Revel's cherry tomato and jalapeno Caligula makes our list of top 5 Caesars in the city
The five best Caesers in Vancouver and where you can find them
The Caesar is one of the greatest inventions to come out of Canada, and the number one drink/meal/hangover cure/socially-acceptable alcoholic beverage that can be consumed before noon.
A Canadian creation inspired by Italy
Invented by Calgarian restaurateur Walter Chell back in ’69, the Caesar was created as a signature drink for the opening of a new Italian restaurant. Italy was indeed his inspiration, as he used the memory of eating a spaghetti and clam dish in Venice as inspiration for ingredients. Then, in an ode to his Italian ancestry, he dubbed the drink “the Caesar”.
Today, the Caesar is enjoyed by thousands of hungover Canadians.
Three friends and I, all very good at being Canadian and hungover, decided to go on a quest to find Vancouver’s best and most interesting twist on this Canadian classic. We came up with a rating scheme based on flavour, fixings, price, and a "wildcard"—something that made the Caesar or the experience stand out.
Disclaimer: Do not attempt to do a Caesar Crawl in one afternoon, as consuming more than five Caesars will probably be an unpleasant experience for everyone.
Where: 601 West Cordova Street
Flavour: This exotic cumin and cilantro infused vodka Caesar will tickle your taste buds. Interestingly enough, those not battling a skull-cracking hangover took to this Caesar more than those who'd drank the night before. Perhaps this is because the taste is somewhat invasive—you'll either love or hate it, but no one will argue that this is your run-of-the-mill Caeser.
Fixings: The Caesar was garnished with half a pepperoni stick, olives and the traditional celery stick for those who crave the comfort of tradition. We were mostly won over by the pepperoni stick, because, well, pepperoni is awesome (sorry vegetarians). This added a great savoury taste to balance out the sweetness of the Clamato juice.
Price: Be sure to hit up the Caesars here on a Sunday, where the price is lowered ($5.49 compared to $7.49 during the rest of the week).
Wildcard: Cumin? Cilantro? Pepperoni? Massive restaurant/bar stashed away in a Skytrain station? This place plays every wildcard.
Overall Score: 3 clams out of 5. Not for everyone, but give it a whirl if you’re feeling adventurous.
Rodney's Oyster House
Where: 1228 Hamilton Street
Flavour: An impeccable traditional Caesar taste, spiced perfectly and mixed with freshly grated horseradish to boot. The “Zydeco Stew” is served with crushed ice, which has more of an impact then one would think. Everything tasted fresh—it’s no wonder there are rumblings that Rodney's makes “the best Caesar in town.”
Fixings: A very tasty (and very large) prawn garnished the drink, along with a lemon slice for compatibility.
Price: A little on the pricey side, but if you’re searching for quality, land-ho! Double Caesars start at $10.25.
Wildcard: No line for these fish-folk! They use Clamato juice from the can for fresh value.
Overall Score: 4 clams out of 5. If you crave quality, this is the ruler of all Vancouver Caesars.
The Twisted Fork
Where: 1147 Granville Street
Flavour: The taste will throw you for a loop—a first-sip kick, then a small bit of heaven with every sip afterwards. This is due to the surprise spices of Dijon and freshly ground dill. The bartender will even grind the dill in front of you. Dill-icious!
Fixings: Again, this is not for the faint of heart (or a wobbly stomach), as the Brutus is garnished with a bean and a (gasp!) brussel sprout. However, don't be deterred, as the fixings are pickled in-house, and tastier then one would think.
Wildcard: The incredible staff will make you feel better about what you did the night before. They’re so nice.
Overall Score: 4.5 clams out of 5. Brutus, you once again killed the Caesar.
The Revel Room
Where: 238 Abbott Street
Flavour: Created by bartender Robyn Gray, this version of a Caesar includes crushed cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, and cucumber; each added for pop, punch or pairing. Also included is a cracked black pepper rim and classic Caesar spices. This muddled mix of a vegetable medley makes you feel like you’re drinking a salad. A really good salad. With booze in it.
Fixings: Presented with a lime and three olives on a bamboo spear.
Price: A little on the pricier side at $11.00, but you’re paying for quality (and 2 oz of vodka.)
Wildcard: Rumor has it this Caesar was once entered in a cocktail contest. It won us over.
Overall Rating: 4 clams out of 5. Freshness, funky atmosphere, and friendly service adds to the experience.
The Sin Bin
Where: 295 West 2nd Avenue
Flavour: You’re the ruler of this Caesar here. No over or under spicing here because you mark off what you want as spice-- whether it be extra hot sauce or a dash of soy sauce.
Fixings: You are given a slip of paper to mark off what you want included as a garnish. Choices include beef jerky, olives, pepperoni sticks… and all the colours of the rainbow. Amazing!
Price: The Build Your Own Caesar starts at $6.00 on Sundays. Extra fixings cost anywhere between $0.30 to $1.50, and are totally worth the extra coin.
Wildcard: This place is literally in the middle of nowhere. An oasis of magical beverages.
Overall Rating: 3.75 clams out of 5. The “Build your own Caesar” is the best invention since, well, the Caesar.