Hyper-Specific City Guide: What to Do in Vancouver With Your Cool DJ Friend Visiting from Toronto

A night out with your too-cool DJ friend who moved away five years ago and this is your last chance to convince her Vancouver is cool too so she’ll move back (oh god, don't blow it).

This is part of our Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide, featured in the May 2024 issue of Vancouver magazine. We’ve created 25 unique personas and 25 unique itineraries to match. If this to-do list for ‘your hippest friend’ isn’t helpful, perhaps one of the other 24 bespoke schedules will be. Explore them all here. 

7:00 p.m.: Hot Dog, We Have a Weiner

Pre-game with drinks and snacks at Mount Pleasant Vintage and Provisions. This quirky spot offers a blend of ’90s hip hop and Grandma’s basement vibes, perfect for reminiscing over BBQ picnic staples like hot dogs and tater tots served alongside old-school lunch pails carrying your dog sauces (ketchup, mustard, relish). With Tupac’s “California Love” setting the mood on one of their two cool outdoor patios, you’ll be reluctant to leave (fingers crossed your friend agrees!). 67 W 6th Ave., mtpleasant.bar

a white house with a sign saying mount pleasant provisions

9:00 p.m.: Hollywood Nights

Venture to the Art Deco dream­scape of the Hollywood Theatre for a night of dancing and live music. Your friend will feel like they’ve stepped into a scene from L.A., and if they’re too lost in the ambiance to know where they are, even better. 3123 W Broadway, hollywoodtheatre.ca

a concert venue full of people dancing and cheering
Photo: Timothy Nguyen

10:00 p.m.: Dancing in the Streets

Granville Street may have a reputation (they close the dang street on Saturdays after all), but there’s a new mid-sized live music venue in town, The Pearl, offering cool acts and a vibrant atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to mingle with the city’s eclectic crowd and experience Vancouver’s nightlife scene. 881 Granville St., thepearlvancouver.com

12:00 a.m.: After-Hours Cocktail

For a surprise twist, take your friend to Key Party on Main, a hidden speakeasy disguised as a 1970s accounting firm. Inside, sultry artwork adorns the walls and candlelight sets the mood for tantalizing libations. Indulge in the Lovelace cocktail ($13) and a cheese fondue ($24) while you make your case for why your friend should stay. With its late-night hours, Key Party is the ideal spot to end the night and seal the deal on your persuasive argument. 2305 Main St., narrowgroup.ca

colourful cocktail on ice

More from the Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide here.