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Nightlife in Vancouver's Downtown

Pubs, Bars, Dance Clubs, Lounges, and Music Venues in Downtown Vancouver

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A night out runs the gamut from dance clubs and wine bars to bowling alleys and concert halls. And downtown Vancouver nightlife harbors the best diversity. Head to Granville Street, the main entertainment district, to find dozens of options within a few city center blocks.

1. Live Music Venues

© Chloë Ernst

Downtown Vancouver is a hub for the city's live music venues, where you can catch everything from touring indie bands to the local symphony. These downtown music venues include:

  • The Commodore Ballroom: Catch up-and-coming live bands.
  • Vogue Theatre: A sit-down music venue that's opulent, but hosts current performers.
  • The Media Club: This divey bar hosts indie bands at a bargain-priced cover charge.
  • Venue: With bookings that range from live performers to DJ sets, Venue has a variable crowd that changes from night to night and show to show.
  • Orpheum Theatre: A city-run concert hall that's home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

2. Downtown Vancouver Bars and Pubs

Most bars and pubs are stacked along Granville Street. The following are worthwhile options on Granville:
  • The Morrissey: Simple, beer-friendly atmosphere at the less-glitzy end of Granville.
  • Lennox Pub: Perfect for a quick drink.
  • Johnnie Fox's Irish Snug: Casual and one of the better Irish-themed bars in town.
  • Ceili's: The rooftop patio is reason enough to head here.
  • Loose Moose: Cheap food and plentiful drinks keep this downtown bar busy.
  • The Famous Warehouse: The inexpensive food (everything is $5) is surprisingly good. Drinks are standard fare.
  • The Bottleneck: A new local favorite, The Bottleneck bridges wine bar and pub and is handy to the Commodore Ballroom.
Elsewhere downtown, head to:
  • The Railway Club: Off the main route on Seymour Street, this second-floor bar is renowned for its sing-along nights and other gatherings.
  • Mahony & Sons Burrard: Across from Canada Place, enjoy the spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains.
  • Kingston Taphouse: There's a tucked away patio at the Kingston. And it's also a good spot to catch a hockey game.
  • Steamworks: A big, sprawling brewpub with a multiple floors that have a rec-room feel.
  • The Winking Judge: Small but reliable for a drink on Burrard Street.

3. Cocktail Bars and Hotel Lounges

Hotel bars and cocktail lounges tend to be more laidback that typical bars and pubs. The crowd is usually better dressed, and music tends to be at a level that still allows conversation.

  • Uva: A popular wine bar at the Moda Hotel.
  • Ginger 62: Dramatic décor gives this late-night lounge a sultry feel. But there's also a dance floor and sets by house music DJs.
  • St. Regis Bar and Grill: Another hotel bar that's casual, inexpensive, and friendly.
  • Gotham: Adjoining a steakhouse, this bar has a jazz-era vibe and is popular with an affluent, mature crowd.
  • Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge: This bar is an upscale setting in the luxury Wedgewood Hotel.

4. More Nightlife Near Downtown

Downtown nightlife isn't exclusive to bars, pubs, and dance clubs. As in most city centers, you'll find galleries hosting openings, movie theaters showing first-run films, and restaurants serving late-night menus in downtown Vancouver. For a bit of bowling, head to the old-school Commodore Lanes on Granville Street. The basement-level alley (which serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) has five-pin bowling lanes, pool tables, table hockey, and other social games.

And in summer, do as the locals do: spend an evening catching the sunset at English Bay or Third Beach.

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