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Canada’s 50 Best Bars 2020

BY RANK

Presenting the 50 Best Bars in Canada 2020

For Canada’s bar community, the journey back to what they do best—and making a living at it—is just beginning. For now, we would like to raise a virtual toast to everyone who worked so tirelessly to create an industry that only exists to provide good times for others. These rankings are based on a poll of 51 national judges, who submitted a list of their top five bar experiences in 2019.

Congratulations!

View the 50 Best Bars by region.

LISTINGS BY RANK

Bar Raval

1. Bar Raval

You don’t go to Bar Raval just for a drink. You go to escape ordinary…

The Keefer Bar

2. The Keefer Bar

When it opened 10 years ago, with burlesque dancers strutting across the bar top and…

Atwater Cocktail Club

3. Atwater Cocktail Club

Deke into a narrow graffiti-coated alley located between two cheque-cashing joints, slip through a red-lit…

El Pequeño

4. El Pequeño

With its narrow cobblestone streets, centuries-old buildings and (until a few months ago) horse-drawn calèches,…

Proof

5. Proof

If a good back bar contains one or two rows of top-shelf spirits, then Proof’s…

Botanist

6. Botanist

Even in Vancouver, a magical mushroom drink raises eyebrows—especially when Candy Cap Magic, a cocktail…

Cloakroom Bar

7. Cloakroom Bar

An evening at this neo-speakeasy, hidden in the faded grandeur of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile,…

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Civil Liberties

8. Civil Liberties

“This Must Be The Place” reads the sign above the door. Really? To a first-time…

Gift Shop

9. Gift Shop

Jess Mili had big stilettos to fill when replacing the charmingly irreverent, proudly kinky bar…

PrettyUgly

10. PrettyUgly

Dark, warm and quirky, this chill Parkdale local, currently in legal limbo, offers an adventurous…

The Coldroom

11. The Coldroom

For a place too unconventional for a street address, the underground Coldroom sure has a…

Paris Paris

12. Paris Paris

At Paris Paris it’s always vino o’clock. This all-day bar from the Superpoint crew boasts…

Bar Piquette

14. Bar Piquette

Fizzy, low-ABV and affordable. That’s what “piquette”—a humble grape-pomace wine— and this buzzy Queen West…

The Bar At Alo

15. The Bar at Alo

Reminiscent of a swanky London hotel bar, the elegant Bar at Alo is one of…

Mother Cocktail Bar

16. Mother Cocktail Bar

It’s a bar name that’s doubly comforting. A “mother” gives life to all the fresh…

Le Royal Interior

17. Le Royal

This sexy, subterranean lounge next to sister wine bar Rouge Gorge takes its craft cocktails…

Supernova Ballroom Interior

18. Supernova Ballroom

Canadian bar star Kelsey Ramage— who made her mark at Dandelyan in London, and then…

Pablo

19. Pablo

With a photo from the halcyon days of Studio 54 as its home page, and…

Stillife Bar

20. Stillife

The owners of Cloakroom Bar have put a starkly elegant spin on the neo-hippie, no-waste…

Lot Six

21. Lot Six

Located in one of Halifax’s oldest buildings, Lot Six delivers a modern drinking experience and…

Clementine

22. Clementine

Clementine’s bartenders work with challenging bitter, botanical and smoky flavours so adeptly, one cocktail calls…

Clockwork Interior

23. Clockwork

With its recent facelift (finally) complete, the Fairmont Royal York now has a lobby bar…

Noble

24. Noble

Whisper the password at Middle Spoon dessert bar, then descend a narrow staircase to one…

Le Majestique

25. Le Majestique

Eclectic and casual, with mounted deer heads hung on wood-panelled walls and vintage swivel stools…

BarChef

26. BarChef

Co-owner and head mixologist Frankie Solarik—part magician, part scientist—has been tickling all senses with his…

Baijiu & Little Hong Kong

27. Baijiu & Little Hong Kong

Sip cocktails kissed with exotic flavours, from umeshu to chrysanthemum tea, at an Asian-inspired canteen…

Coffee Oysters Champagne

28. Coffee Oysters Champagne / À Toi

Albeit flash, the pearly pink oyster bar is merely a front for a lavishly embellished…

Hono Izakaya

29. Honō Izakaya

The yakitori is great, but sake, umeshu and whisky are the real stars at Quebec…

Black Dice Cafe

30. Black Dice Cafe

Although Black Dice bills itself as a “Japanese Rockabilly Bar,” it’s also what you’d call…

Nacarat

31. Nacarat

This modern gem in Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel eliminates class divisions among cocktails…

32. Bar at Forth

Don’t neglect to visit the basement bar— not to mention the rooftop in summer—of this…

33. Burdock Brewery

A brewpub run by winos, with a music hall on the side. Rocking the non-binary…

Patent 5 Distillery

34. Patent 5 Distillery

There are some big coupes to fill when your distillery bar is furnished with artifacts…

35. Bar Bricco

Feel fab at a vibrant spuntini bar, smack in a prairie downtown, from folks (the…

36. Thirteen Pies Pizza + Bar

With killer tiki-style drinks and playful pizzas that riff on horror movie titles, this place…

Hawthorn

37. Hawthorn

A smart focus on Alberta’s seasonal and sustainable products raises the bar on what you…

38. The Diamond

Gazing out the tall Italianate windows overlooking Gastown’s cobblestoned streets, one can almost feel the…

Lobby Lounge

39. Lobby Lounge

South Beach meets Coal Harbour at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. The ground floor’s shiny expanse…

Upstairs At Campagnolo Bar

40. Upstairs at Campagnolo

Look for local bottlings from B.C.’s Odd Society, Arbutus and Sheringham craft distilleries in stirred-up…

41. El Rey

This Oaxacan boite is a great place for a dose of liquid smoke from a…

42. Key Party

It’s the swinging ’70s at this naughty speakeasy tucked behind the faux facade of Zottenberg…

43. The Shameful Tiki Room

Worship legends like Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic here, through a wormhole to tiki’s…

Bar Volo

44. Bar Volo

It’s in a new location (not far from the original), but it still brings 30…

The Boxcar

45. The Boxcar

A hipster dive bar with history, East Van’s three-metre-wide “vibe corridor” once housed saloon stables.…

46. Q Bar

Now ubiquitous, the butterfly pea flower cocktail trend started right here at the funkily refurbished…

VinVinVin

47. VinVinVin

This chic-retro natural wine bar organizes its menu by style. Order soif (thirst quenchers), joufflu…

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