Dine Out Vancouver – The Cannery Seafood House

Are You Sure There’s a Restaurant Here?

The Cannery is located on the Vancouver docks, which seems appropriate but it’s the only retail establishment on the docks – everything else are shipping container companies that moves the millions of products going in and out of Vancouver’s port.

To get to the Cannery, you need to go through a port security checkpoint. If you have a port pass, you just swipe it and the gate opens. If you don’t have a port pass, you push the help button and a voice comes on asking, “Where you headed?” Tell them you’re headed to the Cannery and they’ll open the gates without confirming or asking any more questions. Now you know what to do if you wish to break into Vancouver’s “secured” port.

The Cannery would make a very interesting first date restaurant. Because of its unique location, your date may start to feel a bit uncomfortable as you drive along the miles of containers warehouses and real canneries. If she has never heard of the Cannery restaurant she would be thinking, “Is this guy taking me to a restaurant or is he going to put in a container and ship me off to Japan to be a sex slave?”


The above is a photo of the Cannery’s next-door neighbor. I was expecting some mobster to come out and ask if I was in the union or something. The Cannery is on the waterfront – it’s actually on the water. Forty-six pilings were driven into the ocean floor to create the foundation of the restaurant. The view is actually very good. You can see the Lion’s Gate bridge and North Vancouver across the harbor. You just have to ignore the big container ships being loaded and unloaded.

Oven Baked Ling Cod


My cod starter dish was served cold on watercress lemon creme fraiche, roasted cherry tomatoes and frisee lettuce. It was paired with a glass of Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc. I really like this dish. I think it would have been equally good if it was served hot but having it cold gave it a refreshing salad like feel, which is what you want for an opener.

Roasted Fennel & Celery Cream Soup


Sarah had the Roasted Fennel & Celery Cream Soup accented with smoked Queen Charlotte sable fish. I could taste the fennel and I could definitely taste the celery but the sable fish seemed to be missing. It was still a good opener but not as good as the Ling Cod.

Grilled Swordfish Filet


Now this is how you serve Swordfish. Grilled to perfection and brushed with chipotle pepper and cornmeal over creamy cilantro corn cream sauce.

Grilled Pacific Salmon


For the main course, I ordered the salmon with sauteed Portobello mushroom and tiger prawns, chive and basil bell pepper coulis. The dish was paired with a glass of Gehringer Brothers Pinor Noir. Red wine with fish is generally a no-no but a Pinor Noir works with salmon. The dish was very tasty but it wasn’t as good as the salmon I had at Riancity Grill.

Belgium Chocolate Tower


This dessert looks almost too good to eat. You can tell just from looking it that it was going to be sweet, and it was! I decided to pair the dessert with coffee instead wine because I wasn’t that impressed with the wine pairing for the starter and main.

Passion Fruit Cheesecake


Sarah’s cheesecake was served on a meli-melo coulis. Mixing cheesecake with passion fruit wouldn’t have crossed my mind but Sarah enjoyed it because it wasn’t as sweet as my Belgium chocolate tower.

The service at the Cannery was really fast for the starter and main – just 10 minutes apart. Then they realized they were going excessively fast for a fine dining menu and took their sweet ass time getting us the dessert. We enjoy that time by looking out into the water and watching the containers being loaded onto a freighter.

Overall, I give the Cannery 3.5 out of five stars. If you’re a single guy living in Vancouver, I highly recommend you take a new date to the Cannery. Don’t tell her where you’re going and watch her reaction as you drive into the docks. If she asks, “Are you sure there’s a restaurant here?” Give her an evil smile. πŸ˜€

The Cannery on Urbanspoon

27 thoughts on “Dine Out Vancouver – The Cannery Seafood House”

  1. I live in Vancouver, yet I’ve never been here. Have to check it out.

    *on a side note- you just love to take pictures of your food, don’t you πŸ˜‰ *

  2. Carl says:

    If you spend more attention to the drive there than the restaurant, service, and food, I can see why you’d give it 3.5/5. But if you disregard the crappy location, I think it’s at least 4-4.5 – especially if you try the Sablefish dish (not the soup)

    You can sign up for their email newsletter, where they regularly give out $20 coupons for use any time πŸ™‚

  3. Maki says:

    The swordfish looks really good..

  4. Marc says:

    Gotta love to notch security πŸ™‚ The Belgium chocolate tower looks to die for.

  5. Nils says:

    mmhh that looks super del.icio.us mmmhhh

  6. Gdog says:

    I’ve been to the Cannery twice for dinner, and both times the service and quality of food was outstanding. The lobster oil they make in house is damn good with the bread they serve.

    As for the location…yes it is off the beaten path. One thing I recommend, is do not walk there from downtown Vancouver. We did that one time thinking it was “fairly close” but we were mistaken. One of the craziest stretches of road you’ll see in Vancouver, that’s for sure!

    What made it even better was that my meal was 50% off–because the owners of my job in Victoria also owned The Cannery and The Fish House in Stanley Park, therefore giving me a pretty sweet ass perk!

  7. Kalle says:

    Mmmhh that looks delicious. πŸ™‚ Makes me feel hungry;)

  8. Tyler says:

    Actually the security is a bit tighter than it seems there. Just because some guy asks you a simple question doesnt mean they aren’t following you πŸ˜‰ I’ve got a couple of longshoremen buddies that work that the Port and there are hidden security measures etc.

    As for the resturaunt, that Swordfish does look yummi! Too bad my budget only allows me to eat at Quiznos from time to time. Perhaps one day… one day..

  9. Samer Bazzi says:

    John you really like to eat πŸ™‚

  10. Leftblank says:

    Looks like a nice place to take your first date indeed; the outside of the building looks more of a deserted building than a quality restaurant!

  11. Kenny says:

    I wonder how many cameras were tracking your every move πŸ™‚ Interesting restaurant, I will have to try it next time I am in Vancouver.

  12. Lyndon says:

    Wow.. That is indeed a place where you go to in style, not to say much money involved as well? Rather, the servings look a little small from the pictures, wouldn’t one still feel hungry afterwards?

    *Grins. guess my other half would get freaked out even before we reached there half-way. Oh god!

  13. Nomar says:

    I just went to diner, and now again im hungry.. thank you πŸ™

  14. David says:

    hmm…its been a while since I’ve been to the cannery, I’d say that that may be one of my favorite restaurants, but, the location does suck.

  15. gary says:

    Man. I need to start bringing my camera when I got eat at fancy places! John – do you bring out small digicam or do you have a full on photoshoot at these restaurants? πŸ™‚

    1. Bill says:

      John should do a post on how to properly take pictures of the food..at least how he does it.

    2. John Chow says:

      I use my Canon SD300. It’s a subcompact that goes anywhere.

      1. Gary says:

        To tell you the truth, the best food pictures I’ve ever seen are on http://www.eatdrinknbmerry.com – a socal blogger that I just wrote about. I still dont’ know what he uses, but it looks like a SLR

  16. Michael Kwan says:

    I’m surprised that you only gave the Cannery 3.5 out of 5. It’s actually one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver, especially if you can get past the somewhat kitchy location.

  17. Do they deliver? To Ottawa?

    Is Fennel an herb or a seed?

    Should I put this restaurant in my RRSP?


  18. Bill says:

    Hey Tyler,

    What happened to your blog?

    1. Bill says:

      Uhh..oops. I meant to reply to Tyler’s comment above..

  19. Umm… yummy. I have to check out that place if I’m ever in Vancouver.

    “Give her an evil smile.” – ok, it’s not enough that you’re the root of all evil, now you’re recruiting evil apprentices? πŸ˜‰

  20. shaz says:

    wow.. food looks great! I prefer sarah’s πŸ™‚

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