Page 1
No. 8

The Keefer Bar

Cyberpunk only gets better with age and so does The Keefer Bar, a 14-year-old Vancouver institution that looks like it sprang from an early William Gibson sci-fi novel and was jacked into a futuristic metaverse. Dark and moody, the concept is traditional Chinese medicine, referenced in grim, backlit anatomical illustrations behind the bar and a “Remedies and Cures” cocktail list that leans heavily into bitter herbs. The Keefer also exudes a vibrancy and warmth that make you feel like you’ve stumbled into the world’s friendliest underground booze can, where everyone knows your name. The drinks, accented with Asian ingredients — like salted pomelo, clarified tofu coconut milk and star anise bitters — are stirred to perfection and chilled with crystal-clear ice (carved in-house). The music, usually from live DJs, is funky. Do order the dim sum and Taiwanese cauliflower (the dumplings and the lap cheong sausage are sourced from Chinatown neighbours). And watch for guest shifts by internationally known bartenders, which happen on the regular.

The Forager’s Martini with herbaceous hydrosols (flower waters) is served at –20°C, with a chooseyour- own-adventure plate of pickled vegetable garnishes.
From 4 to 6 p.m., for half-price bar snacks and dim sum.

Photography by Juno Kim (Skeleton Kiss), Sean Kelly (Pineapple Daiquiri), Dave Hamilton (Team), Juno Kim (Imposter Syndrome)

Share: Facebook, X (Formerly Twitter)

More From the list

Full List
News and more

Sign up to our newsletter