Check out Victoria’s best happy hours

For years, BC’s liquor laws didn’t allow happy hours, but that all changed in 2014. With new minimum drink prices in place, bars and restaurants in Victoria are now free to offer deals throughout the day. Here are a few places that have really taken advantage of the changes, with food and drink specials that’ll keep you happy for longer than an hour.

The Mint

The Mint was founded by three friends, two Canadians and a man from Kathmandu, who wanted to bring a combination of Indian and West Coast favourites together in one restaurant. Happy hour is perhaps the best time to taste this distinct fusion experience. A full menu of $6 apps is featured at happy hour, with selections like their roasted garlic mango chutney and chicken pakora. Full pints are only $5 too, but the $3 mojitos are the clear winner. Happy hour takes place from 5-7pm, making The Mint a smart choice for either after-work or pre-dinner drinks.

10 Acres

611 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 1B7

10 Acres has its own farm to supply its meat, produce, honey and more. It’s just about the most direct farm-to-table experience you can have outside of planting and harvesting your own dinner. Every weekday from 4-6pm, you can enjoy a savoury pot pie made from ingredients grown on that farm, along with a pint of craft beer, for only $10. The pie options rotate with the season, but they’re all made with GMO-free, grass-fed and organic ingredients. And if you’re still thirsty after your pie, pints are only $5 for the rest of happy hour.

Pig BBQ Joint

1325 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 0B5

Happy hours aren’t just limited to drink specials. You can also grab some satisfying whole meals at places like Pig BBQ Joint. Pig slow-roasts some of the best Southern-style BBQ in the city and their favourite dishes are put on special after the dinner rush. After 8pm, you can chow down on 50-cent wings and inexpensive pulled-pork dishes, along with pints of craft beer for just $5.

Ferris' Upstairs Seafood & Oyster Bar

Upr 536 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 1K8

Ferris’ Oyster Bar’s oysters are fresh and local and you can try their signature sherry mignonette version at an astounding price come happy hour. The buck-a-shuck special that runs during happy hour is one of the best deals in the city, and white wine and Peroni are on sale for $4 each to round out the experience. Coupled with some of the best views of the harbour the city has to offer, Ferris’ happy hour needs to be experienced by everyone in Victoria, whether you’ve lived here your whole life or are just visiting.

Varsha Indian Kitchen

101-1600 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Z3

Every day from 3-6pm, Varsha serves up a happy hour special of cheap drinks and delicious comfort food with an Indian twist. All their beer is $5.00 per pint and wine is only $4.00 a glass, but it’s the food that is the real draw. Wings and hummus and naan are only $5 each. And if you’re feeling particularly hungry, the butter chicken poutine is only $11. It’s a happy hour special with just the right amount of spice.

Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar

619 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 1B7

Catalano’s specialty is cicchetti, or small plates, which are half price from 4-6pm and again after 9pm. They make the perfect little happy-hour snacks, packing powerful flavours into bite-sized packages you can pick up and eat with your hands. And thanks to happy hour, you can enjoy cicchetti with $4 wine, beer and hi-balls. Be sure to order the bacon-wrapped dates, crackling pork belly and selection of olives to start. From there, a few more drinks and a couple other cicchetti never hurt anyone.

Steamship Grill & Bar

470 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8V 1W9

Tucked inside the Heritage Steamship Terminal building, Steamship is one of the reasons that Victoria is famous for its seafood. During happy hour, you can grab buck-a-shuck oysters, along with $5 wine, beer and cocktail selections. You’ll have eight oysters to choose from, all sourced from Vancouver Island and professionally prepared by experienced chefs. Happy hour makes getting some of the best oysters in town much easier, and you get to enjoy them in a little piece of Victoria history.

Tre Fantastico

810 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8V 5B1

Tre Fantastico’s happy hour will fill you up with bistro-inspired nibbles and some of the best-priced pints of beer in the city. Their rotating featured snacks, along with pints of draught beer, are only $3 each. So you can grab a refreshing beverage and, say, Red Devil ale sausage with grainy Dijon, for $6. It’s one heck of a deal and runs from 5-6pm every day.

Never mind pearls, Victorians know the real treasure to be found in oyster shells is the fresh, briny taste of the ocean. Whether you chew or swallow them whole, enjoy garnished or baked, once you get a taste for fresh BC oysters, you’ll be hooked. The next time the craving hits, here’s where to go for your shellfish fix.
Caesars are a staple in Canadian cuisine; they're right up there with poutine, Nanaimo bars, maple syrup and Kraft Dinner. The unlikely combination of vodka, Clamato and Worcestershire sauce with some celery, asparagus or even bacon thrown in for the grand finale, doesn't sound like it should work. But it does. Here's where to go in Victoria to enjoy some of the best Caesars in town.
Charcuterie, a French method of cold meat preparation, has taken off in Victoria and the results are delicious. The intense flavour created by the curing of pork and other cuts of meat, pairs wonderfully with artisanal cheeses, pickles and condiments for an elegant and social snacking experience. If you're looking to get in on the culinary fun, head to one of these charcuterie hotspots.
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