Vancouver’s 13 favorite bars

Torafuku's cocktail menu shines the spotlight on Japanese ingredients. Credit: Leila Kwok

Vancouver’s origins are linked to a watering hole—one of the city’s earliest settlers, John “Gassy Jack” Deighton, was known as a gregarious presence at the Globe Saloon back in 1867. While that place no longer exists, a batch of solid drinking spots proves that Rain City still takes its bar scene seriously.

A beloved Gastown lounge (near the site of the storied Globe Saloon) has a cocktail menu that shouts out the year and location its drinks were invented. An award-winning hotel bar in Coal Harbour has a penchant for British Columbian ingredients such as foraged candy cap mushrooms and oyster leaves. Live jazz and negronis lure diners to a Stadium District stalwart. 

These 13 Vancouver spots are worth raising a glass to. Read on for a guide to the city’s best bars to check out right now.


Botanist (Coal Harbour)

A fizzy yellow cocktail with lemon and thyme at Botanist, a restaurant in Vancouver

The meadowland cocktail features vermouth, elderflower, green tea, and tonic. Credit: Botanist

This award-winning restaurant—and its Cocktail Lab—are set in the luxurious Fairmont Pacific Rim. Head bartender Jeff Savage steers the talented team and is all about cocktails that spotlight British Columbian bounty, such as foraged candy cap mushrooms and oyster leaves. When the restaurant first opened in 2017, sampling its alchemic drinks became a sought-after way to spend an evening in Vancouver, and it’s still an impressive spot. Organic and biodynamic wines are always available, as are spirit-fee concoctions such as the Blue Moon (blueberry, thyme, cedar, citrus blend). Post up at the terrazzo counter and you’ll see why Botanist has scooped up accolades such as a place on North America’s 50 Best Bars for 2023, the Exceptional Cocktails Award from MICHELIN in its inaugural 2022 guide to Vancouver, and more.

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Tutto Restaurant & Bar (Yaletown)

Three hands cheer with wine glasses over a table showcasing an array of Ialian dishes and a botthe of red wine at Tutto Restaurant & Bar in Vancouver.

Wines and cocktails lean toward Italy at Tutto Restaurant & Bar. Credit: Tutto Restaurant & Bar

This multi-level Italian restaurant and bar is a Yaletown charmer housed in a 1910 heritage building. Its most eye-catching features are the curved walls of wine bottles lining the foyer steps—an inventive way to separate its large space into more intimate pockets, including an 18-seat oval bar and an area decked with banquettes. Wines and cocktails both lean toward Italy (case in point: the Playin’ Cello made with gin, Italian liqueurs, and raspberry) and make worthy companions to the traditional dishes. Book the Tutto Experience via OpenTable and opt for the bellini and wagyu beef carpaccio combo. If you’re not feeling the liquor, Tutto’s generous drink list also includes top-notch Italian ciders and beer.

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The Raw Bar at Lobby Lounge (Coal Harbour)

South Beach meets Coal Harbour at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s award-winning lobby lounge. That ambience becomes especially palpable in the summer months when the party spills out onto the hotel’s patios. Musicians play around a white grand piano almost daily, and Wednesdays feature jazz. Standout drinks include a noteworthy sake collection, plus cocktails such as the Lala Lightning (pink peppercorn and lemon spirit, hibiscus, grapefruit, and Champagne). All pair well with shareables including Thai chicken wings or sushi from the RawBar.

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The Victor – Parq Vancouver (Stadium District) 

A cocktail in a green Polynesian-style ceramic glass at The Victor - Parq Vancouver in Vancouver

The Tiki Kahiki at The Victor | Credit: The Victor

A drink at The Victor offers the chance to sip cocktails in one of Vancouver’s most stately settings. The restaurant’s oak tables, green leather banquettes, and velvet chairs take cues from London’s House of Commons (and maybe Ottawa’s, too). And the views are equally stunning, complete with downtown skyline and False Creek vistas. The Victor also boasts one of Vancouver’s best wine cellars, plus draft and bottled beers, wines and sakes by the glass, and an inventive signature cocktail selection. Get the Tiki Kahiki, a modern twist on a tropical classic made with three rums, spicy falernum, lime, pineapple, and bitters. If you’re not imbibing, there’s a killer non-alcoholic gin and tonic adorned with juniper berries. On Tuesdays, sip to live music. 

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Grapes & Soda (Fairview)

There are just 25 seats at Vancouver’s first natural wine bar. The tiny but mighty place earned a spot on Canada’s 50 best bars list in 2022. Co-owner Satoshi Yonemori crafts his own sodas and kombuchas, and all his cocktails are concocted with chef-like precision. But Grapes & Soda is best known for its organic and biodynamic wines, available by the glass and bottle. There’s also sake and whiskies from Canada and beyond. Graze on charcuterie, cheeses, and creative desserts such as whey sorbet with pickled celery, apple, and mint—much like its sibling restaurant Farmer’s Apprentice next door, Grapes & Soda shines for prioritizing local ingredients whenever possible.

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Torafuku (Chinatown)

A stemmed cocktail glass with a pale yellow drink is flanked by two pears and half-cut lime at Torafuku in Vancouver.

Torafuku’s O My Sake cocktail features pear nectar, lime, green tea syrup, and smoky pear bitters. Credit: Leila Kwok

Torafuku is Vancouver’s go-to spot for exquisite pan-Asian plates with an innovative bar program to match. Owner Steve Kuan designed the cocktail menu to shine the spotlight on Japanese ingredients, such as sake and chrysanthemum. Have a seat at the restaurant’s concrete bar with peekaboo views into the kitchen and sip on remixed classics and house-curated signature cocktails—try the Torafuku Sour with oolong-infused rye, lemon, elderflower syrup, egg whites, and yuzu juice or tasty alcohol-free options, including the yuzu lemon soda.

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Frankie’s Jazz Club (Stadium District)

Frankie’s is considered Vancouver’s live jazz and blues headquarters and hosts local, national, and international musicians on its stage. In addition to housemade pastas and hearty mains from Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar next door, diners can choose from beers, ciders, and classic and signature cocktails. Generally, doors open at 6:30 pm with performances at 8 pm from Thursdays through Sundays, though there are sometimes after-dark sessions, and—on special occasions— live music at brunch. If you’ve got a younger music fan, take note: Frankie’s welcomes minors until 10 pm (as long as an adult accompanies them).

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Wolf & Hound (Kitsilano)

Named to honour Belfast-turned-Vancouver musician Danny Burns, who died shortly before this spot opened in 2002, the Wolf & Hound is the quintessential Irish pub. The vibe here is spirited and fueled by live music ranging from upbeat pub singalongs to acoustic Celtic music. Sip on properly poured Irish cider, Guinness—of course—plus local beers. Don’t miss the pitch-perfect pub grub, such as Irish potato soup with soda bread or garlic toast.

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The Diamond (Gastown)

The Diamond is perched on the second floor of a century-old brick building overlooking Maple Tree Square—and the site of one of Vancouver’s very first bars, the Globe Saloon. The beloved neighborhood cocktail parlour divides its menu into boozy, refreshing, and delicate categories. It also notes the year the cocktail was first served. To wit, Cameron’s Kick, made with Scotch and Irish whiskey, is a boozy classic from 1930. Most offerings were invented in-house, such as 2022’s delicate Blackberry Bandit made with peach tea-infused bourbon, pisco, and a salted blackberry star anise reduction. A wide selection of beers, wines, plus non-alcoholic beverages are also served. Note that The Diamond does not have a phone, so use OpenTable to make reservations.

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Reflections – Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Downtown)

A man and a woman sit at a high wooden table with cocktails, surrounded by flower pots and a tree wrapped in tiny white lights at Reflections - Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

The private courtyard at Reflections, upstairs at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, makes a pretty perch for sipping on cocktails. Credit: Reflections – Rosewood Hotel Georgia

This flower-filled courtyard terrace is hidden on the fourth floor of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia—only those in the know realize the elevator off the hotel lobby gives access to its splendour. The seasonal cocktail menu includes the Secret Garden Fizz with rye, Italian bitters, egg whites, fresh grapefruit, and lemon, plus rosemary and rhubarb syrup. Reflections’ first-rate bartenders also prepare sparkling cocktails and reimagined classics. Wines are available, too—some by the glass—including the very best Champagnes.

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The Stock Room (Yaletown)

This tropical speakeasy opened in March 2022—but it takes a little sleuthing to access. Find it in a brick-walled hallway through a door marked “private” behind Hundy, the burger bar on Homer Street. Craft beers, wines (including sparkling, rosé, and even an orange variety), and classic cocktails are on the menu, but The Stock Room excels at fruity cocktails. The drinks come courtesy of Canadian Professional Bartenders Association president Trevor Kallies, and feature creations such as the peachy-lemony Dangerous Liaison made with gin and butterfly pea blossom. Cosmopolitan bar snacks, such as Thai potato chips, are sourced from Lucky’s Exotic Bodega while burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries come from the burger joint out front.

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The Chickadee Room (Chinatown)

This laidback 1980s-themed bar is managed by Sabrine Dhaliwal, who won Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates Best Bartender award in 2021. Dhaliwal and her world-class team mix up classic cocktails and new inventions, and host a Cocktails for a Cause program featuring three new cocktails monthly—a dollar from each purchase goes to worthy causes such as the Indian Residential School Survivors’ Society. Order the Dealer’s Choice—specify a spirit and a style—and Chickadee’s bartenders will concoct something bespoke and unforgettable.


Mahony’s Tavern (False Creek and Convention Center)

Soothing water views and covered patios entice revelers at both outposts of this adored West Coast pub (the Convention Centre location reopened in March 2023 after a renovation). Despite its tavern-like digs, the menus here stretch beyond traditional pub grub. Expect arancini bites, smash burger sliders, and healthy mains, such as a Mediterranean bowl with grilled chicken, marinated chickpeas, mint tzatziki, and more. Crowds also come for live music on Friday and Saturday evenings and select sports events that are aired with the sound up. To all that, add happy hour specials, rotating beers on tap, and classic cocktails including Mahony’s riff on the Caesar—featuring Montreal steak spice and horseradish—and you’ve got a winning formula for an iconic watering hole.

Book now for False Creek

Book now for Convention Center


Johanna Read is a Canadian freelance writer/photographer specializing in travel, food, and responsible tourism; follow her on Twitter at @TravelEater  and Instagram at TravelEaterJohanna.

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