Dining in Vancouver – Tap & Barrel
Olympic Village Hot Spot
The Olympic Village was finally given some life when Tap & Barrel opened its doors in 2012. They have brought local craft beer, premium wines on tap and comfort food to an area that needed a reason for those that don’t live there to visit. Tap & Barrel is located at 1 Athletes Way directly on the newly upgraded False Creek SeaWall. It is also an easy walk past Science World from the Main Street Skytrain station. There are bike racks and even a boat dock close by. It is open for lunch on weekdays starting at 11:30am, brunch on weekends starting at 10:00am and until midnight daily.
Best New Patio
The two level patio with views of False Creek will make this a very busy place every summer. With more seating outside than in, it will still be difficult to get a seat. We did have a chance to sit on the upper level patio this summer and the view was all we could talk about. The restaurant itself is good and the food and service get better every visit. We have visited four times now and have had both good food and good service – just not at the same time.
Tap & Barrel’s two level patio is closed in winter but always full in summer. It has lots of different seating options and an amazing view. From the main level you can people-watch along the Seawall and from the second floor you can watch the activity in False Creek and debate the BC Place renovation. It is one of Vancouver’s Best Patios.
The beer menu features BC local craft breweries with at least 20 varieties on tap plus some local and import bottle options. There are two sizes available for those like me who cannot get to the bottom of a 20oz’er before it gets warm.
Tap & Barrel does make a good burger. Said to be a house specialty, the 7oz beef patties are angus beef served on a house made bun. The Tavern Burger ($14) is old school cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, mayo and mustard. ‘Poutine up’ the fries and you have a winner.
For those who do not enjoy a beef burger the BBQ Salmon Burger ($16) is a good option. It is cooked in a smoky red wine glaze, topped with slaw, red onions, lettuce and mayo and served with sea salt fries. All burgers are topped with a deep fried pickle. The portions are large but a bit pricey.
Our challenges with the food at Tap & Barrel have been with breakfast. The two eggs your way breakfast is a reasonable price at $9 but the potatoes were not cooked through and most were too crunchy to eat.
The T&B Benny with bacon, avacado and tomato ($13) was topped with a very bland sauce that did not really taste like hollandaise but the real problem was the eggs. I ordered them medium but one was so undercooked in the middle that the whites were raw and inedible. The potatoes were also crunchy.
Want dessert but also want another beer? Get the best of both worlds with a Beer Float ($8). Get chocolate porter beer combined with vanilla ice cream for the perfect dessert that reminds you of summer as a kid.
There are a lot of seats at the bar and so far we have not had trouble getting a table. This picture was taken at noon on a Saturday. The place did fill up somewhat by 1:00 but during the winter you should not have to worry about getting a table for brunch. Summer will be another story.
Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.