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Bars Vancouver

2016 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Welcome to Where’s 20th annual celebration of Vancouver’s remarkable dining scene. In just a couple of decades the city has blossomed into a culinary crossroads, a melting pot of myriad flavours, unbridled talents and influences that now shape a global destination. Our chefs, servers, sommeliers, growers, fishers, farmers and vintners share in a culture driven by sustainable, regional and seasonal sourcing—in the firm belief that the best is still to come. (more…)

2016 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY

Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Welcome to Where’s 20th annual celebration of Vancouver’s remarkable dining scene. In just a couple of decades the city has blossomed into a culinary crossroads, a melting pot of myriad flavours, unbridled talents and influences that now shape a global destination. Our chefs, servers, sommeliers, growers, fishers, farmers and vintners share in a culture driven by sustainable, regional and seasonal sourcing—in the firm belief that the best is still to come. (more…)

A Toast to Juniper

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Head to Juniper for the Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Newly launched Juniper is shaking up Chinatown with a potent mix of charisma, cocktail creativity and Cascadia-inspired, down-home dishes. The spirited space features Pacific Northwest flavours that range from Fraser Valley pork to juniper-cured salmon, and lively libations such as no-nonsense negronis—on tap, no less—regional wines, and over 30 gins for matching with an array of aromatic tonics. We’ll raise a glass to that (mostly so we can order another).

Shark Club’s Winning Strategy

By SHERI RAFORD

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Left sitting on the bench? Not this sports bar. Shark Club is back in the game and better than ever after a year and a half of extensive renovations, including a new look, revamped menu, expanded selection of beers, and creative cocktails dreamed up by some of Vancouver’s top mixologists—plus 59 televisions and two huge media walls. Game on!

Raise a Glass to Lauren Mote

Vancouver’s cocktail darling spills on her favourite watering holes, boozy beverages and the business of bitters 

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Lauren Mote crafts a cocktail at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Lauren Mote crafts a cocktail at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Time flies when you’re having fun.

“It seems like the last 16 years went by so quickly,” says Lauren Mote, bar manager at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. That’s how long the master mixologist has been shaking, stirring and serving drinks—beginning as a budding bartender in Toronto before moving to Vancouver to work in some of the city’s most iconic establishments. (more…)

All Hail the Checkmate Caesar

By SHERI RADFORD

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score on Davie

“I came; I saw; I conquered.” Some strategizing is required before attempting to conquer a Checkmate Caesar. First, make sure you’re not a vegetarian. Second, bring a friend. And most important of all, arrive hungry. In a true feat of culinary engineering, this daring drink is garnished with a roasted chicken, a burger, a pulled-pork slider, onion rings, chicken wings, and a hot dog topped with both pulled pork and mac ’n’ cheese. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so there’s even a precariously perched brownie. Find it at Score on Davie. Let the eating and drinking begin!

Baja North: Tacofino’s Taco Bar

By TIM PAWSEY

Tacofino's new Taco Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Tacofino’s new Taco Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Latino meets Tofino at Tacofino, an immensely popular spot that had its genesis in a food truck on the surfers’ paradise of Vancouver Island. Head to Gastown for their newest endeavour, Taco Bar. The delicious Mexican-inspired treats include kabocha squash and cauliflower tostada, lamb birria with preserved lemon zest, glazed beef rib with chilaquiles, super salsas, marvellous margaritas and more. Enter this capacious, century-old space, which sports plenty of booths and images of old Tofino scenes, off Blood Alley, near Gaoler’s Mews.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Beautiful Brewpub

By TIM PAWSEY

Stunning industrial architecture at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall

Stunning industrial architecture at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall

The hottest new destination in the ongoing craft brew revolution is Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall, housed in the impressively restored former Opsal Steel Building. The ceiling is high and the surroundings airy and bright in this one-time industrial space. The brewery itself is on full view behind a glass wall, where British-style bitter, saison, stout and other beers are made in small-batch tanks. On the menu: inventive pizza, sandwiches, shepherd’s pie, rillettes, steak frites and more.

For more from Tim Pawsey visit hiredbelly.com

Celebrating Celebrities Nightclub

By LAURA DENNIS

Celebrities Nightclub got a facelift

Celebrities Nightclub got a facelift

Now a piece of party history, Celebrities almost didn’t survive its early years. Built in 1908 to house one of Vancouver’s first dancehalls, the building was later condemned. After a lengthy battle, the doors stayed open, allowing the club to evolve from go-to gay spot to a truly mixed club. It is now celebrating 30 years in Davie Village and has been rewarded with heritage-site recognition and a million-dollar makeover. Party on!

Pop a Cork at Twelvewest

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The extravagant twelvewest

Bottles of bubbly and much more can be found at extravagant twelvewest

Frank Sinatra may get no kick from champagne, but the rest of us certainly do. And at twelvewest, it’s always an effervescent evening. The main attraction at this luxe lounge is the 300-bottle champagne fridge, but bottles of bubbly aren’t the only extravagance. The beau monde get a ride from nearby West Oak to the club via a Cadillac Escalade, then settle into the VIP lounge among French damask wallpaper and Swarovski-crystal chandeliers. Others prefer to listen to DJs spin from the dance floor, where revellers dance the night away. Now that’s an evening with kick.

Winter Warm-Up at The Charles Bar

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Beer-Battered pickle spears at The Charles Bar

Beer-Battered pickle spears at The Charles Bar

The Charles Bar, a lively sports and suds spot in the trendy Woodward’s building, welcomes the arrival of sweater weather with seasonal menu additions. Elevated pub-food offerings include pistachio-crusted chicken parmesan and the chef’s famed bourbon BBQ ribs. Or sip from ample beer and cocktail offerings while noshing on tangy beer-battered pickle spears. Wait out winter from a cozy booth? Don’t mind if we do.

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)