Know Where To Go: Seafood Mountains and Kissin’ Fish at The Portside Pub

Do you like seafood? Live music and free beer? What about gettin' weird and kissing cod?

Events & Entertainment Food & Drink

The East Coast Seafood Boil is a longstanding tradition at Vancouver’s own East Coast pub, The Portside.

The Portside features maritime decor, with nautical-themed artwork gracing the walls, largely painted by the infamous Drew Young. When you step inside you feel like you’re transplanted into the belly of a ship. Exposed wood beams line the ceiling, wheels and anchors decorate the walls, and old school sea paraphernalia is tucked away behind the bar.

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On any given day you can expect East Coast pub fare like lobster rolls, a Halifax donair, garlic fingers, and a clam chowder that claims to be “the best seafood Chowder this side of Halifax” (you have to see for yourself, trust us).

But, the one night you do not want to miss is The East Coast Seafood Boil.

Keeping in tradition the long tables are lined with paper, ready to be destroyed when a mountain of seafood lands. It’s communal eating, you’re sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbours who, also in the East Coast tradition, will soon be your best friends. The bands playing East Coast music loud and fast, the bartenders are passing out bottles of Kieth’s, and someone in bright yellow waders is carrying around the ugliest dead fish you’ve ever seen, demanding you kiss it. It’s wild.

The dead fish is part of an elaborate ‘Screech-In’ ceremony. The idea originated in Newfoundland (where else?) and involves non-Newfoundlanders to kiss a dead cod, take a shot of Screech, and recite a short speech that only an East Coaster could decipher.

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It’s the closest you’ll get to the East Coast on the West Coast.

Your ticket gets you more food than you can probably eat, an ice-cold Keith’s, a kiss from a cod, a shot of Screech, and an outrageous time. Tickets are $36.99 but they have limited seating and sell out fast.

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The Portside Pub


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