While the last couple of decades have been fairly rough on downtown Edmonton, with a large portion of the trendy and local business owners moving just across the river to Whyte Ave, recent years have seen innovation begin to pick up again in the downtown core. Commuters are now seeing downtown as a pleasant place to socialize after the work day is done. The neighbourhood is becoming one where people are happy to meet up with friends and explore a different side of the city. If you’re looking for some great Downtown Edmonton cocktail bars, any of these establishments will prove to be a fine choice for a drink with your office friends.
Go For a Unique Experience at Woodwork
A very recent edition to the Edmonton foodie scene, Woodwork is the result of a collaboration between chef Mike Scorgie and barman Andrew Borley. They serve Canadian food as well as Southern/soul food and are known for their amazing, well-crafted cocktails and drink menu. For a unique, well thought out experience, head to Woodwork and grab a drink.
Get Artsy at Zinc
Zinc is located inside the Art Gallery of Alberta, and from day one it has been known for the quality of the service, ingredients and recipes on offer. It is classy, upscale, and everything you could want from a cocktail bar. Zinc has every old staple you've come to love from the cocktail scene, and often features special cocktails to match the exhibits in the gallery. Come here for an upscale drink after work.
Cocktails for the Book Lover
Confederation Lounge at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald is a great place to visit if you love the feeling of the library. It has big comfy chairs and a laid back, welcoming vibe. Plus, there is an amazing patio with beautiful River Valley views. Here, you can order non-pretentious drinks like a simple martini, scotch, or even a cappuccino, if you feel like it. Confederation Lounge has a wide range of cocktails, so you can just decide on whatever strikes your fancy at the moment! They also have some great food if you're in the mood for a little bite to eat as well.
Runner up for the best new restaurant in Edmonton in Avenue Magazine's 2014 ratings, The Common is anything other than common. They have an extensive drink menu, with unique cocktails and plenty of beer and wine options. Live performances vary from DJs to Karaoke to singer/songwriters. Don't just stop by The Common for drinks, their menu of "elevated comfort food" is not to be missed. It's lively enough to be fun, and quiet enough to carry on a good conversation among friends. Also, they have the best Truffled Popcorn ever, but be careful, it's addictive.
There has never been a better time to explore downtown Edmonton and all the different nooks and crannies that are popping up as downtown becomes more popular. An after-work drink is a popular social tradition, and Edmonton is definitely in on the trend. Support local businesses and celebrate the great city Edmonton is with an after-work drink at one of these cocktail bars.
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