The Sardine Can

That feel when you’re in the mood for Spanish food because it’s been like a year since you were in Barcelona…

Yeah. We definitely had a craving. Vancouver has precious few Spanish tapas restaurants, but we’d heard good things about the Sardine Can (and who can resist a stroll in Gastown?), so we decided to pay them a visit after work.

First order of business—especially since it was a Friday—was drinks. 😏

Tinto de verano and sherry

Tinto de verano and sherry

Grace got the tinto de verano while Mell got the sherry. Tinto de verano is like a lazy person’s sangria; it’s easier to make and has fewer ingredients. And when we say “fewer ingredients” we mean red wine + a carbonated drink/soda. That’s it. Easy AND delicious. Mell had never had sherry before and appreciated the variation to her typical taste in drinks.

We were seated to Grace’s ex-coworker, Don, who was with his date, Ashley. (WHAT WERE THE CHANCES??)  They enthusiastically recommended the atun crudo, so we were like WHY THE HELL NOT.

Atun crudo

Atun crudo

This summer-flavoured tartare of tuna, orange, avocado, and chili-lime-olive oil was the perfect thing to snack on on this sunny Friday afternoon. We loved it.

M: I could eat like, 12 of these

G: Hey remember when you were vegetarian

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Since we’d been having some very good brussels sprouts lately every time we’d ordered them, we thought we should try these bruselas too. Plus… veggies are important.

Or something.



These were cooked perfectly. Nowhere near overdone/mushy and nicely browned in chili oil, these were wonderfully flavourful with a heat that built the more you stuffed your face. We loved the toasted pieces of bread that soaked up any remaining sauce/olive oil.

Let us just... adjust our pants

Let us just… adjust our pants

To finish things off, we got a classic Spanish dish: the paella de la casa, made with real Valencia rice. We somehow never managed to eat paella the entire time we were in Spain – we blame the restaurant tourist traps. For our first try, this dish was hella fine. Chunks of chorizo, clams, chicken, and prawns surrounded by toasted, saffron-infused rice. It’s a classic, and we definitely see why; it’s comfort food at its finest.



This place satisfied our nostalgic need for Spain and Spanish cuisine. Tall windows with great natural light makes it seem like you’re almost sitting outside. The no-fuss scrubbed table tops with bar stools are relaxing and inviting. It’s casual dining, with various small plates to share amongst friends. Try some of this and some of that. Expand your tastebuds. Come here if you’re looking for something other than the typical restaurant vibe. We know we certainly will.

The Sardine Can Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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