We don’t know about you guys, but we could do with a drink! Luckily, Vancouver’s smoking hot bar scene sizzles with options from Tiki rooms to hidden speakeasy-style joints, so cocktail connoisseurs and casual imbibers alike can always find a place to pull up a bar stool, meet locals and sip on some seriously good drinks. Here are our top five cocktail bars to try in Vancouver! As with most places these days, we recommend giving them a call to find out current opening hours and reservations policies.
The Diamond, Gastown
Right in the heart of historic Gastown, The Diamond is easy to miss from street-level. Look for the neon diamond on the Powell corner of Maple Tree Square and head upstairs for contemporary cocktails and charcuterie nibbles. We’re fans of the modern speakeasy feel when it’s dark, but early evening with the sun streaming through the windows is also a breath of fresh air.
The Keefer Bar, Chinatown
Chinatown is home to some of the city’s coolest bars, but The Keefer Bar has always stood out to us as one of the most interesting, thanks to its apothecary-themed décor and cocktails. But one of the most welcome outcomes of the pandemic has been the opening of The Keefer Yard, the covered and heated patio right next door to the bar, complete with live music, fire tables, and mini-putt course.
The Chickadee Room, Chinatown
Right across the street from The Keefer, and located at the end of our favourite fried chicken restaurant, Juke, the Chickadee Room is a cocktail bar re-imagined for “Covid Times.” Once seated, use their app to order without contact, then watch your bartender whip up your chosen creation over at the bar. Getting peckish? You can always order snacks from the Juke menu.
Liberty Distillery, Granville Island
Take home a taste of B.C. from Granville Island’s Liberty Distillery — made right here in Vancouver from 100% organic B.C. grain, the handcrafted artisanal spirits range from pink gin to whiskey aged in Madeira barrels. While the tasting tours have been suspended for right now, you can still take a seat at the 110-year-old bar and sip cocktails such as their Honey’d Sour made with their own Railspur No. 2 Wildflower Honey unaged whiskey.
Shameful Tiki Room, Mount Pleasant
Take a trip to Polynesia (well, just up Main Street) and enter the yellow door to discover the darkly lit world of the Shameful Tiki Room. As the exotic name suggests, this Tiki-themed bar serves up seriously boozy beverages in a tropical setting (we’re not kidding — ‘Zombie’ rum cocktails are so potent they are limited to two per person). Share a mystery volcano cocktail for a fun surprise when it’s served and listen out for live music on the weekend.
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Feature image: The bar at The Diamond: The Diamond’s Instagram account
The Diamond: The Diamond’s Website
The Keefer Bar: The Keefer Bar’s Facebook Page
Chickadee Room: Chickadee Room website
Liberty Distillery: Liberty Distillery’s Facebook Page
The Shameful Tiki: The Shameful Tiki’s Facebook Page