If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Victoria guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Victoria for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub to busy places like Swans Brewpub that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Downtown area? No fear - we share all the facts!


Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

Overlooking the scenic Inner Harbour, Spinnakers opened in 1984 and remains a Victoria favorite. The beers are brewed in small batches on-site, so they change frequently. Seasonal brews are featured as well. Adults may enjoy their ales and lagers in the Taproom upstairs, where someone is always ready for a game of darts or pool. If you're looking for a more family-friendly atmosphere, try the restaurant on the main floor. You'll find an excellent selection of lunch and dinner options, and the same fine beers. Be sure to check out their Provisions store, which stocks Spinnaker's Malt Vinegar, along with a variety of deli items, baked goods and candies, all made on the premises.

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Right on the water, Canoe boasts a fabulous deck that's perfect for outdoor relaxing, nearly year-round. Inside, the beautifully restored brick building has soaring ceilings with skylights, hardwood floors and giant copper cauldrons where the house beers are brewed – try the "beer fleet" (five five-ounce samples) to find one that suits you. The food is a cut above, with options like harissa chicken salad, lamb shank with polenta, steamed mussels, and salmon with shrimp risotto.

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Housed in a renovated feed house dating from 1913, the soaring ceilings and ground-floor greenhouse make this one of Victoria's most unique pubs. The owner's extensive art collection is regularly on display, and there is live music five nights per week. The beers are delicious and all brewed on site. Try one with some fish and chips or bangers and mash.

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