Just as Vancouver was coming out of the liquor-regulation dark ages in 2014 to welcome happy hours back to the city, Vancouverites and tourists alike began searching for the best boozy offerings in the city. Local restaurants and bars have been upping their game in search of thirsty patrons, competing to offer the tastiest cocktails and hoppiest brews together with yummy appetizer options.
Whether you like your cocktails on the seedy side or prefer a more refined offering, Vancouver has something for everyone. While most of the popular spots are concentrated in the downtown core, you’ll find a few watering holes outside of the city centre too.
Not to be mistaken with one of those places you go to sell your unwanted jewels, the Pawn Shop in Vancouver specializes in Tacos, Taps and Tequila. Self-described as a non-exclusive, come as you are kind of place, it welcomes everyone from all walks of life.
The happy hour menu at The Pawn Shop is served from 3-6pm Sunday to Thursday as well as from 11pm to closing.
Delicious and inventive tacos are on offer for $1.49! Examples include Al Pastor with achiote braised pork, house slaw, pineapple habanero salsa, onion and cilantro with sour cream. My mouth is watering already and I haven’t tried the Chicken Tinga or Carne Mezclada yet!
House Tequila, lager and spiked slush are available for $4.95.
Located in vibrant Chinatown, the Keefer Bar serves a variety of Asian-inspired dishes using ingredients from local markets and herbalists. With an impressive full bar, the Keefer mixes apothecary-style cocktails as well as traditional drinks.
Happy hour at the Keefer Bar is Sunday to Friday from 5-7pm, with 50% off bar snacks, Dim Sum and dessert. Different cocktail specials are available daily. My favourite is the Pineapple Daiquiri (a special for $8 on Sunday) and the $5 Jameson whisky every weeknight.
Appetizers and small plates are Asian themed. You’ll find Taiwanese cauliflower with sausage or tofu and shallot sauce, dumplings, spring rolls and Bao.
Vancouver is blessed with two locations of this great establishment – one downtown near the waterfront and another in Kitsilano, just across the bridge from Downtown.
You’ll have a loud and boisterous experience at Chewies just like you might expect in a New Orleans oyster bar, from which Chewies takes its inspiration. Chewies offers quality British Columbia oysters and New Orleans-inspired soul food.
Chewies is famous for its lively happy hour when they offer great deals on oysters (buck a shuck!), appetizers, wine and beer. Pints of British Columbia craft beer are $5, glasses of wine are $6 and American whiskey is available from $5.
My Chewies favourites include the deep-fried cauliflower and particularly the pan-fried crab cakes. Definitely some of the best I’ve ever had! Goes great with Tennessee Sour Mash whiskey!
Joe Fortes is a classic Vancouver spot! Named for a legendary Vancouver lifeguard, Joe Fortes has been serving up great Vancouver cocktails and food for more than 30 years. With a variety of seating options from soaring horseshoe oyster bar, mezzanine, or roof garden, Joe Fortes definitely has something for everyone.
Happy hour specials at Joe Fortes are available from 4-6pm every day at the bar. Highballs are offered for $6 and a sleeve of local craft beer (Granville Island pale ale or Red Truck Lager) are also $6. Nibbles such as Truffle Parmesan fries, Beef Carpaccio and steamed clams go well alongside while you people-watch at the bar. You’re sure to catch a glimpse of one of the many celebrities filming in Vancouver!
Contrary opinion notice: My foodie friend Renee says she’d rather stay home with a bag of chips than go to Joe Fortes! Your mileage may vary J
With 3 locations in the city, the Tap & Barrel is definitely a crowd favourite! The Olympic Village location has, hands down, the best patio in the city with breathtaking views of False Creek and downtown including Science World, BC Place and Rogers Arena.
Happy Hour at the Tap & Barrel is Monday to Friday from 2-4pm as well as Sunday to Thursday from 9pm – closing time. Happy hour drinks are very competitively priced at $4 for a highball and $4.50-$6 for a sleeve of beer on tap.
Happy hour food is standard bar fare with hot wings, steak frites and pizza available. While the food is fine, the primary reason to patronize the Tap & Barrel is that amazing view! There’s no better place on a warm summer day!
Located in Vancouver’s iconic Gastown area, The Pint Public house is the ideal spot for you if like sports, meat and beer!
Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 3-6pm, offering a free pound of wings with any 20oz pint of draft beer. Daily specials are pretty spectacular too with drink specials such as $5 Caesars, $4 mugs of Lucky Lager and $15 pitchers.
The slogan at The Pint Public House is “Eat. Drink. Repeat”. There’s no better place to watch NHL Hockey, NFL Football and UFC Ultimate Fighting on the big screen with your friends.
In the heart of Main Street’s hipster haven you’ll find the Cascade Room. Noted for its great ambiance with a mix of dim lighting, candles and a lumber-sexual vibe, the Cascade Room offers daily features including drink and food specials suited for those looking to have fun with their pals.
Happy hour is celebrated at the Cascade Room daily from 4-6pm with daily special cocktails for $7, selected sleeves of beer for $3 and pints and house wine for $5.
Happy hour food includes an interesting array of choices from a sassy molassy burger, chickpea fritters or mushroom poutine – a real Canadian choice!
By day, an Italian-inspired espresso bar and by night, an award-winning wine and cocktail bar, Uva has the reputation of being one of the best wine and cocktail bars in the city! Uva is Vancouver’s enclave for connoisseurs of wines and spirts in a relaxing atmosphere. It’s really a beautiful place to unwind after an eventful or stressful day with a cocktail in hand and good conversation with your friends.
Known to have one of the most creative bartenders around, Uva has a daily happy hour from 2-5pm with innovative cocktails from $8 and excellent house wine and beer for $5-$6.
Also available are a range of appetizers including Burrata with winter squash, grilled sour dough and pumpkinseeds and cheese and charcuterie plates, all reasonably priced.
Known for their deliciously creative cocktails, The Diamond is a great place for a tasty drink and small bites or a great meal.
The setting for the The Diamond is as beautiful as the cocktails they offer! Hidden away on the second floor in the heart of Gastown, the Diamond feels like an oasis in the middle of the city.
Happy hour is daily from 5:30-7:30pm, with $4 off featured cocktails. With names like Topaz Triumph, Jade Statue and Smoke & Mirrors you can’t go wrong! There is also an extensive selection of beer and wine on hand.
You can’t go wrong when you’re looking for the best happy hour in Vancouver!
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