Located on the ground level of the Woodward’s Building, on the edge of Gastown, The Charles Bar has been a fixture for the past 6 years.
The space is uniquely-shaped, as it’s located in the tip of the point of the building, so it’s triangular in nature. There are lots of big windows which provide natural light, and lots and lots of wood.
The brunch is bumpin’.
I mean literally. This is one of the few brunches in the city that feature a live DJ.
You see, at night, The Charles becomes a hotspot, a hangout for the 20-somethings after a long day of school or work. That nightclub energy definitely spills over into the weekend brunch.
First off, they have really inexpensive cocktails. Caesars or Mimosas are just $4–there are few other places in town where you can get a brunch bevvie so cheaply. The mimosas here are made with cider instead of sparkling wine, and they are a pretty generous pour, arriving at your table in a large tumbler, rather than a delicate champagne flute.
The menu is deeply influenced by Southern cuisine. The is one of only a dozen or so places in the city where you can get Chicken and Waffles, and their Nashville Chicken Sliders are legend-waitforit-dary.
But it’s a Vancouver restaraunt, on the edge of Gastown, so there are lots of West Coast (read: healthy/granola) options on the menu as well.
There’s Avocado Toast, for a start, which lead to a whole conversation between my brunch date and I as to whether it’s done or not? Conclusion: maybe, but it’s still simply delicious, and we’ll eat it, anyway.
We were both quite attracted to the Quinoa Benny. Instead of bread for the base, your poached eggs are served atop crispy quinoa cakes, which makes the dish interesting, textually, and quite tasty to boot.
Then there’s the Stadum Bowl: freshly fried potatoes, topped, hash-style, with sausage, bell peppers, onions, and a couple of poached eggs, then finished off with hollandaise. It’s a very filling breakfast.
But let’s not forget that we’re in a pub. There is lots here to appeal to those who were previously in this same establishment drinking the night before, like the Bacon and Egg Burger, a Fried Egg Sandwich, or Breakfast Poutine (insert hearts-for-eyes emoji here).
Oh–and did I mention you have your choice of fried potatoes, or tater tots? I mean, c’mon. Nothing cures a hangover faster than tater tots. With a side of childhood nostalgia thrown in for good measure…
Service is great. Laid-back, friendly, just pretty much what you need on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning, when you might not be moving as quickly as usual.
The Charles Bar might not be the first place you’d think of for brunch in Gastown, but it’s a great option–especially for the younger set. Or those, like us, who are older, but still consider ourselves cool. 😉
136 W Cordova
Open for Brunch from 11:30 am on weekends