UVA is a contemporary-style Italian wine bar and cocktail lounge attached to the boutique hotel, Moda. The small space makes it ideal for catching up with a friend or two, a date night, or going solo to sit at the bar. Not only do they have an excellent selection of wine and cocktails, but the food at Uva is also delicious. Nibble on antipasti, cured meats, pasta and other small and larger plates for dinner. If you're going for an after-work drink, happy hour can be enjoyed from 2 pm until 5 pm, daily. Also, check their website for other specials and live music. Uva is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver on Seymour Street at the corner of Smithe Street.
Recommended for Lounges because: While the cocktails at UVA Wine Bar are awesome, the small space makes it ideal for intimate catch-ups.
Natasha's expert tip: During the day, UVA is an Italian-inspired espresso bar.
Every now and then it's nice to have an excuse to get dressed up and submerge yourself in a chic space. If that's the night you're looking for, you'll want to head to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia's Prohibition. This chic lounge is located in the basement of the hotel and it's where you'll enjoy live music and DJs (on select nights) with craft cocktails. 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. From the barstools to the leather banquette seating, there are plenty of spots to chill.
Recommended for Lounges because: When you want to dress up and feel fancy, a visit to Prohibition is a must. This decadent space is simply stunning.
Natasha's expert tip: They have excellent champagne available by the bottle or the glass.
Exposed brick walls, plenty of wood accents and old chandeliers set the stage at The Diamond. Head to Gastown and make your way up the stairs to this gem on Powell St. and Carrall St. If you can, grab a seat by the window for a great view of Gastown (and people watching) at night. Despite the cozy and warm atmosphere, the Diamond can get quite lively and loud, making it a fun spot to catch up with friends. If you need something to soak up the booze, The Diamond serves a full menu of starters, flatbreads and mains. For starters, check out dishes like duck liver mousse bites and homous with dukkah and socca (chickpea flour pancake). For mains, tuck into a vegetarian option like the Italian burrata with ratatouille and potato olive crumble, or something meatier like the 48 hour short rib with romesco and potato.
Recommended for Lounges because: The Diamond's atmosphere, views of Gastown and cocktails complement each other, making it a charming spot to grab a drink.
Natasha's expert tip: They offer a prix fixe menu of three courses for $35 between 5:30-7:30pm.
The West End is Vancouver's LGBTQ community, and it's also where you'll find 1181. This lounge is popular for a number of reasons, the fact that it's open until the wee hours of the morning is a major draw. The space itself isn't huge, which makes for an intimate evening. Grab a seat or head to the bar. This is where you'll find mixing and mingling with other people is at its peak. Throughout the week are different events and Tuesday night drag is one you'll want to check out. It's a fun night and a great way to support local talent. In addition to the good vibes and different events, you'll find good tunes and cold drinks.
Recommended for Lounges because: If you're looking for late night hangout, 1181 is open after other Davie Street lounges are closed. Even at 3 am, this place is packed.
Natasha's expert tip: On Monday they host Queerprov, a night for comedic entertainment. This comedy troupe show is full of games, longform, laughs, and queer stories.
When it's a cold drink without the fuss you want, make your way to 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 a cold beer, a casual bite, and some solid tunes while you catch up with friends, this place does the trick.
Recommended for Lounges because: The Narrow Lounge is super casual and perfect for those low-key and more intimate nights.
Natasha's expert tip: Look for the red light above the door. When you see that, you know you've reached the right place.
Along the cobbled streets of Gastown, you'll find an underground lounge where live music and cocktails mingle; making for an ideal night out. Located below The Local, you'll find the space to be cozy and intimate. 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. When your stomach's in need of some sustenance, 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. 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.
Recommended for Lounges because: What makes Guilt & Co so great is that on any given night, there's always something lively happening.
Natasha's expert tip: Check their website for an online schedule for the evening musicians.
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 cozier 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 Lounges because: You may be hanging out in Nightingale's lounge for the drinks, but you should definitely order some of their buttermilk fried chicken. It's delicious.
Natasha's expert tip: The thin crust, wood fired pizzas are also great for nibbling on over drinks. You can't go wrong with the classic San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, basil and olive oil option, but if you're feeling adventurous, they've got options. Imagine ingredients like rabbit meatballs, braised beef, pickled mushroom and all sorts of other creativity.
The Shameful Tiki Room brings the kitsch, the tiki vibes and plenty of stiff cocktails. Once inside this theme bar, soak up the Hawaiian inspired decor of carved masks, retro lighting, and postcards scattered throughout the space. Without any windows in sight, the room is dimly lit and will hide any less-than-graceful moments after imbibing in a couple of their boozy cocktails. On any given night, a live surf band, a ukelele player, a vintage movie or their "original creation" cocktail evening may surprise you. This 50-seat lounge fills up quickly so get their early or make a reservation. Expect stiff drinks and tropical ingredients laced throughout the menu. Hungry? The food menu is made up of share plates and larger mains.
Recommended for Lounges because: The Shameful Tiki Room's cocktails are fun and pack a real punch.
Natasha's expert tip: They recently started taking reservations and will reserve a table for two hours for you. You can make a reservation through their website.
If you like a place that's lively and luxurious, The Fairmont Pacific Rim's Lobby Lounge and RawBar is the spot for you. When you walk into the grand lobby, you're greeted by friendly faces, sprawling ceilings, a warm and modern fireplace, and eye-catching chandeliers. Adding to the atmosphere is live music at varying times throughout the week. From soulful singers to lively bands, The Lobby Lounge and RawBar is a fun place to be. Their cocktail program tempts, but if that's not your thing, they have plenty of beer and wine to choose from too. Feeling peckish? The RawBar makes some of Vancouver's best sushi. The fish is melt-in-your-mouth fresh and Chef Taka's skill and passion compliment the beautiful ingredients.
Recommended for Lounges because: Plenty of seating, quenching cocktails and live music? The Lobby Lounge and RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has it all.
Natasha's expert tip: If you're hungry, they have some of the best sushi and other bar bites to choose from.
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 Lounges because: There are so many delicious cocktails to try, but if you want a classic, try the rosemary gimlet-it's been on the menu since the beginning.
Natasha's expert tip: Grab dinner at Bao Bei before or after cocktails at the Keefer.