The first time we visited Vancouver we drove through Gastown on our way back to Washington and didn’t have much time to explore. We did a mini crawl to a few places for happy hour with the intent of returning and trying some of the places we missed.
During our recent weekend in Vancouver we spent most of our time exploring the North Shore and West End, but also sneaked in return trips to Granville Island and Gastown.
I had a list of places where we wanted to grab a bite–some from co-workers, some from our previous visit and some from fellow blogger recommendations. I knew we wouldn’t make it through them all–there will always be a ‘next time’ list– but I think we did a fair crawl.
We started at L’Abattoir and found seats at the bar tucked away near the front window. It was dark and the atmosphere was lovely– they describe it as industrial chic, which I think it accurate.
We chatted with the couple next to us and ended up in a conversation that ranged from discussing the economy to other spots we needed to add to our crawl.
They were in favor of some of my list but insisted we head to The Diamond across the street before moving on. We had finished our cocktails and they were staying for another round so we said our good-byes and headed across the street.
What a great recommendation! There was a great energy without feeling crowded, and we once again had no trouble finding seats at the bar. The bartenders clearly knew their drinks, but didn’t come off as pretentious (given we don’t know that much about drinks–sometimes it’s overwhelming.) This line from their website nails it:
It’s a gathering spot for those who love quality drinks without feeling unwelcome.
We decided on cocktails and also ordered a few pieces from their sushi menu. It was nice having a private conversation while all of the people and sounds flowed around us. I loved it.
We went for a bit of a walk afterward in search of the Charles Bar, which was next on my list. It was several streets away so we wound through the people and streetlights until we found it.
I had read about it online and the website pictures looked nice, but it ended up being more of a sports bar, which wasn’t what we had in mind. We shared a small poutine but didn’t stay long. If you’re looking for a classier sports bar, this might be the place for you, but it was a young and slightly rowdier crowd than what we typically pursue.
Our last stop is now another favorite– the Pourhouse, which was a carry over from our previous visit list and one I was excited to try. I wasn’t disappointed!
While there were no seats at the bar, we arrived just in time to snag some seats in the bar area in these incredible overstuffed chairs. What a way to end the evening! We ordered some final cocktails and the rabbit terrine, which was delicious.
I was getting tired and just enjoyed being able to sit back, relax and spend some time in conversation with my husband, who puts up with all of my travels. It was a busy day, but it was a perfectly balanced evening of trying new places to eat and exploring new parts of Gastown, but at our own pace.
Brian always says we never see cities by night (since I’m an early to bed, early to rise kinda gal), but I think our pictures of the steam clock tell another story. It, and all of Gastown, are beautiful at night.
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