The evening is young and you’re looking for some action. Vancouverites might work hard and work-out harder, but they play pretty hard too. All over the city, you’ll find neighbourhoods ready for nighttime fun, whether it’s catching a band, sipping a cocktail, or dancing the night away.
Located in the heart of Vancouver, Granville Street is where you’ll find Vancouver’s main downtown entertainment district. Countless restaurants, bars and nightclubs make this a popular late-night hangout, particularly on the weekends. Stretching from the start of Granville Street by Waterfront Station, south to the Granville Street Bridge, the downtown portion this street is fairly sleepy by day, but buzzing at night. Many of the city’s bus lines transit through Granville, making it a main thoroughfare for the city.
Think of Granville Street as Vancouver’s equivalent of the Vegas Strip: a neon-lit drag packed with people, energy and plenty of bars and clubs that stay open until the wee hours. The city’s original entertainment district, Granville Street caters to a younger, university crowd with block after block of pubs, dance clubs and live music venues.
If you go: Grab a craft beer at the Granville Room before hitting the dancefloor at a club like Republic or Venue. If you’re looking for a more adult evening, hit The Granville Strip for an exotic show lounge experience.
A former downtown warehouse district, Yaletown is home to a robust nightlife scene. If Granville Street’s scene targets the twenty-somethings, Yaletown skews about 10 years older, meaning that you’re more likely to find couples toasting the end of the work-week with a designer cocktail, and well-dressed friends getting together at exclusive lounges.
If you go: Consider starting your evening at Yaletown Brewing, Vancouver’s original brewpub with a sports bar vibe that heats up after dark. OPUS Bar in the OPUS Hotel is a place to see and be seen, but if you’re for something a bit more casual, check out the pub-style New Oxford and Tavern downstairs.
Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, Gastown has been reborn in recent years as a place to go after dark. While Granville Street is the place to go for clubs, Gastown’s scene is more about bars. This is an excellent place to go for a cocktail, but you’ll also find Irish pubs, wine bars, and beer halls. If you’re looking for a more refined atmosphere, many of the coolest restaurants turn into de facto bars later in the evening.
If you go: In the summer, the epic patio at Chill Winston is hard to pass by. Sit down, order a beer and watch the world go by. Savour a classic, well-made cocktail at Pourhouse, but if your evening is just ramping up, the energy at The Lamplighter Public House or The Charles Bar is probably what you’re looking for. The bar at the front of Wildebeest is a great place to end the night, with a great wine list and delicious bar snacks.