Bar Hop: Vancouver

You may have seen, a few weeks ago, a post on this site about how to effectively visit many cocktail bars in one night. Instructions are all fine and good but here is an actual account of one of these missions. This one took place in 2014 in the city of Vancouver.

Vancouver was the first city to host Tales On Tour. They did it twice. This story, however is about trying to visit a bunch of bars both new and old in one night. Following (most of) the rules set up in this post, here is what we recommend you do the next time you find yourself on the Canadian side of the Pacific Northwest.

Bar Hop Vancouver

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1/ Uva Wine Bar.
I know that it is named after grapes and that it is called a wine bar, but the closest we got to wine was some vermouth in a cocktail. Canadian bartending heavyweights Lauren Mote and Evelyn Chick have both done stints at this stylish downtown hotel bar. Currently the only woman in Canada as quick witted, taller and blonder than Lauren Mote is running the show, Sabrine Dhaliwal. We recommend a quick stop here on your way out as belly warmer.

Uva Wine Bar

2/ L’Abattoir
This Gastown restaurant is exactly the kind of place you want to eat at to make sure you have a good base of solid food in your stomach before going hard. Their bar program is stellar and now Katie Ingram is there. She’s a riot. Expect well thought out and well crafted drinks and a bunch of non-sequitur jokes from her if you sit at the bar.


3/ The Diamond
This place was one of the first spots in Vancouver to visit to grab a truly outstanding cocktail. As it is with many places, after being open for so long the staff has changed over a few times. They have some fresh blood in the way of Rod Redford from Calgary’s Proof. Pick something from their well crafted cocktail list before heading to lion’s den that is…

4/ The Hotel Georgia
There are several bars in this building. The restaurant is also unbelievable, if you want to mess with the order of this bar hop. Cooper Tardivel has been here for years. You want an opinionated, well read and hilarious East Coaster to make you impeccable drinks, here he is. Hawksworth is his home.

5/ The Keefer Bar
Getting out of Gastown/Downtown and towards Chinatown we have The Keefer. Open for a long time now, this place is one of the many that put Vancouver on the cocktail map. Jars of herbs and spices and infusions all over the walls and shelves pay a great tribute to it’s Chinatown surroundings. Gez McAlpine  is a master at reading your face and making a drink accordingly. This is what he did the last time we did this bar hop. As in “You look like you have been to 4 other bars where you were supposed to only have one drink but probably had 3 instead”.

Vancouver bars

Mamie Taylor’s
This bar is great. Stuffed animals wearing hipster clothing on the walls let’s you know that these people know what they are doing. Or at least have a sense of humour.

And there you have it.
Most of these places are walking distance from each other, but don’t worry because Vancouver is a cab-friendly city. Have fun! And drink water!

Do you have any bars in Vancouver to add to our list? Comment below.

Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in Vancouver. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.

Josh Lindley
Co-Creator at Bartender Atlas
Josh Lindley has been bartending in Toronto since 2007. Before working for Hendrick's Gin as a Brand Ambassador he was bar manager at Campagnolo and a hired gun at Bar Isabel before working at Chantecler, Le Phenix and Eataly. He has contributed to many magazines, tv shows and newspapers with his recipes and opinions. He recently put his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Humber College to good use through The Blackbird audio documentary. Currently pouring at Civl Liberties and teaching cocktail classes for Evelyn Chick's Love of Cocktails, he enjoys being an ambassador to Toronto and talking about horror movies, punk rock and basketball.
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