If you are looking for a casual place in downtown Vancouver’s Gastown to have weekend brunch and great drinks, then you should stop by Tuc Craft Kitchen.
The restaurant is located on West Cordova Street, just south of Water Street. If you aren’t familiar with Gastown, the neighborhood is one of the oldest and quirkiest in Vancouver. Gastown is home to more restaurants and bars than you can count.
Tuc Craft Kitchen has it all from lunch, dinner, brunch on weekends, and a daily happy hour. They also offer a large selection of cocktails, craft beers, and wine.
I arrived for brunch on the weekend so this review is only for their brunch. If you also want brunch, make sure you visit on a weekend. They also have lunch Wednesday through Friday, dinner everyday at 5pm, and happy hour daily from 5pm to 6pm.
Tuc Craft Kitchen is best known for their brunch including the popular crispy chicken and waffles. They often sell out of this item, which they did when I visited. Other dishes on the menu include classic and new flavors such as lamb and eggs, vegetable frittata, Irish stew, and crispy bacon and egg.
Why I didn’t order a crispy bacon and egg? I have no idea. I guess I have a great reason to return.
The inside of the restaurant was a unique mix of modern and charming yet industrial and rustic. The imitate yet casual interior featured high ceilings, concrete floors, exposed lightning, rustic wooden panels, and unique items dating back 100 years.
My favorite part of the restaurant was by far the bar. The wooden bar top was made from wood transplanted from a building dating back to 1918.
If you look behind the bar, you will see thick metal chains appearing to hold up the back of the bar. These chains were once used at a car wash in North Vancouver.
Just to the left of the bar you will see a metal sign with the letters “KET.” This piece of metal was once part of a sign that read “Post Office Market.” The sign hung outside a Seattle market around 100 years ago.
The restaurant was separated into two areas. Downstairs was a large main dining room. Just up the stairs, overlooking the main dining room was a smaller, more intimate dining area. The upstairs loft would be perfect for larger groups.
For those who want or need Wifi, on my visit, there was no free Wifi available. A recent diner reported that free WiFi was available as of July 2015.
Irish Stew Skillet
With almost everyone ordering the crispy chicken and waffles, I decided to order none other than the Irish Stew Skillet ($13 CAD). This hearty meal was made using two free range poached eggs, grass fed beef, Yakima Valley lamb, roasted button mushrooms, and B.C. new potatoes. The skillet was served with a side of sourdough bread to soak up all the rich flavors of the stew.
The rustic and hearty stew was served in a small cast iron skillet on a wooden board which I thought was pretty unique. I’m a fan of cast iron skillets since they retain heat which helps keep all the ingredients hot long after the skillet is removed from of the oven.
The generous pieces of thick grass fed beef was definitely the star of the dish. The meat was so tender that it fell apart just by touching it with my knife below it melted in my mouth. It was also seasoned quite well though a little salty. The lamb got a little lost in the skillet, but the small pieces that I found were also tender and not gamey at all.
Hidden underneath the meat were two poached eggs covered in a delicious meaty sauce. I immediately took my fork and knife and cut into the poached eggs waiting to reveal the oozing rich egg yolk. Unfortunately, the eggs were slightly overcooked. Though I would have liked the eggs to be cooked a little less, I did enjoy the part of the delicious deep orange yolk that did run out.
I was excited to be able to dunk the sourdough bread into the skillet to soak up all the intense flavors of the stew, but after one bite of the bread, my dreams came crashing down. The bread was cold and extremely hard, just like a crouton. Even after dunking the bread in the stew, which softened it up slightly, it still remained hard.
Hidden at the bottom of the skillet was a generous amount of B.C. potatoes. Though the potatoes may seem like filler, they were probably may favorite part of the dish. The potatoes were delicious, soft, and soaked up all the wonderful and rich flavors.
With each bite of the hearty, warm, and rich stew, I was rewarded with deep layers of flavor which was perfect on a cool and rainy day in Vancouver.
Since I only sat at the bar, I can only detail the service of the bartenders. The bartenders were extremely friendly and cool. They gladly offered me recommendations of what to order off the brunch menu and which local craft beers to try.
Tuc Craft Kitchen is worth a stop just for the ambiance and decor. Luckily, they also offer great food and drinks for brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. With a rustic but elegant brunch menu, great cocktails, and local craft beers, Tuc Craft Kitchen stands out in a city that is packed with run-of-the-mill brunch spots.
I’ll be sure to return next time for the crispy chicken and waffles and crispy bacon and egg.
- Rustic yet elegant food options
- Really cool design and decor
- Daily happy hour
- Unique cocktails and craft beef
- Semi-private loft great for groups
- Chicken and waffles often runs out
- Side of bread was almost inedible
Monday-Tuesday: 5:00PM-11:00PM (dinner)
Wednesday-Friday: 11:30AM-2:30PM (lunch) and 5:00PM-11:00PM (dinner)
Saturday: 10:00AM-3:00PM (brunch) and 5:00PM-12:00AM (dinner)
Sunday: 10:00AM-3:00PM (brunch) and 5:00PM-10:00PM (dinner)
Happy Hour daily from 5:00PM-6:00PM
60 Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1C9
GPS Coordinates: 49.2826627,-123.1060934