Dining At The Top of Vancouver

One of my favorite Dine Out Vancouver restaurants is the Observatory. Located at the top of Grouse Mountain, the Observatory is Vancouver’s highest fine dining restaurant at 3,700 feet above sea level. During the summer months, the restaurant offers an amazing view of the city. During the colder months, the view is more often than not, blocked by a descending cloud. As luck with have it, there were no view blocking clouds on our night so not only did we enjoyed a great dinner, we got to see Vancouver in all its splendor.

The Observatory is normally a very expensive place to dine at. In fact, it’s so expensive that the restaurant will comp the $35 per person lift ticket that takes you up the mountain. Tickets to the ice skating rink, sleigh rides and Grouse Mountain’s Theatre in the Sky are also complimentary with the dinner reservation.

Eleven months of the year, The Observatory is a great restaurant to take a girl on a second or third date. During Dine Out Vancouver, the Observatory’s 3-course menu cost only $38. That makes the restaurant a really great first date place because of all the free perks. Hell, the Skyride to the top of the mountain cost $35 so dinner really cost you only $3. After dinner, you can go on a sleigh ride, take a spin around the outdoor ice rink and then take in a Theatre in the Sky show. She’ll think you’ve spent you a fortune on her when you’re really a cheap ass!

Because of the large amount of snow we had recently, Grouse Mountain was much busier than it normally is. But we only felt it during our ride in the lift. The restaurant itself was nice and romantic.

Roasted Sunchoke & Shallot Soup

Observatory Restaurant

Roasted Sunchoke & Shallot Soup with smoked black cod, braised lentils. This was a really nice opener. It look quite rich and thick but it was really light and refreshing. Went really well with the 2006 Calona Pinot Noir.

Glorious Garnish Organic Greens

Observatory Restaurant

Sarah’s opening salad. Organic Greens top with goat milk yogurt dressing, poached kumquats and pecans with a light Banyuls vinaigrette.


Observatory Restaurant

Scallops with spicy octopus ragout, black olive tomato preserve, fingerling potatoes and basil foam. Seafood lovers would think they died and gone to heaven once they take a bite out of those scallops.

Pork Tenderloin

Observatory Restaurant

Pork Tenderloin with braised pork belly, pomme purée and roasted vegetables. This is one of the best pork dishes I’ve ever ate. The pork belly was especially good and the 2005 Quails’ Gate Cabernet Sauvignon matched it perfectly.

Winter Dessert Trio

Observatory Restaurant

Finishing off my meal was a dessert that got progressively sweater. You begin with the pear frangipane tart, then move to the chestnut honey ice cream and finally, the chocolate pot de crème.

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Observatory Restaurant

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with toffee apples and shortbread. This was Sarah’s dessert. She doesn’t have a big as sweet tooth as I do so this dessert matched her quite nicely because it wasn’t that sweet.

Dinner for four came to $265 with tax, tip and drinks. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the quality of food and level of service at the Observatory. It should definitely be your list of places to dine at when visiting Vancouver.

The Observatory on Urbanspoon

54 thoughts on “Dining At The Top of Vancouver”

  1. That is one amazing view and the food looks scrumptious!

    1. Yea, I agree, the view is pretty crazy!

    2. Ben Pei says:

      Why do you always seem to find such good food John?

      1. Because he love to do experiments and never bind with two or three Restaurant. Just keep eating to various places and you will be able to get them as well.

      2. Atniz says:

        Yeah, I have noticed that too. John, are you in any food taste evaluation team? Just kiddin

        1. I though John said he will cut down on eating outside lol.

    3. You always find great places to Dine. Seems very tasty and great view.

  2. wow, one of the best looking meals…I had a similar desert, the vanilla pannacotta and that is def a good choice, not overpowering on the sugar and for a small portion, its fairly satisfying.

  3. Stanzer_V says:

    My saliva is dropping……………..would love to visit that place if I ever had a chance to go Canada. Cheers

  4. Akmal says:

    wow… nice food…

  5. One word – “Delicious!”

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Yum yum yum yum.. 4 words here!

      1. I said even more than that, its Gorgeous.

  6. VeRonda says:

    Hey John… I’m totally not a fan of the cold, but those dishes look like they might sway me!

  7. Reyn Aria says:

    Wow, nice picture…and yummy too. I love that pannacotta.

  8. That food looks absolutely amazing!!! I have to go to the gym all this food is making me hungry – gotta burn off the calories so I can afford to eat lol!!

    1. Haha, I just got to run across Canada to Vancouver.

      That should burn enough calories…

      1. Atniz says:

        Can you really run that far?

  9. John, both of you really like fine dining don’t you? 🙂

    1. John Chow says:

      Very few things are finer than fine dining. 🙂

  10. Seems like the price was right.

    $38 isn’t that bad for dining out at all.

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Yup I will spend this kind of money judging from the look of the food as well..

      1. I think that Fine Dinning will cost more, seems a very fair price.

  11. That food looks absolutely amazing!!!

  12. shun2u says:

    nice place + delicious dishes!. 🙂

  13. Al Young says:

    That is definitely on my to do list when visiting Vancouver next time.

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Why not meet up with John Chow?

      1. I really would love to visit Vancouver and may be paid a visit to John, If I can find him there.

  14. Wow, such a gorgeous view! I remember climbing a couple mountains on the West Coast at night just to see a similar view. I could stay up there for hours…

  15. game-girl says:

    I’d rather have the dessert,and the price is really not to expensive.

  16. That’s going to be me soon. Eating at all the good spots not even worrying about the checks. You’ve got it good John Chow.


  17. Paul A Moore says:

    Looks pretty damn good Mr. Chow. Never been to Vancouver, but I will definately try out the Observatory when I go!

  18. Grouse Mountain definitely has fantastic views. I didn’t realize how cheap the Observatory could be, once you factor in the bonus’s. Thanks for the date tip! LOL.

    – Dave

  19. Sky Xavier says:

    hey thats nice place also all the dishes are looking nice am not sure about the taste 🙂

  20. Barock says:

    I’m salivating when see Pork Tenderloin

  21. Ben Pei says:

    Damn,.. I love the pork tenderloin!

  22. That was really nice but however $265 I think that’s bit expensive. But as someone told … if you can afford than there is nothing expensive 🙂

    Seems to me thats Sarah’s taste and mine taste are similar.

  23. I have one question … how did you do that … just dishes served and you are ready with your camera … just served and clicked. Boy after looking so delicious food I can forget anything … lollzz

    1. John Chow says:

      Keep the camera right next to where the plates will be put down and you’ll never forget. 🙂

  24. Pheak Tol says:

    riding a lift to eat at a restaurant, eating some really nice looking layed out dishes, man, you live that lifestyle well

  25. Atniz says:

    Wow!!! That is amazingly cheap! How you got time to venture all this new places? Are doing mobile blogging?

  26. vrempire says:

    Wow! That’s really great. I hope I can go to vancouver soon.

  27. The dinner looks amazing John! As a former fine dining food server in the Napa Valley I hope you tipped your server at least 20%, that’s the standard for fine dining!

  28. Linda says:

    Well the view sounds simply breathtaking and the food looks really attractive. Judging by the size of the portions they must bank on you being too love sick to eat. They are tiny!

  29. Jake says:

    So where in Vancouver can I take a girl for the first date during that remaining 11 months of the year?

    1. John Chow says:

      Any place but Burger king!

  30. J.D. Meier says:

    Great views – both from the mountain and on your plates.

  31. John, were you sick?

    The meat isn’t raw!

  32. game-girl says:

    The meat looks well-done. After the holidays I kept on vegetable diet,now looking at the dishes wanna… meat.

  33. bondox says:

    hi bro, wat is all these? Are these things eatable?

    That’s serious, cant be compared to our own eba, amala or even fufu.

  34. game-girl says:

    Is eba eatable?Really?

  35. $35 per person for that type of food is the cheapest I’ve seen you spent on this type of dining 😀


  36. I want that pork tenderloin! I had ribs for dinner last night, but this looks good as well.

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