Saint Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious holiday, a celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, honouring Saint Patrick. Gradually it morphed into a feast day, coinciding with the lifting of the Lenten restrictions and involving indulgent eats and the drinking of alcohol, which are restricted during Lent. These days, anything goes and although it’s not a public holiday in Vancouver, residents with and without Irish blood take the occasion seriously enough and use it as an excuse to wear green, overindulge and generally misbehave. While plenty of amateurs still think green beer is the only way to go (just say no), be a pro and do something more real this March 17.
Over on the west side the at Arbutus and 11th, The Gramercy Grill is offering up a St. Patrick’s Day Menu from Friday March 15-Sunday March 17 with items such as their minted green pea and smoked ham soup, shepherds pie, Guinness lamb stew with soda bread and braised corn beef. Brunch here could be poached green eggs benedict with spinach and ham or Kilkenny battered fish & chips and there’s whisky and beer specials such as the local favourite Howe Sound Oatmeal stout brewed right in Squamish.
2685 Arbutus Street, Vancouver
Think the Indian and the Irish don’t mix? Think again. At Palkis they are frying up beer-battered pakoras and have beer and pakora specials and have beer on tap for $3.75 a pint. Need some green? Try their spinach panneer. They’ll also be playing the band Delhi to Dublin playing in the background and are also serving a Delhi to Dublin Cocktail (Irish Whiskey, Mint, Lime & Sugar) for $5.
1130 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
If you’re looking for something sweet for a St. Patrick’s Day treat, check out Mix The Bakery on West 10th towards UBC. They’ve just revamped their menu to include all sorts of lovely sandwiches, but for the weekend their specials are the highly decorative and gift-worthy pot of gold cupcakes pictured above as well as the green tea and hazelnut opera cake and a raisin-filled Irish soda bread which is perfect with their house-made preserves.
4430 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver
In Gastown the Irish Heather is the place to go for all things St. Patty’s Day as they’ve got room at the Heather’s main bar or in the back at the Shebeen Whisky Bar and are serving up classic Irish dishes such as House-Made Corned Beef & Cabbage and Bread Pudding with a local nod as it’s studded with Okanagan fruit. They’ve also got the Long Table Series with 5 different seatings at their communal table and are serving up a 2 course meal with an Irish lager for $40. On March 16 the Heather has a Jameson Whiskey Supper. Why not celebrate St. Patrick’s eve?
When you think of food for Saint Patrick’s Day, corned beef and cabbage come to mind, but at the health-focused Raincity Grill, Chef Nicolas Hipperson will celebrate with ingredients from BC’s backyard, with nods to Irish flavours. Try Green Eggs and Ham, a dish of scrambled eggs with pork, toast and herbed potatoes, Green Fish n’Chips with house-made tartar, Irish stew with lamb cheeks, potatoes, leeks and fresh herbs, and Smoked Salmon Brioche with poached eggs, hollandaise and green salad. A two-course tasting menu is available both Saturday March 16 and Sunday March 17.
1193 Denman St., Vancouver