But you'll miss out on the new cocktails and puffcreams if you do.
It's summer time, so of course, things are hopping down at Popina on Granville Island. Tonnes of visitors + perfect oceanfront locale + tight, killer menu = lots of smiles. But for locals, there are a few hacks that you need to know.
First up is the unadvertised Happy Hour. It starts at 6 p.m, when the hordes are leaving the island, and goes until 10 p.m. Parking is free, and much of the menu takes a dive down in price: fries are $2, a half dozen seriously fresh oysters are $15, beers from Bomber are $5 and half-bottles of JoieFarm are $24. The view is free and you'll likely have it to yourself.
Next is a new cocktail on offer from our friend (and Bartender of the Year alumnus) Sabrine Dhaliwal: the Tidal Flats, which is a blend of Belvedere Vodka, Fino Sherry, Coconut, Apricot, Ginger, Lemon, and Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech bitters.
Finally, if all else fails, we've arm wrestled Popina partner Angus An into giving us the recipe for their famed Lobster Roll. So crank up a batch, sit on your balcony with your fan blowing lightly in your face and imagine you're there in person. But be warned, once you buy the ingredients (lobster, we're looking at you) you won't be saving much $$$.
Popina Canteen Lobster Roll
For this crowd-pleasing sandwich, a toasted, buttery bun is filled with tender lobster, and garnished with crisp lettuce and radish. Serves 5.
3 tbsp celery, diced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped fine
1 tbsp chives, chopped fine
3 tbsp mayonnaise
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ tbsp shallots, finely diced
Salt and pepper
1 lb cooked (steamed), picked lobster meat, cut in generously-sized pieces
Gently mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Rolls and Garnish
5 rolls or hot dog buns
Lettuce (your choice of iceberg lettuce or a few leaves of butter lettuce)
Radishes, sliced thin
Spread butter on the outer sides of buns. In a pan on medium heat, brown buns on both sides. Once nice and brown, remove from pan and place on a work surface. Spread mayonnaise inside the bun, add lettuce and tuck spoonfuls of the lobster mix inside the bun. Garnish with thin slices of radish.