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Charlie Don’t Surf has cool vibes and good food

After a long walk on the unimpressive beach of White Rock, I wanted to sit down and have some lunch. The road that runs along the beach is lined with touristy-looking restaurants, which scared the cheap student in me, because, after all, tourist is synonymous with overpriced.

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By Sasha Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 15, 2014

Charlie Don’t Surf has surprisingly affordable prices, great fish tacos, and cheap beer at happy hour. (Image: Sasha Moedt)

Charlie Don’t Surf has surprisingly affordable prices, great fish tacos, and cheap beer at happy hour. (Image: Sasha Moedt)

15011 Marine Drive, White Rock, BC

Open seven days a week, 11 a.m. ‘til late

Entrées $15-$20


After a long walk on the unimpressive beach of White Rock, I wanted to sit down and have some lunch. The road that runs along the beach is lined with touristy-looking restaurants, which scared the cheap student in me, because, after all, tourist is synonymous with overpriced.

We perused the displays of menus, and wound up at Charlie Don’t Surf solely because of the decent prices. We were seated by a cool-looking server with tattoos. The décor of the place was fantastic. There were unusual statues, bohemian-style chandeliers, and an old-style fireplace. It was lunch time, but I wished I could be there at night when all the lights were on. Charlie Don’t Surf gracefully walked the line between casual boho and trendy.

The menu had some pricier items, but for the lunch menu entrées were around $15 to $20 apiece. Most options were seafood-based, with a lot of wild-caught items, but there were also pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and pasta.

I ordered fish tacos. I’ve never had fish tacos before, probably because I always thought it was such an odd combination between Mexican and Mediterranean food, but our server recommended them, and they had cilantro in them. Cilantro is, by the way, my soul food.

My boyfriend ordered an individual pizza and crispy dry ribs. We also had a couple of beers; it was happy hour, and it was $3.50 for the house lager.

The service was prompt, and though it took a few minutes to wave someone down for a refill, the servers were good-natured.

My food came out in good time. The plate had two open soft tacos heaped with wild cod, shredded lettuce, avocado, tomato, jalapeño, onion, and cilantro. I ordered the spicy tamarind sauce on the side, though you can get it on the taco. It also came with a green salad — or their Beach Salad, which is topped with fresh veggies, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. It was definitely too much food for one sitting.

My boyfriend’s pizza was fairly simple, and not as cheesy as he’d have liked. The ribs were $10, but there was only a small bowl and a lot of bone.

I really enjoyed my lunch, though. The lettuce was tossed in some kind of mayonnaise or tartar sauce (not quite as tangy as tartar) that pulled all the ingredients together. It was light, fresh-tasting (that’s the cilantro at work) and very messy to eat. With long sips of Charlie’s house lager, I was in fish taco heaven.

The beach may have been dirty and smelly, but with delicious food and a trendy atmosphere, Charlie Don’t Surf made my trip to White Rock memorable.

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