Canberra: Where to go for Friday night drinks?

A reader asked me a question on my Facebook page yesterday - where are some good Friday night drinks and happy hours in Canberra? I was on my way to dinner when I saw the message so couldn't reply straight away, but when I went to find the message again, it seemed to have disappeared... Hopefully she'll find the answer if I post it on here!

My answer would be that I usually seek out happy hours because of the food! I guess that's why my blog is called The Food Avenue and not The Drinks Avenue!

It should be no surprise then that my favourite Friday night drinks venue is C Dine for their Buck a Shuck $1 oyster happy hour!

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I'm a huge fan of seafood, especially oysters and $1 for oysters is too good an opportunity to pass up! A couple of things have changed slightly since my review. The happy hour is now from 5pm-6pm. Only the natural and classic mignonette flavours are available for $1, the other flavours are full price. It's still a great bargain in a fantastic venue. The atmosphere is relaxed and full of happy people about to start their weekend. House beer and wine are $5 during happy hour.

I think the Kingston Foreshore is a great location for Friday night drinks. You've got Walt and Burley on one end, and new pub The Dock opening on the other end. If you're after amazing cocktails, you've got to stop in at The Rum Bar. My favourite coctail is the one pictured - Under the Mistletoe. It's a very festive and delicious cocktail that immediately brings thoughts of warm gingerbread cookies and Christmas fruit cake on first sip. The food menu doesn't disappoint either. I could easily spend a few hours in this superb bar.

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With the weather warming up now, there are quite a few options for Friday night drinks around the place. I have a couple events on my wish list:

  • Friday night drinks at Old Parliament House - with cute food in carts (including pulled beef sliders and sweet potato wedges). More details at In the Taratory.
  • Fridays on the terrace at Parlour Wine Room - with a pop-up bar from Eden Road Wines and 2 for 1 tapas between 4pm and 6pm! More details at A Kitchen Cat.

There are probably heaps of great Friday night drinks options in Canberra that I've missed! Comment below and let me know :)

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C Dine Bar - Buck a Shuck Happy Hour

I was gobsmacked when I heard that $1 oysters were available in Canberra. C Dine Bar's Friday afternoon happy hour not only offers $5 tap beers, $5 tap ciders and $5 selected wines, it also offers oysters for $1 each. I had to see it to believe it. When I arrived at C Dine around 5:30pm, the outdoor area had a very relaxed, casual vibe - the perfect way to wind down after a hectic work week. However, as it got closer to 6pm, the tables started filling up very quickly and it was harder to get the wait staff's attention. When we put in our orders, I asked how many oysters people generally ordered. Conservative people ordered 3 oysters (what?!) but others ordered up to 4 dozen oysters for themselves (that's more like it!). That made me feel less bad for ordering two dozen!

My friend ordered the different flavours separately and they came on separate small plates. But I ordered two mixed dozens and they came on big glass platters with salad on the side as well.

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I love having natural oysters with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice - the tangy sour juice cuts through the creamy richness of the oyster and also brings out the sweetness of the oyster as well.

For those who aren't fans of raw oyster, there are three other flavours to choose from: tempura, mornay and kilpatrick. I liked them all for different reasons.

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The oysters mornay were enveloped with delicious grilled cheese. Everything tastes better with melted cheese.

The tempura oysters were texturally unique to the others, and delivered a nugget of crunch...but that was about all. For me, the tempura batter was much too thick and I could barely taste the oyster within.

I loved the flavour combination of the oysters kilpatrick. The sauce and the bits of bacon really complemented the salty sweetness of the oyster.

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$24 for 24 oysters is incredible value. I don't think you can even buy raw oysters from a supermarket or seafood shop for that price!

Buck a shuck happy hour is on every Friday from 4-6pm at C Dine Bar.

C Dine Bar on Urbanspoon