Date Night in Gastown: Lily Mae's - European Bistro

February is known for two things: super cold weather and Valentines Day. With the most romantic day of the year soon approaching, many of you are probably looking for a good date night spot to spend with your significant other. Fear not though – Vancouver’s full of great romantic restaurants, and Lily Mae’s is certainly one of them.

Lily Mae’s is located in a heritage building in our historic Gastown. This restaurant is furnished with vintage decor that creates a unique and sensational romantic atmosphere. Guests here are either seated on the main floor or up a flight of stairs on the balcony.

A date night dinner isn’t complete without a good glass of wine. Just recently, Lily Mae’s introduced the 2009 Capitao Rayeo Reserva from Portugal onto it’s menu. It’s priced competitively at just $8 per glass, but yet it shares resemblances to wines that are double its price. It’s a perfect companion to meat and stronger-flavoured dishes.

Glass of 2009 Capitao Rayeo Reserva ($8)

Soups to-die-for can be found in this restaurant. The French Onion soup here is a very popular choice for those who prefer a soup with loads of cheese and intense flavours.

French Onion Soup ($7)

For a lighter soup, the Potato and Leek Soup is a fantastic option. It features very fresh vegetable flavours and also an appropriately creamy texture.

Potato and Leek Soup ($6)

The Arancini is a fun and quirky Italian appetizer here that’s certainly worth trying. These fried rice balls actually contain risotto on the inside! Served with some roasted tomato sauce on the side, this is an appie that anyone can easily fall in love with.


The Jumbo Scallop at Lily Mae’s isn’t an overstatement at all. This is probably the biggest scallop I’ve ever eaten! But I must say, this scallop is so tasty that I’d only wish for it to be even bigger. It also comes with some shockingly delicious spinach salad underneath.

Jumbo Scallop 

The Burgundy Poutine here is another noteworthy dish. It’s a personal recipe from one of the restaurant owners, Armand. This poutine is distinctive because it is drenched in some very flavourful red wine gravy.

Burgundy Poutine ($7.5)

For those who love homestyle cuisine, the Beef Bourguignon here will not disappoint. It’s homestyle cooking at its best! This stew features chunks of soft beef and vegetables in a decadent red wine sauce.

Beef Bourguignon ($19)

This is not a lasagna – it’s an Eggplant Parmigiana! This vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free dish is a delightful combination of eggplant  spinach, tomatoes, and (you guessed it) cheese.

And of course, dessert is not optional on Valentines Day. Lily Mae’s Chocolate Guinness Cake and Maple Bacon Cake are desserts that are made impress at all times.

Dessert Platter

In Gastown’s colourful food scene, Lily Mae’s stands out for its mouthwatering homestyle European dishes. That and this restaurant’s amazing vintage decor makes it a very interesting spot to grab dinner on a special day. What’s even better is that the food here is very reasonably priced – you can get an outstanding Valentines’ dinner here without having to break the bank. In fact, they even have special menus from time to time, all of which is listed on their website.

Until next time, and Happy Valentines Day!

12 Powell Street, Vancouver BC

Phone Number:
(604) 558-2599


Twitter: @LilyMaesCafe


Pictures and Article by: Justin Leigh (@jsleigh14). Visit his blog: the WALK&TALK.