No Bun City? Where to Find A Dang Hot Dog in Vancouver

It’s really hard to find a dedicated hot dog restaurant in Vancouver. Show a weenie some support and go order one at any of these locations.

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Image by Andrea Hirji

No fun city? More like no bun city.

It’s really hard to find a dedicated hot dog restaurant in Vancouver. You might Google around and think, “Oh! Dougie Dog looks good!” Wrong. It’s closed.

Then you’re like, hey, what’s this other one about? Nope, it’s closed too.

Oh, MADdogs Gourmet Hot Dogs looks awesome, and it’s still in business! But wait, it’s in Vancouver, WASHINGTON. Sad.

By this time, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey, I live in an urban centre. Why aren’t there any hot dogs in this DANG city?” Well, it seems like our favourite little wieners just can’t survive on their own in Vancouver’s hip food scene.

Other than at What’s Up? Hot Dog, the only franks in YVR seem to exist as refugees on the menus of poutineries, pubs and food trucks. With that said, show a weenie some support and go order one at any of these locations.

Restaurants

Frenchie’s

If Frenchie is there when you arrive at his restaurant, he may regale you with tales about upcoming menu items or his family back in Montreal. He’ll also advise you to upgrade your $3 steamed dog (a steamie) into either the Le Junior combo (a steamie with fries) or the Le Senior combo (which comes with poutine instead of frites!). Local and French beers are available at this diner found at the intersection of Main and Kingsway.

What’s Up? Hot Dog!

This hip spot in Hastings-Sunrise is the last refuge for hot dogs in our fair city. Gourmet dogs include the Hanzai (topped with pickled ginger, sriracha sauce, wasabi mayo, and tempura crunch) and Matt and She’s (slathered with mac n’ cheese, bacon bits, and green onion). Bring some coins to challenge your friends at pinball (the Star Trek machine is super fun!) and check out their happy hour with $3 Lonetree, PBR, and highballs from 3-6pm.

Bestie

Bestie describes itself as “a friendly little sausage and beer parlour in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown.” Now, these aren’t your average hot dogs — they’re delectable turkey, bison and pork sausages served on a bed of sauerkraut or plate of fries. Not the wurst, eh? The best time of day to stop by is during their daily happy hour from 3-5pm, when a currywurst and mug of beer combo is just $10.

Counters

Jack’s Place

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I only recently learned that Army and Navy in Gastown has a small food counter operating out of the back corner of the store. Called Jack’s Place, it serves simple food like grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and small hot dogs. The hot dogs are no different than the ones you’d make at home, but for $1.75 each, Jack’s Place is a great place to grab a bite on the go.

Costco

Yeah, we said it. But we had to, because Costco hot dogs are filling, delicious and come with chopped onions and hot peppers on top of the usual condiments. The Costco by Roger’s Arena in downtown Vancouver serves up quarter-pound franks with a fountain drink, all for $1.50 — so, what are you waiting for?

Food Trucks and Carts

Japadog

This food cart’s influence extends way beyond Vancouver. Although it originated here, Japadog now has carts in Los Angeles and at the Santa Monica Pier. Find any of the seven carts around the city and experience their East-meets-West creations; the Terimayo, with teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed is a crowd favourite!

The Dog House

This truck is quintessentially UBC, with themed dogs like the Thunder Dog, which comes with bacon, caramelized onions, and cheese, or the Wreck Beach frankfurter. The Dog House can be found cruising along UBC streets from Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm, but can also be booked for special events and catering.

Van Hot Dog

The most natural way to eat a hot dog is to purchase one from a street vendor and chow down as you watch the cars and people pass by. Van Hot Dog, which operates on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, serves up the classic treat with fresh, traditional toppings — in the end, isn’t that what you were looking for all along?

Honourable mention goes to Davie dog spots La Belle Patate and Fritz European Fry House.

To show your support for hot dogs in our city or to let us know YOUR favourite spot to grab a weenie, share this post with the hashtag #nobuncity and tag us at @vanhappyhours (Insta) or @yvrhappyhours (Twitter).

Late Night Happy Hours in Downtown Vancouver

Happy hour diehards rejoice, because late night happy hour is real and it’s taking over downtown Vancouver. The area is home to upscale restaurants, casual pubs, and headbanging clubs, so there’s certainly something for everyone. And while the sun might set around 9pm or so in the summer, your night doesn’t have to end with it.

Swing by after a late night at the office or a dinner downtown (or try to line up your happy hours back to back so you can indulge all night long — we won’t judge).

Bin 941 Tapas Parlour

This quirky spot has been a Davie Village landmark for the last 17 years. Specializing in New York-style tapas (“tapatizers”) and unique wines, Bin 941 Tapas Parlour describes itself as “stylishly low-key” and “globally inspired”. Stop in from 11 to close to enjoy $4 draft beers, $6 wine, $4 shots, $6 highballs ($8 for a double), and select appies from $9-$14.

Cactus Club Café (Bentall)

We’ve all been to Cactus before for a birthday, night out on the town or lunch with coworkers. It kind of does it all, and that includes late night happy hour. Sip on $4 Longboard Lager and Gypsy Tears, $6 Monvin wine, $4 sunset soda, or $5 bellini.

JOEY (Bentall and Burrard)

This Vancouver chain is popular with the business crowd for a reason. JOEY is a nice enough spot to entertain a client, but relaxed enough to help you unwind with a beer among coworkers after a long day. Both locations host happy hour from 9 to close, Sunday through Thursday, where you can try $4 beer, $5 wine, $6 gin and tonic, and $6 summer sangria. Select appies like tuna tacos and sushi cones are just $3.50.

Moxie’s Grill & Bar

This spot has fully embraced happy hour. You can enjoy 23 ounces of beer for just $7 (23 ounces, people!), $6 vodka highballs, and an array of cheap snacks like street tacos, chipotle chips, and dry ribs. For summer, Moxie’s has added housemade lemonade to the late night menu, too.

Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar

Those who know me know that OJ’s is one of my favourite spots in town. This casual sports bar has an amazing happy hour: $3.75 Original Joe’s Draught, $1 off wine, $3.25 well highballs, and 50% off a whole host of appies (Dragon boats! Poutine! Mussels!). You can basically get a full meal and a drink for under $10. Their early happy hour ends at 6pm but starts up again from 9pm to close.

YEW seafood + bar

YEW’s signature reverse happy hour starts at 8pm and runs ‘til 11pm, giving you plenty of time to experience this premier seafood restaurant (which you might not otherwise be able to afford). Five new dishes, all priced at $10, have been concocted for late night guests, and specially crafted cocktails are also $10 each.

Feature Image: Michael Discenza

7 (But Kinda 11) Happy Hours by the Water

Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink. I guess that’s what happy hour is for, right? To sate your thirst for a refreshing beverage on a hot summer’s day, as well as your appetite for stunning waterfront views.

Living in Vancouver, we’re blessed to be surrounded by the ocean on almost all sides. There are many fine restaurants and casual brew pubs that dot our city’s shores, some of which offer fresh seafood dishes that highlight our proximity to the sea. Stop for a beer by the bay and drink in the incredible views of the water.

1. Cactus Club Cafe (Coal Harbour and English Bay)

Several of the establishments on this list have not one, but two seaside locations with happy hours. Stop by Cactus Club Cafe in Coal Harbour after a long day at the office, or pedal over to their English Bay location to sip and watch the sunset over the water. Both locations offer $4 Longboard Lager and Gypsy Tears, $6 movin wine, $4 sunset soda, and $5 bellinis from 3-6pm, but only the English Bay location has late night happy hour from 9pm to close.

2. Mahony & Sons (Coal Harbour and Stamps Landing)

Whether you choose to watch the tankers and seaplanes in Burrard Inlet or the stand-up paddleboarders in False Creek, Mahony & Sons is the perfect seaside destination. Happy hour features include local pints, craft bottles, highballs, and select shots available from 3-6pm Monday to Friday.

3. TAPshack (Burrard Bridge and Coal Harbour)

Nestled under the Burrard Bridge, TAPshack boasts picture perfect views of False Creek from its patio. Swing by either location (its sister establishment sits in Coal Harbour) from 3-6pm to enjoy $4.50 beer, $5 wine, $4 highballs, and select appies such as Santa Fe chicken tacos and two for one popcorn.

4. Tap & Barrel (Olympic Village)

Meandering around the False Creek seawall, thirsty Vancouverites can find relief at Tap & Barrel in Olympic Village. This is one of the best patios in the city; it’s full of life, especially after work when the dragon boats and kayakers race through the water. Classic happy hour offerings include $5 beer, $6 wine, and $4 highballs from 3-6pm.

5. The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

At Sandbar, they don’t call it happy hour. They call it #musselmania, and for good reason. Enjoy fresh mussels and a pint of Granville Island Beer in the lounge for just $15, available Monday to Friday from 3-6pm. Once you’ve had your fill, we recommend grabbing a bottle of vino and sitting on the dock as day turns to dusk over the Burrard Street Bridge.

6. The Boathouse (Kitsilano and English Bay)

The Boathouse has operated seven incredible waterfront locations, making it a must for our list. This upscale dining spot offers a whole menu of happy hour appies, including ahi tuna tacos, calamari for one, and coconut shrimp. Also: $5 draft beer, $6 wine, $5 spirits, $7 cocktails, and select oysters from $1.69-$2.59. It’s a full menu all on its own, so get there right at 3 and don’t budge until happy hour ends at 6pm.

7. Ten Ten Tapas

Vancouver’s waterfront is almost more beautiful at night than it is in the daytime. Night owls can stop for late night happy hour (10-midnight) at Ten Ten Tapas, a gorgeous seafood restaurant and jazz spot under the Burrard Bridge. Reservations are recommended, and all drink and food specials are only $5.

Feature Image: Scott Webb

 

Where to Find Cheap Beers for Under $5: Downtown Vancouver

For frequenters of Vancouver’s downtown core, here are the cheapest happy hour beers you can find.

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Sure, sometimes you go to happy hour to try something new, elevate your palate, or expand your boundaries. But a lot of the time, you go to happy hour looking for the quickest, dirtiest, cheapest beer you can possible find. Because really, what you’re needing after a long day at the office is the sweet satisfaction of cheap alcohol. For frequenters of Vancouver’s downtown core, here are the cheapest happy hour beers you can find.

Bin 941 Tapas Parlour

This quirky hole in the wall packs big French flavours into a small dining room. Let them lure you in between 5 and 6:30pm for $4 draft beers.

Butcher and Bullock

This darkened, lush pub atmosphere boasts a rich mahogany bar and pool tables, making it popular with the financial district’s after-work crew. Beers are $4 from 3 to 6pm.

Cactus Club Cafe (Coal Harbour)

The flagship location of the casual dining giant has $4 Longboard Lager and $4 Gypsy Tears from 3 to 6pm. Nab a spot on the patio to enjoy views of landing float planes and the Stanley Park seawall with your drink.

The Greedy Pig

Despite the name, this downtown eatery’s specials are fairly generous. From Tuesday to Friday, you can get $4 sleeves from 3 to 6pm.

Hapa Izakaya

Izakayas are a type of informal Japanese gastropub, and Hapa delivers on complex Japanese flavours with a casual feel. Plus, beers are $4 from 3 to 5:30pm.

JOEY Bentall

Check out JOEY’s Bentall location for a slick patio and a fusion of Eastern and Western cuisines throughout the menu. From 3 to 6pm, beers are $4.

JOEY Burrard

A few blocks up from the Bentall location is JOEY Burrard, making the upscale casual chain one of the most accessible in the area. Just a few steps off Robson and next door to YYoga, JOEY Burrard is great for post-shopping and post-vinyasa imbibing. Beers are $4 from 3 to 6pm and 9pm to close on Sunday through Thursday.

Library Square Public House

Cruising past the downtown branch of Vancouver Public Library between 3 and 6pm? Stop by Donnelly Group’s Library Square for a chill patio and $4 beers.  

Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar

Original Joe’s Robson location is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Vancouver’s downtown shopping neighbourhood, making it a perfect choice after hitting the boutiques. Check out their 3 to 6pm happy hour for $3.75 Original Joe’s Draught — one of the best beer deals in the city.

Yagger’s Downtown Restaurant & Sports Bar

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Channel the ghost of Cinco de Mayo’s past during Yagger’s 4 to 6pm happy hour: Dos Equis are on special for $3.50, and draft beers are $4.75. In terms of vibe, expect a relaxed sports bar with plenty of comfort food on hand.

Vancouver’s downtown core is dense and always bustling, but there are still plenty of quiet oases where you can enjoy a relaxing drink. Head to the closest of these spots next time you’re needing a beer and craving the sweet satisfaction of paying less for it.

Feature Image: Lance Anderson