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The Roxy
Photograph: Courtesy The Roxy

The ultimate Vancouver nightlife guide

One of the best nights out in North America? You better believe it. This is the ultimate guide to Vancouver's nightlife

Written by
Gerrish Lopez

Looking to party in Canada? Vancouver is the place. Locals know it, and those nearby flock to it to eat, drink and dance the night away. This great city has it all, from thumping DJ sets and all-night bars to trendy cocktail spots and small plates. Spend a long day at the beach or indulging in some culture, and come evening, get ready to see all the fun the city has to offer. 

This is the place to boogie on down at a local club, or try your hand at some wild karaoke. If that isn’t your scene, how about a late-night Asian food market, serving up gyoza, pho and more alongside live music? That’s right – Vancouver has it all. And if you’re here for a good time not a long time, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our ultimate guide to Vancouver night life. 

🍸 The best bars in Vancouver
🪩 The best clubs in Vancouver
🎥 The best cinemas in Vancouver
📍 The best things to do in Vancouver
🍴 The best restaurants in Vancouver

Vancouver nightlife

You can’t talk about nightlife in Vancouver without talking about Granville’s Entertainment District. This is the very heart of Vancouver’s drinking and party scene, and has been since the 1990s, when the city’s council decided all of downtown’s bars should definitely be in the same place. Now, it’s more alive than ever, home to notorious nightclubs The Roxy, the Belmont Bar and more, as well as a ton of great restaurants. 

This place does it all. Day-time food (tacos, burrata and a tantalizing confit duck sandwich), night-time food (jerky, cheese boards and popcorn, served from 10pm), a whole load of beer and wines and some seriously good cocktails. They run events most nights of the year, from Latin folk bands to well-known DJs, and there’s a happy hour till 7pm. What more do you need?


A state-of-the-art sound system powers the party at this Chinatown nightclub. The calendar is packed with top Canadian and international DJs spinning an eclectic mix of everything from hip-hop and R&B to techno. The club also hosts live music, a variety of themed nights and artist showcases.


For a laid-back night out, Calabash is the place to chill. It’s got great Caribbean food—roti, poutine with jerk chicken, ackee, even vegan fare—but drinks, music, and dancing keep the “one love” vibe going throughout the night. Grab a Bordertown Swizzle (rum, soursop, pineapple, and tamarind) and head downstairs for smaller bands during the week and a real house party on the weekends.

Feel like being the entertainment for the night? This East Vancouver dive bar features karaoke every night of the week. The hardcore vibe means this is the spot for metalheads and punk rockers to hang. Fuel up with cheap beer, then scream your heart out. 


This swanky Chinatown bar is a popular spot for pre-dinner drinks. Mixologists will cure what ails you using a menu (titled Remedies & Cures) of apothecary-inspired cocktails featuring botanicals and house-made tinctures. Thoughtful bar snacks and small plates are available to tackle hunger. Stick around for nightly entertainment later in the evening, whether it’s the regular rotation of DJs or other special events.

This half-century-old venue in the revitalized Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood exists to highlight the local music scene. The intimate, 350-person space is a great spot to catch up-and-coming bands and DJs from Vancouver, plus burlesque, comedy, retro dance parties and more.


Modelled on a classic U.K. pub, this lively spot pours an array of B.C. beers on tap alongside fine cocktails, wine and upscale West Coast pub fare. There is always something going on, whether it is a video game challenge, tap takeover, live music, or themed party. Happy hour is popular, as is the late-night menu.

With a prime spot in the Granville Entertainment District, this Vancouver nightlife institution has been a longtime hotspot for everyone from university kids and social twenty-somethings to visiting celebs. Live bands perform on the reg, and theme nights bring in DJs for high-energy dance parties that go until 3am.


11. Vancouver TheatreSports

For a night of laughs, head to The Improv Centre on Granville Island. With a bar and lounge overlooking False Creek, you can get your fill of drinks and snacks before or after a performance. TheatreSports offers nightly themed shows that feature improv comedy plus a competitive angle that can be as thrilling as professional sports.

This throwback to the height of the tiki era has all the right ingredients for a night out—dim lighting, tacky Polynesian decor, vintage cocktails, and the occasional ukulele player or surf band. Sip on perfectly-made Zombies and Jet Pilots, or get your friends to go for a communal bowl—the Mystery Bowl is served in a giant clamshell and is heralded with a gong. Island eats like poke and pu-pus help keep the effects of the potent concoctions at bay.


For night noshing and shopping, head down to the Richmond Night Market. The largest night market in North America is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays (and until 11pm on Sundays) from May until October. Sample foods like grilled squid, pho fries, gyozas, and roti mac and cheese at the food stalls, then shop for gifts and accessories at the retail stalls. There are games, live music and entertainment, and primo people-watching.

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