(This story is sponsored by Calabash.)
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where you can go to get delicious food, live music, and good vibes, Calabash (428 Carrall Street) could be your answer. The Vancouver venue offers traditional and contemporary Caribbean cuisine to feed your belly and live music to feed your soul—all in an atmosphere that’s unpretentious and welcoming.
Calabash was created to celebrate and share Caribbean culture through food, drinks, music, and art. During the week, the downstairs dining area provides an intimate platform for bands and musicians to perform and share their voice. Then, at 11 p.m. on weekends, the area transforms into an underground house party with hip-hop and R&B on Fridays, followed by the best of reggae and dancehall on Saturdays.
A monthly highlight is the Hip-Hopalypse, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month and let’s instrumentalists, singers, rappers, and poets take the stage. For those who are ready to take the mic, Hip-Hopalypse has put together a spreadsheet of some of the beats and songs that have been played in the past. Vocalists and rappers who don’t feel comfortable improvising are encouraged to learn a song or two from the list. Then they’re asked to perform it with the in-house band.
And since sharing great music is a passion of the team at Hip-Hopalypse and Calabash, you can also add your own choice of song to the list so that they can learn it and play with you. All they ask for is a couple of days’ notice, so if you miss your chance for the next one, on Wednesday (April 3), you’ve got until May to warm up your vocal chords.
If the good vibes and music don’t keep you there after-hours, the new late-night menu certainly will. Calabash is the recent winner of the Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates 2019 award for best Caribbean—and with good reason.
Signature dishes like the Jerk Chicken Cocobun served with house-made pickled veggies and jerk aioli, or the Akee and Saltfish Tacos with sweet peppers, jerk aioli, tomatoes, and cilantro, are so delicious and moreish, you might consider skipping dinner.
Be sure to try the Trini Doubles, a Calabash take on the famous street food from Trinidad and Tobago, which are made with two baras (flat fried bread) filled with curried chickpeas, tamarind, and fresh herbs.
Calabash (428 Carrall Street) is open Tuesday through Thursday. The monthly Hip-Hopalypse takes place 9 p.m. until late on Wednesday (April 3) and the first Wednesday of every month, thereafter. Don’t miss your opportunity to join the fun and enter to win a $100 gift card for Calabash, below.
- A $100 gift card for Calabash
* Required fields
Contest Deadline: Thursday, April 25, 3:00 am
Winner(s) will be contacted either by phone or email.