The best bars in Vancouver's Chinatown

Centred around Main Street, Vancouver’s historic Chinatown has maintained its bustling vibe despite the rapid development of a neighbourhood known for being a bit rough around the edges. Recently, it’s become a destination for some of the city’s coolest nightspots. Hit up any of these before your next concert at one of the nearby venues.

The Keefer Bar

1
135 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3

Dark, intimate and drawing on its Chinatown location, The Keefer specializes in apothecary-style cocktails sourcing herbs and tonics from its neighbours. The tiny space feels sultry and mysterious and the cocktails they serve up add to this underground vibe. Step outside, though, and their street-side patio puts you amid the action of Chinatown. Wooden benches surround an outdoor gas fireplace, a great seat to score during the summer’s weekly Night Market. Come here to cure what ails you.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

2
163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3

Beautifully appointed in pastels and chinoiserie, Bao Bei has skyrocketed to fame across the country for being one of the standout restaurants — Chinese or otherwise — in Canada. Hip, modern and always busy, this Chinese brasserie specializes in traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. Everything is meant to be shared and it is all worth ordering. Start the night off on the right note with their fresh, innovative house cocktails and dig into dish after delicious dish.

Mamie Taylor's

3
251 Georgia St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6

Easy to miss along the increasingly changing strip of East Georgia between Main and Gore, Mamie Taylor’s is garnering rave reviews for both its strong cocktail menu and its meat-centric fare. Ignore the taxidermied beasts lining the walls and focus instead on dishes like fried olives with blue cheese and sherry and pork tenderloin with figs, cheesy parsnips and tater tots. They’re also doing a great brunch at excellent prices so you can fuel up before hitting the nearby vegetable stands.

The Emerald Restaurant

4
555 Gore Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 2Z6

Step into this sumptuous and spacious establishment and be instantly transported to the Las Vegas of yore where cocktails flowed continuously and more was more. Their menu reflects the era as well, with dishes like roast chicken with mac and cheese and devilled eggs and smoked salmon canapés. Rob Roys and Brandy Alexanders are rounded out with their own signature cocktails and you can bet there’s a crooner on the hi-fi at all times. Double down on the Emerald.

The Union

5
219 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2B2

At the very edge of Chinatown on the Adanac bike lane sits The Union, a Vietnamese-inspired restaurant with a super-fun vibe. With large communal wooden tables and tapas-style dishes to keep the sharing theme going, this is an excellent option for after work drinks and snacks for the growing number of professionals in the neighbourhood. Noodle bowls are spicy and ample, Bánh mì sandwiches are fresh and tasty and all is deliciously washed down with one of their house “Banga” cocktails.

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