Don’t underestimate the opportunities for all-night partying, dancing and fun in Vancouver. The many neighborhoods within the downtown peninsula – the West End, Gastown and Yaletown, to name a few – are full of late-night spots from sophisticated cocktail bars to underground, after-hours clubs. Here are some of the best if you’re gearing up for a night out.
Vancouver’s largest gay nightclub has been a go-to spot in the city since the 1980s. Playing mostly electronic and house mixes, the venue is famous for its over-the-top dance parties, as well as hosting many celebrities, including David Guetta and Boy George. After a major renovation in 2013, the club features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Celebrities is located in Davie Village, Vancouver’s vibrant gay district in the West End. As well as buzzing with bars and clubs, you’ll also find several casual eateries here – ideal for a late-night bite.
In the heart of east Vancouver, in historic Mount Pleasant, the Biltmore Cabaret has been a fixture for more than 50 years. Best known as a live music venue, it also hosts up-and-coming DJs, who draw in visitors with retro dance tunes and late-night party jams on weekends. The Biltmore is an intimate, 350-person venue, with a fun atmosphere, stylish interior and great beer selection. You can also find other arts performances here, including burlesque and comedy.
Fortune Sound Club
Fortune Sound Club, in the former Ming’s Chinese Restaurant building in Chinatown, is a chic nightclub with an innovative design, modern interior, superior sound system and ecofriendly features including a recycled bar and tabletops, an HVAC system and locally made LED lighting. Fortune happily shows off its eclectic musical tastes. From rap and hip-hop to electronic and top 40 hits, you never know what the DJs will spin next. The venue also hosts live music performances and a variety of themed nights.
The Roxy Cabaret
The Roxy has been throwing the best parties in Vancouver for over 30 years, attracting visiting athletes and celebrities. It’s a stalwart of the city’s nightclub scene, with amazing staff, live local bands most nights and rotating DJs. Sunday, the only themed night of the week, hosts Vancouver’s country and western fans. Start the night with the club’s drink special, a double long island iced tea, and join the venue’s high-energy crowds on the dance floor until 3am every night of the week.
The Junction is both pub and nightclub and one of Vancouver’s liveliest gay bars, hosting fun weekly events, themed nights and local DJs. Saturday nights start with Legends Cabaret, a drag show full of old-school glam. At 10pm, the club transforms into a dance party as in-house DJs get visitors to the dancefloor with top 40 hits.
Red Room Ultrabar
With its open floor capacity, three bars and PK sound system, the Red Room is a popular nightclub choice in Vancouver, with some of the best electronic music in the city. Every Friday is Cancun Nite, which draws in crowds of up to 500 people with everything from salsa and reggae to hip-hop and top 40. Then it’s SUBculture Saturdays, which is all about bass music. If you’re visiting Vancouver for a big event like Halloween or New Year’s, Red Room never fails to put on a good party.
Located in a converted warehouse in Yaletown, Bar None has been one of Vancouver’s go-to nightclub venues for over 20 years. It underwent renovations in 2015, with the installation of new lighting, funky wall art and a sushi and sake bar. Both local and international DJs liven up the lounge-y vibe, as do regular live music performances from local talent. On weekends, it tends to draw in a younger crowd, so if you don’t want to queue, get yourself on the guest list.
For a more casual vibe, we recommend a night out at the Fox Cabaret. This Main Street hotspot features various themed nights, including Turn Tuesdays, where the start of the night features Bring Your Own Vinyl. Free pizza is also provided by Ignite Pizzeria. Wednesdays host stand-up comedy acts, while Saturday nights turn the venue into a two-floor dance party. Fox Cabaret’s no-frills attitude ditches the likes of bottle service and VIP lounges in favor of a great beer selection, bar snacks and an easygoing atmosphere.
Levels is one of Vancouver’s newer nightclubs, occupying three levels of the former Fivesixty, which closed in 2015. Spreading across 17,000sqft (1,580sqm), there’s plenty of space here for everyone to dance, drink and take photos to remember a fun night out in the venue’s designated selfie bar. Levels is one of the city’s more EDM-forward venues, welcoming new musical acts and a host of popular DJs. For a special occasion, reserve a VIP section that seats up to 20 people.
Interested in an after-afterparty? Gorg-O-Mish, on Smithe Street, is the city’s underground after-hours nightclub, which welcomes guests from 2am when everywhere else starts to wind down. The club runs every Friday and Saturday and features cutting-edge, local and international house and techno DJs. The club is open until 8am, so it’s the place to go if you want to party all night. Open since 2003, Gorg-O-Mish is one of the longest-standing clubs in Vancouver.
Additional reporting by Emma Gibbins
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