Vancouver is a true culinary city with many great dining options. Take a walk through the elevated sidewalks of Yaletown for great seafood; Try Blue Water Café’s Raw Bar, Rodney’s for fresh oysters, or Happa for Japanese tapas. Hop over the bridge to Kitsilano and have dinner on Kits beach at The Boathouse, or hit West 4th Ave for a culinary experience at Fable Kitchen. You can get great comfort food at Burgoo, French cuisine at Bistro Pastis, Italian at Trattoria and Thai food at Maenem. (Learn more about The Boathouse)
Head back downtown to Gastown and have pints and dinner at the Irish Heather. You can also check out the long table series at the Salty Tongue, have some Lebanese food at Nuba or grab some Belgium tapas at Chambar. If fine dining is your thing, you’ll want to try one of these higher-end eateries: Yew, Hawksworth, Il Giardino di Umberto, Diva at the Met, Le Crocodile, Bishops, Gotham, Tojo’s, and of course the Vancouver staple of 27 years Joe Fortes. You can also find restaurants, bars, and coffee shops around Main Street, South Granville, the West End, and Commercial Drive. (Learn more about Joe Fortes)
Enjoy the ocean-front patios at The Mill, Carderos, Sand Bar, Bridges, Tap and Barrel, and Local for a drink and a suntan. Want a casual bite, a cocktail, or a few beers to watch the game? Vancouver and the lower mainland loves its casual restaurant chains and you can find a Cactus Club, Earl’s, Brown’s, The Keg, Milestone’s, and Joey’s in almost every neighborhood. Fast food restaurants… well everyone has those, but we have Japadog. This fusion of Japanese flavor with an American landmark has taken the city by storm and has seen intimidators pop up in other major North American cities. While there a few locations, be sure to hit up the flagship stand on the corner of Burrard and Smithe. (Learn Moreabou Japadog).
Thirsty? Vancouverites like their beer, wine, and cocktails. Have a pint of Guinness at Mahony & Sons at Canada place or Doolin’s on Granville Street. Watch the big game at Library Square, the Ticket, Forum, Red Card, have some craft beer at the Alibi Room, check out a brew house at Yaletown Brewing Company or Steamworks, and of course hit the Roxy after the Canucks game for a good time.
Granville Street has for too many bars and night clubs to list. Start with Yaletown for handcrafted cocktails at George or drinks at OPUS, or Gastown for a good time at the Lamplighter, The Diamond, The Blarney Stone, The Pint, or The Bourbon. Make sure to also check out the Granville Island Brewing Company, located in the middle of Granville Island. Take one of their weekday tours for the opportunity to sample a number of regular and limited release brews, or grab a drink and pick up a 12-pack in their adjacent pub. (Tour information)
Seattle might be the capital of coffee in the United States but Vancouver would love to be called the Coffee Capital of the World. From small, independently-owned shops, to international chains, finding a coffee shop to sit and unwind is never hard to find. A popular local chain is Café Artigiano, which has over 10 locations across the city. (Learn more about Café Artigiano)
For a little bit of everything, the Granville Island Public Market is a place to get lost in. Located on Granville Island, a small Island located under the Granville Street Bridge, is a hot-spot for everything from fresh fish and produce to art pieces and children’s toys. With fantastic restaurant options and beautiful views of the downtown core, it can be hard to leave in the evening. (Learn more)
For shopping options, walk along the trendy Robson Street in downtown to find everything from small boutiques to high-end shops. Names like Armani,bebe, Lululemon and Nike are easy to find and always filled with people inside. You’ll also find more options, such as Hollister, H&M and Holt Renfrew at Pacific Centre, also located downtown. (Mall information). Swing over to west 4th avenue for boutique clothing, shoes, furniture, and housewares shops up and down the ave and of course 4th and Burrard for all of your ski, snow, bike, skate, and surf needs. Want to get away from the tourists for some out of the box shopping. Check out Main Street, South Granville, Yaletown, and Gastown for some great boutiques and unique designers. Need furniture for your new home in the Vancouver area? South Granville and Gastown are the hot spots to be for everything from Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Restoration Hardware to designer stores like Inform Interiors, Chinz & Company, Zientte, and Liberty.
Outside of downtown, head over to the Metropolis at Metrotown in the suburb of Burnaby for more options. The largest mall in British Columbia and the second largest in all of Canada (behind the West Edmonton Mall), Metrotown has over 450 shops and services including Forever XXI, Old Navy and Club Monaco. (Mall information)