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23 Places to Drink Awesome Cocktails in Vancouver

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In answer to the eternal question - where shall we go for a smokin' hot cocktail - may we point you in the direction of any of these bartenders who are shaking up the most interesting drinks in the city right now. In no particular order these are the bars and restaurants where you are going to get drinks that are far from the usual run of the mill martinis.

See any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments. Drop us a line or leave a comment or contact our 100% confidential TipLine


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Shameful Tiki Room

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4362 Main St, Vancouver
BC, Canada
There are few things better in the world than a superb Tiki bar and Vancouver is lucky enough to have a world-class example right here on Main. Two words: Mystery Bowl. Order it and thank us when you recover from its effects.

2. West Restaurant + Bar

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2881 Granville St, Vancouver
BC V6H 3J4, Canada
(604) 738-8938
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Acknowledged by the industry as a key figure, David Wolowidnyk has been shaking and creating over at West's bar for almost a decade whipping up some of the city's most superb cocktails. With the added skills of talented Sabrine Dedden, this is a must for all cocktail lovers.

3. Maenam

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1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
BC V6J 1M7, Canada
(604) 730-5579
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Pony up to the bar at Angus An's world-class Thai restaurant and order the divine fermented sausage salad to pair with a well-considered cocktail from the talented bar team. Think delicate Asian-influenced flavours and bright herbacious blends.

4. La Mezcaleria

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1622 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
BC V5L 3Y4, Canada
(604) 559-8226
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You may come for the tacos but you'll stay for Kelly Woods' deft touch whipping up far too 'oh, go on, one more-ish' creations using house-made infusions and spiked with smoky mezcal and tequila.

5. The Union

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219 Union St, Vancouver
BC V6A 2B2, Canada
(604) 568-3230
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Bright herbacious creations with an Asian twist are the order of the day at this ultra-popular restaurant and bar. Stop by on a Sunday to try the Banga cocktails on special for $6.

6. Mamie Taylor's

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251 E Georgia St, Vancouver
BC, Canada
(604) 620-8818
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Bar veteran Ron Oliver's ever-evolving list at this modern American restaurant in the heart of Chinatown hops between classics and new creations - always delicious and always beautifully balanced.

7. Bao Bei

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163 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC, Canada
(604) 688-0876
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See why owner Tannis Ling keeps her rep as one of the city's most kick-ass bartenders when you delve into the cocktail creations at this Chinatown hotspot.

8. Keefer Bar

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135 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1X3, Canada
(604) 688-1961
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Under the skillful guidance of Dani Tatarin alongside the contest-winning Gez McAlpine, Chinese apothecary influences meet Prohibition-era drinks in a gleefully gorgeous blend at the Keefer Bar. Don't be overwhelmed by the long list - see it as a Pokemon-like challenge to eventually try 'em all.

9. Calabash Bistro

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428 Carrall St., Vancouver
BC V6B 2J7, Canada
(604) 568-5882
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Rum fans need look no further than this Gastown gem. The dark & stormy with the spicy house-made ginger beer is especially wonderful.

10. Notturno

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280 Carrall Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J1, Canada
(604) 720-3145
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Once you've enjoyed the delights of the charcuterie and other small plates from the kitchen, plunge into self-styled British bad boy bartender H's regularly changing cocktail list. You'll be glad that you did.

11. L’Abattoir

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217 Carrall St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J2, Canada
(604) 568-1701
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Charming host Shaun Layton's creative concoctions bring a crowd to his bar every night. One of the most respected bartenders in the city and deservedly so.

12. Bambudda

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99 Powell St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1E9, Canada
(604) 428-0301
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Eater Young Guns nominee Buck Friend is ringing the changes at this Gastown restaurant and bar. Whether it's an old favourite like the cocktail-in-a-teapot Tsui Hang or a crazy aquarium pump-assisted new Bubble Tea, there is no more fun place to be than at Buck's bar.

13. The Diamond

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6 Powell St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1E7, Canada
(604) 568-8272
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Josh Pape's always-popular Diamond now has the added attraction of the talents of ex-Wildebeest bartender Thor Paulson. Give in to a Gastown inevitability: climb the stairs and pull up a barstool.

14. Pourhouse

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162 Water St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2M9, Canada
(604) 568-7022
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A much-loved Gastown haunt with bar manager Rhett Williams's home-made infusions and creations resulting in knock-out drinks. This summer Rhett's bringing shrub drinks back to the city with weekly changing flavours and spirits.

15. Wildebeest

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120 W Hastings St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1G8, Canada
(604) 687-6880
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Under the guidance of the ever-talented Josh Pape, along with its dazzling dining programme, Wildebeest has a cocktail menu to match - literally - it's one of the few places in town you can get specially-created cocktails to pair with their meat-centric creations. Say yes to everything but insist on trying one of the alcoholic slushies.

16. Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

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1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver
BC V6B 5T4, Canada
(604) 688-8078
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Led by the creative powerhouse that is Evelyn Chick, the bar at Blue Water shines as a haven for fans of whisk(e)y - more than 170 on the list - and lovers of finely-balanced and very delicious drinks.

17. Uva Wine Bar

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900 Seymour St., Vancouver
British Columbia V6B 2L9, Canada
(604) 632-9560
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Walking the line between lower-alcohol drinks with herbacious flavours and a dash of bitters and gloriously boozy, punchy creations, bar manager Lauren Mote is leading Uva towards being one of the city's most important cocktail bars.

18. Hawksworth Cocktail Bar At Hotel Georgia

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801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
BC V6C 1P7, Canada
With the talented and charming Cooper Tardival at the helm, the team at the Hawksworth Bar create pleasingly boozy and beautifully balanced cocktails. There are few better places to start a celebratory evening.

19. Reflections

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801 W Georgia St, Vancouver
BC V6C 1P7, Canada
(604) 682-5566
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Look beyond the cabana beds and glitz of this seasonal Ibiza-in-the-city patio bar and you'll discover bartender's Robyn Gray's warm hospitality and creative, well-balanced concotions.

20. The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar

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905 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver
BC V6C 2E8, Canada
(604) 899-4456
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Under the watchful eye of multi-award winning bartender Jay Jones, the Blackbird's whisk(e)y bar has become a haven for all who seek to be soothed by true hospitality and delighted by genuinely innovative cocktail creations.

21. Grain Tasting Bar

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655 Burrard St., Vancouver
BC V6C 2R7, Canada
(604) 639-4768
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Keeping their bar as BC-friendly as possible, Grain's daily cocktail specials and tireless support of the local distillery scene make this a must for all locavore boozehounds. Also - late opening makes this an industry downtown favourite.

22. Lobby Lounge and Terrace

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1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver
BC V6C 0B9, Canada
(604) 695-5502
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The best smelling lobby in the city - with the only 100% Ocean Wise sushi raw bar in the city - also boasts one of the most elegant cocktail menus in the city, thanks to the ultra-hospitable Grant Sceney.

23. Buck Stop

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833 Denman, Vancouver
BC V6G 2L7, Canada
(604) 428-2528
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Of course the main attraction is chef Henry Besser Rosenberg's peerless barbecue, but smarter drinkers will spot owner Fiona Grieve's house-made infusions, syrups and innovative cocktails on the menu and stay for one - or two - more.

1. The Shameful Tiki Room

4362 Main St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
There are few things better in the world than a superb Tiki bar and Vancouver is lucky enough to have a world-class example right here on Main. Two words: Mystery Bowl. Order it and thank us when you recover from its effects.
4362 Main St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

2. West Restaurant + Bar

2881 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J4, Canada
Acknowledged by the industry as a key figure, David Wolowidnyk has been shaking and creating over at West's bar for almost a decade whipping up some of the city's most superb cocktails. With the added skills of talented Sabrine Dedden, this is a must for all cocktail lovers.
2881 Granville St, Vancouver
BC V6H 3J4, Canada

3. Maenam

1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M7, Canada
Pony up to the bar at Angus An's world-class Thai restaurant and order the divine fermented sausage salad to pair with a well-considered cocktail from the talented bar team. Think delicate Asian-influenced flavours and bright herbacious blends.
1938 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
BC V6J 1M7, Canada

4. La Mezcaleria

1622 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4, Canada
You may come for the tacos but you'll stay for Kelly Woods' deft touch whipping up far too 'oh, go on, one more-ish' creations using house-made infusions and spiked with smoky mezcal and tequila.
1622 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
BC V5L 3Y4, Canada

5. The Union

219 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2B2, Canada
Bright herbacious creations with an Asian twist are the order of the day at this ultra-popular restaurant and bar. Stop by on a Sunday to try the Banga cocktails on special for $6.
219 Union St, Vancouver
BC V6A 2B2, Canada

6. Mamie Taylor's

251 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Bar veteran Ron Oliver's ever-evolving list at this modern American restaurant in the heart of Chinatown hops between classics and new creations - always delicious and always beautifully balanced.
251 E Georgia St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

7. Bao Bei

163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
See why owner Tannis Ling keeps her rep as one of the city's most kick-ass bartenders when you delve into the cocktail creations at this Chinatown hotspot.
163 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC, Canada

8. Keefer Bar

135 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3, Canada
Under the skillful guidance of Dani Tatarin alongside the contest-winning Gez McAlpine, Chinese apothecary influences meet Prohibition-era drinks in a gleefully gorgeous blend at the Keefer Bar. Don't be overwhelmed by the long list - see it as a Pokemon-like challenge to eventually try 'em all.
135 Keefer St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1X3, Canada

9. Calabash Bistro

428 Carrall St., Vancouver, BC V6B 2J7, Canada
Rum fans need look no further than this Gastown gem. The dark & stormy with the spicy house-made ginger beer is especially wonderful.
428 Carrall St., Vancouver
BC V6B 2J7, Canada

10. Notturno

280 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1, Canada
Once you've enjoyed the delights of the charcuterie and other small plates from the kitchen, plunge into self-styled British bad boy bartender H's regularly changing cocktail list. You'll be glad that you did.
280 Carrall Street, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J1, Canada

11. L’Abattoir

217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2, Canada
Charming host Shaun Layton's creative concoctions bring a crowd to his bar every night. One of the most respected bartenders in the city and deservedly so.
217 Carrall St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2J2, Canada

12. Bambudda

99 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9, Canada
Eater Young Guns nominee Buck Friend is ringing the changes at this Gastown restaurant and bar. Whether it's an old favourite like the cocktail-in-a-teapot Tsui Hang or a crazy aquarium pump-assisted new Bubble Tea, there is no more fun place to be than at Buck's bar.
99 Powell St, Vancouver
BC V6A 1E9, Canada

13. The Diamond

6 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E7, Canada
Josh Pape's always-popular Diamond now has the added attraction of the talents of ex-Wildebeest bartender Thor Paulson. Give in to a Gastown inevitability: climb the stairs and pull up a barstool.
6 Powell St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1E7, Canada

14. Pourhouse

162 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2M9, Canada
A much-loved Gastown haunt with bar manager Rhett Williams's home-made infusions and creations resulting in knock-out drinks. This summer Rhett's bringing shrub drinks back to the city with weekly changing flavours and spirits.
162 Water St, Vancouver
BC V6B 2M9, Canada

15. Wildebeest

120 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8, Canada
Under the guidance of the ever-talented Josh Pape, along with its dazzling dining programme, Wildebeest has a cocktail menu to match - literally - it's one of the few places in town you can get specially-created cocktails to pair with their meat-centric creations. Say yes to everything but insist on trying one of the alcoholic slushies.
120 W Hastings St, Vancouver
BC V6B 1G8, Canada

16. Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, Canada
Led by the creative powerhouse that is Evelyn Chick, the bar at Blue Water shines as a haven for fans of whisk(e)y - more than 170 on the list - and lovers of finely-balanced and very delicious drinks.
1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver
BC V6B 5T4, Canada

17. Uva Wine Bar

900 Seymour St., Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2L9, Canada
Walking the line between lower-alcohol drinks with herbacious flavours and a dash of bitters and gloriously boozy, punchy creations, bar manager Lauren Mote is leading Uva towards being one of the city's most important cocktail bars.
900 Seymour St., Vancouver
British Columbia V6B 2L9, Canada

18. Hawksworth Cocktail Bar At Hotel Georgia

801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada
With the talented and charming Cooper Tardival at the helm, the team at the Hawksworth Bar create pleasingly boozy and beautifully balanced cocktails. There are few better places to start a celebratory evening.
801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
BC V6C 1P7, Canada

19. Reflections

801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada
Look beyond the cabana beds and glitz of this seasonal Ibiza-in-the-city patio bar and you'll discover bartender's Robyn Gray's warm hospitality and creative, well-balanced concotions.
801 W Georgia St, Vancouver
BC V6C 1P7, Canada

20. The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar

905 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2E8, Canada
Under the watchful eye of multi-award winning bartender Jay Jones, the Blackbird's whisk(e)y bar has become a haven for all who seek to be soothed by true hospitality and delighted by genuinely innovative cocktail creations.
905 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver
BC V6C 2E8, Canada

21. Grain Tasting Bar

655 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7, Canada
Keeping their bar as BC-friendly as possible, Grain's daily cocktail specials and tireless support of the local distillery scene make this a must for all locavore boozehounds. Also - late opening makes this an industry downtown favourite.
655 Burrard St., Vancouver
BC V6C 2R7, Canada

22. Lobby Lounge and Terrace

1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9, Canada
The best smelling lobby in the city - with the only 100% Ocean Wise sushi raw bar in the city - also boasts one of the most elegant cocktail menus in the city, thanks to the ultra-hospitable Grant Sceney.
1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver
BC V6C 0B9, Canada

23. Buck Stop

833 Denman, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L7, Canada