Vancouver restaurants have embraced happy hour, offering affordable high-quality bites and drinks while facilitating a convivial atmosphere.
Because many of the finest restaurants in the city offer happy hour menus, you can sample their food and drink without having to splurge on an elaborate dinner. It’s a low key, inviting, and delicious way to while away a couple hours before your evening plans.
Here are 10 spots to put on your happy hour list:
Vancouver’s beloved Jules Bistro in Gastown has transformed into a charming Parisian wine bar (bar à vin), making it the ideal spot for Happy Hour (2:30pm to 5:30pm). While some of their regular menu items, such as the chicken liver mousse with grape chutney and toasts, would be lovely, they also have Happy Hour specials, which range from their charcuterie platter ($14) to a decadent and earthy morel poutine ($14). Wine selections ($7 per 5oz glass or $35 per bottle) include Famille Perrin Luberon Blanc and Ventoux Rouge. The Happy Hour is intimate, welcoming, and delightfully French.
Sister restaurant to Ophelia in Olympic Village (which also has a fantastic Happy Hour menu), Monarca Cocina Mexicana is devoted to honouring chef Francisco Higareda’s father. The menu draws upon his culinary training in Mexico City and Argentina, as well as work at various Michelin-star restaurants in Europe. The Happy Hour menu (Mon-Tues 4pm to 5:30pm; Wed-Sun 3pm to 5:30pm) evidences a refined confident take on Mexican cuisine, while also a willingness to have fun while doing so. Dishes include a AAA beef ribeye taco ($9 each) with grilled cheese, avocado, onion, cilantro, salsa verde, and salsa roja; stewed pinto beans ($7.75) with onion, garlic, bacon, lime, and jalapeño; and an ahi tuna tostada ($7.25) with serrano aioli, salsa macha, and leek. Pair your snacks with a margarita ($8.75), house cerveza (Red Truck Beer Company, $5.75), or a glass of Red Rooster 2020 Pinot Gris or Merlot ($7.50 for 5 oz).
Chef Behshad Zolnasr brings a lot of talent and passion to C|Prime, found in the Century Plaza Hotel. Word is increasingly getting out about his attention to sourcing for his prime cuts (e.g., 63 Acre Farms in BC; Snake River in Idaho) as well as his fresh house-made pasta (the Dungeness crab tortellini is particularly recommended). Happy Hour (4pm to 6pm) serves favourites such as calamari with tarragon aioli ($15), fried chicken thigh with maple sriracha ($12), and confit pork belly with truffle honey ($14). House red and wine wines ($6), Red Truck lager, ($5), and a couple classic cocktails, such as an Old Fashioned ($12), round out the Happy Hour offerings.
Fiorino, Italian Street Food
Located in Chinatown, Fiorino offers Aperitivo (3pm-6pm), Italian Happy Hour, with street food snacks inspired by Florence, owner Giovanni Mascagni’s home town. Head chef Joshua Horrocks crafts classic dishes in a flavourful and familiar-yet-playful way. The happy menu includes marinated olives ($5); fritto misto ($18), semolina-battered local seafood with Calabrian chili mayo, and lemon; their schiacciata sliders ($12), such as one with pistachio mortadella and pistachio pesto, and fior di latte; and seasonal arancini ($10), such as a version with taleggio and porcini mushrooms. House wine is $1 per oz (3oz, 6oz, or 16 oz carafe). Other drink options include negroni classico ($9), draught beer ($6), and bottles of prosecco ($35).
Stock & Supply
Located in the Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites, Stock & Supply is an under-the-radar gem for drinks and well-crafted bites. Their Happy Hour (3pm to 6pm, 9pm to 11pm) features their impressive boards, which come laden with all sorts of goodies that are made for sharing. For example, the S&S Classic ($32) arrives with chili lime chicken wings with jerk aioli, truffle fries with parmesan and remoulade, roasted lemon honey Brussels sprouts with house bacon, and poutine croquettes with pepper pan gravy. Other board options include the Mezze, and the Cheese and Charcuterie. Besides house wine ($7 for 5 oz) and sangria ($9 for 5 oz), Happy Hour features a good selection of draft beer ($7 for 16oz), including Parallel 49’s Hazy IPA and Bomber Brewing’s Pilsner.
Tableau Bar Bistro
Tableau has developed a reputation for its French bistro interpretation of Happy Hour (2:30pm to 5:30pm). The menu also showcases fresh local ingredients, giving it a West Coast flavour. Particularly popular is Le Burger ($18), which features a 6oz patty, La Sauvagine cheese, bacon, caramelized onion, Dijon, and frites but also recommended are their steak tartare ($17) with pommes gaufrettes, and Pemberton Meadows mushrooms on toast ($17). All Tableau cocktails, such as the Lavender 75 ($16) are $2 off, and house bubbles, white, rose, and red are $7 a glass.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Always a refined choice, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar offers a lovely happy hour menu (3pm to 5pm), with expertly crafted comfort food. In addition to chowder ($13) with fennel pollen, clams, and potato, other items range from house-made meatballs ($15) marinara with mozzarella and grilled focaccia to crispy chicken wings ($13) with fish sauce caramel, sambal chili, and pickled vegetables. And of course, freshly shucked oysters ($2 each) with lemon and shallot mignonette are a must. Get refreshed with their daily mule made with fresh lime and ginger beer ($9) or order a glass of Gancia sparkling rosé ($8 for 5 oz). Draught and highball selections also available.
Hawksworth Restaurant offers Cocktail Hour (4pm to 6pm) in their Hawksworth Bar and Cocktail Lounge. A good deal is the Hawksworth classic burger ($22), which comes with either an old fashioned cocktail or a Parallel 49 craft lager. A half dozen oysters ($12) is served with apple granita and pickled chili, while the rest of the menu reinvents familiar dishes, such as baby back ribs ($12) with garlic sesame glaze, roasted peanuts, and green onion and the KFC ($12), Korean fried cauliflower with sesame and cilantro. Featured cocktails ($7) include classics such as negroni and aperol spritz. Or, order a glass ($10) of the Wave Series by Carmen Sauvignon Blanc or the Laroche Syrah-Grenache Wine.
Riley’s Fish & Steak
The Glowbal Restaurant Group establishments (e.g., Glowbal, Coast, Italian Kitchen, and Black + Blue) are known for their Happy Hours, and their newest restaurant, Riley’s Fish & Steak, is no different. Their Happy Hour (2:30pm to 5pm) menu showcases fresh seafood, like West Coast oysters ($2 each, $22 for a dozen) and a tiger prawn cocktail ($14). Meanwhile, steamed mussels and/or clams come three different ways ($19), such as with chorizo, fennel, cherry tomatoes, and saffron broth. Other tempting dishes include wagyu beef carpaccio ($16), goat’s cheese fondue with toasted brioche ($12), and crispy Brussels sprouts ($9).
Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
Fresh seafood is the very appealing draw here. Fanny Bay Oyster Bar prides itself on the sustainability of the seafood they serve, with the shellfish coming from their farms in B.C. and Washington State. Happy Hour (2pm to 6pm) gives you a wide selection of seafood dishes, including tuna tartare ($14) with maple-soy glaze, cucumber, avocado, sesame, and wonton crisps; sablefish collars ($14) with peppadew purée, shishito peppers, soy, and cilantro; and mussels and/or clams ($20) with either classic white wine broth or spicy tomato-fennel sauce. And of course, there are featured oysters ($2 each) and featured premium oysters ($2.75 each). Drink options range from house wines ($8 for 6oz) to “Inspiration” sparkling sake ($30 for a bottle). Oh, and don’t forget to order a Fanny Bay shooter with whisky, housemade Caesar mix, and a fresh oyster ($7).
By Tara Lee
Source Inside Vancouver