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Vancouver Nightlife

1079 Mainland Street
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 5P9
Tel: 604 602 0835

It may not be the most original concept in nightlife—Buddha Bar, anyone?—but an Asian-themed chill-out lounge still has an easy appeal for those who'd rather avoid the sweaty crush of a club. AFTERglow is the 50-seat addition to Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar, the hottest restaurant in Yaletown circa 2002. But since it's an unusual offering in Vancouver, AFTERglow has the corner on the fashionably dressed crowd who want to sway and nod to mildly energetic tunes instead of breaking a sweat, and thirtysomethings who actually want to converse as part of their mating ritual. The after-work scene is especially good on Wednesdays: You can sip expensive cocktails on mood-lit sofas, and the tasting-style menu means you can easily make this a two-cocktail-and-two-bites substitute for dinner.—Cathay Che

Open Sundays through Wednesdays 5 pm to midnight, Thursdays through Saturdays 5 pm to 1 am.

Opus Bar
Opus Hotel
350 Davie Street
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 5Z6
Tel: 604 642 0557

Check into the Opus Hotel on a Friday afternoon, and you'd never guess that the quiet bar just off the lobby completely transforms into one of the city's hottest lounges come nightfall. At the witching hour, the hippest crowd in town—the beautiful people as well as the creative types behind Vancouver's burgeoning fashion/art/music scene—suddenly mob the lobby, dancing around tables, sipping cocktails, and trying not to bump into the DJ stand. The bar's roster of local vinyl spinners is an A-list of Vancouver's best, and celeb appearances have included Hed Kandi, Ministry of Sound, and even Ashton Kutcher. A flimsy rope cordons off the tiny "dance floor," and people are often very tipsy and having a ball until 3 am. No wonder the hotel's turndown service includes leaving earplugs on the nightstands.—Updated by Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 3 am, Sundays 5 pm to 1 am.

Pop Opera
686 West Hastings
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 1P1
Tel: 604 633 3988

The spirit of Andy Warhol is alive and well in the exploding plastic disco balls and white vinyl sofas bathed in violet light at this South Beach–style club that burst upon the scene in 2008. There are VIP booths and table service here—something newish for Vancouver—but most of the action happens in one midsize room. So even if you don't pay the premium, you can literally see and be seen by everyone, whether you're a big spender or just a pedestrian on the dance floor. Vigorous booty-shaking to shameless top 40 hits (Kanye, Rihanna, Beyoncé) is fun and unselfconscious, and special celebrity appearances at the turntables, such as DJ AM, ensure a packed venue, especially since it's only open Fridays and Saturdays. Since this is Vancouver, not New York or London, as long as you make an attempt to dress stylishly you'll get in the door—even if you're no longer a member of the Gossip Girl demographic that dominates the crowd.—Cathay Che

Open Fridays and Saturdays 10 pm to 3 am.

1026 Granville Street
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1L5
Tel: 604 678 1049

Sanafir (Arabic for "meeting place") is a sexy casbah oasis on Granville Street's entertainment row. Affluent movers and shakers balance atop ultra-hip cube seats on the lower level or rub elbows with visiting celebs on richly upholstered beds in the upstairs lounge. There's an inventive and exotic menu that offers mezze platters, tajines, and curries with exceptional flavors at decent prices. The bar has an interesting selection of cocktails—the Marrakesh martini has apple liqueur, Cointreau, mint, apple purée, and sparkling wine—and an extensive collection of vintage Champagnes as well as fun wines to quaff in quantity.—Kasey Wilson

Open daily 5 pm to midnight.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.