Cafeteria provides ad hoc menu on Vancouver’s Main Street

Cafeteria's constantly changing menu promises fresh, seasonal dishes.

Credit: Taseda Knight

Cafeteria takes a low key, high quality approach

It arrived on the street as inconspicuously as its name


In July, Cafeteria very quietly opened its door to Main Street. The restaurant, the latest venture for Chef Andre Durbach (La Buca, Pied-a-terre) didn’t want any fanfare; didn’t want to be the slick big brother muscling in on the community friendly restaurants of Mount Pleasant.


Despite the lack of fanfare, it seems that Cafeteria is off to a great start. Having taken over the site from Ping’s Café (and no doubt having to deal with the grief of a few Ping’s fans), it has been welcomed with open arms by patrons and neighbouring restaurants alike.



2702 Main St, Vancouver


Cafeteria menu ‘chef’s whim’

Branching away for the traditional French and Italian cuisine with which he has made his name, the menu at Chef Durbach’s Cafeteria is “chef’s whim.” This means that the menu changes regularly (sometimes daily) depending on what the chef has found at the local markets or from local suppliers.


The advantage of this is that dishes are seasonal, and you won’t get bored of a stagnant menu. The disadvantage is that if you find a dish you like, you need to order a second helping that night.


A familiar ambiance

Those who’ve visited La Buca or Pied-a-Terre will instantly recognise the style. A partition screens the diners from the doorway, creating a small entranceway, and tables line both walls of the cosy restaurant. The ever-changing menu adds a retro style, picked out in plastic letters on the walls.


They don’t take reservations, but will happily take your name and number while you go shopping, strolling or sipping on Main Street (something the other local businesses love, I’m sure). Then they’ll call you when the previous table gets their bill, giving you time to meander back.


Drinks and prices

The wine selection was ample and amazingly reasonable. Most bottles ranged from $30-$40. Between four of us, each having three courses and sharing a bottle of French wine, we spent $209. I felt sated but stuffed. And was happily recommending the place to a couple on the street three seconds after I’d left my table.


Dietary accomodations

The menu…it changes. If you have dietary concern (e.g., vegan, celiac, etc.), I’d suggest you call in advance to see what is available and what accommodations can be made.


Let us know what you find on the menu you when you go!