Vancouver’s best bars

Vancouver’s best bars

Vancouver nightlife

Vancouver nightlife

Although short-lived, British Columbia’s entanglement with prohibition (1917-1921) cast a long shadow over alcohol regulation, which pubs still struggle with today – for example, the ban on barrel aging or infusion of spirits. it was only lifted in 2017. Thanks to most licenses being ‘primary food’, the town has a number of small restaurants with excellent bars – but little in the way of traditional pubs.

However, Vancouver has turned into a drinker’s paradise in the last decade – thanks to a revolution in the culture of craft beer brewing, distilling and cocktails – with many of its champion bartenders on the world stage. Expect universally excellent service and delicious drinks.

Below, our expert shares her tips for the best bars in Vancouver. For more inspiration, check out our guides to the city’s best hotels, restaurants and attractions, plus how to spend a weekend in Vancouver.

City center

Hawksworth Bar

One of the few places in this casually dressed town that has a dress code, so look and feel your best at this stylish bar at Hawksworth Restaurant. Pose on a leather banquette under a print of Damien Hirst’s Big Love, stop in after a visit to the nearby Vancouver Art Gallery for a $7/£4 martini or negroni happy hour (4pm-6pm), or after dinner. For dinner, savor a Hotel Georgia, a silky bright citrus stunner with gin, almond syrup, orange blossom water, lime juice and egg white, served in a chilled coupe.

Contact: hawksworthrestaurant. with
Price: $$
Entering: No shorts, baseball caps or sportswear

Hawksworth Bar

Hawksworth Bar

Grape

Grape’s bold decor of black, scarlet, and white with a fuchsia wallpaper accent sounds conflicting, but much like many of the beautifully balanced cocktails on their menu, it absolutely works. During the day, Uva doubles as an excellent bar and small-course espresso from its neighboring Italian restaurant Cibo, and from 2pm to 5pm there is an excellent Happy Hour menu of cocktails, beer, wine and bar snacks. But it’s as a wine and cocktail bar that the Uva stands out; their whiskey list is a thing of long beauty, and wine flights are a great way to sample different styles and varieties.

Contact: uvavancouver. with
Price: £

Grape

Grape

Tap & Barrel, Convention Center

Blessed with a panoramic view of the North Shore Mountains, Burrard Inlet and the melting pot of the Jack Poole Plaza 2010 Winter Olympics, it’s easy to imagine that the center outpost of this mini-restaurant chain is just a pretty face, but wine and the all-BC beer menu tells a different story. All wines, beers and ciders are available on tap, significantly reducing carbon footprint; many of the beers and wines are made exclusively for the brand, and the entire list is made up of small artisanal producers. Try a flight to taste BC grapes and grains, and pair it with their tasty wooden plank pizzas or instantly addictive fried pickles.

Contact: tapandbarrel. with
Price: £

Tap & Barrel

Tap & Barrel

gastown

bathroom

If you’re missing the ambiance of a real pub, Pourhouse offers a relatively close facsimile, albeit with better service, a twice-daily happy hour (3-6pm, 10pm-closed) and one of the best burgers in the world. City. Situated in the heart of Gastown, just steps from the steam clock tourist magnet, Pourhouse features a gleaming 120-year-old Douglas Fir wooden bar that runs nearly the entire length of the room, full of gold leaf accents, and a of cheerful vest waiters. The menu features classic cocktails and innovative riffs, plus a small but perfectly formed list of BC-heavy wines and beers. Drop by on weekends for the boozy brunch (the benny burger with smashed burgers, crumpet, hollandaise and tater tots, and spiced coffees are especially good). Summer sees the return of live music every Thursday and Sunday from 7pm to 10pm.

Contact: pourhousevancouver. with

the diamond

After posing for a selfie with the illuminated artwork at the entrance, head up the wooden stairs to this Gastown landmark, take a seat in the center of the stylish bar or one of the cozy booths and browse the ‘drunk’ menu, ‘elegant’, ‘delicate’ and ‘forgotten’ cocktails, which pay homage to both classic and modern creations. A #2 Bicycle to quench your thirst is the perfect place to start. Early evening brings excellent people-watching opportunities in Gastown through the large windows, but when night falls, the focus is back on the bustling room, with vinyl DJs playing a pleasant mix every Thursday from 9pm.

Contact: di6mond. with
Price: £
Entering: Reservations are not required unless you are with a group of four or more during peak bar times

the diamond

the diamond

pidgin

Excellent as an independent cocktail bar and an Asian-French fusion restaurant, Pidgin deftly brings together French culinary techniques, Asian flavors and the seasonal bounty of the Pacific Northwest to create something entirely new and very Vancouver-ish. The cocktails are incredibly innovative, using ingredients like matcha tea, smoked maple syrup and roasted rice rum. Keep an eye out for fun and quirky installation pieces like local artist Ricky Alvarez’s gleaming cleaver behind the bar and the claw handles for good on tap. Snack on oyster or spice shots kara age (fried chicken) at the bar or indulge in their ever-changing prix fixe menu of eight mini-courses.

Contact: pidginvancouver. with
Price: £ – £ £
Entering: Recommended reservations for Fridays and Saturdays

pidgin

pidgin

The Alibi Room

The catalyst behind Vancouver’s craft beer renaissance. Join BC craft beer fans at this friendly brewery, with beautiful views through arched windows over the railroad tracks and mountains. At the bar, a rotating list of 50 different local breweries with occasional appearances from American microbreweries. The back bar is full of whiskeys and prizes, and the kitchen offers an excellent offering of local protein, open-air, ocean-friendly gastro-pub cuisine (the house burger is known as one of the best on the island). City). The place in town to start your BC beer discovery before heading out to visit the tap room of your new favorite brewery.

Contact: alibi.ca
Price: £

The Alibi Room

The Alibi Room

Chinatown

Keefer Bar

Enter this narrow room, lit with soft overhead lighting and adorned with Chinese anatomical diagrams and antique glass collections; take a seat under the ‘Medical Centre’ sign and get ready to enjoy some of the best original cocktails in town. Inspired by traditional apothecaries, Keefer specializes in ‘recipes’ created with homemade bitters, teas, syrups and infusions with herbs drawn from the world of traditional Chinese medicine and exotic fruits from Chinatown. Try an old Keefer favorite, Dragonfly, with dragon fruit-infused gin, sake and magnolia bark tincture or a new creation from their seasonal menu. The dim sum dumplings and Peking duck crepes are also worth a try. New as a pandemic pivot is Keefer’s year-round covered heated patio space, the Yard complete with its own menu, twinkling lights, fire tables, and mini golf.

Contact: thekeeferbar. with
Price: £

Keefer Bar

Keefer Bar

Main Street

Shameful Tiki Lounge

Leave your cynicism at the door and dive into a blatantly kitschy and totally tropical night out at the best retro tiki bar in town. Once your eyes adjust to the darkness (there are no windows), the room, complete with raffia chairs, masks, sculptures and pufferfish lights, slowly comes into view. Take a seat at the scarlet-lit, tufted-roofed bar, where surf movies and 1950s horror movies play a soundtrack of surf classics and Hawaiian guitars. On the menu are perfect (and seriously strong) Tiki classics: order a Mystery Bowl for two that arrives announced by a gong. Check listings for live hula concerts and bands.

Contact: shamfultikiroom. with
Entering: Reservations recommended for Friday and Saturday nights; Casual dress and Hawaiian shirts welcome
Price: £

Shameful Tiki Lounge

Shameful Tiki Lounge

Fox Cabaret

This hipster Mount Pleasant spot is located in a repurposed porn theater, now squeaky clean and home to everything from Prince tribute nights, 1990s vs 2000s dance parties, drag and burlesque shows, and up-and-coming bands. The Fox is the perfect spot to recapture the energy of the teenage spirit, dancing beneath the sparkling disco ball. There is a program full of live music, cabaret, nightclubs and comedy, spread over two floors. Upstairs, the Projection Room hosts its own twice-weekly comedy nights, BYO vinyl open mic DJ sessions, and free club nights on Thursdays.

Contact: foxcabaret. with
Price: £

Fox Cabaret

Fox Cabaret

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.