Remembering a Legendary West Side Cal-Mex Restaurant That Burned to the Ground

The ever-evolving Restaurant Graveyard series looks back at the countless, long-shuttered establishments that helped to propel Vancouver’s food and drink forward. Full A-Z with maps and photos here. May they never be forgotten!

This popular California-Mexican restaurant at 2904 West 4th Ave. was much loved over the course of its 40-year run for its casual atmosphere, generous portions, and indifference to trends. Launched by a family of American ex-pats that missed the food of their native Los Angeles, Topanga Cafe was a rare, irreplaceable institution with its gallery of crayon-drawn menus covering the walls and its signature bright green guacamole-sour cream topping so many of its dishes. House favourites included darkly-sauced enchiladas (pictured above) and massive slices of super dense chocolate cake. Sadly, the restaurant burned to the ground in an accidental fire – likely caused by a discarded cigarette – in the summer of 2018.


There are 0 comments

After a Six-Year Run, This Impressive Hotel Restaurant Was Replaced by Something Even Better…

Oru Cuisine was the fine dining establishment that operated where Botanist currently excels in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

This Shuttered Gastown Restaurant May Have Been Tiny, But It Sure Left a Big Hole

The Sardine Can was a small and subtly stylish restaurant that turned out classic shareables like patatas bravas and albondigas.

Remembering Old Country Fish & Chips, an East Hastings Fixture for Over 25 Years

Opened by Bert Love and John Dobson, the long-serving restaurant's slogan was "From the sea to the pan."

Remembering the Original ‘Hapa’ on Robson Street, a Dark and Sexy Game-Changer

The modern Japanese concept thrived for years in a dark space that made guests feel like they were being let in on a secret.