Bells may be jingling in the streets, and you might be sweating looking at your gift list, but it’s not just the holidays that are on the horizon. It’s also oyster o’clock in Canada, and Vancouver is perfectly situated for a delicious seafood season on the West Coast.
Having spawned over the summer, oysters are fresh and ready to be eaten now, making December the prime time to slip on down to one of Vancouver’s seafood spots like Harbour Oyster and Bar for a refined meal of class, delicacy, and saving as much money as possible before you eventually make that trip to the mall, wallet a-blazing.
All of the festivities left in 2019 might have you pulling your collar at the idea of a fancy dinner, but there are some restaurants in the city that are good for a day out on a dime. Harbour Oyster and Bar is one of the most centrally located, and it has a ‘round-the-clock happy hour that’ll leave the whole party happy.
Why wait for 5 o’clock when you can skip the after-work rush and enjoy a cheap cocktail with brunch, lunch, or (dare we say) breakfast? You can go whenever you want, fresh oysters and cheap drinks galore.
Available from 11 am to 5 pm every day of the week, happy hour deals include $1.50 oysters, $6 beer, $6.50 glasses of house wine, as well as a selection of their seafood appetizers, including lobster poutine, mussels, clams, and prawns. You can also swing by from 9 pm to close to enjoy late-night happy hour, which features a drink menu of $5 beer, $5 highballs, and $4 shots of Jameson.
If you end up indulging a little too much and need a pick-me-up the next day, don’t worry. Harbour does all-day brunch, too. You could be eating fried oysters and waffles, or shrimp toast, or a steak breakfast sandwich, day or night, maybe even with a Dark and Stormy or two in hand. Why even leave? Seriously.
If oysters aren’t your thing, there are lots of other options to choose from on the menu as well. Crab, prawns, scallops, lobster — you name it. Ask for anything under the sea and you’ll probably be able to get something close to it to your table.
Those of you thinking, “Fish are friends, not food,” can rest easy. Vegetarians can feast on shishito peppers with lemon mayo, a french omelet, or a basket of fries, so no one has to go hungry.
Located in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood, Harbour is right in the heart of a community that’s down to earth but still bustling. Nearby to Little Italy, colourful thrifts, and plenty of book and coffee shops, it’s easy to make a whole day out of a visit to the Drive. Though, really, you may just want to post up here for the majority of it.
The food may be classy, but the place is laid back. Recently made over and ready to host both company parties and casual visits by groups, Harbour can hold up to 40 people. It’s supremely — not to overuse the word — cozy.
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Check out their site now to drool over their happy hour menu, peruse their all-day brunch menu, or book your holiday party while you still can.
Address: 1408 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Hours: 11 am to midnight, Sunday to Thursday; 11 am to 1 am, Friday to Saturday