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Vancouver's Best Bars: There's a Bar Stool With Your Name on It



Planning a night out? You'll want to check out these Vancouver bars. From hole-in-the-walls to fancy hotel bars, there's something for everyone here.

Should you ask a Vancouverite to list their top bars in the city, many would place the Keefer Bar on their list. This local favorite is dark, cozy, and the perfect place to enjoy a few drinks. Located in Chinatown, there are a number of great restaurants to grab dinner prior to pulling up a seat at the bar here.

Sometimes you just need to step back in time and enjoy kitschy drinks in a retro themed bar. If the name of The Shameful Tiki Lounge  isn’t any indication, one sip of their cocktails and you’ll get the full picture. There is no shame in a stiff drink here! If you're going with a couple of friends, the flaming Volcano Bowl is always a fun one to order.

When it's a cold beer and a fuss-free bar you want, head to The Narrow Lounge. This hole-in-the-wall bar along Main Street attracts a laid back crowd and serves a variety of beer, cocktails, wine, and spirits in a chill space.

Cabs and public transportation are easy to get from the city’s buzzing entertainment districts so it's easy to get home after a night out on the town. 


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Prohibition


When you want to get dressed up and sip on fancy cocktails in a fancy space, Prohibition is the place to go. Prohibition is located in the basement of the luxurious Rosewood Hotel Georgia and this bar and lounge exudes decadence of the roaring twenties, from top to bottom. As you step inside the vaulted door off of Howe Street and make your way down the staircase, take a moment to soak it all in. From the rich decor and atmosphere to the carefully selected drink options and service, Prohibition is a class act. Guests will enjoy live music while sipping a beautifully crafted cocktail. For a list of entertainers, check their website. While there are plenty of cocktails, wines, and beer to choose from, they also have champagne by the glass and a few nibbles to choose from.

Recommended for Bars because: Prohibition is the place to go when you need a little (okay, a lot) of glamour with your cocktail.

Natasha's expert tip: They have an excellent champagne available by the bottle and glass.

Read more about Prohibition →


Guilt & Co.


Along the cobbled streets of Gastown, you'll find an underground lounge where live music and cocktails mingle; making for an ideal night out. Guilt & Co. is easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for so keep your eyes peeled for the sandwich board and a set of steps on the side of the building this space shares with Chill Winston. Located below Chill Winston, you'll find the space is cozy and intimate. Feeling peckish? There are plenty of casual bites that are great for sharing. The drink list is packed with plenty of tasty wine, beer and cocktail options. With something going on every night of the week, there's never a dull moment. Grab a seat and enjoy an eclectic mix of musicians.

Recommended for Bars because: If you like live music with your drinks, Guilt & Co. always has something up its sleeve.

Natasha's expert tip: Check their website for an online schedule for the evening musicians.

Read more about Guilt & Co. →


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Railtown
Alibi Room


If a delicious craft beer and a chill atmosphere is what you're looking for, the Alibi Room has a seat with your name on it. Having been around for years now, it has long been a favorite amongst Vancouverites and is a go-to spot for a bite and a brew. Inside the space you will find a number of long communal tables, seats along the bar, large windows and a solid mix of music playing. The Alibi Room is known for having one of the best beer selections in Vancouver and you will be hard pressed to choose from the 50 plus beers they have on tap. For those that aren't here for the beer, they've got plenty of creative cocktails and wine to keep you satisfied. An added bonus is that all of their meat, poultry and fish are either sourced locally, ocean friendly, naturally raised or free run.

Recommended for Bars because: The Alibi Room's selection of craft beer is the best in Vancouver. They have 50 taps of local and imported craft brews.

Natasha's expert tip: Weekend evenings at peak times can have a lengthy wait; if you can make a reservation, do it. They don't take reservations for more than groups of ten.

Read more about Alibi Room →


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The Diamond


Make your way up a dimly lit set of stairs and you'll find yourself at The Diamond. The exposed brick walls and candlelit space create a charming atmosphere to catch up over drinks. If you can, grab a seat by the window to enjoy the lovely view of Gastown at night. Despite the cozy and warm atmosphere, the Diamond can get quite lively and loud, making it the perfect place to kick back with friends. Known for their cocktails, The Diamond's drink list pulls from traditional recipes and some of their own concoctions. Feeling hungry? Tuck into a selection of Japanese dishes that are great for sharing. If you're having an early night, make sure to check out their happy hour.

Recommended for Bars because: Delicate, refreshing, boozy, and however else you like your cocktail, The Diamond has something for everyone.

Natasha's expert tip: They also serve food that pairs well with their cocktails.

Read more about The Diamond →


The Narrow Lounge


At the corner of Main St. and 2nd St. is a local favorite watering hole. And, if you didn't know what you were looking for, you may just miss it. To say that it's inconspicuous would be an understatement. Pro tip: Look for the door with the red light above. Head inside and make your way down the dimly lit, long hallway and grab a stool at the bar. As the name suggests, the space is narrow and it's not huge so it can fill up pretty quickly. There's nothing fancy about The Narrow Lounge and that's what makes this hole-in-the-wall bar so great. When you're in the mood for cold beer, a casual bite, and some solid tunes while you catch up with friends, this place does the trick.

Recommended for Bars because: When you're in the mood for a dark hole-in-the-wall bar, The Narrow Lounge will check that box.

Natasha's expert tip: Look for the red light above the door. When you see that, you know you've reached the right place.

Read more about The Narrow Lounge →


YEW seafood + bar


While YEW seafood + bar is an excellent choice for a delicious meal, it's also a fantastic spot to go for drinks. Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, YEW's warm and cozy lounge is the perfect spot to unwind over a drink or two. They have partnered with Vancouver's cocktail darling, Lauren Mote, who's known for her incredible palate. The oceans cocktail program at YEW is inspired by the world's five oceans. Broken down into four categories, each cocktail brings something unique to sip on. They also have a selection of aged cocktails that boast Canadian whiskies, calvados apple brandy, sherry, bourbon and rum. Should you be in the mood for wine, there's no shortage of great vintages to choose from by the bottle or glass.

Recommended for Bars because: YEW's cozy fireplace pairs perfectly with their oceans cocktail program; a collaboration they did with the award-winning cocktail innovator, Lauren Mote.

Natasha's expert tip: Head to YEW for their reverse happy hour cocktails.

Read more about YEW seafood + bar →


The Lobby Lounge and RawBar


Make your way to Coal Harbour's Fairmont Pacific Rim for a good time. On any given night, there's a live band, cold drinks, and delicious food available at The Lobby Lounge and Raw Bar. While popular with hotel guests, you'll also find plenty of locals here too. The soaring ceilings, beautiful chandeliers, and roaring fireplace create an inviting atmosphere that's ideal for date nights or catching up with friends. The cocktail list boasts inventive mixes made with top-shelf liquor and quality ingredients, while the wine list has plenty to choose from. When hunger strikes, choose from a menu of bar bites or sink your chopsticks into their incredible sushi. The sushi here is some of the best in town!

Recommended for Bars because: Live music and some of the best cocktails in the city make The Lobby Lounge and RawBar an entertaining spot to hang out.

Natasha's expert tip: Make sure to order some sushi to go with your wine. The RawBar is the only 100% Ocean Wise sushi bar in Vancouver.

Read more about The Lobby Lounge and RawBar →


The Shameful Tiki Room


Between the cocktails and the vibes, The Shameful Tiki Room is one of the most fun places to grab a drink in Vancouver. Once inside, soak up the super kitschy decor - carved masks, art, retro lighting, Hawaiian ads and post cards are scattered throughout the dimly lit room. If there's one piece of advice we could give, get there early because this 50 seat lounge fills up quickly. The drinks are stiff, there's no doubt about it. But, they're incredibly tasty and will do the trick for those looking to let loose. Expect tropical ingredients laced throughout the menu and a food menu filled with share plates and larger mains.

Recommended for Bars because: The Shameful Tiki Room is a fun and kitschy spot to grab a stiff cocktail. Feeling bold? Order the Volcano Bowl. It serves four.

Natasha's expert tip: The room fills up quickly, so get there early.

Read more about The Shameful Tiki Room →


Nightingale


After a day at the office, a cocktail and some good conversation is just the tonic you need to unwind. Set amongst Vancouver's financial district, Nightingale has a cocktail with your name on it. The downstairs lounge boasts soaring ceilings, beautiful decor, and a warm buzz, making this a lovely spot to convene over a drink. The dining room is on the mezzanine (with the open kitchen) and looks down onto the lounge. It definitely feels more cozy upstairs. The cocktail menu serves up a selection of hand-crafted thirst quenchers and if it's beer or wine you're after, they have plenty to offer in that department. When it comes to food, the extensive menu is made up of dishes that are best enjoyed shared.

Recommended for Bars because: Nightingale's space is definitely one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy a drink in the city.

Natasha's expert tip: The pizzas are great for nibbling on over drinks.

Read more about Nightingale →


Keefer Bar


When you're in the mood for a fun and lively evening, head to Chinatown and you'll find just the spot. The Keefer Bar is one of Vancouver's favorite places to grab a drink before or after dinner. Having been around for a number of years now, Vancouverites know that they can go to the Keefer Bar for a delicious cocktail in an intimate space. Cocktails are made with house-made tinctures, mixes and unique ingredients. They also have a small menu of tasty bites to nibble on while you enjoy a cocktail or two. Inside you'll find seating at tables throughout the space, or take a seat at the bar. When the weather is nice, sit outside on the patio and stay warm by the fire pits.

Recommended for Bars because: The Keefer Bar's cocktails are some of the best in the city. House-made syrups, tinctures, bitters and teas make these drinks really come to life.

Natasha's expert tip: Grab dinner at neighboring restaurants, Bao Bei or Juniper, before having drinks at The Keefer.

Read more about Keefer Bar →


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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha

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