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The patio at Local, one of our favourite Gastown bars.

The Best Gastown Bars: From Speakeasies to Brewpubs

Our favourite Gastown bars are calling, offering a unique blend of history and contemporary flair in Vancouver’s most charismatic neighbourhood.

Perfect for tourists and first-time visitors, this guide will take you through the bustling streets of Gastown, where each bar tells a story, and every cocktail is a masterpiece.

Get ready to explore Gastown’s best bars that form the vibrant heart of Vancouver’s nightlife.

Gastown Vancouver Bars

Welcome to Gastown, Vancouver’s vibrant and historic neighbourhood, famed for its namesake steam clock and picturesque cobblestone streets. But for us locals, we generally visit for two reasons: its diverse array of restaurants and nightlife.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Vancouver or a seasoned traveller, Gastown’s eclectic mix of cocktail bars, brew pubs, and lively nightclubs promises an unforgettable night out.

From sipping artisan cocktails in a cozy nook to sipping on a delicious Vancouver craft beer, we’ve got just the spot to help you uncover Gastown’s hidden gems.

The dance floor at the blarneystone
Instagram: @blarneystonevan

The Blarney Stone

$$ | Category: Irish Pub | 216 Carrall St. | Hours: 11 am – 2 am (3 am weekends)

Let’s get the party started with Gastown’s most famous (or maybe infamous) bar. Just a stone’s throw from Maple Tree Square, the Blarney Stone is a downtown Vancouver institution that has been pouring pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson since 1972.

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The pub is Vancouver’s best answer to Temple Bar, offering Irish food and atmosphere in spades at a comparatively good price. Its unpretentious attitude has made it a Vancouver right of passage for generations.

On weekends, the bar turns into a nightclub with the long-running house band Killarney playing Irish toe-tappers like “Danny Boy” and “The Wild Rover” beside top-40 and rock favourites.

Go here to let your hair down!

Live music at Guilt and Company, Vancouver
Instagram: guiltandco

Guilt and Company

$$ | Category: Live Music | 1 Alexander St. | Hours: 6 pm – 12 am (2 am weekends)

For those who thought live music was a dying art, we’ve found your foil. Guilt and Company offers nightly performances from the region’s best and brightest artists.

You’ll find an eclectic mix of jazz, swing, soul, reggae and Latin music at their stunning location in Maple Tree Square. It’s considered one of Vancouver’s premier live music venues, with two shows every night.

Guilt and Co. also has an extensive list of inventive cocktails, craft beers, and local and international wines to wet your whistle as you swing and sway to the music.

Beer at the Alibi Room, Vancouver
Instagram: @alibiroomvancouver

Alibi Room

$$ | Category: Taphouse | 157 Alexander St. | Hours: 4 pm – 10 pm (12 am weekends)

The Alibi Room is a must-visit destination amongst the best bars in Gastown. Renowned for its impressive selection of local craft beers, this bar is a paradise for beer enthusiasts, with over 50 taps from the top local brewers.

Dubbed a ‘modern tavern,’ the bar is located in a 110-year-old heritage building near Main Street. Its laid-back atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for casual gatherings and intimate evenings.

Alongside its extensive beer menu, the Alibi Room also offers an array of elevated pub food, featuring dishes as creative and diverse as the brews on tap.

The Clough Club, one of our entrants in a list of the best Gastown bars in Vancouver.
Instagram: @freehouse.co

Clough Club

$$ | Category: Cocktail Bar | 212 Abbott St. | Hours: 5 pm – 1 am (2 am weekends)

Amidst the vibrant array of the best Gastown bars, Clough Club stands out with its distinctive old-timey speakeasy vibe and lack of pretentiousness that is refreshing in a cocktail bar.

This popular spot in Vancouver’s historic district is renowned for its delicious, expertly crafted cocktails that embody an irreverent spirit, appealing to both cocktail aficionados and casual drinkers alike.

The Clough Club’s ambiance is a harmonious blend of classic charm, contemporary flair, and a laid-back attitude. Adding to its allure, the bar comes alive on weekends with live music, creating an energetic and engaging atmosphere.

Partying at the Cambie, Vancouver
Instagram: @cambiegastown

The Cambie

$ | Category: Divebar | 300 Cambie St. | Hours: 11 am – 2 am (3 am weekends/1 am Mon/Sun)

When exploring the best Gastown bars, the Cambie Bar is a name that resonates with history and legendary status, especially among students and young travellers.

Known as one of the cheapest bars in Vancouver, the Cambie Bar has been a cornerstone in the city’s nightlife since 1897, offering an affordable and lively spot for those looking to enjoy a night out without breaking the bank.

The welcoming atmosphere and budget-friendly prices continue to attract a diverse and energetic crowd, be it local twentysomethings or travellers from the affiliated Vancouver hostel upstairs.

a couple plays skeeball at Greta, one of our choices for the best Gastown bars in vancouver.
Instagram: @gretabaryvr

Greta Bar

$$ | Category: Arcade bar | 50 W. Cordova St. | Hours: 3 pm – 2 am (3 am weekends)

Greta stands out in the vibrant landscape of the best Gastown bars by offering a nostalgic yet modern twist: an arcade bar designed for adults.

This lively spot brings together the fun of arcades and vintage games with a spirited, fun-filled atmosphere. It’s a place where you can challenge friends to a game of Pac-Man, pinball, or Street Fighter, all while enjoying a night out.

But it isn’t just about the games; Greta also boasts a selection of creative drinks and elevated pub grub, making it the perfect spot for those looking to combine playful entertainment with great food and drinks.

Arcana Spirit Lounge

$$$ | Category: Cocktail Bar | 238 Abbott St. | Hours: 5 pm – 12 pm (Wed-Sat)

This self-proclaimed ‘occult speakeasy’ is the newest entry into the red-hot Gastown cocktail scene. Since its December 2023 opening, it has managed to captivate visitors with its mysterious ambiance.

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The lounge’s allure is further enhanced by its tarot card-themed cocktail menu, where each drink is not only a mixological marvel but also a nod to mystical traditions.

The dimly lit, intimate setting of Arcana Spirit Lounge, combined with its enigmatic vibe, makes it an unforgettable destination for those seeking a night out that’s out of the ordinary.

the bar at Pourhouse Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, one of the best bars in Gastown.
Instagram: @pourhouse

Pourhouse Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

$$$ | Category: Gastropub | 162 Water St. | Hours: 11:30 am – 12 pm (1 am weekends)

On the lookout for something a little more food-forward? Situated near the iconic Gastown Steam Clock, Pourhouse Restaurant and Cocktail Bar embodies the essence of Vancouver’s historic charm, making it a standout in the list of best Gastown bars.

Housed in a beautifully restored building that echoes the early 20th century, its ambiance is further accentuated by antique furnishings, creating an atmosphere that’s both elegant and inviting.

But it offers more than just a visual feast; it’s renowned for its elevated comfort food, which perfectly complements the meticulously crafted classic cocktail menu.

A flight at Steamworks Brewpub, an entry on our list of the best Gastown bars.
Instagram: @steamworksbeer

Steamworks Brewpub

$$ | Category: Brewpub | 375 Water St. | Hours: 11:30 am – 12 pm

Steamworks Brewpub distinguishes itself as one of the best bars in Gastown for its excellent selection and its unique steam-powered brewing method.

Conveniently located across from Waterfront Station, it’s an easily accessible spot for both locals and tourists. The pub boasts an impressive lineup of 20 rotating taps, featuring a diverse range of craft beers that cater to every palate.

The stunning waterfront view adds to its appeal, providing a picturesque backdrop to your beer-tasting experience.

a snapshot of the patio at Local Eatery in Gastown.

Local Public Eatery

$$ | Category: Bar | 3 Alexander St. | Hours: 11:00 am – 12 pm (2 am weekends)

Local Public Eatery in Gastown, while sporting a more corporate and chain-like atmosphere, firmly establishes itself among the best Gastown bars with its standout feature: the best patio in the neighbourhood.

Situated in the heart of historic Maple Tree Square, this eatery offers a vibrant and inviting space for both locals and visitors. The patio, a coveted spot in Gastown, provides an excellent vantage point to soak in the neighbourhood’s lively ambiance.

Coupled with a great happy hour menu that boasts an array of drinks and bites, Local Public Eatery is a top choice for those looking to enjoy a relaxed yet lively bar experience in the midst of Gastown’s historic charm.

All set for a night out at the best Gastown bars?

As our guide to Gastown’s best bars concludes, we hope you’re excited to embark on your own nocturnal adventures in this historic neighbourhood.

Each bar you visit is a doorway to a new experience, a new story, and a new connection in the heart of Vancouver.

So, whether you’re raising a glass in a cozy brewpub or toasting in a chic cocktail lounge, remember that the best Gastown bars are best savoured one sip at a time.

Julian

I've used online guides on five continents to find the world's greatest travel spots and this is my chance to give back - with insider info on my home, the mighty Vancouver BC!

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