Guu Original Thurlow

4.2
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87 Reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Japanese
Guu Original on Thurlow is where the Izakaya boom started. It’s not only the first Guu to open, but is the very first Izakaya in Vancouver. Established in 1993 as “Raku” & changed to “Guu” in 2000, this Guu offers the most authentic Izakaya experience, offering classic dishes like Yaki Udon & Oden. This is as close you’ll get to the real deal….unless you fly to Japan. We keep seats for walk-in customers as well. No available seats on opentable does not mean we are fully booked. Please be aware that the time limited per table is two hours during peak hours.
What 87 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TJ
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is consistent - lots of variety. There is a reason why we love going back - service, ambience and the food. We were lucky to get a table on a Saturday night as the place filled up quite quickly. The sake can be a bit pricier than other places.

M
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Eating in this like casual Japanese sake shop for years, always enjoy their ambiance, food and great service.

OT
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We were greeted promptly and ordered the following:
Pumpkin Croquette: the pumpkin looked a little over deep fried and the egg was a bit to overdone.
Negitoro: the tuna was minced not chopped
Salmon Yukke: Salmon tasted fresh
Tuna and Salmon Tataki: this dish was spectacular, really enjoyed it
Guu Tongue: the ends of the tongue were a bit overdone, overall was good
Kimchi Udon: as delicious as always
Kimchi Fried Rice: (to go) it was really delicious, although the kimchi was no were to be found
Overall, the quality has gone a bit down and the menu looks to have been shrunk.

RW
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

All items a little too salty. Haven't been here in a few years but I remember it being much better back then. Perhaps I've experienced other great places since then, so I'm not sure if my palette has matured or if the actual food quality has decreased.

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything i expect from an izakaya, Guu always delivers. What i found different this time around was the service. Host and servers were extra wholesome than usual. Not a bad thing but definitely different from what im used to at Guu. A++!!

r
Toronto
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Server was rushing us a few times after we settle in. The food was average and the drink was disgusting so we requested an exchange but was refused right away. Really felt overpaying for this experience. Please do yourself a favour and stop going to this guu. Go to the one in gas town instead.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hands down my favorite restaurant in Vancouver. Never disappoints

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So fun, had a blast

JS
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The service and the food were great, though the tongue was a little tougher than most tongue I’ve had. Would’ve been five stars overall, but there were so many items they were out of that I wanted to try. It’s hard to find taco rice so that was a plus and the tontoro was very tasty.

B
Vancouver
10 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience3

The food has really taken a downward flow. I am very disappointed with the quality and the new selections has left me
speechless. The presentation and taste was not what I have experience at other Guu locations. Take a look at the avocado salmon tar tar attached.. this avocado taste awful and look like puke. It was a disaster.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Many of the items we wanted to try were out. We could not try some of the ones that are popular.

OT
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The seats are too crowded
Can not sit comfortably
Every time someone walk by will kick my chair and it’s really annoying

EY
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always

JY
Vancouver
27 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Great service - vibe is loud, but what you would expect from any similar styled restaurant. Love the Ebi Mayo and the takoyaki!

c
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

As good as it can get for izakaya except my fave is Guu with Garlic on Robson & Cardero

EC
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and services. Although the background music was too loud, the overall experience was great! I will definitely come back again!!

OT
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Food was great, interesting selections and super tasty, good service. Stuck us at the back next to the freezer and refrigerators which was awkward. Zero ambiance. Bathrooms need a serious clean!

S
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been coming here for the past 10 years and it has always been excellent

TT
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

外人さん皆さん楽しんでいたようです。また、美味しかったです。抹茶アイスに外人さんは感動していました。ありがとうございました。

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HF
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

It used to be my favourite. We were second to sit down and we were ignored. Others were served food before we could even get our order in. The server brought a bowl and spoon for our child HALFWAY through our meal. Poor service!

SG
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, friendly food... we enjoyed there so much!!!!!

s
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

i recently had a birthday party here. it was great. my drunk friend walked in to the kitchen by accident thinking it was the bathroom. staff were great.

OT
Vancouver
28 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall3food3service1ambience1

Weird service, didn’t want to accept us suas they don’t work with reservation. And charge $.05 for soy sauce. It’s not the money is just that is the only guu that does that. I have been to many of them. Overall not coming back to the original guy rather go somewhere else

C
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall2food3service4ambience1

Super loud uncensored rap music kind of ruined the evening for me. And the food wasn't as good as I remembered. Mostly protein based choices with very few vegetable dishes. This location needs updating. Our table was squished at the back in front of a fridge.

SA
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Thankfully we had a reservation at 5:30pm, right when they open. There was a long line to get in and the restaurant was immediately full. Service was good but not great, which is understandable given the amount of people. The food was outstanding, the staff was lively, the music was loud and interesting (90's club music). Overall a fun experience, and would definitely go back.

J
Toronto
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Made a reservation online and had a fun and interesting dinner

B
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Im Sorry Guu thurlow, but the staff's over the top 'irrashaimasei' greeting was completely disruptive and constant. The traditional Japanese greeting is welcomed, but having lived in Ehime, Japan for three years, Guu's version was disrespectful to the language and culture. I actually enjoyed the food and service was prompt. But the constant yelling again and again and again meant that I could barely hear with the person sitting next to me. I will not go back again and I will not recommend to anyone -- a shame to waste a nice Japanese dinner but have to put up with staff yelling every other moment?

K
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a really great experience!

The food tasted excellent, and the service was perfect.

It was my brother’s birthday and they’re birthday song was amazing; I really enjoyed the birthday song playing in the background after as well.

C
Montreal
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall1food2service2ambience1

We were placed in the back of the restaurant in a corner, they should not sit anyone there. No vegetable on the menu.

G
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food was very tasty, especially Sashimi salad. Very well priced, great variety. Quick service. Tables are a bit squishy but not too bad. Great value for the price!! Fun atmosphere too.

C
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall2food5service2ambience1

Every dish we ordered was good, but it was too noisy. Anytime someone ordered food or came through the door, the wait staff would literally shout and yell across the room. I couldn’t even hear myself over the music that was also blasted out loud through the speaker on top of screaming staff.

F
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Guu was great as always! The salmon yukke is to die for! Also, they have the best chicken I've had in Canada!

PW
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Cute and quaint restaurant.

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AT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food. Great location. Funny team of Japanese shoutout when customers come or leaves the establishment.

OT
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Guu! It’s always amazing and tasty

M
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall1food3service1ambience3

We were having dinner before concert, the restaurant let us feel rush to finish up our dinner, all the dishes came at once!!! There is no space to rest with proper dishes, everything squeeze together. This is sad to see, normally, this restaurant has good manner and pretty considerable.

AM
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We hadn't been here since our nearly two year old was born, and it was even better than I remembered. The udon noodles, the ochazuke, and the tofu sacks with sticky rice were particularly incredible.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Recommended make reservation. It's small place n pack when we got there at 730. Many pics on yelp are no longer on menu.

N
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall3food4service1ambience3

I asked for extra Oden soup. But the server was really stingy, they only gave me 1/3 of the bowl. The experience was bad to be honest. And Guu is getting worse now.

JN
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was excellent. Service was great and the whole dining experience was awesome.

Tweets by Guu Original Thurlow