Spring pea risotto and a ruby trout feature at Bistro Wagon Rouge — Photo courtesy of Natasha John
Bistro Wagon Rouge is a blue-collar French restaurant hidden along East Vancouver’s Powell Street. This cozy restaurant serves beautifully prepared dishes that will wow, but won’t set you back with a heft bill. With the eatery's mélange of daily specials and a regular menu, each visit will surprise and delight. Whether you’re going for a snack and drink at the bar, or planning a three-course dinner with friends, Bistro Wagon Rouge is an affordable and tasty option.
Tucked away in an unassuming building in East Vancouver is a delightful little gem that serves French food at unbeatable prices. Step inside Bistro Wagon Rouge’s charming space – it’s not fancy or pretentious, but welcoming and buzzing with regulars. The checkered floors, wooden tables and red chairs provide a comfortable atmosphere that’s perfect for a night out with friends, or a date night.
French food can come with a hefty price tag, but not at Bistro Wagon Rouge. Most main course dishes, including steak frites and boeuf bourguignon, come in at under $20. (Occasionally, one of the daily specials may be more due to the ingredients being used.) We’re not talking tiny portions, either! You are going to leave Bistro Wagon Rouge stuffed and satisfied.
Bistro Wagon Rouge — Photo courtesy of Bistro Wagon Rouge
There are two menus on any given night: there’s the regular menu and the special features menu. Unlike many restaurants who feature just one or two specials, Bistro Wagon Rouge provides diners with a handful of daily specials. It’s always a treat to see what creative and in-season dishes they’re concocting.
There is usually a risotto on the daily specials menu, and you should definitely order it. The flavor and ingredients change often, but one thing is for sure: they really know how to make this grain of rice sing.
The regular menu consists of familiar French favorites like coq au vin, steak tartar, cassoulet, moules and French onion soup. The steak frites is a must-order. Sink your teeth into a tender piece of steak that’s topped with a luscious peppercorn sauce and café de Paris butter, and served with piping hot frites. It’s fabulous!
One of their signature starters is a serving of deep-fried pate fingers. Just as you would think, they’re incredibly rich and delicious. But there are lighter options, and although the green salad sounds simple, the bold flavors of shallot and tarragon make it flavorful without being heavy. It’s a great dish to lighten a heavy meal.
Save room for dessert; you won’t want to miss out on their freshly made sweets. Think lemon tarts, butterscotch pot-de-crème and a selection of fine cheeses with accompaniments.
The wine list is concise and does the trick, and just like their daily specials, they often have a feature wine.
Bistro Wagon Rouge is a very welcome addition to Vancouver’s dining scene. Though they claim to be a blue-collar French restaurant, the food is nothing short of excellent and could give a fancy rival a run for their money.