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Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

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Glasgow, United...
posts: 313
reviews: 508
Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

I'm thinking about having dinner at the Observatory Restaurant next week and had a couple of queries, hoping that there's someone who might be able to help. Firstly, is the restaurant actually worth it and of decent quality? Secondly, I've had a wee look on the Grouse Mountain website at the menus and their prices and wondered if the prices for the main course would be the price for a three course meal (as I have experienced in Canada before). Sorry to perhaps seem to ask an inane question, only the pricing on menus can be quite different to those we're used to in Europe. Many thanks in advance.

11 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 35,893
reviews: 54
1. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

First of all make sure you go on an absolutely clear evening/night. If you cannot see the top of the mountain from Vancouver because of cloud cover, you will not see the lights of Vancouver from the top. If you are going up for the shows and attractions, make sure you realize the time span between the last of the show and your dinner time.

I have eaten at the Observatory. It is not a particularly large space, not bad. There are half a dozen tables positioned along the windows, after that you would not get a window view. I sent my meal back because the food was cold. Large dollars for food gone cold, hmmm. I can think of many many other restaurants that would surpass what The Observatory offers.

Right now it looks like the restaurant has a prix fixe offering which includes a main and dessert with wine pairings. Otherwise, the appies, mains and desserts are all priced individually. You will see the prices, so preciously spelled out in words, under each of the section headings.

Do you have a budget in mind? If you have a car, I would suggest you have a look at Fraîche and/or Salmon House on the Hill, both up high in West Vancouver. Then there is The Beach House at the Pier, right on the water at Dundarave. If they appeal, post for driving directions!!! The only down side about SHOH, is they put their window tables for 2 down at the far end, the rest of the window seats are for 4. But they do have their restaurant laid out in tiers, so you could sit at the next tier up and see out quite well.

http://www.fraicherestaurant.ca/about.php

http://salmonhouse.com/

http://www.thebeachhouserestaurant.ca/

Otherwise, for a nice dinner with views, you might even consider The Five Sails at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

panpacific.com/en/…TheFiveSails.html

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,768
reviews: 13
2. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

MuftiMixandmatch has excellent advice.

Personally, I've never been to the Observatory (I recall prices being about twice as much as they would be at restaurants elsewhere in Vancouver, although I do believe they give you a rebate on the price of admission up the Grouse Skyride... so in one way it works itself out. Haven't checked prices recently).

One of my favourites as an alternative is Seasons in the Park in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park. It's my favourite restaurant with a view - service and food has always been excellent, and the prices never felt too overinflated. It also makes a beautiful lunch destination if you enjoy sitting on the patio:

www.vancouverdine.com/seasons0experience.aspx

Edited: 6:41 pm, August 09, 2011
seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 15,361
reviews: 84
3. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

I'm having a 'group' dinner there next week. "Grouse mtn advertises a dinner with a free ride to the top for $38 or so. That seems like a good value over just paying for the gondola up. I'll give you a report after I eat there.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,768
reviews: 13
4. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

That's actually not bad of a price...

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 35,893
reviews: 54
5. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

Hmm, that's a really good price because their website advertises a group menu at $68. A reservation at the resto waives the gondola fee - standard practice. I'll be interested to know what the service to a dedicated group is like.

Here are some other-than-TA reviews for the Observatory.

yelp.ca/biz/the-observatory-at-grouse-mounta…

Vancouver BC
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 6,082
reviews: 118
6. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

Bottom line is there are few places in the world that offer what the Observatory offers. There is better food in town, there are other food/view venues, there are cheaper places, but this place has a long history of success based on their unique setting. I could not imagine a guest of Vancouver not experiencing it.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 35,893
reviews: 54
7. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

Next time we go up to eat, I know I would enjoy Altitudes Bistro much better. Same view, different type of meal, different chefs.

www.grousemountain.com/altitudes-bistro

Edited: 8:56 pm, August 09, 2011
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,768
reviews: 13
8. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

AlegreVancouver, you make a good point.

We brought family friends from Adelaide, Australia to Grouse Mountain back a few years ago... I think it was New Years Eve during the day. We didn't have time to go to the Observatory, but we had a drink at the bistro next door and they were just loving the whole atmosphere of it all.

As a local, it may seem a bit steep, but that's because we're used to the views from the mountains... if it's your first time here, it'll be a magical experience. :)

Glasgow, United...
posts: 313
reviews: 508
9. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

Thanks everyone for your responses. I've come to the conclusion that for the money, this place doesn't appear that it will pack too much of a punch.

MuftiMixandmatch: unfortunately we won't have a car, but I'm sure I will return in the not too distant future with a car and will keep these places in mind - thanks!

BC_Robyn: Seasons in the Park looks a great alternative - in fact I'd been sussing it out already. I think I really fancy trying it out - is it easily accessible by public transport?

davidmg: it'd be great to hear about your experience afterwards!

Vancouver
posts: 40
reviews: 45
10. Re: Grouse Mountain: Observatory Restaurant?

You go the The Observatory for the views. Its true thst the cheaper bistro has the same view but you dont get your gondola ticket price taken off your food bill like they do at The Observatory. And, yes, make sure you on a clear night and if you want to walk around up there, aim for July or later when the snow is gone.

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