Vancouver Island drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Pub in Nanaimo

Crow and Gate

With Nanaimo's decidedly underwhelming bar scene, it's worth heading out of town (with designated driver, of course) to BC's best Brit-style pub. With a dark, wood-beam interior and a lip-smacking menu of housemade …
Top Choice Bar in Victoria

Drake

Victoria's best taphouse, this redbrick hangout has more than 30 amazing craft drafts, typically including revered BC producers Townsite, Driftwood and Four Winds. Arrive on a rainy afternoon and you'll find yoursel…
Top Choice Pub in Victoria

Garrick's Head Pub

Great spot to dive into BC's brilliant craft-beer scene. Pull up a seat at the long bar and you'll be faced with 55-plus taps serving a comprehensive menu of beers from Driftwood, Phillips, Hoyne and beyond. There a…
Brewery in Comox Valley

Cumberland Brewing

A microbrewery that's mastered the neighborhood-pub vibe, this tasty spot combines a woodsy little tasting room with a larger outdoor seating area striped with communal tables. Dive into a tasting flight of four bee…
Pub in Victoria

Big Bad John's

Easily missed from the outside, this dark little hillbilly-themed bar feels like you've stepped into the backwoods. But rather than some dodgy banjo players with mismatched ears, you'll find good-time locals enjoyin…
Lounge in Victoria

Clive's Classic Lounge

Tucked into the lobby level of the Chateau Victoria Hotel, this is the best spot in town for perfectly prepared cocktails. Completely lacking the snobbishness of big-city cocktail haunts, this ever-cozy spot is tota…
Brewery in Comox Valley

Gladstone Brewing Company

Order a pizza at the adjoining servery and grab a parasol table outside this excellent addition to the region's drinking scene. Check the chalkboard for the current roster of brews then order a four-glass tasting fl…
Pub in Victoria

Bard & Banker

This cavernous Victorian reproduction pub is handsomely lined with cut-glass lamps, open fireplaces and a long granite bar topped with brass beer taps. Pull up a stool and taste-test locally-made Phillips Blue Buck …
Pub in Victoria

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

One of Canada's first craft brewers, this wood-floored smasher is a short hop from downtown via Harbour Ferry. Sail in for copper-colored Nut Brown Ale or the lip-smacking Lion's Head Cascadia Dark Ale, and check ou…
Pub in Victoria

Canoe Brewpub

The cavernous brick-lined interior is great on rainy days, but the patio is also the best in the city with its usually sunny views over the harbor. Indulge in on-site-brewed treats, like the hoppy lager and the summ…