Nightclubs and bars in Vancouver

  • Fish & chips and a delicious ramen bowl
    Fish & chips and a delicious ramen bowl
    by Jefie
  • Watching the hockey game at the pub
    Watching the hockey game at the pub
    by Jefie
  • Bangers & Champ at Ceili's
    Bangers & Champ at Ceili's
    by Jefie

Most Viewed Nightlife in Vancouver

  • bocmaxima's Profile Photo

    Alibi: Best Beer Bar in the City

    by bocmaxima Written Apr 18, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was looking for a pub where I could maximize the number of local taps open to me. All sources pointed to the Alibi.
    Sitting within Gastown, but with almost no sign and on a quiet street, it's almost the perfect place. They get a sizable crowd, but they don't get a ton of tourists, and they have two floors with two separate bars, although both bars have the same taps. Almost every brewery (there are a number of them) in Vancouver was represented, in addition to Howe Sound (Squamish) and several of the Victoria breweries (again, there are a few). Basically, all about BC beer. All I drank that night was BC beer and that's what I wanted. But they have a few West Coast taps - including Bellingham's Boundary Bay, which I found interesting - and a few high-quality Belgians. IIRC, no La Fin du Monde, as I anticipated (English Canadian animosity).
    You get a "small" (12) for $4 or a "large" (20) for $6. They also do samplers, but they're a little pricey. Just ask.
    Helluva bartender. The guy really knew his beer and had suggestions for everything. I had a lot of tastes that night. It pays to ask questions.
    The upstairs was bigger on the food as everyone there was eating. It looked good and seemed to be standard gastropub fare.

    Dress Code: Smart casual but no enforced dress code

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Ceili's Irish Pub: Good food in a nice atmosphere

    by Jefie Updated Apr 17, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This Irish pub was located just across the street from my hotel, which made it the perfect place to go for a quick VTmeet with YVRDave :o) At first we thought we'd just go for drinks, but in the end both the atmosphere and the menu made us decide to have dinner there. Our waitress was new so she made a few mistakes, but her friendliness and eagerness to provide a good service totally made up for it. The menu offered an interesting selection of Irish dishes, burgers and more, and we were all very satisfied with what we ordered (my beef and barley soup was huge - a whole meal in itself!), so much so that my nephew suggested going back at some point during the week, and he's a fairly picky eater. We got to watch a couple of hockey games while we were there, and the atmosphere got pretty lively once the Canucks game started. Finally, although I was too busy with the competition to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Vancouver, I did get to see the crowd at Ceili's on March 17 from my hotel room and everybody seemed to be having a really good time. The pub also features live celtic music on most nights, so all in all I'd say it's a really good place to go for dinner and a for a night out in Richmond.

    Dress Code: Casual

    Watching the hockey game at the pub Bangers & Champ at Ceili's Fish & chips and a delicious ramen bowl
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  • Sonar: Cool Club

    by australiabound Updated Apr 4, 2011

    After living in Vancouver for a few years, the nightlife here is not the best. Sonar is probably the most renouned clubs in the Gastown disctrict of the city. A really well maintained club. Drinks are a little pricey, but you're going to get that at a lot of clubs in Vancouver.

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    Fifth Avenue Cinemas: My Favourite Vancouver Movie Theatre

    by rmdw Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The 5th Avenue is a small, classy movie theatre always showing great movies, many of which are not the mainstream Hollywood types.

    It's the kind of place to go if you really like films, like I do.

    They've teamed up with the nearby Italian restaurant, Chianti's, to offer a discount on the meal if you go to the theatre the same day.

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    The Bayside Lounge: A stylish bar with a great view

    by rmdw Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bayside Lounge is my favourite bar/lounge in Vancouver. They make good drinks and the food is okay. There's a spectacular view of English Bay and Burrard Inlet.

    Gentlemen, if you want to make a great impression on a first date then bring her here after dinner.

    Dress Code: Fancier is more suitable for the ambience here.

    Related to:
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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    Sonar: Sonar

    by Carmanah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sonar is a popular nightclub located in Gastown, in the north-east corner of downtown Vancouver on Water Street.

    Before the late 90's, it used to be a popular live-music venue called "The Town Pump". Ask any music fan who was in Vancouver during the 1990's and earlier, and they'll tell you fond memories about shows they saw in the Town Pump. Often people called it the best place to see a live band.

    However, in the mid-90's, live music venues were no longer money-makers in the entertainment industry as DJ'ing and "electronica" was the next big thing. So the Town Pump shut down and "Sonar" opened up in its place.

    Sonar originally focused on live DJ music and anything electronic. Slowly but surely, live acts were re-introduced to the venue, and it's definitely one of my favourite places to see a live band or a live touring DJ, whoever is in town.

    In December of 2000 I was lucky enough to see Skinng Puppy's cEvin Key and Phil Western's collaboration, Download at Sonar. In June of 2003 I saw local Vancouver band Brundlefly and Montreal's The Dears at Sonar. In July 2004, I saw DJ James Lavelle (aka: Unkle) perform a set. Other famous DJ's, whether its Thievery Corportation, or Junkie XL, are just some of the names to visit Sonar. It's one of the better clubs in the city for those with a real interest in the music they're listening to.

    The venue is small - one main stage at the end built up from the dancefloor... a DJ booth in between, and a bar at the back, and a little upper balcony for panoramic viewing. Sonar is small, but it has a lot going for it because it's intimate, and there's really no barrier dividing the crowd from the musicians - only a step or two. Most of the musicians mingle with the audience before and after the performance.

    Dress Code: Depends on the event. Generally anything goes - no real dress code.

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  • tetonski1's Profile Photo

    CITTA'S BISTRO: Great Apres Ski !

    by tetonski1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I think this is the best place for Apres Ski in whistler. There's nothing like sitting back and enjoying a live band play while you sit on their patio under warm heaters with a cold beer!

    This place is great for people watching! I even saw Antonio Banderas walk by a few times with his kids.

    Dress Code: Dress code is casual.

    I thought I should include some other great spots as well:

    FOR APRES SKI:

    THE LONGHORN- based at the bottom of Whistler Mountain. 604-932-5999 $$

    THE GARIBALDI LIFT COMPANY - Right at the base as well. 604-905-2220 $$

    FOR NIGHTLIFE:

    MOE JOE'S - 604-935-1152 $

    TOMMY AFRICAS - 604-932-6090$

    BUFFALO BILLS - 604-932-6613

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    The Irish Heather: A real Irish pub

    by Carmanah Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ahh, the Irish Heather. Owned and run by an Irish brother and sister (who have subsequently opened up a variety of hugely successful eating and drinking establishments around town), the Irish Heather is one of Gastown's best kept secrets.

    Located in the building that housed Vancouver's first jail, it has a bar at the front (with barstool seating around circular tables), an upstairs booth-type seating area, and a back glass-encased room that looks out over Gaoler's Mews - a beautiful brick and ivy-covered alleyway that wouldn't feel out of place in Europe. It's about as far as you can get away from Vancouver's modernity.

    The Irish Heather stays open from 12 noon until midnight. I've been here several times for lunch with friends and family, and with exception to business lunch rushes, it's a very quiet time to be there. It's after work when this pub really gets going and often, all tables are full. But it's well worth hanging around in order to snag one of those tables, because once you've got one, you won't want to leave!

    So why come here?

    They pour a proper Guinness (or Kilkenny, or Harp, or Smithwick's, or Strongbow, or Carlsberg) - all draught.

    The food is delicious. Try the cheese plate ($12) or the curry chips ($6) with your beer.

    The atmosphere is lively but casual.

    The staff are genuinely friendly and attentive.

    The little secret most Irish Heather patrons don't even realize is that the Shebeen Whiskey House (also owned by the same people) is located in the alley behind the pub. The Shebeen Whiskey house specializes in nothing but scotch and whiskey. It's quite hidden away, but those in the know understand it's the best. Even U2 have pulled up to the Shebeen's Blood Alley entrance in their limos to escorted into whiskey house!

    And the best part is that on nice weekend nights, they close the gates to the Gaoler's Mews alley and set up tables and chairs, so people from both the Irish Heather and the Shebeen Whiskey House can mingle and socialize. That's when the real party begins!

    Related to:
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    • Beer Tasting

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  • canadacutey's Profile Photo

    50 Bourboun: A trip down Bourboun street.

    by canadacutey Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This popular night spot is hands down, one of my favorites.Arrive early, line-ups start at 7:30pm, on friday's and saturday's.Cheap drinks, and good music.People from all walks of life, frequent this happening bar.Alot of foreign students visit this alive venue.The only downfall is they close down at 12pm.This can also be a benefit, as in you start here, and load up on cheap drinks, before hitting one of vancouver's various other nite clubs, that charge and arm and a leg, just to get in.Definitely, the Bourboun, is worth a visit.

    Dress Code: No strict dress code in effect, actually no dress code at all in effect.No cover charge, and friendly servers.Enjoy.

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  • jennymagenta's Profile Photo

    Russian Hall and Various Locations: Vancouver Burlesque Festival 2009

    by jennymagenta Updated Apr 11, 2009

    The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival is May 1-10 2009 and there are a lot of really great shows to see all over the city.

    The opening night show Banquet of Broads is at The Russian Hall on May 1st! Many other shows are over the following 9 days all over the city.

    You can also find out more information about the whole festival at http://www.vanburlesquefest.com

    The Vancouver burlesque community is highly regarded in North America and it is a fun way to experience adult entertainment without that "seedy" factor. No full nudity and lots of diversity in the audience. Fun for everyone...gorgeous performers and a real great scene. Highly recommended.

    Dress Code: Dress to Impress - People generally dress up a bit for the burlesque festival...it is an opportunity to have fun....be glittery, wear your fave shoes!

    Related to:
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    • Theater Travel
    • Festivals

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    Strolling downtown in search of nightlife

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 21, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can probably get a good idea of special events going on in the city simply by observing the street posters - they're generally found on construction site fences or along specifically-designated lamp posts along the sidewalk. Keep in mind that these posters generally advertise special one-time-only events like concerts, fashion shows, DJ sets, etc. And I find ore and more these days that the posters are actually advertizing commercial products. If you're seeking nightclub listings, don't bother scouting out the posters - look for newspapers like the Georgia Straight, the West Ender, Discorder, and the likes.

    Billboards posted in downtown Vancouver

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    Luvafair: Luvafair

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 17, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    How sad. Luvafair finally closed on February 1, 2003 after remaining 27 years in business! It was the longest-running nightclub in Canada! They closed because the City of Vancouver is rezoning Richards Street, turning the once nightclub-lined street into a ritzy yuppified block of condos. How boring!

    Gripes aside, Luvafair *was* Vancouver's first and ONLY alternative nightclub.

    Bands like Skinny Puppy and NIN played Luvafair early on in their career. Well-respected people from the Canadian music scene, like Kim Clarke Champniss, Terry McBride and DJ Czech spun at Luvafair.

    Former Luvafair DJ, David Hawkes, once saw Depeche Mode's David Gahan and Martin Gore dancing on the speakers to their own "Master and Servants" one night in the 80's... and celebrities such as Marilyn Manson, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp have been spotted at Luvafair at one time. This is just scraping the surface of Luvafair's insane history. It's status to Vancouver's music scene was legendary, probably akin to New York's relationship with CBGB's.

    If you *wanted* chain link fences, a no-meat-market atmosphere, plenty of dancing, an alternative crowd where you could look any way you want - Luvafair WAS the place. The music, of course, *was* the reason I went.

    'Klassix' on Tuesday included the best of 80's alternative.

    'Ya Like it Hard Don't Ya' on Wednesdays for heavy alternative.

    Thursdays were the ever-popular Brit nights, with Brit-pop, 80's, Manchester and British dance music.

    Fridays and Saturdays were a mix of everything.

    Do you like: NIN? The Cure? Depeche Mode? The Smiths? Radiohead? Skinny Puppy? This may be your club...

    Well, it *could* have been your club. It was definitely mine. How I'll miss it!

    Dress Code: People used to dress in an alternative style - trendy, punk, industrial, goth, 80's etc, although you could have also showed up wearing a t-shirt and jeans and you would have been accepted.

    Luvafair's logo painted on the inside wall

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  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    The Vogue Theater: Historic and Haunted Vogue Theater

    by leafmcgowan Written Apr 12, 2008

    Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/139279. In the heart of downtown Vancouver lies the historical remains of the Vogue theater. The Vogue is surrounded by many myths and legends especially amongst it's association with being haunted. Many famous people have walked through these doors. In 2006 it was closed as its web site still professes. It is however still a very active theater with live music, comedy acts, and shows every weekend. In 1941 it was a monument of sophisticated art deco design and home to the arts. It housed 1200 seats that presented Vancouver's hottest acts and talent through the years. It still is one of those hotspots. Conveniently located right on the main bus station route, its a hotspot of Vancouver's heritage for events of all kinds and varieties. While I've never seen the ghosts that haunt these seats, I did however have some memorable moments of entertainment within those walls. Rating 5 stars out of 5.

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    • Theater Travel
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  • Darby's Pub: Cozy Neighborhood Pub

    by InfinityDining Written Dec 5, 2007

    Darby's is a cozy, eclectic neighborhood pub. It has that "Cheers" feeling. After you've been a few times, you begin to feel like part of the family. The have Karaoke every Wednesday night, and live entertainment a lot too.
    Recently the food had gotten better too, with an amazing mac and cheese pasta, very rich and cheesy with fresh broccoli...worth a visit for this dish alone.
    Great drink specials everyday too.

    Dress Code: Casual attire

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    The Atlantic Trap & Gill: Where East Coast meets the West Coast

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Atlantic Trap & Gill is one, if not the only, Maritime-themed pub in the city. And by Maritime, we're talking the four eastern-most provinces of Canada. Although I haven't been to the Maritime provinces yet, those in the know say this pub feels like it was yanked out of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, and flung into downtown Vancouver. In a city over-saturated with trendy nightlife venues, these kinds of unpretentious pubs are real gems.

    Most of the seating is picnic table style, and to call the interior "cozy" is an understatement. The walls are painted green, which apparently is common in pubs along Canada's Atlantic. You will certainly get to know your neighbours at this pub if you aren't already seated with a group of your closest friends. On most nights there will be live Celtic-inspired music. I have walked by here many times to hear fiddle music entertaining the masses.

    Although this is a pub, the Atlantic Trap & Gill's also known for its seafood. They have bargain lobster dinners, for example. They also have mussels, clams, and all you can eat fish n' chips. While the food isn't high end gourmet, it's probably authentic in all its deep-fried glory. I mean, where else are you going to find clamstrips & fries without going all the way to Halifax?

    For homesick Maritimers or those merely interested in this aspect of Canadian culture, I can highly recommend it for a fun few drunken hours.

    The Atlantic Trap & Gill
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