Cocktails and Live Music: The Best of Gastown's Nightlife

We each have our own idea of what makes for a great night out and Gastown has a solid selection that's got something for everyone. 

If it's a quiet night with a glass of wine in a space where you can have a great conversation (without having to yell over the music), Salt Tasting Room on Blood Alley provides a cozy and casual space that's ideal for that kind of night.

When you feel like dressing up and doing something classy, head to Mosquito and check out Vancouver's only dessert and champagne bar. The slick ambiance, wonderful service, stunning desserts and excellent champagne list makes for a perfect date night or evening with the girls.

When it's a DJ you want, it's a DJ you'll get at Alexander Gastown. This beautiful heritage space is spread over three levels and there's plenty of seating throughout the space if you want to kick back and relax. When you want to bust a move, there's also a dance floor. The entertainment rotates regularly so check their website to see who's performing.

Live music can also be found at Guilt & Co. This basement venue is cozy and provides an intimate space to catch a show and enjoy a cocktail or two.


The Bourbon isn't fancy and it's a place where jeans and t-shirts are welcome, making it part of the appeal. It different from all of Vancouver's other nightlife because it's the city's only country bar with an electric bull. And, let's be real, every now and then we all need to do a little dancing to country music and belt out hearts out. The Bourbon was established in 1937 and it's been everything from a strip club, a biker bar and a live venue before becoming a country bar. Having been around for years, you'll find people of all ages having a good time here.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: The Bourbon is Vancouver's only country bar so if it's an electric bull and a cold beer you want, it's The Bourbon you need.

Natasha's expert tip: If you're on the guests list, cover is free from 7pm until 9pm.

Read more about The Bourbon →

Alibi Room

The Alibi Room has long been a favorite amongst Vancouverites and is a go-to spot when they're looking for quality food and reasonable prices. This modern tavern is brings pub, restaurant and lounge elements, making it the perfect somewhat low key Friday night. 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. All of their meat, poultry and fish are either sourced locally, ocean friendly, naturally raised or free run, and don't break the bank. Open all week long, the weekend evenings are always busy and brunch on the weekend is never short of hungry diners. The Alibi Room is known for having the best beer selection in Vancouver and you will be hard pressed to choose from the 50 plus beers they have on tap. They also have cocktails and wine.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: The Alibi Room offers a casual space to enjoy one of the best beer selections in Vancouver.

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 →

Nestled along Blood Alley, there is nothing ominous about this lovely wine and cheese bar. Salt is Vancouver's pioneer in the charcuterie scene and led way for many other places specializing in meats, cheeses and wines to follow suit. The menu offers a large variety of charcuterie, a few salads and plenty of wine. There isn't a huge kitchen in this space, so don't expect a hot cooked meal because their focus is on creating the best accompaniments to go with the well-sourced dairy and meat items on the menu. The long communal tables make for a fun and casual evening out.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: Salt Tasting Room is a cozy space where you can go and sip wine and nibble on charcuterie, and the volume is perfect for conversations.

Natasha's expert tip: Try one of their flights to go with the meat and cheese.

Read more about Salt Tasting Room →


Nestled in Vancouver's historic Gastown, the Pourhouse Restaurant is a local favorite when it comes to good food and well-made cocktails. Lovely vintage pieces of furniture in the bar area complement the reclaimed wood used to build the bar. Grab a seat at one of the 25 seats that are ready for you to sit down, relax and sip on some of bartenders magical creations. If sitting at the bar isn't your thing, the crisp white table linens and comfy chairs are welcoming. The food here is comforting with plenty of things to share or order to yourself. Start with tasty bites like a devils on horseback with BBQ sauce, chicken liver pate with red wine prunes, or crispy fried cheese with curry ketchup. For mains, make sure that the Pourhouse burger finds its way to your table.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: The Pourhouse Restaurant's bar is the perfect spot to grab a seat and enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail.

Natasha's expert tip: The long bar has plenty of seating and a number of comfortable chairs in the lounge area. Stay for the night, or come for a pre/post dinner drink.

Read more about Pourhouse Restaurant →

For a touch of genuine Irish spirit, this gastropub can't be beat. Irish owners provide a note of authenticity, as do the menu and drinks. Guinness is always accessible, along with a selection of other draft and bottled beers, not to mention wines and cocktails. Tucked behind The Irish Heather is the Shebeen, a small venue that carries a great number of whiskies, scotches and ryes. Traditional Irish fare peppers the menu, along with creative dishes that capitalize on Vancouver's great culinary bounty. Keep up to date with the Long Table Series they host on a regular basis and enjoy a night of good food and beer. The menu changes often and is paired with a specific beer each time. Of course, you're able to order whatever else you like to drink that evening.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: The Irish Heather is a European gastropub that has an excellent selection of whiskey and scotch.

Natasha's expert tip: If the Heather is packed, walk through to the back and out the door into the Shebeen.

Read more about The Irish Heather →

Weird and wonderful is definitely one way you could describe Clough Club's decor. Exposed brick and stained glass mingle with contemporary touches like a bright green light installation and unique knick knacks to create an interesting space where guests can enjoy handcrafted cocktails and a bite. With a healthy cocktail program and plenty of beer, wine and spirits to choose from, you're not going to go thirsty here. On the menu you'll find smaller bar snacks that are perfect for grazing and larger items like pizza and sandwiches. Clough Club is owned by the Donnelly Group, a Vancouver hospitality company who own a number of successful hospitality businesses around the city.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: Clough Club's happy hour offers $7 cocktails, $3 highballs and $5 hot dogs.

Natasha's expert tip: If you're going on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, try and make a reservation so you don't have to wait.

Read more about Clough Club →

The Diamond is a little gem located on the second floor of a charming brick building in Gastown on Powell St. and Carrall St. The British Victorian decor in The Diamond Restaurant is complemented by a balanced blend of cocktails. Grab a seat by the window, if you can, and 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. Feeling hungry? The Diamond has a selection of Latin- and Mexican-inspired food that pairs well with the drinks. Go for a drink, stay for the food and a good time.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: The Tequila Martinez cocktail is made with premium Reposado Tequila, bianco vermouth, Lillet and peach bitters at The Diamond is a must-order.

Natasha's expert tip: They have a private room, the vault, that's great for private parties.

Read more about The Diamond →

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 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. 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 Gastown's Best Nightlife because: Guilt & Co. hosts talented musicians that make for a great show.

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

Read more about Guilt & Co. →

Mosquito says that they are "A champagne bar without the caviar. A dessert bar without the frosting." It's safe to say that owners, Alice Wu and Johan Friedrich, have nailed this unique and new-to-Vancouver concept. On the dessert menu, guests can expect to enjoy a variety of macarons with interesting flavors like olive oil and rosemary or Oolong tea and milk chocolate, or decadent creations that are perfect for sharing (or having all to yourself). For those who don't like sweet, they have savory options, too. Wash all of that down with a crisp glass of champagne from the well-curated selection of bubbles. Other options include sweet wines, champagne cocktails, spirits, premium spirits and beer.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: Mosquito is Vancouver's only champagne and dessert bar. It provides a sophisticated and classy space to spend an evening.

Natasha's expert tip: Mosquito doesn't take reservations and walk-ins are welcome.

Read more about Mosquito →

A great mix of music, cocktails and a beautiful heritage space that's spread over three levels is what makes Alexander Gastown a fun place to spend the evening. Each night brings something different; from comedy shows and live music to DJs and non-stop dance parties, this refreshing space brings a solid blend of entertainment to Vancouver's Gastown. There's plenty of seating throughout the space so if you want to take a seat and catch up in a cozy corner or get in on the main action, you've got options. Alexander Gastown offers table service, guest list and private parties. To get on guest list and receive a discounted cover charge, apply before 7pm on the day of. Table service lets you bypass the line and avoid paying cover and you can apply by emailing them.

Recommended for Gastown's Best Nightlife because: Alexander Gastown's large space is unlike other venues around the city, and the variety of music is awesome.

Natasha's expert tip: Email them ahead of time to get on the guest list to avoid waiting in line and get a discounted cover price.

Read more about Alexander Gastown →


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