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“Meat, Cheese, Wine, and Paint!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Raw Canvas

Raw Canvas
1046 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Downtown)
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Ranked #482 of 2,789 restaurants in Vancouver
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Tapas
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Private Dining
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Helmcken
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Meat, Cheese, Wine, and Paint!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Came here for a friend's birthday dinner and it was my first experience here.

The service was very friendly and the atmosphere from the decor to the music made it a comfortable, friendly place. We each got a tasting plate with items that ranged from cave-aged gruyere to tenderized elk. The food was well portioned as it was a tapas restaurant, as you can peck at each of the items on the tasting plate. Once you are done, you can head over the painting area, which is laid out with easels. You can select the size of canvas you want, where you can create your rendition of the Mona Lisa. All the paints, smocks, brushes, palettes are made available to you and you are provided assistance if you need any extra tools or assistance.

A great experience unlike any other and it was a great time.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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16 reviews from our community

87% Recommend
    11
    3
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Way too much concept. Way too little menu.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

So we booked a table at Raw Canvas because it bills itself as a "tapas" restaurant. My husband has a smallish appetite and likes to peck; mine is more substantial.
At first glance we loved the place; lots of outsider art on the walls, recycled furniture. A cute waiter with a beard. We didn't fancy painting but maybe some other night, right?
But the love ended when we were presented the menus. Two big ones for drinks, and a tiny one for food. See, contrary to what we'd expected, Raw Canvas isn't "small plates" dining, it's small PLATE dining. As in one item on the menu, singular. Basically, your option is a charcuterie selection. Granted, you have lots of fine choices for the meats, cheeses and sides, but apart from a couple of side orders of olives and a few desserts, that's it. There is ONE THING on the menu.
Now I like me a nice bit of charcuterie as much as the next guy, but going out for dinner and then finding your options limited to basically a plate of bar nibbles left me feeling the place was a fraud. By this time it was also starting to grate that there are five tables in the place; two enormous ones, a 6top and a couple of 4tops. Since we were neither a large group, a 4 or a 6, we got stuck halfway down a communal table next to a couple of shrieking "Oh my god" and "like, totally"-type girls. At least there were two places between them and us; if the place had been full I'd have committed assault after listening to that racket for thirty minutes.
So unlike a tapas restaurant - where you just order plate after plate until you've had your fill - Raw Canvas is essential a place with five tables, a huge space for crafts, and one dish on the menu. The beer, the cheeses and the meat were tasty, but after shelling out $68.00 for two, we still ended up heading to Rasoee on Robson for a rib-sticking curry.
And to top off an already unpleasant evening, we literally crossed paths with one of the Surgically Modified Shrieking Harpies, aka the Real Housewives of Vancouver, as we exited. Ick.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Vancouver
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Perfect Night Out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

It was a casual birthday get together at Raw Canvas with my girlfriends that my husband had secretly arranged and surprised me. He bought us a few bottles of wine, a canvas for me to paint on and left us to have a girls night out. The staff were terrific the entire night and everything turned out perfect!

The selection of cheeses were amazing, especially the blue. There are about 20 types of cheeses to choose from and everything I tried, I loved. My favorite cured meats were the 'wild boar and rosemary' and the 'elk and juniper salami'. I would definitely recommend the tasting plate so you can choose 3 items as well as 3 sides. The sides are nuts, olives, confiture or dried fruit. Keep in mind the portions are small so you may want to order a lot. So prepare to be hungry or drop a lot of money here.

When you're finished with your food and maybe a few more bottles, stumble down the walkway and paint yourself a masterpiece. I would have preferred if I could have painted while sipping on my wine, but you have to place it on the ledge and away from the painting supplies. Other than that, it was an experience I'll always remember.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Thought I was in New Orleans!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

The place had a great ambience not unlike what I experienced in New Oeleans. The only thing missing was a small dance floor. People were obviously enjoying themselves very much. There was a mix of ages there- all enjoying the rather intimate decor. There are three tables- two large and one smaller so we sat with others and it was just fine! There was also a bar. There are no bad seats in this place in terms of enjoying the music.

We arrived here after eating dinner elsewhere so I cannot comment on the food. I noticed people eating appies with their drinks.

We listened to a fantastic blues,rock group called High Society while a group of artists stood painting on canvases in the back of the place thus Raw Canvas. The band has played at The Yale which is currently undergoing renovations. Raw Canvas was a great alternative for us.

I will keep on eye on this place next time I am in Van looking for a place to enjoy a drink, some appies, and live music.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Eat Paint Drink”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

I love this place. I love the shabby chic chairs, wooden benches, nice wine, delicious cheese and meat plates, friendly staff and most of all the fact you can paint. I haven't painted since I was at school and I had no confidence at all. In fact I was expecting to paint a stick man. However, with the encouragement of staff and my boyfriend I had an excellent evening covered in paint. What's great about this place is you are not expected to produce a masterpiece in one evening. You can return within five days to finish your canvas...which i needed. The staff even stayed late so we could finish.
I can't wait to go back!

  • Visited February 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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