How To Drink In Style In Vancouver

Above: West Restaurant + Bar on Granville Street in Vancouver

Vancouver has a reputation as an outdoor city – that is, most of its residents spend the majority of their time skiing, hiking and kayaking, depending on the time of year. But, when the rain starts to pour there are a handful of gems to duck into for a refreshing cocktail. Herewith, five trendy bars that promise sophisticated spirits and a truly West Coast experience.


Located in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Hawksworth offers contemporary Canadian cuisine led by internationally celebrated chef David Hawksworth. If you can get a seat, their cocktail bar is the place to be seen on a weekend evening in downtown Vancouver.

Try: Their signature drink, Hotel Georgia (beefeater gin, orgeat syrup, fresh lemon juice, orange blossom water, egg white and nutmeg), $12

Keefer Bar

Trendy hipsters flock to Chinatown’s Keefer Bar. With a focus on Apothecary-style drinks with an Asian flare, bartenders source most of their ingredients from local Chinatown markets and shops. Tip: Get there early to snag a spot around one of their outdoor fireplaces.

Try: Komodo Dragon (Pimms, Giffard Lychee, Lemon, Yuzu Marmalade, Ginko Biloba, Royal Jelly and Soda), $30 a pitcher


With an historic address (the location was the city’s first jail), L’Abattoir offers a taste of the finer life in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

Try: Gastown Swizzle (Citadelle gin, Aperol, passionfruit, fresh lime and Fernet drizzle), $11

The Roof at Black and Blue

Owned by the Glowbal Group (of Italian Kitchen, Coast and Society fame), The Roof boasts Vancouver’s largest outdoor patio. Whether it’s mimosas with brunch or drinks in the evening, in the warmer months The Roof promises a classy, Vegas-like experience.

Try: Ask your server for a suggestion from their seasonal drink menu.


For a traditional bar experience (think cherry wood), head to Vancouver’s West. While the atmosphere may be classic, the drinks most certainly have a twist. Bar manager David Wolowidnyk is an award-winning mixologist with a grab bag of techniques that would rival a chemistry lab.

Try: Winner of the 2012 World’s Most Imaginative Bartender, The Beldi (Bombay Sapphire infused with saffron and ginseng, martini bianco cold steeped with green tea and mint, cinnamon syrup, bittered sling ‘Lem-Marrakech’ bitters, toasted coriander mist and lemon zest), $13

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