Exploring Vancouver

By Paul Horne for PASSPORT Magazine

To acquaint myself with Vancouver's gay nightlife, I did a mad dash through Davie Village's club scene on a Sunday night with Angus Praught, president of gayvan.com and host extraordinaire. I may as well have been with the mayor, as everyone in the village knows this man. I also met a slew of drag queens and definitely a couple more martinis than I should have. Here's what I discovered: Celebrities is the biggest gay dance club and a local favorite, with a pretty mixed crowd (gayer on Fri/Sat) and some fun shows. A few straight people I met said it was their favorite club in the city as well. Odyssey is a smaller, younger gay and mixed club, also with fun shows and specialty nights. Numbers has several different levels and rooms where billiards, darts, karaoke, and a dance floor can all co-exist. 1181 is a new club, very upscale and stylish, with themed nights and big screen events. Great place to meet for pre-dinner cocktails. The Oasis is a comfortable, warmly-lit upstairs piano lounge with live jazz, a DJ, an outdoor patio, and an upscale appetizer menu with jugs of sangria. The recently opened Majestic is a restaurant and cabaret positioned to be the next hot spot in the village with its central location, appetizing menu, and huge patio right on Davie St. PumpJack is the place to go for jam-packed Sunday Keggers, as well as Levi/leather/fetish nights.

It's very easy to walk club to club and find your favorite, as this friendly village has something for every taste. When you get hungry, check out Delilah's for award-winning food and the best martinis in the city; Characters Taverna for Greek, Indian, and Italian food on a large patio overlooking the Village; AllIndia for affordable East Indian lunch and dinner buffets; and Hamburger Mary's which has been a GLBT favorite since 1979.

Pick up the Gay Friendly Vancouver guide found throughout the city, or visit gayvan.com for updated listings. If you visit Vancouver for the gay scene, consider August for Vancouver Gay Pride and the Queer Film Festival; February for Gay Mardi Gras, as well as Winter Pride in nearby Whistler (see sidebar).

Other distinct neighborhoods of interest to visitors include the Waterfront (shopping, a huge pier, and lots of new development), Gastown (a cobblestoned historic district and home to art galleries, upscale hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs); Yaletown (swanky residential lofts, glass-walled high rises that tower above the city, and a mix of ethnic restaurants, microbreweries, bakeries, and coffeehouses); and Robson Street (eclectic mix of local and international boutiques with high- and low-end eateries and chains like the Virgin Megastore).

Published: 2 Nov 2008 | Last Updated: 1 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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