If you want to go to a local restaurant much like the TV show “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name, then look no further than the Argo Café.
Argo may have been born back in 1954, but 10 years ago today, the late Kirby Wong and Chef Denis Larouche took the Ontario Street Café.
If you were to drive by the industrial area, you’d never think to step inside this hidden gem. However if you did happen to find your way inside, then you’d either sit at the counter where there would be regulars with their familiar chatter or a diner style booth to enjoy some of the best grub in the city.
Once known as a greasy spoon, Argo has since changed to something very unique. They do still offer some of the best burgers in the city (which are fresh and made with real beef), as well as grilled cheese and other diner style foods. If you are looking to wet your palate with something a little different, then you could try sesame crusted tuna papaya salad, sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce or even Pistachio Panko Crusted Sockeye Salmon
The owners like to call it Downtown food, at an East Van price or “slow food, FAST!!!”
When asked why the regular’s enjoy Argo so much, this is what some had to say:
“It’s a fun atmosphere and the food is awesome. The price is great for what you get and it’s just a great place. Just sitting here you find people to talk to.” – Anonymous
“I have never been in a diner before in my life and this was something new to me. The people are friendly and the food is great, which is why I keep coming back.” – William
“The Argo Café is the center of my community. When I look around I know the first name of half the people, but the other half you never see again. It’s family run and it’s food that you would serve your own family. It’s set up so Denis (Chef) has a life, like most cooks don’t have — he starts at 7:00 a.m. and he’s finished at 4:00 p.m. only Monday to Friday. This is like in Douglas Adams novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” right at the beginning he’s got to find the infinite improbability like Einstein’s theory of relativity, as you get closer to the speed of light everything changes. The engine for that in Douglas Adams novel was a diner in rural England that had no reason to be where it was, but food and people came from all over the place. That’s what Argo is, it’s an island here in this part of light industrial Vancouver.” – David F. Sutherland
“I’ve been with Argo for nine and a half years. We have a lot of regular customers and I know most of them pretty well. I’ve made a lot of good friends and people come everyday and we talk. It’s just a community kind of place where people come and get great food and have a good time. I would say the most popular dish at Argo is the Con Queso either on rice or on fries. For me the Duck Confit is better than the Duck Confit I had in France, so I always get that when it’s on the menu. When you have a chef like Denis who really knows exactly how things are properly meant to be prepared it makes such a difference to the food flavour. You should come to Argo because you’re going to have a great time if you want a casual, enjoyable, relaxing time in kind of a funky place where you can get lots of different kinds of people and you get awesome food at a really reasonable price then this is it.” – Doug Miller (Waiter)