Even thought I just moved to Vancouver, it seems that I already get lots of questions from friends and family who are stopping in about what to see and do here. I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ll keep this post as updated as possible. It started out as an Evernote document on my phone, where I was keeping a list of things people said I had to see/eat/do/go in Vancouver.
If I’ve tried something and mentioned it in any great detail on the blog, it’ll also be linked below!
Kitsilano (“kits”) – very laid back. People who live here do yoga, eat a lot of organic food and ride their bikes everywhere. Some great restaurants on W 4th, the main street running through.
Yaletown – wealthier young people live here. Really nice condos, a few restaurants/bars/cafes, shops, pretty to walk around
Downtown – kind of the middle. Mostly a shopping area along Robson and W Georgia.
West End – Near Stanley Park. Pretty residential and of course the park is awesome
Chinatown – the east border of downtown – some parts are kind of dirty/run down, but really awesome culture and lots to see.
Chinatown/Main – as you go south from Chinatown on Main st you kind of get to this trendy, gentrified area with really good restaurants and some craft beer (worth checking out)
Downtown East Side (DTES) – the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. You will see needles on the ground, people shooting up, and a lot of homelessness. If that kind of stuff makes you easily uncomfortable you should avoid this area. If you’re riding a bike, don’t leave it outside.
UBC – all the way west of Kits (with the residential Point Grey neighbourhood in the middle). Really scenic biking and hiking trails, and obviously the university.
Gastown – mostly bars and pubs between Yaletown and Chinatown along the north edge of the downtown peninsula. Definitely worth walking around at night for the twinkling lights and good drinks.
Capilano suspension bridge – $$$ but worth it once
Grouse grind – go early to avoid the crowds
Chief (I hear it’s worth going to second peak at least, 3rd peak is tough – some people say to just skip the first peak and challenge the second two right from the start)
Garibaldi national park – hike Rubble Creek –> Garibaldi Lake –> Panorama ridge –> Black Tusk (out and back hike, camp at Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows)
Upper Shannon Falls
Sea to Summit Trail
Toshis – sushi on Main st., – be prepared to line up, and they close at 9
Meat and bread – lunch near gastown
Ask for luigi – really good Italian
Hubbub – good lunch spot, a few locations in yaletown/downtown
Hon’s dim sum – on Robson
Ed’s commissary (east end) – good pastries
Propaganda coffee – on E Pender
Homer St Cafe – Homer and Smithe
Small Victory – Helmcken and Homer
Fable – farm to table, menu changes regularly, on W 4th
Vij’s – unreal Indian, be prepared to wait and it’s a bit expensive
Yaletown Flying Pig (there’s one in Gastown too) – good food and beer
Container – cafe across from SPH
Tractor – lunch on W 4th at Cypress
Heirloom – really amazing vegan/vegetarian W12th and Granville, also good for brunch
Krokodile Pear (juice bar) – 518 Davie
East is East
Rodyney’s Oyster house
Licorice – bar on davie
Sweet Cherubim – a little hard to find because it shares a door with a health food store
Jethro’s – 18th and Fraser or 15th and Dunbar
Red Wagon – Nanaimo and Hastings
Thyme to Indulge – 13 and main
Hyde (chicken and waffles)
Portland Craft – Main and 23rd (craft beer and good breakfast menu)
49th parallel for good coffee
Garibaldi – you can spend a few days in the park – see “hikes”, above
Tofino – amazing surfing community on the west side of Vancouver island
Day trip to Bowen island for swimming and picnic – go to the beach on the west end, it’s safe to hitchhike while on the island
Any of the islands are worth exploring, even just taking the ferry over is pretty great (food on board, might see whales/dolphins)
Whistler/Hope/Pemberton – tons of outdoor activities, even in the summer (great mountain biking!)
Port side in Gastown
Clough in Gastown
Pourhouse in Gastown
The Diamond – good for cocktails, kind of expensive (I saw Bono here!)
Hang out on the seawall
Granville island – amazing public farmer’s market (huge), best early am Saturday
Movie in the park – every Wednesday night there is a free outdoor movie on a massive blowup screen in Stanley park
Comedy mix – bar near SPH
3rd beach – quietest of the beaches
Kits beach – trendiest of the beaches
1st beach – good pickup volleyball/basketball
Wreck beach – world famous nudist beach out by UBC
UBC – awesome trails, good cycling
Deep cove – on the north shore, good hiking, water sports especially paddling
Kits pool – 140m long fully outdoor salt water pool right on the ocean