendly and passionate about his menu. We truly enjoyed everything we tried. A great and different addition to the neighbourhood.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Eats, personable ownerAshumDined on 4/25/2014Oysters were well prepared, and trying the cauliflower dish is a must, was delicious.Special Features:
- Average oyster barMelb26Dined on 4/16/2014Went to this restaurant recently found the food average and no very flavoursome. Comparing to other oyster bars like Rodney's or fishshak in comparison can't keep to this. The menu needs to be improved but the service was ok.
- Girls' nightMrsJonesDined on 4/11/2014I went for dinner with my husband but I think this may be my new spot to go with the ladies. The staff are delicious, unpretentious men and they are well educated about their menu and bar and aim to please... unlike Rodney's in Yaletown. They treat everyone in the restaurant with the same passion and enthusiasm. I love when the food is exciting but the pricing and atmosphere is not stuffy. Well plated, thoughtful combinations and staff great with suggestions. A must try and just may turn into a good, regular standard for a drink and snack. Great bourbon selection, the gnochi, the roasted cauliflower, the chicken liver parfait, veal sweetbreads and of course their oysters are all highlights.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Really enjoyed our experience!FoodieKDined on 4/5/2014Really enjoyed our experience! Took my boyfriend on a date night! Busy which is always a good sign! Enjoyed the food sooo much!!! Highly recommend the sweet potato butter with house made siracha! The service was great, our waitress told us what we were eating and was very friendly!! Drinks were delicious too! Enjoyed my elixir cocktail! New fav drink!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service was outstanding!PickyEaterVIPDined on 4/3/2014Nice atmosphere, good food, amazing service! Liked the variety of the four course menu--baked oysters and the Ling cod were very tasty. Can't say enough about the incredibly attentive and friendly service. Definitely a place to go back to!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experience but service slowNumero36Dined on 3/28/2014We had a great dinner at Merchant's Oyster Bar - the owner is passionate about every dish which is all locally and in house made. Our only negative was the service was slow - took quite a while to get drinks and food. We weren't in a rush but if there was some constructive criticism that would be to improve the service. We would recommend Merchant's as every dish is a great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing on all frontsKeendinerDined on 3/22/2014"The only good thing about this place is the oysters and only during the happy hour. Otherwise, the place is terribly overpriced. The portions are tiny (their flank steak is more like a third of a steak and priced at about $22), the menu choices are few and the flavors ill-combined. A dinner for four cost us $240 (includes a couple of drinks each) and we walked away hungry! Also, the place plays music very loudly and a conversation is near impossible. All in all, it was a disappointing evening and one during which we all lost weight and some of our good humour."