Blarney Stone

Always featuring lively Celtic house bands on the weekends, this Gastown-area bar packs in a crowd that is growing along with their reputation as a midsize live-music destination. Recent renovations include a new, larger stage, an improved sound system and better seating. A mezzanine offers another great sightline to the entertainment which also features touring artists and high-drawing local acts. And it is still a great place to quaff a pint and chat up the locals.

Local Expert tip: On Tuesday, games of pool are free!

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Davie Village

With its dark wood detailing and draft beers, this pub has a traditional feel. It's also a tried-and-true hangout for the gay community, who take advantage of its daytime hours to meet for lunch, socialize and enjoy the outdoor patio. Great beers (bottled and tap, domestics and imports) join a substantial list of cocktails and shots for the partying set, and sandwiches, salads and burgers take care of hungry appetites. TVs, pool tables, darts and great music provide additional distractions. A fun neighborhood place.

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At this microbrewery, steam used to craft the beers is city-supplied, and the brewing process is visible through the dining room's glass walls. It's an unusual method, but it produces great local brews, including a zippy espresso ale. Inside, dark woodwork and book-lined shelves add ambiance, and from the expansive windows, you'll get views of the water and mountains. Upscale pub fare wards off hunger pangs nicely; afterwards, get moving with a game of pool, or simply sit back and relax by the fireplace. Located directly beside Waterfront Station, Steamworks is easily accessible by bus, Skytrain and SeaBus, so need need to worry about having to drive home. It's location also makes it a great meeting point for dinner and drinks and then to hit up Gastown's nightlife later into the evening.

Local Expert tip: Attached to the restaurant/pub is a cold wine and beer store with a solid assortment of craft and international beer and wine.

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Like many Yaletown establishments, this microbrewery occupies a stylish, renovated warehouse. Eight specialty beers come standard, and they include Frank's Nut Brown Ale, Red Brick Bitter, Indian Arm Pale Ale, Harbour Light Lager, and Hill's Special Wheat (a hefeweizen). A stacked menu features hearty sandwiches, pizzas, entrees and a slate of zesty appetizers. A warm, rustic atmosphere prevails, and you'll find pool tables, TVs, rock-and-roll music, an outdoor patio and a floor full of peanut shells, to boot. On a cool winter's day, grab a seat by the roaring fireplace and enjoy the cozy space. Summer months see a packed patio filled with thirsty mouths reveling in the cold pints.

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This Yaletown bar, which occupies a restored warehouse, is a hotspot for trendy, beautiful folks. Although bands are scheduled from time to time, you'll generally find local and international DJs spinning house, funk, soul, acid jazz and Top 40 tunes. Frequented by young professionals, Bar None also features three separate bars and offers premium cigars to aficionados. Pool tables, backgammon games and checkerboards take care of patrons less inclined to dance.

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