TGIF in YEG: your guide to Edmonton nightlife

by Jana Lee

The weekend is here! From Old Strathcona pubs to Downtown clubs and special events, here’s your guide to Edmonton’s best places to be on Friday and Saturday nights. Want an evening of great drinks, great music, and great vibes? Check out these local favourites. [Image credit: iStock.com/ezhukov]

TGIF in YEG: your guide to Edmonton nightlife

Going out in Old Strathcona

Situated in the Old Strathcona entertainment district is Whyte Avenue, home to rows of bars, clubs, restaurants and boutiques. While there’s seemingly endless options, we’ve narrowed the list down to some of our top picks.

At El Cortez Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, grab a tasty tequila craft cocktail before heading underground to the tequila cellar, where rotating lineups of local DJs hit the decks on the weekends. Be sure to keep an eye on El Cortez’ social media channels, as they frequently host secret concerts in the underground cave.

If you like the appeal of a “secret club,” head to NightJar Pub. Guests must know the password, which changes weekly, to gain entry to this underground cocktail bar. Cozy and with a relaxed ambiance, it’s the perfect place to grab a drink and unwind without waiting in a long bar line.

Looking for a classic pub? Consider The Black Dog Freehouse or O'Byrnes Irish Pub. Both are ideal places for a low-key night out.

For a more high-energy experience, head to The Buckingham, locally known as “The Buck.” Make sure to go early as lines can be long and the place isn’t huge. Expect fun tunes. Finally, the newest establishment on Whyte Ave is Beercade, a massive venue with dozens of arcade games, dozens of draft beers, and a huge dance floor to boot.

Downtown nightlife scene

With many bars and entertainment spots within a stone's throw of one another, you can easily bar hop around Downtown and find your fit. Local favourites include Denizen Hall, where you’ll dance, sing (along), and play your night away. With plenty of arcade games and a live cover band, you’ll find many locals here on weekends. For modern vibes and a non-club crowd, consider The Bower, The Common, Mercer Tavern or The Chvrch of John, featuring  trendy playlists and old-school remixes in a wonderfully modern space. Go early, as these places can fill up quickly on weekends.

For those looking for a more casual space to sit and sip, consider grabbing a pint or casual cocktail at one of the 104 Street area bars. Stage 104, Redstar or Kelly’s Pub are all strong contenders for a chill night out.

Find an event happening near you

Change it up and look for a special event happening in Edmonton. Whether it’s art, culture, science, music or something else – you can be sure there’s something fun and unique to do. Attractions including Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton Valley Zoo and TELUS World of Science occasionally host special 18+ events. Edmonton is also home to a growing EDM scene – look for a show near you through local promoters Boodang, Blueprint, or check out a small-room gig at Starlite Room.

In a city with an abundance of nightlife options, it’s no wonder Edmontonians know how to play in style! Whether you’re a local or a visitor, check out these spots – you won’t leave disappointed. Have fun and play responsibly!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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