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The 7 Best Bars in Vancouver, BC, You Won't Find in City Guides

Vancouver Restaurants + Bars
by Suzie Dundas Nov 6, 2023

Vancouver, British Columbia, is a lively and fun city. It’s on the water, home to the sprawling Stanley Park, and just a 15-minute drive from epic hiking and trails at nearby mountains. And if you know much about hip cities with easy access to the outdoors, you know they tend to attract a modern, young crowd. And with that comes lots of fun beer gardens, bars, microbreweries, distilleries, and other unique places to wet your whistle after exploring the city.

But the best bars in Vancouver aren’t just busy hipster digs. You can grab a glass of wine in the sun at Stanley Park, swing by a family-style microbrewery to try beers brewed with pineapple, or head south to watch seaplanes land just steps from your sunny table.

If you live around the city, you’ll probably be able to tell that the list below just scratches the surface of the best bars in Vancouver. But if you’re a visitor, it’s a great guide to introduce you to some of the best watering holes in the city.

By the way: the drinking age in Vancouver is 19, so don’t be alarmed if your fellow bar-goers seem a little younger than you’re used to in the States.

Where to find the best bars in Vancouver, BC

Most people visiting Vancouver tend to stay in the West End, close to Stanley Park. That’s where most of the hotels are, and as a result, many of the bars and restaurants. But you’ll find some of the best bars in Vancouver scattered across the city,  from North Van all the way down to Richmond.

The best bars in Vancouver

As with all cities, there’s a lot of turnover when it comes to bars and restaurants. Past favorites like the Black Lodge and Fets Whiskey Kitchen have closed their doors permanently, and bars are always getting bought and sold. Check these bars out while you can — and don’t be afraid to explore other bars nearby, too.

Copperpenny Distilling Co.

If you thought gin was just for hipsters, well — well, okay, Copperpenny Distilling Company actually is pretty hip. But it also has the chops to back up its cool reputation, with award-winning gins and thoughtful cocktails that will convince even people who don’t like gin to like gin. The tasting room has a tropical-meets-industrial feel, with peacock wallpaper, metallic bar stools, and exposed wire lighting and pipes.

Most importantly, for the purposes of calling it one of the best bars in Vancouver, is the drink menu. It’s quite diverse, with gin-based drinks ranging from sours to fruity cocktails to twists on an old-fashioned G&T. You can also order tasting flights of gin to try everything from dry gin to sloe gin, or opt for a cocktail tasting flight (perfect for sharing). And you can buy bottles at the bar, in case you want to take home what you’re tasting.

  • Reservations: No
  • Address: 288 Esplanade E Unit 103, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1A3, Canada

The 515 Bar


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The 515 Bar is your classic neighborhood cocktail and beer bar, with a dark vibe, vintage furniture, and a garage door-style wall to let the breeze in on warm days. It has an inviting feeling, made even more inviting once you sit down and see the excellent selection of handmade cocktails. All are extremely well-balanced and created by the knowledgable bartenders. The 515 is also only a few blocks from the Orpheum Theater, making it a great place to stop before or after a show, and just a quick walk from the SeaBus terminal, in case you’re headed back to North Vancouver after a night in the city. It’s also attached to the Malone Sports Bar and has daily happy hour deals ($10 cocktails), from 4-6 PM.

D/6 Bar and Lounge


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For a chic, nightclub-like experience with a bit of extra elegance, head to D/6 Bar and Lounge, inside the large Parq Vancouver Complex. The huge space has indoor and outdoor tables, a DJ and dance floor on the weekends, and multiple bars with local beers and tasty cocktails. Most of the seating is lounge-style, and the pool table surrounded by comfy couches is a great place for a drink before heading to dinner.

D/6 Bar and Lounge varies a lot based on the day of the week. It’s lively on weekends, with a DJ and club atmosphere, but it’s more of a casual lounge midweek. But regardless of when you visit, be sure to find the small speakeasy within the larger space, especially if you prefer more intimate bars. If you’re there toward the end of the night, don’t forget to take a peek at the late-night menu. While the pizzas are always a good bet, the trio of boozy fruit cocktails is also worth an order.

  • Reservations: Yes
  • Address: 39 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0R3, Canada



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Brewhall is like a giant, modern festhaus from a German Oktoberfest, except its in the middle of Vancouver and also has arcade games ranging from PacMan to Big Buck hunter. The first floor is a huge space with long tables and a giant bar where they serve up more than 20 beers on tap, many of which are Brewhall originals. As of November 2023, options range from the light “Köl Story Bro” Kölsch to more unique options like a dragon fruit gose with guava.

Brewhall’s second floor is smaller and focuses more on craft cocktails. The space is called DRINKLAB and serves mostly whiskeys, with more than 50 options from around the world available to order. The food menu is served both upstairs and downstairs and includes everything from burgers to salads to pizza — but it’s probably best known for its specialty french fry and macaroni and cheese menus, with options like queso fries or jalapeno and mozzarella mac.

  • Reservations: Yes
  • Address: 97 E 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 1B3, Canada

Stanley’s Bar & Grill

Not all of the best bars in Vancouver are late-night, downtown affairs. One of the best places to grab a drink in the city is smack in middle of sprawling Stanley Park — and it’s more than 100 years old. The Stanley Park Pavilion is a popular restaurant, but it also has a 50-person bar called Stanley’s Bar and Grill. It’s one of the best places in the city for a glass of wine on a spring day, with the best seats being on the large deck surrounded by trees.

The drink menu is heavy on wine, much of which is from the nearby Okanagan Valley, but it also has a full bar. The prices are a bit on the higher end, but you’re paying partially for atmosphere. Sitting on the deck on a summer day feels like you’re relaxing at a lively garden party, rather than just sitting on a bar patio.

  • Reservations: Only for groups of eight or more
  • Address: 610 Pipeline Rd, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada

The Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

The Flying Beaver may not be on a rooftop or in famous Stanley Park, but it has one of the best vantage points in the city for watching something unusual while you sip a beer or cocktail: tiny floatplanes landing and taking off on the Fraser River, just south of the international airport. It’s in Richmond in the Harbour Air Terminal, and on clear days, you can see across to Vancouver Island — which is where many of the seaplanes are headed.

This fun Vancouver bar has an outdoor patio in the summer and a menu focused on pizza and pub food — but it’s good pub food, and you won’t feel like the bar is only popular because of the planes. The baked mac and cheese is always a good choice, and there’s a happy hour taco menu where you can mix and match $5 tacos.

  • Reservations: Only for groups
  • Address: 4760 Inglis Dr, Richmond, BC V7B 1W4, Canada

The 1927 Lobby Lounge

There’s just something about a Prohibition-themed lounge that adds a touch of class to any boozin’ experience, and the 1927 Lobby Lounge at the Rosewood Hotel is no exception. It’s named after the year the Rosewood Hotel opened and was one of the first restaurants allowed to serve alcohol in the city. Cocktails pay homage to the “Roaring 20s,” with options like “The Charlie Chaplin” (gin, apricot liqueur, and lime), “The Great Gatsby” (with vodka, lillet blanc, and grapefruit), and the “Port Authority,” akin to an Old Fashioned with cacao liquor.

The Rosewood Hotel is smack in the middle of downtown, making it one of the best bars in Vancouver to visit before dinner in the city. But that’s not just because of the cocktails —  the 1927 Lounge has live music almost every day from 6 to 9 PM.

  • Reservations: Only for dinner; bar is drop-in
  • Address: 801 West Georgia St., Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada

Where to stay in Vancouver, BC

Vancouver has an incredible amount of hotels and resorts packed into a relatively small space. There are lots and lots of good options, but the recommendations below hit the sweet spot for quality, price, and walkability for checking out some of the best bars in Vancouver.

Matador also has an in-depth guide to the best hotels in Vancouver, from luxe to hip to budget-friendly.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

best bars in vancouver - fairmont


There are lots of pretty hotels in Vancouver — and the Fairmont is right up there among them. The hotel is walkable to nearly everywhere in downtown Van and was built in 1939, giving it a level of grandness you won’t see in more modern builds. Even the lowest-priced rooms are luxurious and filled with plush bedding and high-end toiletries. Rooms start around $214 per night, and though it’s not on this list, the hotel’s Notch 8 Lounge is pretty chic.

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JW Marriott Parq Vancouver

best bars in vancouver - JW


The JW Parq Marriott is a sprawling hotel with an on-site restaurant, a gym and hot tubs, and easy access to the entire BC Place stadium (and all the restaurants and bars that come with it). Rooms are bright and modern with views of the water, and start in the low $200s. It’s also near some more affordable, hole-in-the-wall type restaurants a bit removed from the tourist areas.

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Victorian Hotel


The Victorian Hotel is a great balance between cost and quality. The vintage hotel was first built in 1898, and while it’s since had many renovations, it still has design features reminiscent of its Canadian Gold Rush roots. The rooms are bright and modern, but the designers preserved details like original brick walls. Rooms start around $130, or even closer to $100 if you’re cool with the “Victorian Experience” — a.k.a., using a shared bathroom in the hallway, gold prospector-style.

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