Until recently, happy hour was something Victorians had to travel to Seattle to enjoy. And then, voila, on June 20, 2014, B.C. loosened up its liquor laws, enabling B.C. establishments to offer happy hour specials — sort of.
What’s the catch? There’s still a minimum price in effect — $5 for a pint of beer and $5.40 for a nine-ounce glass of wine — so we don’t see the crazy deals you do in the U.S. But we’re happy to report that many Victoria eateries are offering great food specials alongside happy hour drinks.
Here are three of our faves.
Veneto Tapa Lounge is one of our go-to spots and their “unwinder” happy hour actually inspired this post.
Every weekday from 4 to 6 p.m., Veneto offers its tapas at half price and drink specials on draught beer and wine (sadly the specials don’t extend to Veneto’s scrumptious cocktails).
You can snag thai coconut mussels and frites for $8 or sliders for $2 a pop (choice of eggplant parmesan, braised short rib and crispy pork belly) among other yummy choices. Better yet: Veneto promises not to scrimp on the portion size just because it’s happy hour.
One of Victoria’s hippest hangouts, Little Jumbo has happy hour between 5 and 6 p.m. every day.
Drink specials include a select list of four cocktails for $7 (normally $13 or $14), beer for $5 and glasses of wine for $7.
On the food front, the happy hour menu is small, but offers some solid options like the Little Jumbo burger for $9 and truffle pommes frites for $4.
Sutra at Victoria Public Market
On a recent trip to the Victoria Public Market, I was surprised to see signs for happy hour because I hadn’t even realized the venue was licensed — but it is, so hooray!
That means you can hit up Sutra’s big communal table for some happy hour treats between 4 and 6 p.m. (Sutra is part of the Vikram Vij family of restaurants.)
They offer Hoyne Pilsner for $4 for a 16-ounce glass and pitchers for $15. Or you can snag a glass of wine for $6.50 or a cocktail for $4. Plus, you’ll save $1 off a select menu — which includes Sutra’s poutine, savoury chaat, mango fries and lamb beef kebab. And on Thursdays, there’s a live DJ.
Bonus! We hear Tre Fantastico on Humboldt Street is a rad place to enjoy an early evening beer while getting some work done with the free wi-fi. Their happy hour is weekdays between 5 and 6 p.m. and they offer beers like Hoyne Pilsner and Dark Matter for $3.50 per 12-ounce glass. They also knock $1 off any glass of wine and offer up some feature snacks for $3.50 each. Update: Tre Fantastico now has happy hour on weekends as well. Huzzah!
Know of more great happy hours in Victoria? Please share below!