Cocktails and good eats in Vancouver
I'm thinking of taking my husband to Vancouver for his 30th birthday this fall and am in the early stages of planning our culinary adventure.
To give you some background, my husband is a chef at an upscale restaurant in Los Angeles and we are both very interested in visiting a city with a great restaurant scene. In addition, we are also very enthusiastic about the classic cocktail scene. We're very into classic (and twists on classic) cocktails, especially cocktails using dark spirits. Trying to put some perspective, we've got 8 different bourbons, 4 sweet vermouths and 6 rye whiskey options in my home bar, and many other specialty liquors.
We don't tend to prefer loud spaces, though we're not necessarily opposed. Does anyone have any suggestions for places to eat or cocktail bars?? I'm really not familiar with the area and am not even sure if Vancouver has a cocktail scene, but have heard some great things about the city. Any suggestions, tips, etc. would be great!!
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Cocktails at Bao Bei are pretty fantastic. Not super traditional, but they've got quite a few that are bourbon based.
Clough has an interesting selection as well, but I've only had the gin and tonic there.
My limited forays into the Vancouver cocktail scene haven't been as successful as others, clearly. We did have a fun visit to Union Bar last week, might be worth a look. Not uberloud (though we were there on a weeknight so YMMV). It's very close to Bao Bei and not far from other cocktail-forward establishments in Gastown so you could build yourself a crawl if you were so inclined.
As far as great places to eat, what kind of food are you looking for? High end? Asian? As a general comment, I find that many restaurants in Vancouver do a few things well so if you order judiciously you're fine but don't go "off book."
You can fulfill both requirements of good cocktails and good eats at L'Abattoir. A block away is The Diamond who do a number of classics and new twists on classics.