The Cambie

The ultimate dive bar—picnic-table-style seating, squalid bathrooms, sticky floors, and a rowdy mix of student travellers, DTES old-timers, and unruly hockey fans chugging back $11 pitchers. 300 Cambie St., 604-688-9158. Thecambie.com

Fets Pasta Bar and Grill

Here you’ll find one of the best, and definitely one of the cheapest, under-the-radar whisky collections in town—Johnnie Walker Black is just $7 a pop. 1230 Commercial Dr., 604-255-7771. Fetsbarandgrill.com

 

The Wise Hall

There’s an annual fee of $24, but that gets you discount drinks, admission to live-music shows, plus free pool and darts. 1882 Adanac St., 604-254-5858. Wisehall.ca

 

British Ex Servicemen’s Club

Go for the cheap pints ($3.75), return for the Meat Draws every Friday and Saturday night and the free pool on Wednesdays. 1143 Kingsway Ave., 604-874-6510.

 

West Hotel and Bar

Pints are just $3.25, pitchers $9.75, but take heed: a friend’s conversation was interrupted on at least two occasions by a woman wanting to discuss a possible business transaction. 488 Carrall St., 604-681-8374.

 

The Brickhouse

Fact: bartender Leo Chow wears bike shorts and a fanny pack year-round. Fiction: supplied by the novelists and freelance writers who frequent this book-lined cave of a room. Shots of bourbon, $5.50. 730 Main St., 604-689-8645.

 

The Black Frog

$5 pints of Kronenbourg, stellar chicken wings (arguably the city’s best), and the most unexpectedly beautiful view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. Avoid it on weekends when university kids take over. 108 Cambie St., 604-602-0527. Theblackfrog.ca.

 

Cedar Cottage

Eastsiders love this sprawling basement-level rumpus room with its two-dozen big screens for hockey nights, $4.50 hi-balls, and hefty burger platters ($8.95) that’ll feed you for a week. 3728 Clark Dr., 604-876-1411.

 

Pub 340

Think dangerously cheap booze ($3.25 pints, $9.75 pitchers, $3 shots of Jager and Fireball) and Dire Straits on repeat. Every hearty, stick-to-your-ribs item on Chef Randy’s menu is just $5.50. 340 Cambie St., 604-602-0644.

 

The Five Point

Maybe not a dive per se, but this Main Street favourite is low-key, kid-friendly, and offers great specials every night of the week (premium doubles are just $7.50 on Saturday nights). 3124 Main St., 604-876-5810. Thefivepoint.com.