Time to lift a glass to the best spots for cocktails coast to coast in Canada, as this year's list of the nation's best bars has been revealed. Lucky for us we can raise our spirits in some of the nation's top watering holes right here in Vancouver.
On the heels of the release of the Canada's 100 Best Restaurants of 2020 list comes Canada's 50 Best Bars, and for the second year in a row, eight of the spots are in Vancouver - with an additional B.C. boast from one Victoria bar.
Coming in hot just shy of the top again in 2020 is The Keefer Bar. Ten years in and The Keefer Bar continues to up the game for top-notch cocktailing in Vancouver. Says Canada's Best: "Now helmed by the magnificent Amber Bruce, the innovation at Keefer never stops, with a new list every season. The music is still great, and this cozy haunt has developed a burnished patina that makes it more dope than ever."
Psst: The Keefer Bar launched a fun outdoor side-yard venture this summer to make the most of the sunshine. In The Keefer Yard, you can enjoy drinks and even play a little mini putt-putt.
The Keefer Bar once again comes in second behind Toronto's Bar Raval. However, moving up three spots to number six this year is Botanist, located at The Fairmont Pacific Rim. That venue also is home to number 39 The Lobby Lounge.
However, there were some big shakeups for Vancouver bars elsewhere on the list. Dropping off from 2019 were The Shameful Tiki Room, Prohibition at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the cocktail bar at Hawksworth, and Grapes & Soda - some worthy options for your next belly-up-to-the-bar experience.
Making a fresh appearance for 2020: Vancouver's Upstairs at Campagnolo, the kitschy Key Party, The Boxcar, and Guilt & Co.
Sadly, since the list was released in June, Vancouver's Upstairs at Campagnolo has shuttered, which means the end of a glorious era of well-made tipples and fantastic bar fare, including its signature "Dirty Burger."
Here are all the B.C. bars and where they rank on this year's Canada's 50 Best Bars:
2. The Keefer Bar, Vancouver
6. Botanist, Vancouver
38. The Diamond, Vancouver
39. Lobby Lounge, Vancouver
40. Upstairs at Campagnolo, Vancouver
42. Key Party, Vancouver
45. The Boxcar, Vancouver
46. Q Bar, Victoria
48. Guilt & Co., Vancouver
Canada's Best calls their third-annual bar rankings "a comprehensive guide on where to sip and savour across the nation." They also give a rec for what to try at each spot. The next time you're able to visit The Keefer Bar, for example, try the "Antidote," which is a whisky and yuzu sake drink that uses Nin Jiom herbal cough syrup.
These rankings are based on a poll of 51 national judges, who submitted a list of their top five bar experiences in 2019.