Guu Original Thurlow

4.1
64 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Japanese
Top tags:
  • Authentic
  • Fun
  • Casual
Guu Original on Thurlow is where the Izakaya boom started. It’s not only the first Guu to open, but is the very first Izakaya in Vancouver.

Established in 1993 as “Raku” & changed to “Guu” in 2000, this Guu offers the most authentic Izakaya experience, offering classic dishes like Yaki Udon & Oden. This is as close you’ll get to the real deal….unless you fly to Japan.


We keep seats for walk-in customers as well. No available seats on opentable does not mean we are fully booked. Please be aware that the time limited per table is two hours during peak hours.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Japanese, Tapas / Small Plates, Fusion / Eclectic
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Hours of Operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:45am - 1:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 12:30am, Sunday:5:30pm - 12:00am
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Phone number
(604) 685-8817
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Payment Options
AMEX, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Robson
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Public Transit
Canada Line: get off at Vancouver City Center station and 10 min walk
Sky Train: get off at Burrard station and 8 min walk
#005 bus, the closest stop is Robson + Thurlow
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 64 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.0
Service
3.8
Ambience
3.8
Value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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p
Vancouver
19 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

Weird service, didn’t want to accept us suas they don’t work with reservation. And charge $.05 for soy sauce. It’s not the money is just that is the only guu that does that. I have been to many of them. Overall not coming back to the original guy rather go somewhere else

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C
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 4Ambience 1

Super loud uncensored rap music kind of ruined the evening for me. And the food wasn't as good as I remembered. Mostly protein based choices with very few vegetable dishes. This location needs updating. Our table was squished at the back in front of a fridge.

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SA
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

Thankfully we had a reservation at 5:30pm, right when they open. There was a long line to get in and the restaurant was immediately full. Service was good but not great, which is understandable given the amount of people. The food was outstanding, the staff was lively, the music was loud and interesting (90's club music). Overall a fun experience, and would definitely go back.

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J
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Made a reservation online and had a fun and interesting dinner

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B
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 2

Im Sorry Guu thurlow, but the staff's over the top 'irrashaimasei' greeting was completely disruptive and constant. The traditional Japanese greeting is welcomed, but having lived in Ehime, Japan for three years, Guu's version was disrespectful to the language and culture. I actually enjoyed the food and service was prompt. But the constant yelling again and again and again meant that I could barely hear with the person sitting next to me. I will not go back again and I will not recommend to anyone -- a shame to waste a nice Japanese dinner but have to put up with staff yelling every other moment?

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K
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was a really great experience!

The food tasted excellent, and the service was perfect.

It was my brother’s birthday and they’re birthday song was amazing; I really enjoyed the birthday song playing in the background after as well.

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C
Montreal
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 1

We were placed in the back of the restaurant in a corner, they should not sit anyone there. No vegetable on the menu.

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G
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Food was very tasty, especially Sashimi salad. Very well priced, great variety. Quick service. Tables are a bit squishy but not too bad. Great value for the price!! Fun atmosphere too.

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C
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 2Food 5Service 2Ambience 1

Every dish we ordered was good, but it was too noisy. Anytime someone ordered food or came through the door, the wait staff would literally shout and yell across the room. I couldn’t even hear myself over the music that was also blasted out loud through the speaker on top of screaming staff.

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F
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Guu was great as always! The salmon yukke is to die for! Also, they have the best chicken I've had in Canada!

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PW
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Cute and quaint restaurant.

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AT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Good food. Great location. Funny team of Japanese shoutout when customers come or leaves the establishment.

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9
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

We were having dinner before concert, the restaurant let us feel rush to finish up our dinner, all the dishes came at once!!! There is no space to rest with proper dishes, everything squeeze together. This is sad to see, normally, this restaurant has good manner and pretty considerable.

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AM
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We hadn't been here since our nearly two year old was born, and it was even better than I remembered. The udon noodles, the ochazuke, and the tofu sacks with sticky rice were particularly incredible.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Recommended make reservation. It's small place n pack when we got there at 730. Many pics on yelp are no longer on menu.

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N
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

I asked for extra Oden soup. But the server was really stingy, they only gave me 1/3 of the bowl. The experience was bad to be honest. And Guu is getting worse now.

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JN
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Food was excellent. Service was great and the whole dining experience was awesome.

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E
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

very good and creative japanese cuisine.
Attendants very kind and attentive

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TM
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Great spot for a light dinner and a couple of beers.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great service! Great food! Great atmosphere! Never disappointed!

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OT
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Great, the menu is creative and the ingredients were fresh.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Great food and service. Just really surprised at the portions. Everything was a sparse handful sized, aside from the rice dishes but for the price, we ended up feeling a little bit ripped off.

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RG
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Good food, efficient friendly service, but a bit noisy for having a conversation with friends.

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f
Nashville
6 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2017
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

The food was excellent, the plates imaginative. It is Japanese flavors in a tapas-style experience. For three of us we shared 7 plates and 3 desserts. Reservations are highly recommended. We had reservations and were seated immediately to a reserved table. Others without waited to be seated. The venue is small, very casual, tavern-like atmosphere. Staff friendly and accommodating. We enjoyed the experience and will certainly put this on our list of places to remember about our visit to Vancouver.

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F
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Guu hasn't disappointed this time around, either! The salmon sashimi dish was absolutely delicious, their food leaves you feeling light and energized, yet full - it's well worth the hours of driving from the Interior!

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was delicious, and unique

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This Japanese restaurant is the most authentic restaurant I have ever visited. The food was amazing, definitely recommendable!

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Food was good overall but the wagyu aburi was very low quality, the Chef tried to explain that he couldn't be certain of the origin/supplier but this did not help the tough chewy meat.

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OT
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2017
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Went here on a Monday night for an early dinner to skip the crowds. Got a confirmation call for my reservation about an hour before. Got here early and waited for the doors to open. Had two small kids with us, staff happily handed us straws and extra napkins. Had the Guuud beer, garlic salmon, yaki udon, fried rice, sockeye sashimi, mussels, beef, lamb...I think that's it. The fish and meats came with 6 or 8 pieces, the mussels was an entree sized large bowl, the rice and udon were medium share plates. All the food tasted good and was fresh. Beer was good but I am no connoisseur. It was okay for the price. Too much hype maybe.

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NN
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2017
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

Food was ok. Not as good as before. Kitchen was very smokey from their cooking. The ran out of Sapporo beer. The other beers didn't taste good. Would have stayed longer if they had the Sapporo beer.

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9
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

From time to time I always enjoy Guu on Thurlow with family, friends , coworkers, this time is pre-concert meal, they still keep the usual excellent manner in all matters.

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OT
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

We went for a family dîner and e everyone enjoyed the food and the culinary expérience. If we were living in Vancouver it would be our sweet stop for a sure hit.

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OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We always eat here ... food is amazing and staff is always so friendly and efficient.

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C
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2017
Overall 3Food 2Service 5Ambience 5

We had a selection of Oden as an opener, which was both interesting and delicious. With this came some good cocktails.
I was not really impressed with the quality of the main course. I had the beef tongue, which was extremely chewy, basically a meat chewing gum and not well seasoned. My Wife ordered a sukiyaki salad which was good in flavour, but again the meat was very chewy.
Mango Cheesecake as a dessert was nice.

All in all, OK, but the main course really left us with mixed feelings about this place.

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OT
Vancouver
5 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Can't complain. Good food fast service

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AL
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything is perfect!!!

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C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Have always had good experiences at Guu. Either this location or Gastown. Food is always consistent and service is good as well!

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k
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2017
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

This place is a bit noisy but food is tasty.

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BB
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2017
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Although they couldn't give us a table for our motorcycle helmets... the service was friendly ... he was very accommodating. The food was fantastic... this was our 3rd time there... would recommend it without hesitation!

Thank you to everyone at Guu !

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2017
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everytime I make the trek up to Vancouver, B.C. I always have to come here! The food and service is always on point! It's a lively and fun restaurant. I only wish they would open up in Seattle!

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