Brunch is THE BEST.
It’s my favourite thing. Friends, coffee, and waffles. What more do want from your weekend?
There are several categories of brunch in Vancouver; you’ve got the everyday brunch (for those days when you’re on vacation or playing hooky), you’ve got the weekend brunch (arguably the best) and then you’ve got your non-eggs brunches (like dim sum).
The Ballyhoo is new, brand, spankin’ new. It’s only been open a month, and they’ve been serving brunch for a couple weeks only.
It took over the space where The Winking Judge used to be on the corner of Burrard and Nelson. The location is great, but The Winking Judge was… um shall we say… dark and sticky. Yup, it was a convenient place to grab a pint and some nachos after a movie, but it wasn’t the kind of place you would seek out. It was convenience-based patronage only.
Donnelly took it over, redid the inside, and have now relaunched it as The Ballyhoo.
The decor is English Pub-esque, but lighter and more fun. There’s still a big pool table in the back, but it’s brighter and feels more like a place you’d actually like to stay and chill at, rather than scuttling away.
They have quite a few local beers on tap, so perhaps you’d like to hang and sample a few?
The brunch menu shows lots of variety. There’s healthy options, like a power bowl, or yogourt, fruit and granola. But then there’s also the “I’m super hungover–give me deep fried goodness” options, as well.
Donnelly has this thing that they do where they offer you a sweet treat before your meal. I’ve had donuts, I’ve had banana bread; but here it’s warm chocolate chip cookies. (heart eyes emoji).
Okay, let’s start with the healthy options: Avocado Toast? Yes please. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love it. This one is perfection: nicely toasted bread, acidic avocado, pickled onions, sweet tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic.
They also do a thing called The Westcoast Bowl. We didn’t eat it, but we saw it going by and drooled. It’s a rice bowl (brown, extra healthy), topped with avocado and a sunny-side egg.
Okay, now we get to your traditional brekkie. Bacon, scrambled eggs, sourdough, potatoes, salad. The real star of this plate are the potatoes. Fingerlings are cooked perfectly: fluffy and creamy on the inside, with crispy textural bits on the outside. Whatever you order for breakfast, be sure to get some of these potatoes, you’ll thank me.
I also want to shout out the salad. Arugula is tossed in a tahini dressing, but it’s also garnished with these crouton-like crispy chickpeas which took it to the next level.
There’s also Eggs Benny for you purists.
Okay, now let’s go full-on, all-out, hungover indulgence. This is the Chicken and Waffles. Savory, country-fried chicken thighs (boneless) meet sweet liege waffles. The whole thing is tied together with a seasonal fruit compote and maple syrup.
If you’re really, really hung over, you might want to consider the Ballyhoo Burger. Just sayin.
If you’re looking for something lighter, or maybe to finish your meal, they have a lovely yogourt/granola bowl with seasonal fresh fruit, mint and honey. Simple happiness.
As for the hair of the dog that bit you, The Ballyhoo has tons of local beers on tap, or you can try one of their Aperol-based cocktails. Aperol is known to be good for settling your stomach. There are also fresh-pressed juices, including one that has orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger and turmeric. Guaranteed to kill what ails you.
103-888 Burrard St
Open for brunch from 10am Saturday & Sunday.