Top 5 Super Bowl Parties in Vancouver

Still don’t have plans for the big game?  No worries.  There are plenty of places in Vancouver to watch the Giants battle the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday (and one place where you can mingle with real NFL cheerleaders).

I’ve listed my top 5 picks below.  But there are lots of choices out there.

Do you have a favourite bar for watching the big game?  Leave a comment and let fans know. 

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions: Continue reading:
Top 5 Super Bowl Parties in Vancouver

Best Bar for Beer in Vancouver? You make the call!

Alibi Room | 157 Alexander Street @ Main

Vancouver offers nightlife to suit almost every taste:  pubs both classic and contemporary, chic lounges, trendy clubs, even a few pleasantly grungy dive bars.

The city is also developing a reputation as a beer drinkers’ town.   From brew pubs to taverns serving dozens of premium local and international beers, Vancouver has no shortage of places to wet your whistle.   I’d like to know your favourite.

Where’s the best place in Vancouver for beer lovers?  Which bar boasts the best selection?  The best ambiance?  The friendliest and most knowledgeable bartenders?

I’ll start things off by mentioning one of my favourites:  the Alibi Room in Gastown.

Continue reading:
Best Bar for Beer in Vancouver? You make the call!

Best Rock and Roll Bars in Vancouver? You make the call!

Rich Hope

When it comes to nightlife, Vancouver is definitely no longer a “no fun” zone.  There are zillions of gastropubs, where you can sip away the night with gourmet grub.  There are plenty of chic lounges, where the girls in little black dresses and guys in muscle Ts flaunt their stuff.  And after midnight, there’s no shortage of clubs and Euro-inspired DJs.

A bit harder to find are good, old-fashioned rock and roll bars.  I’m talking about casual bars that play live music: places with a laid-back feel, cheap beer, good sound system and good bands. If the bar room is a little grungy around the edges, so be it.  And I’ve got no problem paying a cover charge, as long as it hovers around the $10 mark.

Now, I know there must be at least a few honest-to-goodness rock and roll bars in Vancouver – but they’re not easy to find.  So I’m turning this one over to you:

Do you have a favourite bar for live music?  A place you can grab a casual drink and hear some good tunes?  Please share your knowledge below.

I’ll start things off with a place I stumbled on recently.  It’s hardly a new find or a hidden gem, but it definitely fits the bill.  I’m talking about the old Fairview Pub, out on Broadway and Laurel Street.

Continue reading:
Best Rock and Roll Bars in Vancouver? You make the call!

Top 5 Places to Watch the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final

Photo Credit: CBC Vancouver

Looking for a place to watch the Canucks battle it out with the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final?  Options in downtown Vancouver range from sports bars and brew pubs to bistros with big-screen TVs and even special outdoor viewing areas. Here are 5 top picks  (One tip:  Plan on getting to bars and restaurants a few hours before first puck is dropped if you hope to get in the door).

CBC Plaza: As you might have noticed already, Canucks games throughout the playoffs have been broadcast on a 13-foot outdoor screen outside CBC studios on Hamilton Street, between Georgia and Robson Streets.   An extra screen has been added for the Stanley Cup Final, plus food trucks, free Canucks posters and face painting.  The party starts at 3 p.m. on game days.

Continue reading:
Top 5 Places to Watch the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final

West’s Bartender Extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk & the Art of the Original Cocktail

West Restaurant's David Wolowidnyk & his Japan-inspired original cocktail. Photo: Dana Lynch

When I was in my early twenties, cocktails were just mixed drinks to me, a way to indulge in alcohol that felt grown-up, even though I was usually just ordering mid-nineties college-girl staples like Ameretto Sours and Cosmopolitans.

Call it the wisdom that comes with age, but I view cocktails very differently now. My cocktail palate has grown more sophisticated (though I’m still working at improving it) and I can now appreciate the art of the cocktail, the way a truly accomplished bartender and mixologist can create layers of flavour to make a beverage that is a unique taste sensation, a drink that stands on its own as its own gastronomical experience.

Skeptical that a cocktail can be all that? Then I know a man you need to meet:  West Restaurant + Bar’s bartender extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk, a master in the art of the cocktail.

Continue reading:
West’s Bartender Extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk & the Art of the Original Cocktail