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  • BEST BARS 2018

    50 BEST BARSC A N A D A S

    F R O M T H E E D I TO R S O F

    P R E S E N T E D B Y

    For most diners, the true marker of a great evening is an excellent meal. But for others, the experience of going out is made during the more intimate, be-fore-and-after moments of dinner, which are often spent on bar stools or at dimly lit tables enjoying a drink. This book is for the latter camp.

    At Canadas 100 Best, our idea of a great bar starts with an atmospheric setting and an excep-tional beverage program. We think excellent cock-tails are just like the best food: they should respect the past but do more than simply repeat it. And we think that any good bartender should be able to pull off that trick with a non-alcoholic mix, too.

    Great bars neednt be chic or luxurious, but they must be comfortable retreats. The service should be hospitable; the atmosphere convivial. We are also keen to celebrate excellent wine bars and craft-beer destinations, both of which we believe have only served to elevate bar culture in Canada.

    In assembling our inaugural list of Canadas 50 Best Bars, we asked our experienced panel of judg-es to consider all of this as they scoured the coun-

    try for the finest wine, beer and cocktail lounges. But we did have a few restrictions. Mainly, we dis-couraged judges from voting for restaurants or bar seating therein. Our goal was, and still is, to find the greatest places to meet someone for a drink or two, and nothing more.

    As we see it, a bar along one wall of a dining room is not a barits just part of a restaurant. But if a bar is in a separate room, with its own distinct atmosphere, then it qualifies as a stand-alone watering hole.

    We have done our very best to adhere to these criteria, proudly bringing you the inaugural ranking of Canadas 50 Best Bars.

    8-25 26 28 29 30 CANADASBEST BARS

    BARTENDERPROFILE

    VANCOUVERWINE POP-UP

    SAKE INMONTREAL

    RECIPE

    CANADAS 50BEST BARS

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    BEST BARS 2018

    H O N O U R A B L E M E N T I O N S

    1 . T H E B L I N D O W L , WINDSOR, ONT. 2 . T H E D U K E O F D U C K W O R T H , ST. JOHNS, N.L. 3 . B I G B A D J O H N S , VICTORIA, B.C. 4 . F L I N T , SASKATOON, SASK. 5 . T H E R O O S T , WINNIPEG, MAN..

  • BEST BARS 2018 BEST BARS 2018

    P R E S E N T E D B Y

    B A R R AVA L

    what to order: Tinto Fino

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    drink:

    Bar

    Rav

    al /

    AJ

    Fern

    ando

    01

    In the approach from the street, Bar Raval appears to be just like any other watering holethe unremarkable green paint and covered patio give nothing away. But inside, the room inspires a sense of permanence. Before they opened the place in 2015, Grant van Gameren, Robin Goodfellow and Mike Webster had spent a fortune on the exquisite ma-hogany woodwork alone. Three years later, the Spanish Art Nouveau-inspired interiorreminiscent of Antoni Gauds iconic Casa Batllbuildingcontinues to be a beautiful, lively and convivial spot.

    As if that werent enough, communal oak-barrel tables encourage chatting with strangers as an inviting playlist of African groove, Latin funk and psychedelic soul enlivens the place. Drinks include refreshing Spanish fizz cocktails made with crystalline, hand-carved brick ice, cava and your choice of vermouth. The skilled bartenders also create original fino sherry libations that sing with addictive sa-line undercurrents.

    The bars signature Tinto Finoa satis-fyingly tart emulsion o f d ry sher ry and freshly squeezed lime ju icenearly begs to be paired with the top-quality food.

    A room with a sense of place, even if that place is across the ocean. Runs like a well-tuned machine, but offers a true sense of welcome. Confident drink-makers, terrific wines, not to mention the food. J O H N B U N N E R O P E R AT I O N S M A N A G E R , A LO

    505 COLLEGE ST., TORONTO, ONT.

    http://www.thisisbarraval.com

  • BEST BARS 2018 BEST BARS 2018

    P R E S E N T E D B Y

    what to order: Opium Sour

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, The Keefer Bar is illuminated by glowing rectangles of red and gold LED lights, which dot the bar and ceiling. A sign above the bar reads Medical Centre. The apothe-cary-themed menu, which is labelled as a list of Remedies and Cures, offers herb-infused cocktails inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. Meanwhile, an outdoor patio with a blazing fire pit provides the perfect spot for a nightcap.

    T H E K E E F E R B A R

    drink:

    135 KEEFER ST., VANCOUVER, B.C.

    what to order: Montreal Cocktail

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    Bartenders Daniel Boulianneand Pierre-Hughes Marois create simple yet compelling original libations inside this intimate,65-seatcocktail lounge, hidden underground in a former industrial cold room. Decor is minimal, yet the rooms original steel beams and brick wallsdating back to 1877provide inimitable character and charm.

    C O L D R O O M

    drink:

    SAINT VINCENT ST., MONTREAL, QUE.

    A Vancouver staple for any cocktail lover. From the apothecary decor to the interesting tinctures in the cocktails, The Keefer is always pushing boundaries.

    Col

    dRoo

    m /

    Dan

    iel E

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    an

    K A I T LY N S T E WA R T D I A G E O W O R L D C L A S S B A R T E N D E R O F T H E Y E A R

    The

    Kee

    fer

    Bar

    / D

    ave

    Ham

    ilton

    02

    03

    Ring the doorbell and within a minute you are

    greeted by a member of the world-class

    staff who escorts you downstairs into a dimly

    lit bar, decorated to perfection. No glitz and

    glamour, no ostentatious garnishes. Simply some

    of the best cocktails in Canada.

    S P E N C E R G O O D E R H A M C A N A D I A N W H I S K Y

    A M B A S S A D O R

    http://www.thekeeferbar.comhttp://www.thecoldroommtl.com

  • BEST BARS 2018 BEST BARS 2018

    P R E S E N T E D B Y

    what to order: El Santo

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    With more than 300 bottles of premium bourbon, whisky, gin and vodka, the sprawling booze collection at Proof could be described as an expan-sive liquor library. But fortunately, the research materials are for final sale, not lending. Bartenders climb a sturdy wooden ladder to access many of the bars most exclusive spirits, stirring craft and classic cocktails of undeniable quality. Luxurious leather sofas and vintage Hudsons Bay Company blankets add to the bars charming, antique ambiance.

    P R O O F

    drink:

    1302 1 ST. SW,CALGARY,ALTA.

    what to order: Armagnac Old Fashioned

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    A destination for refined cocktails and wines, The Bar at Alo offers a sub-lime drinking experience that is separate from the award-winning French restaurant. The Armagnac Old Fashioned, built in the glass with a dash of absinthe, nearly overflows with complex, herbaceous flavours. At sunset, the light refracts off the bottles to fill the barroom with a whimsical array of coloursand the effect is glamorous.

    T H E B A R AT A L O

    drink:

    163 SPADINA AVE., TORONTO, ONT.

    Phot

    o co

    urte

    sy o

    f Alo

    Phot

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    04

    05 The funky atmosphere at Proof is a go-to when seeking a spot to sink down into some comfortable couches and enjoy professionally made cocktails.

    B R I T TA N Y H O U S T O N S A L E S R E P R E S E N TAT I V E ,

    P H I L L I P S B R E W I N G & M A LT I N G

    With its robust cocktail program,

    welcoming atmosphere and

    dedication to excellence, the Bar

    at Alo has an identity entirely its own. C A L U M M A R S H

    N AT I O N A L P O S T

    http://www.proofyyc.comhttp://alorestaurant.com/2016/08/05/1016/

  • BEST BARS 2018

    P R E S E N T E D B Y

    what to order: A glass of Cornas reserve

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No

    B A R V O N D E R F E L S1005A 1 ST. SW, CALGARY, ALTA.

    dr

    ink

    :Situated within thehistoricCarleton Hotelbuilding in downtown Halifax, the two-storey Lot Six Bar is an oasis of craft cocktails and Canadian wines. Head bartender Shane Beehan showcases premium local spirits on his cocktail menu, giving each libation a distinct sense of place. Meanwhile, a vaulted glass ceiling and glowing twinkle lights provide a welcoming and outdoorsy ambiance.

    L O T S I X B A R & R E S TA U R A N T1685 ARGYLE ST., HALIFAX, N.S.

    what to order: Fresh to Death

    price: $$$

    food: Yes / No drin

    k:

    Lot

    Six

    Bar

    & R

    esta

    uran

    t /

    Jess

    ica

    Emin

    . Bar

    Von

    Der

    Fel

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    cour

    tesy

    of B

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    06

    07Ive discovered so many new producers from the personalized service here. The wines by the glass can change by the hour, and I always leave having discovered new gems. JASON YAMASAKI, SOMMELIER, JOEY RESTAURANTS

    Since opening in September, 2016, Bar Von Der Fels has established itself as one of the best wine bars in Calgary, if not all of Canada. Outside, a sign on the door reads No Malbec! No Minors! And yet, countless other wine offerings provide something for everyonefrom a $10 glass of muscadet to a $30 glass of Chassagne-Montrachet. Past the bar, a pocket-sized kitchen prepares unfussy small plates conceived to perfectly accompan