13 unreal hidden bars and restaurants in Vancouver

Feb 9 2023, 12:30 am

There’s something particularly satisfying about drinking (or eating) in a hidden establishment.

Tucked behind other restaurants, ensconced behind faux refrigerator doors, and accessed only via passwords, hidden bars, and restaurants have become increasingly popular in the last several years.

With their roots in the speakeasy tradition (the secret, illicit drinking establishments that rose to prominence during the Prohibition era), hidden bars offer city dwellers the promise of strong drinks, a cool atmosphere, and just a touch of adventure behind closed doors.

In addition to speakeasy-type spots, we also love a good hidden-away restaurant or cafe that just so happens to be in a weird location (like in a lumber yard or in an old house).

From cocktail lounges emulating antique train cars to bars disguised as accounting offices, here are the best hidden bars and restaurants in Vancouver.

Northern Café & Grill

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Starting the list off on a casual note, Northern Café and Grill is an iconic diner-style spot dating back to the late 1940s. This old café is tucked above a hardware store inside a lumber yard, but despite the journey getting there, is packed with people looking to tuck into its homemade wontons, all-day breakfast platters, and welcoming environment.

Address: 1640 East Kent Avenue S, Vancouver
Phone: 604-313-8118


Gran Reserva Downstairs


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Fans of Bodega On Main also enjoy the spot’s underground bar, Gran Reserva Downstairs. A hip place to be and a popular spot to settle in if you happen to be in the Strathcona area.

Address: 1014 Main Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-565-8815


Guilt & Co


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Guilt & Co is a longtime Gastown destination for live music, whiskey, and brews in an underground setting.

Address: 1 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-288-1704

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The Narrow Lounge


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Look for the red light – that’s how you’ll find this secret spot. Located on the corner of Main Street and 3rd Avenue, head here for a casual speakeasy atmosphere, affordable drinks, and the kind of food that goes well with them.

Address: 1898 Main Street, Vancouver
Phone: 778-737-5206

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Hello Goodbye


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Head through an unmarked door and step into this “drinking den.” The basement bar is notorious for good times and good drinks – after all, it’s only open Thursday to Saturday from 10 pm until late. This spot also boasts Hon’s dumplings, table service, live music, and DJs.

Address: 1120 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-669-6292

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The Basement Hotel Belmont

Hotel Belmont

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Hotel Belmont’s Basement is just that – tucked away in the hotel’s basement and is full of delights. This spot has a menu featuring a selection of wine, beer, cocktails, and a late-night dessert window too.

Address: 654 Nelson Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-605-4333

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Key Party

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This Main Street gem is an “open secret” spot and features a 40-seat lounge inspired by a “1970s house party.” Key Party’s cocktail program features drinks like the Spiced Sunrise, Coconut Cream Grasshopper, B-52, and Cherry Paralyzer, along with jello shots made from champagne and cassis.

Address: 2303 Main Street, Vancouver


Caffe Cittadella


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This Vancouver heritage home turned cafe is nestled in a residential area at the corner of Ash Street and West 7th Avenue, one block west of Cambie street. The charming two-storey cafe makes a fabulous cup of matcha to fuel you through the day.

Address: 2310 Ash Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-568-5909

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Gringo is an upbeat taco bar serving up affordable tacos in a space filled with bright pink flamingos and neon signs. This Mexican cantina is located along Blood Alley across from Tacofino’s patio in Gastown, between Carrall and Abbott street.

Address: 27 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver

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The Diamond and The Back Room

Through a glass door and up a flight of stairs is the award-winning cocktail lounge The Diamond. It’s all about the cocktails at this joint and it is hard to pick just one from the extensive three-page menu. This spot also has a back room, which serves simple highballs and beer and plays VHS tapes on an old-school TV.

Address: 6 Powell Street, Vancouver




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The secret but not-so-secret Laowai is a Prohibition-era, 1930s Shanghai-inspired bar tucked behind Blnd Tger Dumplings in Chinatown. Guests can access the luxe, atmospheric space via a freezer door by asking for a #7.

Address: BLND TGER, 251 East Georgia Street, Vancouver



Vancouver restaurants opening soon

Rendering of Bagheera

Newly opened Bagheera is the sister spot to Laowai and can be accessed through a Chinatown betting shop, the Happy Valley Turf Club at 518 Main Street. Guests must enter the betting shop and place a wager on “King Louie” in order to be granted access to the lounge, which has been inspired by a train car.

Address: Behind Happy Valley Turf Club — 518 Main Street, Vancouver
To Enter: Place your bet on “King Louie”


The Stock Room

The Stock Room

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Hidden behind fried chicken spot Hundy in Yaletown, The Stock Room can be entered via an arched doorway on the right side of the casual eatery. The space is vaguely tropical-themed with a killer cocktail, beer, and natural wine list to boot.

Address: 1144 Homer Street, Vancouver


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