By Wade Kinley
Stretching out along the picturesque Fraser River, it’s not hard to cozy up to good drink next to a stunning waterfront view in Richmond. These four happy hours make it even easier to while away the afternoon, plotting an escape on one of the jets overhead as they come and go from nearby Vancouver Airport, YVR.
A short hop from the airport recently ranked “best airport in North America” by SkyTrax, it’s no wonder that Cavu takes their name from old pilot jargon. “Cavu” is a term used to express the perfect conditions for flying, but it could just as well describe an ideal place to unwind after work. Happy hour here runs 3 to 6 PM, Monday to Friday, and boasts an impressive selection from Chef Alex Hancock’s signature menu. Expect your favourites–with a twist. There’s BBQ wings, sweetened with a cilantro honey, or a Baja-style calamari, kicked up by a chorizo crumble and pickled onion (both $10). Granville Island beer is on tap for $5.50 and a 6oz glass of house wine is $6. Taste buds, take flight.
“It’s all good from 3 to 6 PM!” That’s the word from The Deck Kitchen & Bar, one of Richmond’s newest additions to the incredible waterfront dining on offer along the Fraser River. Boasting Richmond’s largest deck (naturally), the views are all very good, and so is this happy hour menu. Pork belly soft tacos with a house made pepper sauce are cooled by an apple guacamole for $5, while the poke shaker combines locally caught octopus and scallops with jalapeno and tomato to keep you digging for every last morsel ($10). And if you’re not hopelessly tempted by salt and pepper baked chicken skins ($5), I don’t know how to help you. Enjoy it all, and the boats going by, with an IAG lager ($4) or house wine ($6).
One won’t tour the best of Richmond’s dining for long without making it out to Steveston, the serene fishing village known for its historic harbour and amazing sunsets. Both of which can be enjoyed in all their glory from the patio of Catch Kitchen + Bar though, admittedly, you’ll have to stay a bit past happy hour for the sunset. From 3 to 5:30 PM, you can whet your anticipation with a menu featuring the spoils of the trawlers bobbing against the docks outside. Jumbo prawns are wrapped in crisp, buttery filo for $7 and a steaming bowl of mussels and clams in white wine goes for $10. At the bar, the usual suspects are offered up, as well as Caesars and mojitos, all for $5 or less.
Head east up the Fraser River and you’ll run into Shelter Island Marina, one of BC’s largest private boat yards. You’ll find boats big and small, from pleasure crafts to fishing trawlers, up off their feet, as it were, enjoying a much needed re-fresh. And you’ll find their boaters doing the same at Tugboat Annie’s, the beloved watering hole along the water that’s been quenching thirsty sailors since 1986. Especially at happy hour, 3 to 6 PM every day, where a sleeve of lager or a highball goes for a breezy $3.75. A selection of classic pub snacks won’t sink you, either, at $6 each. Try the cauliflower bites for a lighter take on traditional wings, or the potato boats (how could you not?), packed to the gunnels with all the fixings.