Cocktails Drinking Canada Lists Uncategorized

Vancouver’s 10 Best Cocktail Bars

The absolute can't miss bars in Vancouver

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. This local focus is also happening to pay off internationally, with many of our local bars and restaurants being recognized worldwide.

Here are the 10 most interesting cocktail bars in Vancouver, and what to try:

Updated November 2020

Botanist

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Located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Botanist is a beautiful representation of high end west coast cuisine. Not only is the food absolutely fantastic, but there’s been a lot of thought put into the dynamic cocktail menu as well. It’s expensive, and not for everyone, but it certainly feels like you’re spoiling yourself when you do go.

What to drink: 

Candy Cap Magic; 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.

Chickadee

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Repurposing some of the space from Juke Fried Chicken, Bar Chickadee is loaded with style, from the decor to the cocktails. With the genius mind of bartender Sabrine Dhaliwal (formerly of West) the cocktails here range across all sorts of flavours and textures. It doesn’t hurt that you can get the full menu from Juke’s kitchen right behind the curtain either.

What to drink:

Greyscale: Beefeater gin, black lime, black sesame, lime juice and egg whites.

Como Taperia

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One of Canada’s best new restaurants for 2019, Como Taperia brings a vibe that has been sorely lacking in Vancouver. Dedicated to the tapas bars that line the streets in Barcelona, Como specializes in small plates and cocktails that work as both a preview to dinner elsewhere or a full night in and of themselves.

What to drink:

Chicharito; a vibrant blend of Tequila, Mezcal, Fresh Lime, Agave, Pimenton and Salt. If that doesn’t do it for you, they also have sherry and vermouth on tap as any self respecting tapas bar would.

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:

Old Fashioned; while the cocktail menu is consistently rotating to provide the freshest seasonal ingredients available, you can always depend on the bartenders here to make a mean Old Fashioned.

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.

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:

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

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. It’s one of Vancouver’s hidden gems and an often overlooked place to spend the night.

What to drink:

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.

Straight & Marrow

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Fairly new to the scene, Straight & Marrow didn’t exactly open at the best of times (July, 2020) but that hasn’t stopped them from serving up some innovative cocktails. Bar Manager Chad Rivard brings years of industry experience to his new role behind the pine at Straight and Marrow having worked at foundational restaurants like The Acorn, The Shameful Tiki Room and Odd Society Spirits.

What to drink:

The Straight & Marrow: Th signature cocktail features marrow Infused Mongrel white rye, B&B, beef stock, orange, lemon, red wine, and Ms. Better’s black pepper cardamon bitters.

The Diamond

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A pillar of Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood, the Diamond has maintained a high standard for their cocktail program for years and has continued  to remain relevant and engaging while others around them have struggled. Both the main bar, and the cozy side bar are a perfect date night.

What to drink:

Message in a Bottle; a twist on a classic with Brown butter mezcal, Italian Vermouth, Amaro abano, and Angostura bitters

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.

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