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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

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CUISINES
Cafe, Diner, Canadian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch
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meals, features, about
Reviews (29)
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9
4
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LanguageEnglish
Traveller rating
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9
4
0
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Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We love this place! The food was amazing. Richard, our server, was so kind and explained how it’s a family owned business. I could eat 100 of his mom’s pot stickers. It was worth the wait and the hype! For ambiance, it’s a classic diner...style that’s really comforting for breakfast. We will be coming back plenty!More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is not an area you expect to find a decent meal but it was. You have to park outside the lumberyard, on the street. Rickety stairs and sloping floors. It is a throw back to a 50’s diner, music decor and all. Continuous coffee,...good hearty meals and friendly staff. We will be back to try another meal.More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed March 14, 2022

They readily admit this isn't fine dining. It felt like we were entering a time warp...a Twilight Zone vibe from a different era. The ceiling is very low and the floor is slanted to the north. I felt as though I was on a boat....The family was very friendly and the food was delicious. My partner loved their coffee. It was a good feeling to know we were helping a nice family business instead of a chain restaurant. It would be terrific if they were one more flight of stairs higher to get a fabulous view of the river. We will return.More

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed November 25, 2021

Not sure why this is a "hidden gem". Hidden, yes for sure somewhere in the industrial area so if you happen to be there and are starving, why not. If you long for friendly converstation and hear some history, yes. The owner and his family...are all more than welcome to chat with you, especially if you go in a less busy time. Decor: if you are in the reminiscent mood, yes. Good for the camera to put a few colorful photos in your social media. Now the more important stuff: food.....so so in fact too salty and oily. Not sure if it was a healthy meal for us. Cleanliness: as with a lot of other eateries with history, do not expect too much (but can do better in times of COVID, other than puting hand sanitizers on tables.....please check and the clean the washroom more often Not bad to satisfy your curiosity if you just want to see why this small eatery is rated so and have some cheap and quick food. However there are a lot better and cleaner places not far awayMore

Date of visit: September 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed September 18, 2021

Wow — thanks to Mike McArdle who reviewed the Northern Cafe last week or we would have never known about this fantastic out-of-the-way diner. We have lived in the Lower Mainland over 40 years and had never heard of this place but we are sure...glad we did! 4 of us decided to venture over the Knight Street Bridge this morning for breakfast and we luckily got the last available table. We were glad to see they asked and scanned our Covid Certificates! First thing Raymond came over and greeted us like long lost friends — then the coffee came which was very good and free refills. We all ordered and were very happy with our breakfasts with home fried hash browns. The eggs were cooked to perfection and my cheese and ham omelet was divine. A very friendly atmosphere with lots of back and forth chit chat with Raymond when he wasn’t busy taking orders, delivering the food, answering the phone, etc. Loved the walls plastered with little notes from people from all over the world who have visited the diner and wish they lived closer! Lucky us living in Richmond, so we will have no excuse for not going back soon for lunch as the Burger menu and the Wonton soup look very appetizing. Thanks Raymond for an enjoyable morning at the Diner. (Heads up - they only take Cash or Debit!) Oh — and Raymond — the password for Wifi next time, lol!!!More

Date of visit: September 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed July 11, 2021 via mobile

5 stars because it is run by a father and son, they have traditional Canadian and wonton noodle soup and they were genuinely kind. It’s not a traditional “hotel 5-star” restaurant but in my books, deserves a 5 star for what it is. Homemade wonton...soup was good, homemade chilli oil was flavourful and the Canadian breakfast was hearty. It’s a diner and good at what they do.More

Date of visit: June 2021
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed March 29, 2021

I’ve been known to frequent hole-in-the-wall joints. In fact, some of my favourite places to visit are down-to-earth eateries where the owners love what they do and are unpretentious about it. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve found a new place that meets these...standards. I suppose “found” really isn’t the right word as Northern Cafe has been around since 1949. But I can hardly be blamed for not visiting until now… tucked away on the second floor of a building supply store – you seriously are not going to come across this place unless you were intentionally trying to find this place (or if you happen to work in the trades). I heard about this self-described “greasy spoon” eatery a couple of years ago but haven’t really had the chance to visit until recently. After navigating past the fork lifts and large trucks that come and go through the service yard, I headed up the creaky staircase with the slightly-too-tall risers and down the narrow hallway until I saw an unsuspecting door leading into the cozy diner. During my pickup visits, it seemed pretty quiet with only 1 to 2 diners actually eating in… hopefully things pick up for them. For my first meal from Northern, I decided on the Bacon Cheddar Burger ($11.50) with a homemade AAA sirloin beef patty, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato on their signature but. It also comes with a creamy potato salad and fries. Let me just say that these fries were soooo good! Delicately crispy on the outside while still pillowy soft on the inside. I could eat these all day. The burger was pretty good too – it may not win any gourmet awards but it was a solid greasy spoon burger. Northern Cafe offers some hearty breakfast items so on my next visit, I ordered the Corn Beef Hash ($12) with a side of sausages ($3). The hash comes with hand-shredded potato hash cooked up corn beef, onions, and peppers. It’s served with toast and your choice of preparation for eggs. The eggs were cooked up perfectly with a nice runny yolk and crispy edges. While there wasn’t much special about the toast, my side of breakfast sausages were both plump and juicy. As with many Chinese-Canadian diners, Northern Cafe also offers some typical westernized Chinese dishes like Wor Wonton Egg Noodle Soup ($11.50). While the egg noodles were a bit meh, the rest of this soup was actually pretty good. I especially liked the bbq pork on top. Next up was an order of Slow Roasted Beef Dip ($12.50) with in-house shaved roast beef on a hoagie bun, served with au jus and macaroni salad. We opted for a side Caesar salad instead of fries. We also ordered the similar Philly Cheese Steak Melt ($13.50) with the same in-house shaved roast beef as the beef dip but this time grilled up with peppers, onions, and cheese. I really liked the Philly but it actually goes pretty well with the au jus that came with the beef dip so I wound up dunking this a couple of times too. If you don’t mind hole-of-the-wall diners, make sure you try this place out.More

Date of visit: February 2021
Helpful?3  
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Reviewed March 10, 2021 via mobile

Hidden place, but great dinner style food. Fries are hand cut, philly steak sandwich was excellent! Definitely worth it for a good saturday brunch if you are craving home cooked meal.

Date of visit: March 2021
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Reviewed March 4, 2021 via mobile

Came into the restaurant and was immediately greeted by Raymond. He explained the menu and that everything was made from scratch on site. From hand made won tons to grinding their own meat. Had the Won Ton soup with prawns which was delicious and a...good sized portion. Floors are wonky and the decor was “unique”. Kind of a greasy spoon setting but the food and the hospitality make this a great place serving very tasty food. Hard to find but worth the effort.More

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed November 13, 2020 via mobile

Went in to visit my friend that owned the restaurant as I have not seen or hung with him for long time. Decided to take my wife with me to have some breakfast grubs as we were starving. We were greeted by his friendly father...that was welcoming and his warm greetings. Raymond (Owner) was just arriving, I’ve asked what he recommended and what’s popular on the menu. Very pleased and impressed with the option he’s served me and my wife. Had a good chat with him bout life & family and we left very satisfied and full lol. Thanks bro. Keep doing what you and your dad is doing! You guys are definitely one of the hidden gems in town! See you very soon my friend! - MCMore

Date of visit: November 2020
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed November 13, 2020

Hidden away in a lumberyard and up a flight of stairs gets you to Northern Cafe. Another of those locations where you would likely not take a business client you were trying to impress. Basic diner food although a bit on the pricey side compared...to other diners similar (Truck Stop Cafe on Clark comes to mind). burgers, club sandwiches, etc etc. Very friendly service in this very unique location. You have to park outside the lumberyard and walk inside.More

Date of visit: November 2020
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Reviewed July 26, 2020

I was here with a friend in the neighbourhood checking on some properties around March this year , I hear and do read some good reviews about this place ,I honestly do not see any special about this coffee shop , it is my personal...opinion , location is in the industrial area be side the lumberyard , by Fraser river during the 70's 90's ,you can see the industrial coffee shop every where , this coffee shop is on the second floor ,very unassuming entrance ,not the most well come sigh , very outdated ,60's diner , mess ,not that clean , it is papa mama operation ,over rated , ,busy because a lot of industrial worker working in the area ,price not CHEAP ! with the quality they offer , I am happy drive extra 5 mins to have my Triple O"S with modern dinning room ! menu over size ,but a lot of items to choices from , , my friends special chow mein dishes look so so , my fully loaded Deluxe burger very greasy but taste not bad , over all ,is nice to see may be the last industrial coffee Shop still standing good luck >More

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed June 21, 2020

This diner is hidden in a lumberyard in more of an industrial section of the city. I only learned of it from a friend who had been; they don't advertise, so they aren't well known. However, what a surprise it was! Very popular with the...locals in the neighbourhood, all of the food is made fresh in house (including the fries!). The prices are reasonable, and the owner is very nice and walks around to meet the customers when he isn't busy cooking. If you're passing through the area, I definitely recommend stopping by and checking out this hidden gem!More

Date of visit: June 2020
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed January 26, 2020

Great place for breakfast and lunch. Good menu options for western style breakfasts and lunches plus a limited selection of Chinese food. The burgers are made with fresh ground beef. The Chinese lunch combination is pretty good too. The staff are super friendly.

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 8, 2019

This little know eatery, located above the office of the NOrthern Building supply is open for breakfast and lunch only. Good value for burgers, soup and sandwich lunch stuff.

Date of visit: February 2019
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THE NORTHERN CAFE & GRILL, Vancouver - East Vancouver - Updated 2023 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Northern Cafe & Grill

Yes, The Northern Cafe & Grill offers takeaway services.

The Northern Cafe & Grill is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5