Why not quench your summer’s thirst with a sip from an award-winning bar this patio season? Accompanying the list of Canada’s best restaurants is, of course, the list of the best bars in the country. While Toronto’s Civil Liberties snagged the number one spot, Vancouver is chomping on its heels with Botanist at number two, The Keefer Bar at number three, and Laowai at number four!

The list of Canada’s best bars showcases the country’s top drinking establishments from coast to coast every year. According to Canada’s Best Bars editor Alexandra Gill, nearly half of the winners this year are new to the scene.

This includes Vancouver’s Laowai, which also secured the coveted spot of Canada’s best new bar. Mic. Drop.


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The 1930s-era Chinatown speakeasy brings the best of the Shanghai and Hong Kong prohibition-era cocktail scenes to Vancouver. To find it, you have to enter the Blnd Tger dumpling shop, ask for a #7, and watch as a freezer door transforms into the entrance to an art deco-inspired space.

In this case, all that glitters is gold (and malachite!)

Bar Manager Alex Black created an illustrated menu of 12 cocktails and their fascinating origins, including Canada’s largest selection of Chinese grain spirits. Our recommendation? Load up on dumplings and siu mai at Blnd Tger, and pop in for a sip of delicious baijiu!

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We should note that Laowai only accepts groups of 6 or less, and does not offer reservations.

Where: 251 East Georgia (Blnd Tger)

So, who made this year’s top 20 list of Canada’s Best Bars?

As we mentioned, in the top five are Vancouver’s Botanist and The Keefer Bar, both of which have become local staples.

Botanist is an innovative waterfront spot at the Fairmont Pacific Rim serving “smoke and mirrors” drinks with some serious entertainment value. To be fair, if a cocktail looks like it’s floating mid-air — we’re not sure if drinking it would be our first move. Maybe after a long, jaw-dropping stare and dozens of pictures.


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“Don’t let the theatrics distract you from the talent, innovation and precision that turn every drink into a virtuoso performance. This high-tech laboratory creates extractions and infusions of uncommon clarity and delicacy.”

Where: 1038 Canada Place

Now, for a Vancouver classic. The Keefer Bar has definitely earned its spot on this list after 12 years of serving up funky, futuristic drinks. Contrasting the dark, gritty vibes is what the list calls a “vibrancy and warmth” that will make you feel like “you’ve stumbled into the world’s friendliest underground booze can.”

If you can’t find a seat, there’s always Keefer Bar’s “rebellious younger sibling,” The Keefer Yard, which coincidentally was just named the best patio in Canada.

After the pandemic pandemonium that was the summer of 2022, we think it’s time to revisit The Yard for some live music, margaritas, and shenanigans.

Where: 135 Keefer Street

Well, that’s all for Vancouver bars this year. Securing the 20th spot, however, is Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria – which looks perfect for the summer season!

You can see the complete list of Canada’s best bars here.

We’ll catch you later, Vancouver! Book some resos and pour one out for us. Metaphorically speaking, of course.