Cactus Club Cafe is a chain of popular premium-casual dining restaurants with multiple locations in the City of Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland.
They are great places and their food is exceptional.
DINE OUT VANCOUVER SPECIAL
For the 2021 Dine Out Vancouver Festival, several Cactus Club Cafe locations are offering a special three-course menu for $35, which is a good deal. Appetizers include a choice of salad, spicy chicken or ravioli with prawns. Depending on the location, entrée options vary from steak frites to a tofu or poke bowl. Dessert is either a chocolate peanut butter treat or a chocolate caramel mousse. The Dine Out menu is available from February 5th until March 7th this year.
For more information about the event, see our Dine Out Vancouver Festival page.
Cactus Club Cafe Restaurants
One of several Canadian-owned casual chain dining restaurants originating on Vancouver’s North Shore, Cactus Club Cafe is a popular place that’s creative with its food. The company is headquartered in downtown Vancouver and its restaurants are known for their fun atmospheres. Many Cactus Club restaurants are slightly more upscale, with modern and classy interiors at prime locations.
Cactus Club restaurants are also child-friendly. They aren’t “family restaurants” and they don’t have special kids’ menus. Lots of young families like them though, and most locations offer booster seats and high chairs as well as crayons and paper for colouring. Their clientele are usually young to middle-aged adults. Kids are welcome though, except for maybe at the bar sections.
Lower Mainland Locations
Cactus Club operates 22 restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland. Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and West Vancouver are each home to one Cactus Club restaurant. Burnaby, meanwhile, is home to three locations.
The City of Vancouver has seven Cactus Club locations including a couple on the waterfront. The one at English Bay, for example, is set right on the beach. The Cactus Club in Jack Poole Plaza, meanwhile, has equally spectacular views of Coal Harbour. If you want to impress your friends, family or date, try hard to get a window seat. Prime tables at these restaurants make for memorable dining experiences (especially during sunsets)!
Other locations within the City of Vancouver are on Robson Street, on Davie Street in Yaletown, in the Bentall Building on Burrard Street, and on West Broadway by both Cambie Street at one end and Ash Street at the other.
Cactus Club Menu
The menu differs slightly depending on which of the chain’s locations you visit. Classic menu items, however, such as burgers, pasta and steak, for the most part, remain the same throughout the company.
Typical appetizers include things like Szechuan lettuce wraps, mini burgers, calamari (fried squid), potato skins, edamame and chicken wings. Some, but not all locations, serve sushi.
Most of the restaurants also offer a selection of Asian-inspired rice bowls as well as more traditional beef burgers and chicken sandwiches. They also usually have at least a couple of fish and pasta entrées, plus half a dozen or so steaks.
Some menu items are only available in certain restaurants and dishes can vary. For example, the last time we checked, a 12 ounce Millionaire’s Cut steak was available in some locations, but in others only the 11 ounce was on the menu. Why? We don’t know. Perhaps people in some Lower Mainland communities aren’t as hungry as folk in other parts!
Some locations offer brunch menus, but others don’t. Most participate in the Dine Out Vancouver Festival in January or February, but not all of them every year. Ones that do participate generally offer the same menu choices, but not always.
Although the menus are all very similar, but also slightly different, and their prices can range by 25 cents or so on some items, the quality of the food is always high.
Cactus Club also offers special menu sections for dishes that are plant-based, vegetarian and gluten-smart. All menu items have symbols that indicate dietary guidelines, but the separate sections are a unique feature of this brand’s menus.
History of Cactus Club
Cactus Club Cafe began in the late 1980s with two former Earls Restaurant employees, Scott Morrison and Richard Jaffray. The first location was the one in North Vancouver (which today, understandably, isn’t as modern-looking as most of the rest).
In 2004 Scott Morrison left Cactus Club and became the Chairman and CEO of Browns Restaurants which is a similar locally-based chain dining restaurant. Not surprisingly, Browns, Earls and Cactus Club are all direct competitors. Also interesting, the family that owns Earls also has significant shares in Cactus Club.
Since its founding, Cactus Club has expanded to more than 30 locations across the country. This includes over 20 in BC and the rest in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
How Does the Restaurant Compare?
Cactus Club is similar to other premium casual dining chains like the Keg, Earls and Browns. It’s obviously similar to Earls, given that it was started by two former Earls employees. It also has clear similarities to Browns (which was started by one of the two founders of the Cactus Club).
It’s hard to say how exactly Cactus Club differs from its competition. It’s arguably slightly less expensive than the Keg, and more kid-friendly than Earls has a reputation for being. Cactus Club has a slightly larger menu than the Keg with a wider range of food options. It’s also more “West Coast” with more seafood and Asian-inspired cuisine on its menu.
To learn more about how the above restaurants compare among themselves as well as with other places like the Boathouse, Moxies, Milestones and JOEY, see our article about Vancouver’s Casual Dining Restaurants.
For more details about this restaurant chain check out the Cactus Club Cafe website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- How do Vancouver’s Casual Dining Restaurants Compare?
- Dine Out Vancouver Festival
- Vancouver’s Best Bars and Night Clubs
- Vancouver Beer and Breweries
- Lower Mainland Wineries
For list of restaurants in various parts of town check out the following:
- BURNABY‘s Best Restaurants
- The City of VANCOUVER‘s Best Bars & Restaurants
- NORTH VANCOUVER‘s Best Bars & Restaurants
- RICHMOND‘s Best Bars & Restaurants
- SURREY‘s Best Restaurants
- WEST VANCOUVER‘s Best Restaurants