Some new names and usual suspects, including several here in Vancouver
There was a lot of jostling for position and some surprise inclusions in this year’s just-released list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars.
Usual suspects from past lists such as Botanist, The Keefer Bar, and Laowai made the cut yet again, though they’ve been bumped down a few places by bars in Toronto and Montreal. Civil Liberties in Toronto is returning champion and took home the title of Canada’s Best Bar for the second year in a row.
Botanist came in fourth place, and The Keefer Bar was eighth, with Laowai rounding out the top 10.
Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria also made the list again this year and has been bumped up a whopping seven places to 13th on the list. But it’s the newcomers we are most excited about. Mount Pleasant Vintage and Provisions is the 29th-best bar in Canada, beating out The Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim which came in 24th last year and 35th this year.
The sign on the door promises, “This is not a cult” and in addition to their playful drinks menu, which has everything from sangria slushies to creations like the Five Alive or the Taco Flavored Kisses, Mount Pleasant Vintage and Provisions serves up top-notch vibes. Its funky rec room decor and variety of spaces, from the loungey living room up front to the bright, modern bar area, and a pair of lively patios, make it a fun and quirky hang-out spot that charmed the judges.
The Bar At L’Abattoir is the only other returning name on the list in spot number 33, though there have been some exciting changes at the Gastown venue. The remaining four B.C. names were all exciting new additions getting their due, like the Michelin-recommended Bar Susu, one of the sibling restaurants of Published and Novella.
Canada’s Best ranked the wine bar at number 40 and said that while it was “by no means an extension of its more serious big brother” the “more casual, playful and romantically distressed” spot “is the place to go for low-intervention rarities and oddities.”
The Narrow Lounge didn’t make the list this year but its speakeasy sibling, Key Party, did in 45th. Disguised as an accounting office, the retro bar serves 60s and 70s classics like Grasshoppers, Slippery Nipple shooters, and Dirty-er Martinis.
Eliza—the wine bar at the storied Naramata Inn—and Citrus & Cane in Victoria were also named on the list, in 39th and 42nd places, respectively.
Canada’s 50 Best Bars is a sibling ranking from the same publication that also issued its list of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants of 2023 on the same day. Vancouver fared well on that list, with 15 of the 100 ranked restaurants calling the city home.
Here are all the B.C. bars included in Canada’s 50 Best Bars of 2023:
8. The Keefer Bar
10. Laowai & Blnd Tger
13. Clive’s Classic Lounge (Victoria)
29. Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions
33. The Bar At L’Abattoir
35. Lobby Lounge
39. Eliza (Naramata)
40. Bar Susu
42. Citrus & Cane (Victoria)
45. Key Party
With additional reporting by Lindsay William-Ross
This story originally appeared on Vancouver Is Awesome