Vancouver’s 12 Best Cocktail Bars

Vancouver is home to many creative cocktail bars and restaurants. We are fortunate to live in a region filled with fresh ingredients and inspirations, and our local bartenders are finding unique ways to incorporate them into exciting cocktails.

Here are 12 of the most interesting cocktail bars in Vancouver, and what to try:

Botanist

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Located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Botanist is one of the latest high end restaurants to hit Vancouver. It’s not cheap, it’s very pretentious, but it’s also absolutely stunning both in presentation and in preparation.

What to drink: 

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Candy Cap Magic; as you can see this cocktail is a work of art and the flavours are just as stunning. Using Mushroom Rye, Vermouth and Spiced Maple with the addition of some local forest and moss makes for one totally original piece.

What to eat:

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Lobster, because it’s absolutely to die for. Comes with trumpet mushrooms, fennel, crispy risotto and a lobster bisque.

Cabrito

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Located on Commercial Drive, Cabrito has that special blend of casual and higher end that many places strive for but miss the mark.

What to drink:

What to eat:

Charcuterie board hands down. With Spanish cheeses, ham, chorizo and more the Charcuterie board is sure to please most everyone.

Crowbar

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Crowbar is surprisingly hidden given its very high profile neighbours of Savio Volpe and newly opened Bells and Whistles, but their small and well curated cocktail menu is well worth the visit.

What to drink:

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What to eat:

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Grapes & Soda

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An intimate, 30-seat room located in Vancouver’s chic South Granville neighbourhood, next door to its acclaimed sister restaurant Farmer’s Apprentice, Grapes & Soda shares not only the same décor and spirit but also the fresh, local, farm-to-table philosophy for which Farmer’s Apprentice has become known.

What to drink:

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Ri-Kyu; this cocktail is really creative in it’s presentation. Gin, caraway, cocchi americano, gfj, lime, sencha kombucha is prepared in a bottle and poured over a butterfly peaflower ice cube.

What to eat:

Another season menu makes this one hard to pin down but the fried octopus with pressed crispy rice, seaweed mayo and nuka pickles are delicious.

Juniper

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If you’re a gin fan, Juniper is the place to go. With a strong focus on gin based cocktails, Juniper knocks it out of the park. There are of course other options, should you not be a gin drinker.

What to drink:

What to eat:

Again it’s seasonally selected but the lightly cured and torched haidacore tuna on butternut squash with barley risotto is succulent.

Kissa Tanto

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Kissa Tanto has an extremely cool vibe to it, there’s just something satisfying about digging into their dishes or sipping cocktails at the bar.

What to drink:

Singapore Sling; can’t go wrong with a classic. Gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, fresh pineapple Angostura bitters and lime juice.

What to eat:

Sable fish with golden chanterelles, artichoke, confit sunchoke, cippolini, grilled carrot and lobster broth

PiDGiN

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PiDGiN may have come onto the scene with some controversy, but it’s managed to stick around with some of the best fusion food and cocktail programs the city has to offer.

What to drink:

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Campfire Headphase; rosemary infused rye, lemon, maple syrup, bitter and of course some Four Winds IPA.

What to eat:

Ika sumi ramen with clams, squid, mushroom sake broth and fermented tofu.

Pourhouse

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By far one of the coziest and classic style cocktail venues in the city. Pourhouse understands the value of a good cocktail and how to keep customers coming back through the door time and time again.

What to drink:

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Aged Rum Old Fashioned; I’m a sucker for the Old Fashioned’s here. Eldorado 15, Diplomatico Reserva, Raw Sugar and Angostura Bitters.

What to eat:

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Pourhouse burger with fried egg. Quite literally one of the best burgers in the city.

Prohibition

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A throwback to the age of decadence, glamour and prosperity, Prohibition transports patrons back in time to the Roaring Twenties.

What to drink:

Inception Negroni; yes it’s really expensive ($30) but you get two negroni’s for the price of one. A white Negroni becomes a traditional red Negroni when the ice sphere melts and reveals the cocktail inside.

What to eat:

Surprisingly good chicken wings; buttermilk and spice, crispy fried with Korean style sauce.

Shameful Tiki

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If you can’t get away from the city, take a small vacation by visiting the Shameful Tiki, where it literally feels like you’re on a tropical island sipping Mai Tai’s.

What to drink:

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Volcano Bowl; meant for four people, this secret mixture of things like mezcal, rum and secret spices comes in a flashy presentation and drinks smoother than you’d like to admit.

What to eat:

Hawaiian ribs, go all in with the tropical theme.

The Keefer

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The Keefer is one of the most unique spaces in Vancouver. With a retro/futuristic/Pan-Asian style it’s definitely one worth spending hours pouring over the little details.

What to drink:

Northern Exposure; Collingwood whisky, pineapple, maple, yun zhi, lemon, ginger, red ginseng and soda.

What to eat:

Small menu but the Keefer Bao buns are really well done with sous vide black vinegar beef.

Upstairs at Campagnolo

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A very different vibe than the downstairs restaurant, this is a great place for a casual drink. Kind of reminds me of like a typical parents basement bar.

What to drink:

The barrel aged cocktails. It rotates and is generally very good and quite strong.

What to eat:

The dirty burger; it’s their speciality and there are limited quantities every evening.

 

 

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