Gringo is a casual spot to share a chuckle with Gastown locals. The taco joint doesn’t take itself too seriously – and it’s fun to let loose when you’re greeted by pink flamingo décor and staffers who proudly rock neon trucker hats. The space is intimate which gives diners the opportunity to rub elbows with new strangers. Everything on the menu is affordable, so you can really get bang for your buck.


Pull up a barstool at Pourhouse. With its prohibition-style décor and convivial bartenders, the atmosphere is reminiscent to a London pub. Cocktails are a highlight and bartenders can easily whip up a custom concoction and share a few tips on how to mix your own. The collection of unique spirits displayed at the bar make for a great icebreaker.


Be prepared for a loud, energetic greet when you walk in. Guu’s concept models after Japanese Izakaya establishments, providing a casual environment for diners to hang out and catch up with friends over rounds of sake and sharing plates. The staff is uber friendly and enthusiastic, which adds to the restaurant’s lively atmosphere.


Ever since Tacofino unveiled its new restaurant, it has become one of the most popular spots in town. The new flagship draws a mix of taco lovers and serious foodies. Fish tacos and tequila-infused drinks set the tone for a fun, casual outing. And, it’s easy to find common ground when striking up a conversation with a stranger at the bar – just casually mention your love for tacos.


Six Acres is a cool little nook to have life chats with friends. The vibe is lively, and cozy table seating make it easier to chat up a stranger at nearby table. The beer & spirits list is impressive, and you can really get your grub on with comforting items like the poutine and beef short ribs (also great for sharing). And, when the sun comes out, the patio is a prime spot for people watching.


If you prefer to socialize in a relaxing atmosphere, head to Chill Winston. The gastrolounge has a easygoing environment where guests can kick back and catch up on the dailies with good company. Their locally sourced offerings are equally enticing, and cheeky cocktails (like Spooning Jesus) are fun to order. Chill’s grand patio is also a great place to meet both tourists and local regulars.


Cocktails are a classic catalyst for storytelling – and luckily, the Diamond mixes a stellar selection. Over 20 original cocktails, from ‘boozy’ to ‘proper’, round out the extensive drink menu. Sip on a new concoction or re-visit the conversation you had with their chatty barmen. The Diamond’s candle lighting and stellar window view are ideal for setting the mood on a date night.

There are plenty more places in Gastown to get social. Stay tuned for a continuation of our list.