Vancouver City Guide {UPDATE}

by Stephanie


Katrina Stock, an encaustic artist, potter and blogger, along with her coffee roaster husband, Andrew Stock, fell in love with Vancouver 10 years ago. For a couple that loves to discover quirky neighborhoods, have food adventures and go biking, this was the perfect city. Recently they packed their bags and headed to Winnipeg, a city in central Canada. As an ode to their great love, they have collected their favorite places to go in some of their most loved neighborhoods. They can’t wait for you to discover the beautiful and diverse city that is Vancouver. –Stephanie 

Read the full guide after the jump…


Photos by Andrew Stock

Be sure to check out the Google Map with all of the below listings!

Chinatown/Downtown Eastside/Gastown

One of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, this area is filled with cobblestone streets, beautiful brick buildings and plenty of character. Nestled between one of North America’s largest Chinatowns and Gastown is the Downtown Eastside where people who are survivors have built together a vibrant community. There are many contrasts in this small area, don’t be intimidated, for in this block you will find amazing art, social enterprises, people and community. Every area has something wonderful to discover.


Serving fresh and modern Lebanese cuisine, Nuba, is a local favourite. Do your tastebuds a favour and share la feast with a friend. Their lunches are also divine, especially their falafel wraps. In addition, prepare to swoon over their tiles and overall sense of design.

Nestled off of East Hastings, East Van Roasters is a “bean-to-bar” chocolate and coffee roaster with heart. They sell delicious organic drinking chocolate and coffees, hand rolled truffles and single-origin chocolate bars, oh my! It is also an amazing social enterprise employing some of the most courageous women around.

Kobob Burger will surprise your tastebuds. Perhaps you aren’t sure of Korean flavoured rice “burgers,” but just trust us and get the Bulgogi with kimchi. The kimchi is a must. It’s messy, but so, so good.

When in Chinatown it is really important to go New Town Bakery and to order a coconut bun. It will blow your mind. Then go for a little walk to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen park and watch the koi fish swim. It is close to Nirvana.

After you have a coconut bun you might be thirsty, so walk a couple blogs to Bubble King Tea House. Their lychee green tea with pearls is a summer staple.

I adore the wallpaper at the sweet French bakery called Cadeaux. It also turns out that their desserts are terrific and they can make a mean London Fog.

The vintage patina in Finch’s Tea and Coffee House and Finch’s Market melts my heart, but their sandwiches made on fresh baguettes are something to write home about. They go all out with their avocado!

Speaking of great design, Bao Bei is a well-thought-out treasure, in the heart of Chinatown. Featuring small dishes inspired by Taiwan, Shanghai and Schezuan, each dish is created to be shared. A must try is their pickles and I really loved the chewy texture of their sticky rice cake. P.S. This place has the best designed bathrooms around.

For breakfast head over to Yolks. They started with a fantastic food truck and now bring their eggy goodness to a storefront on the edge of Strathcona.

For the best single-origin espresso in the city go to Revolver located in Gastown. They also have the best coffee geek accessory selection.
Matchstick Coffee Roasters opened up a second location in Chinatown last year and it is pretty gorgeous. Go here for a great pour-over. Yay, microroastery!


If you are a wine lover, stroll over to the Vancouver Urban Winery. Located in the historic heart of Vancouver’s Railtown this winery features a tasting bar where you can learn about British Columbia wines as well as chow down on delicious food. This is a beautiful and grand space, a perfect date night.

The Alibi Room is a local favourite and features 50 taps of local and imported craft beer. Their fries and homemade ketchup are superb.

If flavours like thai basil, galangal, lychee, calamansi and lime leaf make your heart pitter-patter, then you should get a cocktail at The Union. Their Banga’s are super fun.


Old Faithful Shop is a design lover’s paradise, filled with heirloom quality goods for simple, everyday living. Stop here to pick up the latest edition of Kinfolk as well as some pickles or Mast Brothers chocolate!

Every time I walk into Community Thrift and Vintage I find a new pair of amazing leather sandals or shoes. Did I mention it’s a great social enterprise, too?

InterUrban Gallery/ The Window features local artists. Go here for all your gifts and card needs. Oh, and it’s another awesome social enterprise!


A well loved park by locals is Crab Park. It is a hidden gem along the harbour and the perfect place to watch fireworks on Canada Day or to share a picnic.

Step out of the city and into a tranquil traditional Chinese garden at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen park. Surrounded by a bamboo forest, relax as you watch Koi fish and turtles in the pond.

What better way to end the day than by watching an amazing show at Firehall Arts Centre?


In between Strathcona and Commerical Drive is Hotel at the Waldorf. This hotel features unique and affordable rooms and an infamous Tikki Bar dating back to the 1940s.


Mt. Pleasant/ Main Street Neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is a creative’s dream. There is so much to look at and so many new ideas to gain. A perfect way to spend an afternoon is leisurely meandering up Main Street.


Burgoo is rugged, vintage and charming all at the same time. Their burgoo biscuit feels like a hug. I also think that they make an amazing Caesar, which is on special on Sundays. Come to Burgoo for all your comfort food needs.

The Foundation is the place to go for a tasty vegetarian stir fry. In addition, their casual vibe, well loved nachos and funky retro chairs are pretty great, too.

A sunny triangle-shaped shop with a view of the mountains, Gene Cafe is a great place to read the paper. Also they somehow managed to capture the taste of a Polish pillow. Not coffee, not tea – just a good ole Polish pillow. Confused? That’s okay, just go with it.

Handmade Maple Bacon Fritter. What more can be said? Lucky’s Donuts, attached to 49th Parallel is worth stopping at.

Finish off your Main Street day with a treat and some dessert wine at Sweet Revenge Patisserie. P.S. they make a mean Tiramisu.


Forty Ninth Parallel, is another great, local coffee roaster in the city. They make some of the best espresso with milk drinks and they host public cuppings tuesdays at 1 pm.


Brassneck Brewery is a little neighbourhood brewery with a growler shop and a tasting room. They serve fantastic beer and the occasional sausage.


The Regional Assembly of Text creates some of the best cards and stationery around. They are so clever and charming and daft! You can also make buttons here and read little zines in their little reading nook. Warning: You might want to stay forever.

Vancouver Special is a great place to nerd out on design books and beautiful items and furniture.

Urban Source is full of random stuff to make things with. Where else can you find pages of Braille, maps, leather scraps and old type writer keys?!

If you are looking for a fantastic party dress then look no further than Front and Company. This is a more high-end consignment store, but it is packed full of great finds. Their front window displays are the best!

C’est La Vie & Bohemia Gallery Inc are two quirky thrift stores located side by side. You can find cute retro gems at both of these places. They’re no small-town thrift store, but you will find fantasic 1960s cocktails dresses at both!

Nineteen Ten is a newer home boutique filled with little treasures that are majorly covetable. Their pottery and cement collections are lovely.

Grunt Gallery features exciting installation art and fascinating emerging artists. Go here and be inspired.


After dessert and beer it is time to go dancing or to a concert. Luckily The Biltmore Cabaret puts on both. Check out their schedule to find out when Soul Night or Ice Cream Social is happening and dust off your dancing shoes to groove to some sweet soul tunes.


Commerical Drive

Located in “East Van” and formerly a largely Italian neighbourhood, this area is one of the cities most colourful and diverse, filled with character homes, artist studios and some of the best ethnic cuisine in the city. “The Drive” is conveniently one of the stops along the sky train and is the perfect place to go for dinner.


If you would like to feel like a long lost relative or a rock star then Ginger Sushi, a super cute family-run restaurant, is the place for you. The owners are so wonderful and the sushi is great. Try their rainbow and the crunchy hot date rolls. Oh, baby! If you go there more than once they will remember you, welcome you and treat you like an adopted family member.

This place has the best brunches. Bandidas Taqueria‘s food is fresh, vegetarian and packed full of flavour with a Mexican twist. Try “the breakfast” which comes with hot-from-the-oven corn bread and honey butter. Yum.

What other cuisine brings people together like Ethiopian food? Sitting in a circle around fresh injerna topped with exquisitely spiced dishes is a memory worth making at Harambe.

Cafe Kathmandu serves authentic Nepali food. The owner is so charming and their chai will warm you from the inside out.

If you are craving a good ole slice of greasy pizza then you need to check out Uncle Fatih’s. Their potato and beef and blue cheese pizzas are what cravings were made for.

If you would like a more romantic, authentic, date-worthy pizza, then walk over to the local favourite Via Tevere Pizzeria. Owned by a family with deep family roots in Naples, this is the place to go to for a true Neapolitan experience.

In between The Drive and Strathcona there is a pink shop with 218 flavours of gelato. At La Casa Gelato you can try endless samples and you should. Definitely dare your friends to try flavours like garlic, curry, red wine or durian. Personal favourites are pumpkin pie and ice cream cake. Find your favourite!


JJ Bean Coffee Roasters is a Vancouver staple. Born and raised in East Vancouver, JJ Bean has fostered the coffee community of Vancouver. If you prefer a more traditional roast, go here.

Prado Cafe is an open and bright little coffee shop serving locally roasted coffee.


Fantastic drinks, tasty tacos and gorgeous tiles can be found at La Mezcaleria. Do try their spiked horchata and a shot of mezcal.

Biercraft Tap and Tapas has a great selection of Belgian and craft beers as well as a lively atmosphere.


The Barefoot Contessa has the cutest dresses and accessories around town. They also feature local jewelry designers.

Mintage is a thrift store wonderland.

South China Seas Trading Co. also has a location at Granville Island Public Market, but this location hidden along Victoria Drive, beside a beloved park, is very quaint and dear. Come here for speciality herbs, spices, cookbooks and cooking classes. If you are a culinary nerd, this is a must!


During the summer months, go to the Trout Lake Farmers Market and try a crepe at Creperie La Boheme. It will blow your mind.

Walk north along Commerical Drive up to Trout Lake. This park is a local treasure and just the place to enjoy a coffee, a moment of quiet and some fresh air.

Check out what’s going on at The Cultch, a cultural centre for performing arts. You won’t be disappointed.


Tucked in the heritage home-lined streets is a charming bed and breakfast called Bee and Thistle.


Fraser Street

This the new “cool” kid on the block. It has really quaint shops and some tasty eats. Plus, it’s just a short walk from main street.


Earnest Ice Cream: Do you want to try the best handmade ice cream of your life? If yes, go here and order their toasted hazelnut and whiskey ice cream. It is life changing.

Looking for a restaurant that serves not only gluten-free, but also vegetarian cuisine without compromising on flavour? Try Graze. Their breakfasts are divine and so is their antipasti board.


This is Matchstick Coffee Roaster‘s original location. Did I mention that their spelt berry scones are delicious?


Not only is this place a Twin Peaks themed bar, but they also feature “Cheesy” as in Cheetos-coated deep fried pickles. You need to give these babies a chance. The Black Lodge could alter your cravings forever.


If you have kids in your life or are a creative type, then you need to stop by the innovative Collage Collage. You will leave inspired.

Spool of Thread features such well designed fabrics that it will be hard not to buy the whole store. They also have a sewing lounge where they offer classes.


Surrounded by beaches, Vancouver’s downtown has a lot to offer. Bike around Stanley Park in the morning, grab a Japa Dog or sushi for lunch and spend the afternoon browsing shops along Robson and gazing at art at the Vancouver Art Gallery.


You can’t go wrong with seaweed, Japanese mayo infused with wasabi and a hot dog. Japa Dog is the best.

A minute’s walk from English Bay, Tanpopo Sushi makes some of the best all-you-can-eat sushi. Do try their salmon sashimi.

Super creative Japanese fusion food is Guu. It will be hard to stop ordering.

What can warm the soul quite like a well executed bowl of Ramen? Try Santouka on Robson.

For breakfast go to Cafe Medina, a longtime favourite of Vancouverites. Their new location features beautiful high ceilings and plenty of character.


Another shout-out for all you design lovers is Design House. You will most likely swoon over their lights.


Be sure to make time to explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest of Stanley Park by biking, rollerblading, running or walking. While there, why not stop at the Vancouver Aquarium?

David Lam Park, also located along the sea wall, is a great place to breathe in the fresh ocean air.

Occupying a city block, Vancouver’s Public Library is a beautiful building inspired the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome (Colosseum). Six floors of books, it is a book lover’s dream.

The Vancouver Art Gallery – located along Robson in the old courthouse – is a wonderful place. It features a diverse mix of contemporary and historic exhibitions highlighting artists from around the world, Canada and British Columbia, such as Emily Carr.

If you visit the city in the winter, head to the skating rink located under Robson Square beside the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is magical.


The Burrard is a retro-chic hotel that first opened in 1956. Newly renovated with modern design touches, this is one cool place to lay your head.

Located along English Bay, Hotel Slyvia, which was built in 1912, is filled with old-school character. The ivy crawling up the side of the hotel doesn’t hurt in the charm department, either.


Granville Island/ West Side

Granville Island is a peninsula located across False Creek under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. The peninsula, once an industrial manufacturing area, has been transformed into a hotspot for arts and entertainment. To get there, bike along the seawall or it is equally fun to take an Aquabus from downtown. Keep walking up Granville Street to Broadway and you will find some wonderful treasures. Continue west along 4th and you will hit more spectacular beaches.


Are you ready to have your life changed? Once you try the best chai ever, it will be hard to go back. Granville Island Tea Company (public market) puts a little magic into each cup of chai. Be brave and try it with extra fresh ginger and cayenne.

Seafood City (public market) makes some pretty fabulous maple smoked salmon nuggets. A perfect snack.

The green olive fouggasse is a ladder to food heaven and it lives at Terra Breads (public market).

Vij’s is world famous for its innovative take on Indian cuisine. Make sure to arrive early by 5 pm, so that you get a spot. The lamb popsicles with creamy curry were a revelation. Rangoli is Vij’s less expensive cousin, however also owned by Vij, it is truly a delight.

You do not need to be a vegetarian to appreciate the amazing food at Heirloom. They also make a memorable brunch.

Kitstaya Sushi, is well loved by the locals and never disappointing. Have a true Vancouver experience and take it to-go for a picnic at the beach.

If you are looking for an experience, then The Afghan Horsemen is a great place to start. Be transported by the amazing smells and atmosphere!

Sargam House on Broadway features lovely south Indian dishes. Their dosas are sculptural and delicious!


Elysian Coffee has gotten better and better over the years. Go there for their clover-brewed coffee!


Maiwa (net loft) is packed full of handmade beauty from India. Here you will discover hand-carved wood block prints, Kantha blankets and Sibella Court books. Be inspired.

Check out Paper-Ya‘s (net loft) great paper selection, stamps, cards and washi tape.

Opus is old faithful in the local arts community. This is where all the artist go for their goods.

If you have kids, make their day and take them to the always crazy and fun Kids Market.

Handmade, local and stunning ceramics fill the Gallery of BC Ceramics. Pick a favourite mug on their mug wall.


Rent a kayak at Eco Marine and kayak around False Creek. If you are lucky you might spot a seal!

The key to the Public Market is to just walk and around and sample, sample, sample. Watch bagels being made by hand. Order a pastry. Browse local artisan stalls and live the dream.

Definitely ride the Aquabus from downtown to Granville Island.

Stop by the Charles H. Scott Gallery, located within Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

On a hot day, take your kids to the always fun Granville Island Water Park.

Go beach-hopping and stop at Kitslano, Jericho and Spanish Banks. Jericho and Spanish Banks are much quieter then their more popular cousins and are a fabulous place to go for a peaceful walk at sunset.


What could be better than sleeping at Granville Island? You could grab a chai first thing in the morning and breathe in the fresh ocean air. Simply divine. The Granville Island Hotel is a boutique hotel worth treating yourself to.


Notable Locals from and in Vancouver are:

Dan Mangan, musician

We Are The City, band

Mother Mother, band

Hey Ocean!, band

Said the Whale, band

Teen Daze, musician

Seth Rogen, actor, writer and comedian

Ryan Reynolds, actor

David Suzuki, environmentalist, scientist, broadcaster

Matthew Good, musician

Suggested For You


  • Grace and Erin, what a great guide — I’m dying to visit too now! The cafes all sound fabulous, and I can already tell my fiance would love Mr. Lee’s general store! thanks for this!

  • It’s very cool to wake up and see your home all over Design Sponge. :)
    What’s even better is to see places you haven’t been to before but are right in your neighbourhood!
    Time for some local exploration. :)

  • Thank you design*sponge and Erin for this fab guide. I’ve been living in Vancouver for 23 years now, but obviously have still lots to explore. Printing out the guide, like, now!

  • thank you, thank you, thank you. as a canadian girl, i adore this city. vancouver is beautiful, chill, and rich with culture. the olympics are going to tell everyone what we’ve known all along: vancouver is one of the best places on earth. GREAT job erin!

  • Don’t forget Moderne Burger (www.moderneburger.com)!!!! Hands down the best burger you will ever eat. ever. When I come home from studying in Scotland I always make sure to stop in. There’s also the Ninth Avenue Grill on the north side of Broadway (just past Burrard).

  • Thanks for the awesome guide! I live near Vancouver and didn’t know about all of them, guess I’ll have to check them out on my visit there this weekend… :D

  • This is a great guide, Erin:) I’ve just relocated to San Diego from Whistler, and your guide makes me miss my weekend Vancouver treasure hunting missions.

  • yeah vancouver! you’ve listed so many favourites and so much new stuff to check out … thanks!

  • I was in Vancouver for Christmas and have to say my trip to Ming Wo’s was a dream! I spent hours and some serious $ there. Dream shop for someone who loves to cook!

  • As a born & raised Vancouverite I’m so excited to see such a comprehensive design guide for my city! Great job Erin.

    I just wanted to add Collage Collage to the list. Its a relatively new shop/workshop/gallery just a few doors down from Le Faux Bourgeois filled with great books, magazines, craft supplies and handmade goodies, both local and international.(http://www.collagecollage.ca/)

    Yeah for Vancouver!

  • Vancouver! My favourite place! The city, the people, the culture, the scenery! ( And I am from the very beautiful west coast of Norway and know a thing or two about scenery..).

  • Thanks everyone for your great comments and suggestions!

    One small update: The Fabulous Find listed in the Main Street/Fraser Street Section is actually called ReFind.

    Located at Main and 3rd Ave. Still lots of great mid-century pieces. Fabulous Find is in Victoria, now, so visit it if you’re over on Vancouver Island.

  • Erin you did a great job representing all the awesome places to visit in Vancouver. You chose nearly all the places I would have picked! And introduced me to some new ones!

    I would also add the store Stepback (http://stepback.ca) in Kitsilano. It features vintage furniture and housewares, lots of it mid-century and very retro. I could move in and live in that store.

  • A lovely guide for a lovely city! And how about adding a great little coffee shop to the list: Blondy’s Coffee, located at 1705 West 4th Avenue. Excellent coffee, tasty snacks and lunches, a rotating selection of local art work, and awesome baristas! Can’t wait to take this guide along on my next visit to Vancouver…

  • This is such a fabulous list.. I live in Vancouver, and it is great to see such a fun, comprehensive list pulled together around this beautiful city. xo

  • ahh finally! i’ve had my eye on vancouver and have been thirsty for a city guide from design * Thank you!!!

  • I love this city as well–for anyone thinking about a vacation here, you won’t be disappointed!

  • just wondering if there are any plans for a barcelona guide…Im heading there in April and would love to know the inside skinny…..

  • oh! i wish this was out two weeks ago! i just came back from vancouver last week and really wanted a city guide! oh well, it was a lovely experience either way :)

  • Met my husband there seven years ago, so Vancouver has a special place in my heart. We lived there until 2006 and I still miss the city.

    We always appreciated being able to snowshoe in the winter and hike in the summar at one of the city’s many local ski hills. As someone else mentioned, if it’s a burger you’re after Moderne Burger in Kits is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. But don’t overlook others like the Red Onion in Kerrisdale or the Raven Pub in Deep Cove (my personal favourite).

  • Thank you, Erin! I gave a little cheer when I saw your name on this post. Not only are you a terrific artist and designer, you are a great writer and super savvy to boot.
    There’s no place like Vancouver. I miss it dearly. Amen to your Main Street picks, especially Regional Assembly of Text (do they still have a letter writing club?). I also frequented Legendary Noodle, Liberty Cafe, Toshi’s and Birkeland Bros. Wool (all on Main), to name a few.

  • I’m a Vancouver native now living (and suffering) in snowy Ottawa. This guide just made my day!

  • Looking forward to going back to Vancouver!

    I would definitely recommend adding CRU Wine Bar (http://www.cru.ca/) to this list. Hands-down the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. Death by happiness.

  • Great guide! I’m surprised you missed out on a great spot in the Commercial Drive/Clark section… I am almost reluctant to offer up my favorite breakfast spot in the city, but here goes: Little Nest http://www.littlenest.ca/, amazing food, amazing coffee, great staff and family friendly! Not to mention the beautiful vintage inspired design…

  • I JUST got back from a trip to Vancouver. (wish I would have had this list) I was there this past weekend and loved every inch of it! So many great places to eat, and everyone was so incredibly friendly!!

    Note to Michelle P: I went to Medina Cafe twice during my visit; i loved it so much. Great atmosphere, and finely tuned menu using superb ingredients! Enjoy!

  • Erin, Excellent comprehensive list! You’ve even got Campagnolo on there! I just wanted to add a fantastic new Gastown cafe/restaurant called the Acme Cafe which, when it opens in late January, will be great. It’s open all day and evening, starting with breakfast. It’s in a beautiful heritage building called the Paris Block, right by the old Woodward’s building. 51 W. Hastings. It’s being started by my artist friend Alan. Google it, and also the Paris Block. Very cool! PS I love Zipang – my favourite sushi on Main Street. Thanks for this, Design*Sponge – now I can just give this list to all my houseguests!

  • I live in vancouver. Its a nice place to be living in. And endless places to be exploring in. Go for it.

  • OMG!! Finally!! When I decided to move to Vancouver, the first thing I did was get on designspongeonline and look up the Vancouver City Guide. Alas, there was none. Thankyou so much for this, you’ve made my day! Going to check out Kits tomorrow, and now I have recommendations!! XD

  • Oooooooo.my hometown……how exciting. Please add Heather Ross In House to the list – small design store off south Granville – the next best thing to a flight to Paris. A small and lovely jewel box of a store.

  • I’m from Vancouver, too – so great to see all these places I frequent up on DS, and some more I didn’t know about and will have to try. I hope people make a lot of use of this guide – you’ve obviously done a lot of work on it. But I’d also add Butter Bakery on Burrard and… 27th? It’s a cute little pastel colored bakery that uses only natural ingredients – their cookies, marshmallows and cakes are incredible. I order a cake from them for my husband’s birthday every year.

  • Great guide. But you’ve forgotten two very important places!

    On Main Street:
    The Regional Assembly of Text: It’s all about typewriters and unique stationary! One Thursday a month they have an evening of letter-writing where you can use their vintage typewriters.

    On Granville Island:
    The Wood Co-op: Artisans show off anything they’ve made of wood! Furniture, kitchenware, art to hang on your wall, sculpture, you name it.

  • Kudos to you Erin! There’s a lot of stuff to list =)

    I’ve travelled to many places but I remain true to my home–Vancouver. Despite the fact that I was born and raised here, I always find something that will surprise, awe & amaze me. I live by YVR airport and there are just so many days where the colour of the sky or the sight of the majestic mountains will just my breath away as I drive into the heart of the city.

    Oh! & don’t forget Wreck Beach — Canada’s largest nude beach. Also, take a guided tour of TRIUMF (largest cyclotron in the world).

    There’s also way too many delicious award-winning restaurants to list.

  • I went to Vancouver in autumn 2006 and this guide brought back so many fond memories. The Regional Assembly of Text (I still dream about this shop as I am a stationery obsessive), Granville Island, Baker’s Dozen Antiques, breakfast at The Naam, The Templeton retro cafe, and the incomparable Stanley Park at sunset. I hope I get to go back one day and visit some more of the places on this list. Being from the UK it’s not exactly a short trip, but it’s worth it! Thanks for the memories.

  • My husband and I always vacation in Vancouver. We are in love with this city! We have stayed at both the Moda and Opus. Amazing hotels with beautiful room designs. If you are in Yaletown I would reccomend eating at Bin 451 or R.tl tasting lounge both are fantastic tapas bars.

  • You can’t leave off Vij’s on 11th and Granville. It’s the finest Indian food in all of North America. Amazing.

  • Agree with Liv. Vij’s and it’s partner restaurant Rangoli are divine. If you don’t believe me, then believe the New York Times: ” I found that Vij’s provided a kind of dynamic Indian cuisine unmatched by anything I’ve tried before, even in London’s Michelin-starred Indian restaurants. “

  • If you want sushi in Vancouver you HAVE to go to Toshi’s at 16th and Main.
    You’ll wait to get in, but it is SO worth it. Great food, great prices.

    Oh god now I have to go there!

  • Thanks Erin! I am planning our July vacation to Seattle and Vancouver, and you’ve done half of my research for me!

  • PEFECT timing we are going to Vancouver for our 1 year anniversary! THANK YOU! I always check here first before I go anywhere NEW!

  • I fell in luv with Vancouver in August ’71 when I got off the train from Ottawa and looked around at the beauty of the mountains & the ocean.

    It still takes my breath away!

    I now live on the Sunshine Coast, a 40 minute ferry ride from West Vancouver – over the Lion’s Gate/1st Narrows bridge from Vancouver. Follow scenic Upper Levels highway & get off at Horseshoe Bay exit. It is the same highway which carries on to Whistler.

    Check out the beautiful, peaceful Coast yourself on this link:


    Reminder: the 2010 Winter Olympics are being held in Vancouver and all over the mainland and Whistler beginning February 12th.

    Best wishes from the West Coast of Canada,

  • As a BC girl who just spent four years in Vancouver, and a previous Main St. inhabitor, I just wanted to say that was a great guide. :) Vancouver’s an amazing city.

    Two more links for you! An up-and-coming arts & culture mag, Sad Mag (www.sadmag.ca) is edited by D*S reader and my good friend Deanne. It’s focus is everything Vancouver, and there’s nothing mainstream about it.

    Grace Gallery on Main St. (http://grace-gallery.tumblr.com/) is also run by acquaintances of mine and there’s always some neat art show on… plus good parties. Enjoy!

  • Coming to Vancouver from Australia in the middle of Feb for 8 days for the vacation. You’ve sorted out food, sights and shopping for me. Any suggestions on what fashion necessities I need to pack? Might purchase an umbrella there! CAN’T WAIT.

  • SOOO cool to see your own town on D*S! Forget the Olympics, you know you’ve hit the big time when you get your own City Guide!

    Just wanted to add a few of my Main Street favourites:
    Red Cat Records is not only one of the best record shops in town, but the record guys there are *actually* friendly! http://www.redcat.ca/

    Umeboshi Shoes is definitely a little addictive. http://www.umeboshishoes.com

    Hum Clothing is run by two really nice sisters and stocks only Canadian designers. http://www.humclothing.com

    Smoking Lily is the best place to get dresses with silk-screened bugs on them or periodic table t-shirts (and who doesn’t want those?!). http://www.smokinglily.com

    P.S. You will definitely want shoes that can handle rain, Nick!

  • Great list! As a vancouverite, I definitely think that each neighbourhood is unique and special and that you’ve picked out some great places to visit in many areas.

    I think people should add the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia campus to their list as well – great gift shop, but also a wonderful cafe and not to mention the 50 million dollar + renovation – the grand opening is next weekend! The museum has an amazing collection of Northwest Coast Indigenous art and art from many other places in the world!

  • What a fantastic Guide!!

    I just wanted to cast some light onto the North shore and suggest a fantastic shop in Deep Cove.

    Room 6

    Megan does such a wonderful job of sourcing beautiful objects and clothing and is *constantly* rotating goods in her adorable shop… ;)

  • Try The Umbrella Shop to combat the rain – located on Broadway (near Willow) and Granville Island.
    They have umbrellas that are locally and ethically made, and come with a lifetime guarantee. This place will save you a fortune on having buy and re-buy the $15-$30 umbrellas over and over when they die in the windy-rainy Vancouver winter!

  • I live here (or rather a suburb of Vancouver only 30 minutes away) and I’ve never been to most of these places. Maybe I should print off this list & start ticking them off one by one.

  • Those things are all great, but my favorite thing about living in Vancouver is the Asian influence! Especially the food.
    Kingsway from Fraser to Victoria is my preferred dining neighborhood.
    Tasty banh mi (Vietnamese subs) at the corner of Kingsway and Fraser at Ba Le –across the street from Les Faus Bourgeois.
    There are also tons of Vietnamese restaurants and several good Chinese ones, as well as a good Korean soup place. Just pick a place and try it!
    The Asian grocers on Kingsway are also often hiding great values.
    For fresh, and delicious store-made tofu (they usually have two varieties) and kimchi, hit Kim’s Mart on Broadway near Fraser. It will make anyone a tofu fan.
    And if you’re near Metrotown Mall in Burnaby, stop by the Crystal Mall for my favorite food court in the Vancouver metro area–it’s all different varieties of Chinese food.

  • For anyone who loves to do crafts, collages, or collect unusual things check out Rubydog’s Art House on Kingsway. I have found some amazing stuff there (old perfume labels, photographs, even bingo cards!) It is one of my favourite places to spend a day.

  • From another local… still exploring and marveling after “just” moving here 9 years ago…

    I agree the West End was a little overlooked, but there’s not too much in the way of cool shops there. The Star is Stanley Park, and I KNOW you’re all going there.

    While in the West End, If like Malia, you like the Asian influence you must try a Japanese style izakaya restaurant and try some funky asian food with drinks. Especially KINGYO
    http://www.kingyo-izakaya.com/ TORATATSU http://www.toratatsutapas.com/about.php OR http://www.hapaizakaya.com/ These are all so yummy, fun and affordable. Don’t miss out.

  • I am just gushing with pride reading all the responses… I moved away from Vancouver (born and raised) a few years ago, and while I love Nelson, I can’t say how much I love playing tourist when I go back to visit! You have done Vancouver justice Erin, and that is saying a lot. I have traveled extensively and still Vancouver ranks at the top.

    Anyone keeping this list from out of town though should definitely take note of what they see in the comments too, there are some fabulous places mentioned. Vij’s, Butter (she is an interior designer so that is why it looks so perfect) and Bin 451 for sure, and Mink is divinity meets cocao… is Death by Chocolate still around? Jupiter was once my favorite place to meet people for drinks before going out for the night… Peridot is my favourite shop period, T is a nifty little place around the corner from Peridot and a few I think were missed were Z Gallerie and Once a Tree. Stella Bleu is not technically in Vancouver but look it up if you want to get out of town for any reason… SUCH a sweet store, and surrounded by some fabulous galleries (as well as the most stunning place to buy a wedding dress on the planet if you are in the market :) called I Do.)

    Ooooh, making me miss home :)

  • Nice Post!

    A little out of the way but for the *absolute* best sushi Vancouver has to off go to Ajisai in Kerrisdale.

    2081 West 42nd Ave
    Vancouver, BC V6M2B4
    Tel: (604) 266-1428

  • Cafe Deux Soleil on Commercial – awesome -made on the spot- vegetarian food. NOOD Furniture and Design is a super fun modern furniture and novelty store located in Gastown, Burnaby, Langley and North Van. If you’re looking for affordable replicas of past great furniture designs, I recommend there. Too many awesome places to list in this diverse city, but Erin did a great job of bringing the good side of Vancouver to the forefront. I’m waiting for Olympic-mania to go back :)

  • Just wanted to check back in on my guide after a few weeks and it looks like there are a ton of new and great suggestions.

    I LOVE that most of them are food recommendations. It’s very true that we love to eat here in Vancouver, whether it’s by grabbing some great ingredients from a market for a home-cooked meal or sitting down to a feast at a neighbourhood restaurant.

    As mentioned, it might be worth waiting for a few weeks before visiting – the Olympics start today and the city is not itself, I must say. Plus, summer is breath-takingly gorgeous here…

  • There is SO MUCH MORE on Commercial Drive and Main St. that were not listed. If your looking for quirky Vintage clothing and indie shops, go to Main. If you want an organic, laid back, world influenced day go to Commercial drive. My two favorite Stores are Barefoot Contessa for sweet feminine vintage oriented clothes and Sweet Cherubim Organic Bakery.

  • D*s readers looking for a place to stay in Kits will not be disappointed by the gorgeous interiors, fun, funky gardens and impeccable service provided by Francois and Petr at Home Suite Home. http://vancouverrentalsuites.com/
    Check out the pics on their website, but they don’t do it justice. Last year we stayed in the Loft Suite with a Eames Lounge chair, Arco lamp, Euro kitchen, romantic sleeping alcove, and floating staircase to the attic bedroom with views to the mountains and skyline. This year we are in the French Quarter suite which is slightly larger and features a mix of antiques, vintage MCM, footed tub, and antique movie posters. All the suites feature original art, kitchy touches, and well-stocked kitchens, just in case you get the urge to whip up a cake in the KitchenAid stand mixer ;o) Grace — you should consider visiting here for a photo shoot –seriously. I have more pics on my facebook.

  • Vancouver has been home to me since 1971. Erin has done a great job on guide to this amazing city; however there is, of course, so much more to see….the mountains & ocean are amazing. Imagine being able to play golf in winter & also ski Grouse that evening under the lights.
    Take Seabus to North Vancouver; take ferries from West Vancouver & explore Vancouver Island or my home,
    the Sunshine Coast. Cruise ships pass through on their way to Alaska.
    The Coast is only a 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in W. Van. The scenery still amazes me after hundreds of crossings.
    Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Davis Bay & Sechelt are charming villages with lots of treats – plenty of local artists, lovely shops & cafes.
    No need for a car, U can bus to Horseshoe Bay from downtown, walk on the Langdale ferry, bus into centre of Gibsons & stroll the main drag enjoying great shopping, Truffles Cafe for lunch, walk down the pier & watch the sailboats & outrigger canoes making their way around the harbour & Howe Sound.
    If U rent a car, U can make your way along the Coast & take the ferry at the end of the peninsula to Powell River, enjoy that area, & then grab another ferry to Vancouver Island.

  • Hello!

    Im from the UK and just arrived in Vancouver on Thursday. I’m now frantically trying to find a job in a nice cool place. These shops/bars/cafes are first on my hit list!

  • Another +1 to Moderne Burger (www.moderneburger.com) – the finest burger in the city and the place is impeccably designed both inside and out, not a detail missed out and is the first place I head from the airport.

  • In the Gastown section, a sad omission is Button Button (318 Homer St.) This fabulous, quirky, endlessly entertaining shop sells nothing but buttons. But the buttons!!! They’re amazing. And the shop is full of uber-creative suggestions about how to use these little (and not-so-little) gems.

  • Great guide! Can’t wait to read others for cities I am planning on visiting! Thanks…

    Had to add Romer’s Burgers to the list. Best burgers, fries, salads etc at decent prices in a swank environment. Service is always fantastic. My boyfriend and I have a hard time going elsewhere now that we’ve found this place. You’ll find it on W4th in Kitsilano.


  • Stylegarage is excited to have opened a showroom in Gastown. In addition to our signature line of made-to-order modern furnishings, we also carry Western Canada’s largest selection of Gus* Modern sofas, sectionals, dining, accents, storage, lighting, and accessories.
    124 W. Hastings Street | 604.558.4343

  • I feel lame writing this two years after the initial post, but I just discovered these guides now and will use the one for Clagary in my trip next week! I reckon their might be some others like me.
    I have a few more to add. Orling and Wu is located on Water Street in Gastown and their stuff is so tasteful and beautiful. Also, no one wrote down Old Faithful in Gastown too, such a great little spot. Also, a few new coffee shops have opened up. Matchstick (right by Collage Collage) and 49th and Parallel on Main Street.

  • One omission which needs to be included: Hawkers! The best cheap grub in the city … @Main and King Edward

  • Sorry, Molly, Ruby Dog’s on Kingsway has been closed for a few years now, :-( Also, ReFind on Main and 3rd will be moving back to it’s original (and bigger) location on Main and 30th in September! ReFind has got the best prices for mid-century teak furniture and kitschy items in town! Better than Attic on Commercial. Also, if you’re mobile, head out to Richmond (just across the bridge from Vancouver) to Steveston a fishing village that has some great fish n chips and shopping (Nikaido Gifts, Pajo’s, Juvelisto, Steveston Seafood House, Tapenade, Kisamos, Paesano’s, Monkey Tree Gifts), also Daiso in the Aberdeen Mall, a huge Japanese chain store where everything is $2.

  • I was born in Vancouver, spent some time abroad (in NYC and London living and working), but most of my life here in Vancouver. I am always leaving positive comments for D*S. But I am quite disappointed with this guide. I feel as though it is written from more of a tourist’s point of view than a Vancouver native. I believe you have to find people to write these guides who have a better understanding of the guts of the cities (perhaps someone who has lived there for more than five years). I am not even going to bother with my list of crucial things that are missing, and how disappointed that I am that a chain restaurant like the Boathouse makes the cut.

    This post makes me sad.
    I am sure it took an enormous amount of time to do, and I am sorry I do not have more positive feedback.

    • ashley

      i understand your point of view and while i don’t know vancouver well myself, i can assure you we only use guide writers that have been in the city for at least 3-5 years. perhaps we should up the range a bit– i’ll talk to the team about that :)


  • Nice city guide! I get up to Vancouver at least once a year and I love it. It’s so much like Seattle (where I’m from) so it feels like home. I personally like stating at The Georgian Court Hotel. It’s less than a block away from BC Place and it’s also close to Yaletown. It’s got a boutique feel and normally has good sale rates available on travel sites.

  • A quick update for the Fraserhood: Che Baba has (sadly) closed, but the space currently being reno’d and turned into a new concept. Same owners/operators though.

  • SO nice to see an updated Vancouver guide! I have lived here my whole life, mostly in the Main Street and Fraserview areas. I am looking forward to checking out lots of the West Side/ Kits restaurants/ shops.

    Just to add a few things to the Main/ Mt. Pleasant set:
    Coffee/ Quick food:
    49th parallel coffee/ lucky donuts, mentioned in kits but I think the main street location is better

    Solly’s Bagels, traditional Jewish Bagels, very delish!

    Quejos Cheese Buns- Gluten Free buns and some of the best and most reasonably priced sandwiches in the city

    Front and Company, one of the coolest consignment stores in the city, with hands down the best window displays

    Welcome Home Eugene Choo and Annex, probably my favourite store on Main Street.

    Theres a new clothing store called 8th and Main (guess where it is?)

    Umboshi Shoes, like a mini gravity pope!

    Devil May Wear, handmade a few of a king type fashion.

    The Soap Dispensary, eco friendly home and bath. They also sell all sorts of bulk soap, don’t forget your reusable container! The owner is lovely and very knowledgable.

    Woo Vintage, cool vintage clothing

    Unfortunately the Montmatre is no longer in business, however a place called the Shameful Tiki replaced it.

    Splitz Grill make a pretty mean burger, as does Vera’s Burgers.

    The Wallflower is great and they have vegan/ gluten free options

    The Foundation- One word… Nachos!! They are the best, but for real, everything on their menu is killer.

    Nuba Cafe- Don’t look at the menu, just order the Najib’s special. You can thank me later.

    Hawkers- Serious hole in the wall Malaysian Restaurant. You can get a huge delicious meal for $6.

    Pubs/ Bars

    Portland Craft- Great selection of craft beer… mostly from Portland. Knowledgable staff, fun place to be.

    Tap and Barrel (In Olympic Village)- great beer , even better patio.

    The Rumpus Room- Throwback 70’s decor and more hipsters than you’ve ever seen in one place. Plus they have a patio in their parking lot complete with yard flamingos. Need I say more? They also have $10 Beer and Burgers on Mondays.

    Earnest Ice Cream- Vancouver’s latest obsession! They are opening a by the scoop shot on Fraser just north of King Edward Ave. (where the outpost cafe used to be)

    Parallel 49 Brewery- Craft Beer seems to be the trend of the decade, see it at its finest at Parallel 49 just north of Hastings at Victoria. (Google maps it before you go… I got lost the first time)

    New Brighton Pool- Super out of the way, but every bit worth it. Similar to kits pool but much farther East, and thus much less crowded on Vancouver’s few sunny days. Bonus cool view of Vancouver’s iconic dock crane things…. you know the ones that look like dinosaurs.

    Vancouver has so many gems, there is no way one person could find them all!

  • Grace,

    Thanks for responding.
    I am just going for all out honesty here, I was not impressed by the Victoria guide either. It must be so hard for you and your team to assess the content when you are not from, nor have spent much time in a city.
    I pride your site for showing us the inside scoop on places; where the locals go, the cool things you may miss as a tourist. I know you were here for a couple of days for your book signing (as I got my book signed by you), it is such a great city with so many amazing things to offer, and frankly some SUPER rad stuff. I know how popular D*S is for your city guides and how many people rely on them before they travel somewhere, or even book travel based on what your site has to say about a city.

    In my (clearly today not so humble opinion) this guide does not do Vancouver justice at all.
    But, my standards are extremely high, and I get told frequently that I expect too much of people. This could simply be one of those cases.

    I’m glad our city is gaining some traction though.
    Happy Friday!

    PS- I feel really weird about not just having good things to say for once (I was taught to not say anything at all then…)

  • Well done! I write this as I look out at the shimmery lights of Lions Gate Bridge bouncing off the moonlit waters of this gorgeous city. I grew up in Vancouver but no longer live here. But I come back every summer with my family to bask in its beauty. Vancouver is where you want to be in the summer time. No single guide can do any city justice but as an ex-native and now as a visitor I feel this guide does a very good job. Kits pool rocks!

  • Yay Vancouver!
    Been here almost 10 years now (from a Sunshine Coast town originally) and great to see an updated guide. Have a few updates for your update:

    Monmartre Cafe is, sadly, closed. :( I often frequented that place and the Tunisian guy who ran it was really invested in its day to day operations. (http://www.yelp.ca/biz/montmartre-cafe-vancouver)

    For Kits/west 4th, I’d add:

    Culprit Coffee: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/culprit-coffee-vancouver
    It’s a cafe between 4th & 5th on Vine – hard to miss with a bright sunny yellow brick exterior behind (ugh) Brown’s. Nice outdoor spot to sit on a sunny day (and gets flooded with sunshine in the afternoon, being west facing) Fantastic coffee and good baking too. The nice decor just adds to the experience.

    For Fairview/Granville:
    Salade de Fruits
    1545 7th Ave W (just west of Granville on 7th)
    French restaurant. Unfortunately they’re closed Sundays as their brunch is so tasty (go Saturday for the french toast!). Friends tell me their mussels are excellent as well.

    Someone else mentioned Tap & Barrel in the Olympic Village. I will say it feels a bit generic (like it wants to be a chain even though it’s not? Maybe it’s just the architecture) but the food is good and the patio is amazing. Right on the sea wall with views accross to downtown, the mountains and the sunset. Definitely a great summer spot.

    For Main St area:
    The Wallflower Modern Diner – thewallflowermoderndiner.com
    2420 Main Street (Main & 8th)
    Great little restaurant with plentiful (and tasty!) vegan and vegetarian options. Nice cocktails too. Definitely a bit hipster but that goes with the territory.

    Long’s Noodle House (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/181110/restaurant/Riley-Park-Little-Mountain/Longs-Noodle-House-Vancouver )
    4853 Main St (just north of 33rd on Main, west side of the street)
    I almost hate myself for giving this one away, but cash-only and ‘authentic’, this Shanghainese place has -the- tastiest Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup dumplings). The skin is thin and delicate and the XLB are so juicy and good. So good. And affordable! Best to go with a group.

    Commercial Drive:

    Someone else mentioned Little Nest. Clearly I have a brunch fixation but.. brunch! Their brunch is so good. They’re really family focused with a play area etc which is great when my nephew is along but the food’s so fantastic that even my single childless self likes to go with friends for the yummy brioche french toast or poached eggs and polenta. Note that they may be moving soon re: rent increases (http://scoutmagazine.ca/2013/07/18/diner-buoyed-by-public-support-little-nest-owner-is-hoping-to-open-elsewhere/ )

    Also a note, surprised Guilt & Co. mentioned but not their games focus. There’s a gigantic Jenga in the back room and a games menu (game of life and jenga more than catan etc.)

  • I live in Barcelona (Spain) and from here I write my http://www.bloghedonista.com about restaurants, wines, travel, leisure and trends.
    I’ve been on holiday from 1 to 15 July in Vancouver and by the B.C.De your fantastic list I’ve eaten at L’Abbatoir and Cambar.
    And I would add these sites
    Grocery store: Urban Fare
    Bakery: Beta 5 (Excellent) Thierry
    For ice cream: Bella Gelateria (winner in the ice cream Florence Championship 2012)
    Lunch o dinner: Giovanne, Cactus Club Café, Campagnolo (excellent pizzas), Joey Bentall One, and the essential Hawksworth.

  • Nadine,

    Because the list is so long it would take me an immense about of time to type it all out. At the moment I am in the middle of a big project, therefore I do not have the luxury of doing so.
    With the Victoria guide I did comment on a few of the main things I thought were missing.

    With Vancouver, it would basically be re-writing the guide for each area and adding in neighbourhoods which were not included.
    This is something that would take hours that I do not have currently.
    But I suppose I can start compiling a list when I have a few moments here and there, and then cut and paste it all in eventually.


  • Ashley Johnson,

    I’m pretty sure these ARE aimed at tourists. And in a city as large as Vancouver, it’s going to be a reel of highlights. Perhaps a more constructive solution (to avoid being negative as you seem to feel so ashamed of) you could do an additional submission and submit it. I would be interested in seeing all the things that were missed. Sounds like you have a long list.

  • I think the article does my city justice, having lived here my whole 34 years, so I disagree with Ashley. There’s so many good restaurants and shops in town!

  • There are many wonderful suggestions in this guide, but I have a few additions and a couple of places that should perhaps be reconsidered for the Main Street/Fraser area.

    June’s Main Street suggestions are great.
    -The new Tiki bar looks pretty fun; the decor is really enticing.

    Mouse is right on about Long’s Noodle House (Main/32nd)–it’s always packed, great value, and really delicious. I love their drunken chicken.

    Next door to Long’s is Au Petit Cafe, a small Vietnamese restaurant, and the best in the area–it’s always busy. They make their own meatballs and pate for their banh mi sandwiches and their vermicelli with spring rolls and pork is really well done. The beef stew looks good, too.

    Jose Maria Toro’s suggestion of Beta 5 Chocolates (near Main Street Skytrain Station on Industrial Ave) is excellent. Their chocolate-covered Okanagan cherries make the best gift.

    The organic market on Main/21st has delicious local cherries right now at a good price.

    Hatch on 18th at Main has really cute Korean stationery and clothes, although they are moving more towards the owner’s own clothing designs. Lots of great stuff; I would buy the whole shop if I could.

    On Fraser at 18th, try BKH Jerky for delicious, Singapore-style pork or beef jerky. You can watch them make it on site. A good gift!

    A couple of guide mentions that I unfortunately can’t support:

    Howard Johnson– I recommend against staying at this hotel. My easygoing family members who are used to staying at inexpensive places said the beds were very uncomfortable, the breakfast terrible (OJ served with 3 oz dixie cups, cold eggs), and the owner unhelpful and not welcoming. Neither group would ever stay here again. The prime location isn’t worth it; stay a couple blocks up the street at the much nicer Best Western instead (but book well in advance!!).

    Chef Claire’s sandwiches are good in her storefront, but her poor customer service response to sad, catered sandwiches have kept me away.

    The Sweet Salt on Fraser seemed really promising (love the kid-friendly atmosphere and wonderful staff), but each time I had overwhelmingly disappointing cookies. Maybe try something else on the menu.

  • Emily,

    Just to be clear, I said I felt like the guide was written from a tourist’s point of view. I understand that the these guides are aimed at tourists (mainly), but feel they should be more of a inside guide written by someone who knows the city inside & out, and suggest things that a typical tourist would not necessarily discover on their own with limited time in the city. I also explain above why I currently do not have time to type out my long list of suggestions and additions. And you are correct, my list is long (but no I am not ashamed).

    I am glad there are people who feel the updated guide does our city justice, and you are correct Amanda, there are so many good restaurants and shops in town.


  • I love Vancouver….for all gluten-free gals out there. Do not miss Lemonade on Cambie at 17th.

  • We also have some outstanding veg restaurants, with a few new ones slated to open soon. I highly recommend:

    Heirloom Restaurant:
    – delicious food, friendly staff, beautiful airy space.

    The Parker (my favourite!):
    – innovative, beautiful food and excellent cocktails!

    – creative, seasonal menu and really cool atmosphere.

    Planet Veg:
    – wonderful family-run quick-food restaurant. Grab a wrap and head down to Kits beach to watch the sunset.

    Chau Veggie Express:
    – crazy-delicious Vietnamese

    -creative menu, friendly staff:

  • A few other closures to note: the HoJo on Kingsway & 12th has closed– being converted to shelter/low-income housing I’ve heard…
    Cafe Montmarte has also closed.
    I would add a rave for Cafe Aphrodite’s for their GF pie (always with chai, of course!)– I have jsut come from there in fact, & it’s not as pricey as $20, even with the GF surcharge. Even at 20% tip, it was less than $15. All the food is organic/seasonal/ethically sourced, & vegan/GF friendly!
    My Goodness Glutenfree- Broadway, between Main & Kingsway, does the best GF carrot cake ever!
    GF Epicurean does many vegan/GF treats, savory & sweet, including a GF apple fritter!! OMG!! Sooo delish!
    Calabash- Caribbean food, with possibly the best mojito in town! Service is so warm & friendly, staff great you like a long-lost friend– a rarity in Vancouver, which can be known for its frosty exterior. Plantain chips to snack on, followed by curry. Oh my! Spice is adjustable depending on your tolerance- I’m wimpy, & mouth ends up warm, but nothing is too hot to handle. Gluten-free/veg friendly.
    VAG- FUSE nights are usually quarterly, not every month. Performance artists, & spectacles galore. Good for people-watching/meeting!
    I wouldn’t recommend Los Margarita’s on West 4th for Mexican- I equate it to Taco Time (maybe a step above, but not much), Pretty sure the salsa comes out of a can/jar. Instead, try Donna Cata, over on Victoria Drive– cactus taco? Yum! Authentic, true Mexican food.
    And, don’t forget all the food carts spring up around town! Mom’s Grilled Cheese, on Hornby outside the VAG– gluten free bread, plus Daiya vegan cheese; daily specials; homemade Ginger/Mint Iced Tea! Guanaco- El Salvadorean (GF- noticing a theme here?) Papusas– stuffed w/ cheese, plus either a meat, or beans/zucchini, comes with cassava fries– soooo filling, but addictive!
    Don’t forget SpaceLab on Main (@2nd) for antlers, dental picks, retro furniture, & other things great & weird!

  • I was surprised (and pleased!) to see this guide pop up in my email; I always find it fascinating to read guides about my own city. There are SO MANY places to eat, drink, visit, and explore, that even if you just walk around aimlessly, you’re sure to find somewhere wonderful, no matter what part of the city you’re in. Definitely visit the Aquarium, Science World, and walk the Seawall, and take the Seabus to North Vancouver :)

    Someone mentioned we love to eat here, and it’s true – Vancouver is proud home to an incredibly diverse selection of food, and it’s all amazing, even the most questionable looking little dives ^__^ I’ve lived here all my life and am still discovering new places. Welcome, everyone – enjoy!! :)

  • Glad someone added The Soap Dispensary on Main Street. Totally up there with my favourite places to stock up on environmentally friendly, local and refillable home cleaning and personal hygiene products!

    Second, Revolucion Cigars – Definitely. The boys who run the place are the nicest guys in city, and very easy on the eyes. ;)

    Finally, I gotta add a shout out to my favourite spot in the city (South Granville): Ouisi Bistro – Cajun/Louisiana style, alligator bites, amazing long-time service staff, awesome private back alley patio for summer nights, live jazz music. Totally laid back. And they have a sweet painting of Oprah on the wall, which just makes my day.

  • This is a great article, content-wise, but it’s absolutely rife with typos. For example:

    – “Even our mayor Gregor Robertson, a New Zealand farmer in his early 20s, co-founded an organic fruit beverage company called Happy Planet” makes it sound like he’s in his early 20s now, which is not the case!
    – the restaurant is called La Taqueria, not Tequeria
    – Bollywood-esque, not -esk
    – “Vancouver’s born and raised socially responsible coffee roaster’s newest cafe location.” is not actually a full sentence.
    – Café Deux Soleils, not Soleilis
    – “Also seen on Food Network show” needs a definite article. Food Network doesn’t have one in its official branding, but the word “show” still needs “the” to make sense.
    – “Kitsilano was once known for it’s hippy culture” should be “its”

    And that’s just from a cursory glance! I know you all are a small operation, but a bit more copy editing would go a long way.

  • DRESSEW! Any crafty person’s dream store– so much fabric, so many notions, and so cheap! I literally dream about it. And I’ve never been to any other place like it, except maybe in NYC, where everything is 10x the price.

    Also, how could you forget about Richmond? Maybe it’s deserving of its own guide, but I can’t think about Vancouver without thinking of Richmond– its the closest you’ll get to Asia in North America.

  • Loads to add and update:

    No love for Tacofino food trucks and Tacofino Commissary in Hastings Sunrise??
    So many craft breweries opening up soon and have opened. Brassneck on Main, 33 Acres on W. 8th I believe.
    Burdock & Co on Main by Chef Andrea Carlson and her Harvest Foods in Chinatown

    I think Chinese food is missing on this list!! How can that be possible since there is amazing Chinese food in the city. Kirin is a great more updscale Chinese or there’s dim sum at Sun Sui Wah on Main Street. Cheap noodle spot is Congee Noodle House on Main, open late every night especially on weekends.

    Peaceful on Broadway for really tasty Szechuan style Chinese.

    If you’re a ramen fan there’s a Santouka outlet on Robson.

    One of a Few is a great women’s boutique in Gastown. Lifetime Apparel has a shop up on Main Street.

    For fancy sushi there’s Miku and Minami.

    Loden Hotel is a nice hotel hidden away on Melville. Or if you want to go to the opposite if that, there’s the Fairmont Pacific Rim. The shop and cafe inside Giovane is well done.

    There’s a La Quercia outpost in the Opus Hotel called La Pentola

    Breakfast food truck Yolks has a new restaurant and commissary.

    So much is happening in Vancouver always!!

  • As I was critical of the last Vancouver City Guide Update last summer, I want to be sure say that this one is really great.
    Wonderful job Katrina :)
    There is so much growth happening in Vancouver right now, and so many new and interesting places opening up it’s hard to keep track of it all.

    One thing I would add is that Luke’s General Store just opened a full storefront at 49 West Hastings the other day. They are now serving “friendo blendo” espresso from Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco. It’s yummy, and although I always bring my own mug, I have never seen such pretty paper to-go cups (have your iPhones ready).

    Gold star D*S!
    Thank you.

  • How is practically half the city lumped in with Granville Island? There’s more to Vancouver (most of it, actually) than the East Side.