Vancouver might be best-known for its outdoors activities but this hip, young, innovative city delivers plenty of entertainment once the sun goes down.

Gone are the days of prohibition-era liquor laws (well, most, anyway) and the general loosening of regulations has helped liven up the city after dark. When you add in a surge of modern craft breweries, wine bars implementing the latest technology, a lively mix of festivals throughout the year, and the inspiration of a fantastic wine region nearby (the Okanagan),Vancouver's nightlife scene looks as fit as any seawall runner.

In nice weather, Vancouver is all about the patios—preferably waterfront. Otherwise, the younger set migrates to dance clubs while more laid-back types gather in friendly pubs (perhaps to watch the hockey game), live music venues hosting up-and-coming stars, and splashy cocktail bars where savvy mixologists cultivate city-wide followings.

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  • 1. Pourhouse Vancouver

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    The brick-and-beam 1910 architecture, antiques, and a 38-foot bar are in keeping with the menu of classic cocktails. Most are inspired by the...Read More

  • 2. Tap & Barrel

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    The 360-degree views from this convention center patio take in Stanley Park, the seaplane terminal, and the North Shore Mountains. You can sit...Read More

  • 3. The Keefer Bar

    Chinatown | Bars/Pubs

    The Keefer Bar has fully capitalized on its Chinatown connection, using ingredients sourced from local herbalists (magnolia bark anyone?)—ginseng...Read More

  • 4. The Portside Pub

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    Nautical kitsch and a friendly maritimer bent woo many a land lover to the Portside Pub. Live bands, weekend DJs, and whiskey on tap handily...Read More

  • 5. 1181

    West End | Bars/Pubs

    This place is all about sleek interior design—plush sofas, glass coffee tables, wood-paneled ceiling—and standard cocktails (think caipirinhas...Read More

  • 6. Alibi Room

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    If beer is your thing, head to Alibi, which specializes in pairing beer with your meal. Kegs of microbrews from around BC and beyond are the...Read More

  • 7. Biercraft

    East Side | Bars/Pubs

    With more than 50 Belgian, craft, and draft beers, the drinks menu here is a lengthy read, and there are wine and cocktails as well. A street...Read More

  • 8. Bridges

    Granville Island | Bars/Pubs

    This bright yellow landmark near the Granville Public Market has a cozy nautical-theme pub and the city's biggest marina-side deck. In warm...Read More

  • 9. Cascade Room

    Mt. Pleasant | Bars/Pubs

    Named after the signature beer the Vancouver Brewery once produced on this very spot, the Cascade Room is a usually busy Main Street lounge...Read More

  • 10. Chill Winston

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    Decked out with black-leather sofas, exposed brick, warm lighting, and a view of Gastown's lively Maple Tree Square, this restaurant and lounge...Read More

  • 11. Falconetti's East Side Grill

    East Side | Bars/Pubs

    The second-floor patio at Falconetti's has the best neighborhood views, and it's where a diverse crowd of locals-in-the-know take in the laid...Read More

  • 12. Fountainhead Pub

    West End | Bars/Pubs

    With one of the largest street-side patios on Davie Street, you can do as the locals do here: sit back, down a few beers, and watch the beautiful...Read More

  • 13. Hawksworth Bar and Lounge

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    You'll find quality cocktails blended with house-made bitters, fresh herbs, and other local ingredients at this Vancouver hotspot, which, although...Read More

  • 14. Kits Beach Boathouse

    Kitsilano | Bars/Pubs

    A summer visit to Vancouver isn't complete without an afternoon enjoying cocktails on this rooftop patio overlooking sand-court volleyball matches...Read More

  • 15. Local Public Eatery

    Kitsilano | Bars/Pubs

    It won't win awards for service, but this large, sports-inclined bar has its gimmick: an enviable proximity to Kits Beach. The spacious but...Read More

  • 16. Revel Room

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    A slightly older Gastown crowd comes to indulge at this two-story bar and eatery with a late-night kitchen. The Southern style means bourbon...Read More

  • 17. Storm Crow Alehouse

    Kitsilano | Bars/Pubs

    This is the definition of a nerd bar: Star Wars memorabilia, displays of planetary objects, and a wall of board games. It’s cozy and friendly...Read More

  • 18. Tap Shack

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    This waterfront pub and restaurant has one of the best views of Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains from its expansive patio. ...Read More

  • 19. The Irish Heather

    Gastown | Bars/Pubs

    Expect a mixed crowd of local hipsters and out-of-towners enjoying properly poured pints of Guinness, mixed beer drinks (try a shandy, which...Read More

  • 20. The Main

    Mt. Pleasant | Bars/Pubs

    This local favorite draws a crowd for drinks and live music (folk, Latin, and jazz) in a huge warehouse venue. There's food, too, if you want...Read More

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