The Best Bars in Whistler, Canada

Dusty's is one of Whistler's top bars, perfect for a drink or two after a day of skiing or mountain biking
Dusty's is one of Whistler's top bars, perfect for a drink or two after a day of skiing or mountain biking | © mikecranephotography.com / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Christine Wilson
24 September 2020

Known for its vibrant ambience, Whistler – just 120km (75mi) north of Vancouver, British Columbia – has no shortage of bars to unwind in after a day of skiing or mountain biking. Whether you’re looking for something relaxed or a spot that turns into a party when the sun goes down, you’ll find it at one of these Whistler bars, pubs and lounges to cap your day off with a drink.

Get into the heart of the action at the Longhorn Saloon

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Patrons at the Longhorn Saloon and Grill an apres-ski bar at the base of Whistler Mountain, Whistler Village, British Columbia,
© Rolf Hicker Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Sitting at the intersection of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, Longhorn Saloon has a patio that serves up a perfect view to watch skiers or mountain bikers roll down the hill and into the village. Be sure to order a plate of the saloon’s famous nachos, which are deemed by many as the best (and largest) in town. While most days it offers your typical lively pub atmosphere, complete with daily specials, Sunday nights transform into a party. The legendary Locals’ Night party (though non-locals are welcome, too!) usually kicks off with a champagne shower and ends with dancing on the tables.

Soak up the mountain scenes from the Garibaldi Lift Co.

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Whistler, BC, Canada: Garibaldi Lift Co exterior at dusk ? Stock Photo
© Rolf Hicker Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Perched on top of the Whistler mountain gondola are the large, mountain-facing patios of the Garibaldi Lift (known to locals simply as the GLC). Here you can watch bikers take on the GLC drops, which are three stone cliffs that drop onto a dirt landing pit. In winter, the indoor stone fireplace, paired with warm wood furnishings and earthy tones, makes for the perfect spot to warm up with a drink. The GLC is a family-friendly spot until 10pm and remains open for night-hawks until 1am.

Experience live music at the Crystal Lounge

Bar, Pub Grub
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Keep your eyes peeled for the Crystal Lounge, tucked away down a set of stairs off the village’s main drag. You won’t find a patio here, but the stone walls, fireplace and cozy vibe feel akin to hanging out in your friend’s basement. Choose from a variety of local beer on tap, including the full roster from Granville Island Brewery, as you settle in to watch a live music performance or sports (most likely a Vancouver Canucks game) on one of the TV screens.

Enjoy German fare and specialty beer at HandleBar

Craft Ale Bar, German
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Beer lovers will want to swing by HandleBar to sample a craft beer from their rotating taps, a thoughtfully curated selection of local and imported IPAs, sours, ales and more. Otherwise, their selection of spirits is also sure to impress, and for non-drinkers, alcohol-free beer, ginger beer and sodas are available. Their menu features German-inspired cuisine, like currywurst and grilled bratwurst, plus some pub food staples like deep-fried pickles and cauliflower wings.

Sip locally crafted brews at Coast Mountain Brewing

Brasserie, Pub Grub, $$$
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Coast Mountain Brewing is a local boutique craft brewery that prides itself on creating innovative and complex beers. You can find them on tap in many restaurants and bars throughout Whistler, or you can head to their brewery to sample a variety in their tasting room. Though it’s a bit out of the way from the main village, it’s worth the trip to grab a pint or flight straight from the source and a great excuse to see more of the town.

Hang out with the locals at Amsterdam Pub

Pub, Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Amsterdam Pub is a Whistler icon that has a reputation for knowing how to party, which you’ll pick up on from its blaring music and packed tables from the moment it opens to the wee hours of the morning. Take advantage of its happy-hour prices and arrive early to grab a seat on the patio that wraps along the pedestrian walkway, making it a prime spot for people-watching and taking in the village atmosphere.

Bask in the sun on the patio at Dusty's

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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As the first après-ski bar to open in Whistler in 1965, Dusty’s Bar & BBQ has the experience down to an art form. At the base of Whistler Mountain in Creekside, a neighborhood with restaurants and shops located outside of the main village, Dusty’s boasts the town’s sunniest patio and the world’s best Caesar (a Canadianized version of a bloody mary that uses clamato juice instead of tomato). As for the menu, BBQ reigns supreme, with recipes that were meticulously researched by their chefs on a restaurant tour of the Southern United States.

These recommendations were updated on September 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.