Hapa Izakaya

The Chefs in the Kitchen at Hapa Izakaya on Robson

The Chefs in the Kitchen at Hapa Izakaya on Robson

These days when new friends or visitors come to town and I want to show Vancouver off, I take them to Hapa Izakaya. Owned and operated by Justin Ault, it is a traditional izakaya, a sort of action-packed Japanese bistro/pub serving fancy martinis along with warm home style Japanese food – not the standard sushi fare.

Hapa Izakaya, literally meaning “leaf bistro” is the kind of place that you only know about if you’ve been fortunate enough to have been told by someone “in the know.” I was lucky enough to be introduced to Justin and Hapa Izakaya early on and have enjoyed sharing the the hot tapas-style dishes, cool salads and ice cold sake served in bamboo ever since. I highly recommend the negitoro, mackeral, garlic squid and tofu-cheese. Yum. And when the bill arrives, I predict you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how affordable the evening can be. So there you go, you’ve been told. Oh, and when you’re there, buy the kitchen a beer—it’s fun to watch.

For more about our favourite Japanese eats in Vancouver, this is a great article.

Hapa Izakaya is located at 1479 Robson Street in Vancouver. Their telephone is (604) 689-4272 and website is

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