Water St. Cafe Exterior

Water St. Cafe – Great Gastown Dining!

Water St. Cafe in Gastown was one of the first restaurants we’ve been to since COVID-19. At the time of dining, we were looking for a place with a patio as we weren’t 100% dining indoors yet. Water St. Cafe has a GREAT outdoor dining area that fills up quickly so make sure you make your reservations early! When we arrived, we noticed that the staff were very diligent in cleaning and there was ample space between diners. It was a comforting feeling seeing a restaurant so on top of it! We’ve been here before so we were looking forward to another tasty meal.

crab cakes
West Coast Crab Cakes

Since our last visit, we kept talking about these crab cakes. We want to make these at home ourselves but aren’t sure if we want to because we’re sure we can’t get it as good as this. A crispy (but not oily!) Panko shell leads into a mouthful of crab and shrimp. What a delight! H is absolutely obsessed with the saffron aioli that they use as a sauce on the side. There wasn’t a single drop of it left when we were done with this dish.

crab cakes cut open

We really appreciate that there wasn’t a ton of “filler” things in the crab cakes like veggies or another starch. Every bite was filled with seafood. The presentation was great and while some might think it’s pricy at $16 for two, we think it’s worth it. We highly recommend getting an order of these as an appetizer. You’re in Vancouver after-all, get some seafood!

braised beef short ribs
Braised Beef Short Ribs

This might be our favorite Water St. Cafe dish – the Braised Beef Short Ribs! Again, we ordered this last time and couldn’t think of anything better to order. You barely need a knife for this dish – the meat practically falls apart with your fork. It’s insanely tender and served with roasted veggies and a generous amount of sauce. The vegetables had a crispy skin and very soft center – perfect for dunking in the gravy. You’ll want to lick your plate clean with this entree.

These short ribs and vegetables are the perfect amount for one person. There’s a lot of meat here to fill you up and the vegetables keep your meal from being too meat-heavy. Howie ate most of this dish and was full afterwards with no need for dessert. The next time we come, we’ll be ordering this again!

Seafood Gnocchi

Hmm, the last time I had really good gnocchi was at Marcello’s on Commercial Drive. Water St. Cafe boasts that their gnocchi is fresh made daily – can they make delicious gnocchi? The answer is yes! Soft, pillowy goodness is served with shrimp and scallops in a creamy dill sauce. I usually steer away from dill sauces because I find it too tart but the chef managed to get it right. The portion size was again perfect for one person though I did have to give some to Howie!

plate of seafood gnocchi

Gnocchi can be a finicky pasta to make so when you find a restaurant that manages to make it right, stay with them forever! The pairing of the dill cream sauce was genius as the it complemented the seafood very well. The restaurant doesn’t skimp out on the amount of seafood they give you (like in the crab cakes!) and we respect them for that.


Water St. Cafe in Gastown is not to be missed! We’ve been here multiple times and the service is always great and the food is even better. We love that the restaurant aims to provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone post-COVID. What a delightful gem in Gastown that’s perfect for a date night! Seriously, go enjoy the patio and order the crab cakes!

If you want to see more of our dining adventures, check our our Instagram!

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