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Calabash Bistro

115 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (191)
  • Neighborhood Gem (173)
  • Good for Groups (143)

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The Calabash Bistro in Vancouver, serves up Caribbean cuisine in a creative and unique, �Reggacentric� environment. The atmosphere is inspiring and artistic, and the menu at Calabash Bistro is a unique combination of West Coast and West Indian flavors.

Start your meal off at Calabash Bistro with a serving of jerk fries or plantain chips, and maybe try a Calabash salad or crab cakes. But make sure to leave room for the main course. Entr�es and staples include oxtail, ackee and saltfish, a vegetarian platter and much more. You�ll also find a number of curries and jerked dishes, like goat curry and jerk beef stew.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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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
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Phone number
(604) 568-5882
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Cullin David
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Private party facilities
Calabash provides family style set menu's, Canapés, Buffets, live music and fully themed evenings.
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Private party contact
Sam: (778) 881-8065
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Calabash can provide all types and sizes of catering, from food to bar to rentals. We can also take care of the music.
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Cross street
Pender & Carrall
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Parking details
Street parking, public lot at Tinseltown.
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Public transit
Number 22 bus, Number 19 bus, Stadium Sky train.
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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.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
What 115 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipJatasty (Calgary)
4.0  Dined on April 12, 2015

I was visiting Vancouver and took some friends to dinner. The food was excellent and we enjoyed the appetizers and main courses so much that we even ordered rotis to go.
The staff and service were friendly.

vipLoopies (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on April 12, 2015

One of Vancity's best kept secret locations! Love the cool vibe, the music, the staff and most of all the food. Put it all together and you'll feel like you've arrived in one of the hippest places in town where everything is 'irie mon'!

Veggie12 (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on April 7, 2015

We went to calabash bistro for my friends 27th birthday dinner. The server was SO helpful and amazing. I love when servers are decisive and actually help you through the menu. Loves the appies...everything was tasty. They also let us bring our own cake which was very nice. I would go back again for sure!

Scodeman (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on April 4, 2015

Came here for a bite to eat before a hockey game - 10 minute walk to Rogers Arena. Food was great - I would say that this is authentic Caribbean home cooking. The seasonings and flavours were definitely Caribbean but not big restaurant style. Service was great, friendly and quick. Drinks were interesting and tasty. We will be back.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on March 20, 2015

We went to Calabash for a casual dinner on Friday and it was delicious. Drinks were tasty and definitely not weak. I would definitely recommend getting the coconut dumplings!

FroggyLovesDiningOut (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on February 28, 2015

The ambiance is lively with many groups having a good. We were hoping for love music but came on the wrong night. Oops our fault. The music gets progressively louder as the night advances. We didn't mind, but good to know if you need to have a quiet romantic conversation. The good was where is was most disappointed. It smelled so nice when I entered, and the prices are high, so I had high expectations. The food was ok or maybe even good, not definitely not great or spectacular, especially for the price.

Cvltmeg (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on February 7, 2015

My husband and I had a date night here last weekend and really enjoyed the atmosphere, the food and the drinks. Our server Meghan was awesome and attentive, and we felt relaxed and welcome to hang out as long as we liked. As for the food, I can't tell you how happy we are to have found good Jamaican and Caribbean food in Vancouver! I had oxtail and he had curry goat and both were delicious. We'll definitely be back.

Michele (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on January 31, 2015

So I took a couple of people to the Bistro for brunch. The food was excellent and quite filling. Everyone enjoyed it, the place was quite empty for some reason so we had no difficulty talking or hearing each other for that matter.

After brunch, we went downstairs to check out the art work & it was extraordinary. Definitely am going to come back for dinner as well as check out the downstairs as I understand they have live music every night.

I am very excited to come back to Calabash Bistro.

vipPchips (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on January 17, 2015

This restaurant has been on my list for a very long time. I went with friends who had been there before. We ordered our drinks, I had a dark and stormy. I have not had a bartender make me a drink like that for a while....not stingy, I didn't feel like I had to nurse it, not to mention very tasty. I then ordered the goat, Calabash serves their curry's in tiffins. One layer of salad, one rice and one curry. I thought it would not be enough food but I was stuffed, not to mention the flavours. Subtle and flavourful curries and a nice rice mix.
No room for dessert but I will return.

jenrob (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on January 17, 2015

Calabash has a fun, quirky atmosphere and absolutely delicious food. The service is impeccable. Lots of great share plates and incredible cocktails on their menu. Try the Dark & Stormy and make sure you order the coconut dumplings to start. We'll be back soon for sure.

vipTina (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2014

Need a place to hang out that has a pulse? This would be a great choice . Relaxed, and with really great music and a competent and familiar staff, it's kind of like being with friends even if you don't know a soul .
The food is ok, and the menu gives plenty of choices in the category. The whole experience reminded us of what it might be like to have your own " cheers " bar.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
1.0  Dined on November 29, 2014

I made a reservation for myself and three friends 3 weeks in advance, and Calabash phoned me the day before to confirm. However, when we arrived they put us downstairs, at the only table that was not part of an engagement party, which had rented out the space for a private event (except for that one table, apparently). We requested another table 3 times, from 3 different people. Each time they acted as if we were crazy for not wanting to sit there (there were speeches even!). We didn't stay for dinner, because it was uncomfortable and loud. And we felt very disrespected. When we left we expressed our feelings to the staff (at this point 4 people were all around us), all of whom continued to say "It'll be fine down there, don't worry about". Never once did anyone give us the common courtesy of respecting that this is maybe not an appropriate place to put a reservation table. Might I add that half of the upstairs empty (albeit reserved).

I was really looking forward to my meal, and I am very disappointed that I will not be going back.

vipHibs (Vancouver)
3.0  Dined on November 29, 2014

Heard so much but food didn't live up to hype. Maybe dinner better than brunch.
Great house hot sauce.

wellman (London)
4.0  Dined on November 22, 2014

The food was delicious and the ambience was loud and energetic. Fun to go out on the weekend with a group of friends.

dbotchar (Palm Springs)
5.0  Dined on November 14, 2014

I have been frequenting Calabash for almost 2 years. I have never been dissatisfied with the service or the food.

Chef Cullin is friendly, personable and can cook Caribbean food to perfection. I lived in the Caribbean for a period of time and I can say that it is delicious and authentic with a twist. He has brought his menu around to stay true to the seasonings and roots but modernizing and adjusting to the pallette of his clientele.

I highly recommend you go there. Also, they have a DJ come in and weekends can be a blast there!

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on November 13, 2014

Chose the Calabash as I haven't had good Carribean food since I left the UK (never seen a restaurant in Vancouver), the menu looked good and prices were reasonable. The evening didn't disappoint, it's small, cozy and unpretentious with genuine character. The staff were super friendly. The food was tasty and came in good portions, not by the bucketload and not haute cuisine. They have an incredible specialist run menu and the rum cocktails were SOOOO good. Will definitely go back and highly recommend

caribbeanfood (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on November 2, 2014

We had a good experience; enjoyed the food and the service was good.

OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on October 25, 2014

Our large party (10 people) had a great time at Calabash on Saturday night. The food was incredibly flavourful and the cocktails fresh and delicious. We received exceptional service and they accommodated adding two people to our original reservation. The music for the dancing downstairs wasn't my cup of tea (reggae) but it was a lively scene nonetheless. Recommended highly.

thedude (Vancouver)
4.0  Dined on October 18, 2014

great food, great rum drinks, good lively ambience.

at 11pm the restaurant turns into a pretty wild dance floor.

Nicsparrow (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on October 18, 2014

My friends and I had a great time! Very accommodating for my group on my Birthday!