WildTale Coastal Grill - 1079 Mainland Street, Vancouver
With an expansive patio laying Yaletown at your feet, WildTale Coastal Grill is definitely a happy hour draw. Comfy seats, delicious cocktails and a grand perch for people watching. This is summertime grazing at its best. And in rainier months, head inside to the artfully appointed restaurant for a few cosy hours huddled around plates of Parmesan fries. Or, try a Pimm's & Ginger cocktail with the steamed PEI mussels. You'll never leave.
Highlights: $6-$7 cocktails; $5-$7 wine; $6 select appetizers including Humboldt squid with spicy dill yogurt, AAA Beef Carpaccio with grainy mustard aioli, and halibut poppers with pickle and dill dipping sauce.
Happy hours: Daily, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; 9 p.m. to closing
Settle into a comfy nook in one of The Flying Pig's three locations and sink into hours of conversation with good friends over a glass of wine and plates of comfort food. Start with a house wine paired with "TFP Cured Meats," a trio of meats and spicy olives and see what follows.
Highlights: $4.75 house white and red wines and TFP (The Flying Pig) lager (brewed especially for The Flying Pig by Russell Brewing). $6 selected appetizers including crispy salmon cakes, truffled jumbo macaroni and beef carpaccio.
Main Street's beloved Cascade Room is not only now open for lunch but has some of the best happy hour deals in town. Where else can you get a mini burger and a beer for $5? Add that to the 100 other reasons why we love The Cascade.
Highlights: $6 select cocktails; $4 house red/white/prosecco; $2.50 Main Street Beers - 10 oz. (half pint); $5 20 oz.(pint). Selected happy hour fare includes $6 for 1/2 lb wings, $8 pork belly sliders, $8 chickpea fritters and $4 fried green beans.
This cozy space by the Seawall is already well loved for its amazing wines by the glass and small plates program.
Happy Hour at The Wine Bar is a natural extension for them and provides even greater value to its already well-priced menu. Must tries: their trio of smoked fish and the 1/2 baguette with Jack Daniels butter (really).
Chef Chris Whittaker's new, second West End restaurant already feels like a well-established, modern neighbourhood snug. Cosy yet refined, Timber's menu reads like a roadmap of Canadian comfort food—but, good-for-you comfort food. Everything still reflects Chef Whittaker's unyielding standards for fresh, quality ingredients. Even the chips are handmade and seasoned from in-house dehydrated herbs, spices and sauces.
Highlights: $4 old-style pilsner and 50% off snacks
We loved them in Tofino, we loved them on the street in Vancouver and now we can love them during happy hour. We're talking tacos, of course. During Tacofino's happy hour, fish and pork tacos are two for $10. Sure, there are other food and drink specials too, but it's all about the fish tacos...
Highlights: $8 classic cocktails, $7 daily feature cocktail, $5 beer on tap and $5 glasses of wine. $6 to $11 for shared plates such as their quest fundido, chili salt wings and nachos
Tucked inside the award-winning Loden Hotel, Tableau is a neighbourhood favourite for modern French-inspired comfort food. Their happy hour is generous, but if you're feeling even more generous, splurge on their Bubbles & Oysters special: a glass of Möet and 6 West Coast oysters, $48.
This charming, award-winning addition to Vancouver's dining scene offers L’Apéro, their version of happy hour, inspired by the French cultural ritual of enjoying an apéritif before dinner. And if you opt for dinner, Royal Dinette offers a housemade pasta and wine pairing feature for $22 during L'Apéro.
Highlights: $6 classic apéritifs including americano, pastis et l'eau, aperol spritz and kir royal. Assorted bar bites, including fresh shucked oysters ($1.50), croquettes ($8) and tartare toast ($4.50)
Happy hours: Monday to Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Nestled against the Seawall, any seat at Provence (inside or out on the patio) fetches you a lovely view of the Quayside Marina and False Creek. With the largest selection of wines by the glass in western Canada (145!), you know their happy hour is going to be wine-centric... especially when they call it "Tappy" Hour. Proof: they offer 48 wines on tap during Tappy Hour.
Highlights: $5 glass of wine, $5 to $6 small plate
The ultimate happy hour guide to Vancouver wouldn't be complete without a Japanese option. At Yaletown's bustling Minami, you can start nice and early to help spread out the food. Because once you have a taste, snacks will turn into dinner.
Market by Jean Georges - 1115 Alberni Street, 3rd floor, Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
Always the consummate host, Market by Jean-Georges isn't satisfied with just one happy hour. Oh no, that won't do.
Come by mid-afternoon for the Early Birds program to enjoy some beautifully crafted cocktails and small bites for an early start to your socialising. But if you blossom after dark, their Night Owls program will take care of you with the same great offers aimed for a later crowd.
The Keg - Yaletown, 1011 Mainland Street; Granville Island, 1499 Anderson Street; and Downtown, 1121 Alberni Street
This is the kind of place everyone has a story about; we grew up with The Keg, and The Keg is all grown up now too with happy hour menus that mix classic favourites with new standards. While the menus and hours differ at each location, you'll always find complimentary fresh house-made sea salt chips in the lounge.
Highlights: Menus will vary by location, though a few Keg standards are available at all three, including their classic Caesar salad, mushrooms Neptune and tuna tacos
Happy hours: Granville Island: Monday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Yaletown: Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Downtown: Monday to Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Already a beloved fixture on Vancouver's restaurant scene, L'Abattoir's happy hour program, not surprisingly, has resulted in daily lineups outside its doors. Located on the site of Vancouver's first jailhouse, the restaurant retains many historical architectural elements (including the original brick wall), complemented by a contemporary aesthetic. The French-inspired West Coast cuisine and craft cocktails are perfectly at home in this refined yet unpretentious space.
Highlights: $5 beer, $6 glasses of wines, $7 cocktails and 50% off appetizers and sharing plates
Juniper definitely ups the cool factor to this corner of Chinatown. They feature rotating cocktails on tap (their Negroni—sogood) and offer a selection of wood boards that include an all-seafood charcuterie and a B.C. cheese sampler.
Highlights: $5 beer and cider on tap, $7 wine and cocktails on tap.
Happy hour in Vancouver wouldn't be complete without the iconic Joe Fortes. Come early to snag a table on their beautiful garden patio during summer months, while you nibble and sip your way through their extensive happy hour menu.
Highlights: $5 glass of wine, highballs and Canadian Molson beer as well as over a dozen small plates including (of course) buck-a-shuck fresh, local oysters
With an established strong brunch following already, the Homer St Cafe now tempts patrons to come in past midday. Sure, their maple chicken and bacon cobbler is a fan favourite, but try an afternoon treat like their chewy peanut butter cookie with nutella cream (gluten-free) for $5 or their limited time summer combo of burger and a Budweiser for $12.
Highlights: $5 snacks and desserts, house wine, wishbone lager and highballs
We all know and love this place for brunch, so it's only fitting that Forage's happy hour is for brunchers. Their "Hair of the Dog" program is the perfect transition to ease into a new day after a fabulous night. Eat, drink and be hairy.
Highlights: $12 for a classic benny and a Caesar, mimosa or draught of craft
Happy hour: Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Sometimes, 5 o’clock feels too far away. That's when Medina's mid-afternoon "golden hour" comes to the rescue. Their "enlightened" libations feature ingredients like juniper and black tea syrup, yuzu citrus juice and fresh strawberries. They're practically health tonics.
Highlights: $7 cocktails including the Samanyolu (gin, Fernet Branca, strawberries, juniper + black tea syrup, lime juice, egg white, preserved olive dust), and Agadir Sour (triple-aged bourbon, candied ginger, lemon juice, spiced Moondog bitters, red wine float). $5 local draught beer
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar - 845 Burrard Street
This beautifully renovated space is your go-to for oysters, especially during happy hour when they're a buck a shuck. Go back to Boulevard often as varieties on offer are seasonal; but really, their main role is as a carrier for that amazing, fresh horseradish.
Highlights: $6 Arrowleaf wine, $5 Stanley Park beer, and $5 Moscow Mules and Negronis. $5-10 small plates including their octopus ceviche, crispy chicken wings and house-smoked salmon pâté
The Belgard Kitchen - The Settlement Building, 55 Dunlevy Avenue
If ever there was a temptation to head into the Downtown Eastside, it's happy hour at the Belgard Kitchen. This airy industrial space is warmed by reclaimed lumber—perfect for hanging out mid-afternoon snacking on the ruby red beet dip and avocado hummus.
This West End gem has freshened up its look and is serving up a happy hour menu full of the same fresh, local West Coast ingredients that grace its full-service menus. With a killer view overlooking English Bay, you'll be tempted to turn one or two cocktails into dinner into a sunset toast at Beach Bay Cafe.
Highlights: $5 beer, wine and select highballs. Light bites including $2 buck-a-shuck oysters, hamachi crudo ($10) and updated classics such as the chicken burger with marinated chicken, onion jam and fries ($15)
One of Canada's best new restaurants is in our own backyard and it has a breathtaking patio view to boot. Ancora is definitely best enjoyed al fresco, so coming early to catch happy hour and getting ahead of the dinner crowd is definitely a strategic move.
Highlights: $2 buck-a-shuck oysters, $6 glasses of wine and specially priced cocktails including the Japanese Tourist (sake, dubbonet, chartreuse, cynar) and the Latin Sling (rum, orange curacao, grapefruit & citrus juices, soda)
Need to wind down? Grab some friends and head over to these top restaurants for the best happy hour specials
Vancouver, now that our initial giddiness is over, it's time to get serious about happy hour and ask the hard questions: Where? When?
Happy hour is still a relatively new concept for us, so let us guide you through 22 of Vancouver's best offerings*, including one for brunch, one that actually happens twice in the same day, and the ones that start the earliest/end the latest/last the longest.
It's all here. Click through and let the happiness begin...
*Please note that happy hour deals can change. Check current menus on each restaurant's website for the most updated information.
Catherine is a lifestyle writer, specializing in travel, style, food and beauty. You can read more of her work in WestWorld, Real Weddings, AsiaSpa, Darpan, Wine Enthusiast and others. Follow her on social (Instagram, Snapchat & Twitter) @TSEwords.