All hail (the) Caesar! Sip this tasty cocktail in Vancouver

Any Canadian city worth its (celery) salt needs to boast at least a few bars with killer Caesars. The official cocktail of Canada – while often shocking to visitors – is patriotism in a glass. These places crank up the heat with their original takes on the country’s favourite hangover cure. [Photo of Media courtesy of Barry Calhoun Photography]

Rodney's Oyster House

405-1228 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6L2

Walking into this lively Yaletown oyster bar, you’re instantly transported to an east coast seafood shack. The blue and white nautical theme, thick ropes draped everywhere, raucous waiters and early 90s soundtrack make for a great night. Start it off right with their signature Caesar. Called the “Zydeco Stew,” their blend is the right level of spice and comes in a 16-oz glass topped with a prawn. The perfect appetizer as you slurp back your dozen oysters and befriend the bartender.

Bayside Lounge

1755 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5

Surprisingly, for its prime location overlooking English Bay on the corner of Denman and Davie Streets, the Bayside Lounge, with its sunken bar and curved bank of windows, remains a true hidden gem. This 70s-style hotel bar serves up a mean Caesar, complete with all the garnishes you could ask for: green olive, pepperoncino, lemon wedge and a pickled bean. Order one just before sunset and your evening’s looking up.


1298 Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1S6

What’s Sunday brunch without a little hair of the dog? Now that Yolk’s has a permanent location on East Hastings (their food truck is still going strong, not to worry), it means they have a liquor licence, too. Which is good news for anyone craving a delicious hangover cure. Starting with bacon-infused vodka from nearby distillery Odd Society Spirits, the drink jolts the senses with freshly grated horseradish and refreshes with celery shrub. Consider those cobwebs instantly cleared.

Homer St Cafe & Bar

898 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5

This elegant bistro on the edge of Yaletown is also a rotisserie, so it’s no wonder that the vodka in their Caesar (served only at brunch) is infused with chicken and mixed with gravy. Sounds strange, perhaps, but the savoury addition makes the already-blurry line between drink and meal even more so. When your biggest weekend decisions are whether you should forego the meal-in-a-glass for a side of pork belly, then life is pretty good. Hint: don’t forego the drink.

Café Medina

780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4

Okay okay, it might not technically qualify as a classic Canadian Caesar, but think of Medina’s Moroccan Maria as an exotic cousin. A daytime cocktail with plenty of kick, the savoury bevvy features fresh tomato juice, celery bitters, lime, and house spices – plus a splash of Reposado tequila to make it extra potent – all garnished with pickles and a smoked salt, paprika and sumac rim. The tangy tipple makes a great warm-up before digging in to Medina’s renowned menu of slow-cooked stews and light and fluffy Liege waffles.

Edible Canada at the Market

1596 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S2

Indecision is bound to strike when faced with Edible Canada’s choice of three house Caesars. At this farm-to-table Granville Island restaurant, choose either the Maple Bacon, with a candied bacon strip; the Farmhouse, made with veal stock and garnished with jerky; or the Woodland Mary, splashed with mushroom jus and topped with honey pickled mushrooms. Or heck, try all three. Pick up a bottle of Walter’s Caesar Mix at their store and continue the party at home.

LOCAL Public Eatery Kitsilano

2210 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1B5

The patio in Kitsilano to see and be seen, join the beautiful people in their hoodies and face-hiding sunnies overlooking the beach on any given weekend as you and your friends try to reconstruct what happened last night. Dig through foggy memories over a glass boot – the pub’s signature stemware – of their El Caesar; a straight-up cocktail garnished with a pepperoni stick. Order a plate of nachos for the table and start your penance on Monday.

Score On Davie

1262 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1N3

No list about Caesars in Vancouver would be complete without a shout-out to this Davie Street bar. Adorned with towers of fried-food garnishes, these over-the-top Caesars resemble an all-you-can-eat buffet. An aptly named Grilled Chaesar is garnished with a grilled cheese sandwich, onion rings and deep-fried pickle, while the seafood-inspired Seasar is topped with skewers of tempura prawns and bacon-wrapped scallops. And then there’s the Checkmate: a monstrous $60 Caesar that demands to be shared. Order, if you dare, and challenge yourself to devour a mountain of pub grub that includes a burger, wings, a hotdog, a brownie and more.

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No longer just the domain of bachelorette parties and late-night shots, tequila has been elevated to the sophisticated liquor it should be. With high-end, artisanal varieties finding their way to bars and into cocktails across Vancouver, you’ll see why this is the nectar of the Aztec gods.
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