Vancouver

In the 1860s, there wasn't much more to Gastown than a saw mill and a rough-and-tumble tavern catering to the Gold-rush. Its population boomed and its buildings spilled swiftly along the Burrard Inlet until on 6 April 1886, it was incorporated as the city of Vancouver. Today, its glass towers are superimposed over mountains and clouds, and link the waters of the Pacific to the wide open skies. Over half the population of this metropolis in the wilderness speak a mother tongue other than English, and it is regularly counted among the world's top five most liveable cities.

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  • Rosewood Hotel Georgia

    Hotel

    • In 2011, after a four-year restoration, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia opened to pay homage to its illustrious 1920s past. An elegant motif of rich fabrics, pale nutmeg tones, and deco-style furniture runs throughout the hotel. Featuring Rivolta Carmignani Italian linens to rest your head upon, alongside La Bottega bath amenities and a view of the austere Vancouver Art Gallery across the street — the Rosewood is a palatial retreat in the heart of downtown.

    • 801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada

    • 1 (604) 682-5566 https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-georgia-vancouver

  • Stanley Park

    Park

    • Vancouver would be nothing without the striking, natural landscape that it rests amidst; the city majestically connects the coastal mountains to the North Pacific Ocean. Arguably, there’s no better place to take this all in than from the Stanley Park seawall. As you approach its most northern tip, an enveloping view of the Lions Gate Bridge against the backdrop of dramatic mountain tops is more than enough to take your breath away.

    • Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, V6G 1Z4, Canada

    • 1 (604) 681 6728 http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx

  • Equinox

    Gallery

    • Across the cluster of railroad tracks, past sooty auto shops, and faceless concrete buildings, Equinox gallery sits like a signal flare in its vibrantly painted red warehouse. It is a visual sanctum in an otherwise nondescript neighbourhood. With more than 1,200-square metres of floor space and nearly 8-metre tall ceilings, Equinox regales in exhibitions from artist such as Fred Herzog, Marie Khouri, and Gordon Smith.

    • #110-525 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC, V5T 1E1, Canada

    • 1 (604) 736 2405 http://www.equinoxgallery.com

  • Matchstick Coffee

    Coffee shop

    • With already two popular locations and a third on the way, it’s difficult to argue that Matchstick Coffee isn’t a leader in its third-wave field. Husband and wife duo, Spencer and Annie Viehweger, place great value in providing the city with exceptionally bright and clean coffee but too, a place for community. Baked fresh daily pastries and a menu comprised of in-house made bread and ingredients from the garden pair fittingly with their lightly roasted beans.

    • 639 E 15th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5T 2R6, Canada

    • 1 (604) 558 0639 http://matchstickyvr.com

  • Revolver Coffee

    Coffee shop

    • Meticulously measuring down to a tenth of a gramme to ensure you’re equipped with a coffee that’s as close to perfect as possible, there’s no better place to kick off your morning than at Revolver. Simple, precise, and fresh are words to describe both their brew and their space. Enjoying a pour-over of their featured roast by the window is often that jolt you crave at the start of your day.

    • 325 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1H7, Canada

    • 1 (604) 558 4444 http://revolvercoffee.ca

  • Nelson the Seagull

    Cafe and bakery

    • There’s a homely charm to Nelson the Seagull. When you walk in, it’s like going over to your friend’s or favourite aunt’s house. Mismatched furniture that’s been collected over time, a soft light that lends the cavernous space with warmth, and the intoxicating smell of freshly baked bread greet you. We always opt for the naturally leavened sourdough – in various iterations – in the morning and stay awhile.

    • 315 Carrall St, Vancovuer, BC, V6A 0A7, Canada

    • 1 (604) 681 5776 http://www.nelsontheseagull.com

  • Savio Volpe

    Restaurant

    • Dining at Osteria Savio Volpe or “Tavern of the Clever Fox” feels removed of Vancouver’s characteristic Pacific Northwest ambiance, in the best way. The stylish take on Italian taverna-style dining offers elevated rustic fare in a winsome environment. Watch a performance from the open kitchen of wood-fired octopus and handmade pasta—tortiglioni, gemelli, stuffed raviolo—while you wait and sip on an Aperol spritz.

    • 615 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5T 3K5, Canada

    • 1 (604) 428 0072 http://www.saviovolpe.com

  • The Birds & The Beets

    Restaurant

    • Self-pronounced as an intensely food-focused counter-service cafe, Birds and the Beets delivers on its commitment. Wholesome sprouted grain salads, hearty sandwiches, and au courant breakfast staples bear reason enough to stop in any time of day. Its unfussy decor of cabinet seating is accentuated by hanging plants no doubt provided by the charming front-of-house flower shop. Keep an eye open too for their host of one-time events from burgeoning cooks in the city.

    • 55 Powell St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1E9, Canada

    • 1 (604) 893 7832 http://www.birdsandbeets.ca

  • Kissa Tanto

    Restaurant

    • If a jazz-inspired, Japanese-Italian restaurant brings about questions of uncertainty, then Kissa Tanto’s house sourdough, nori butter, and olive oil starter should quickly put out any misgivings. Upstairs in a once abandoned unit in Chinatown, the “house of plenty” is the second presentation from restaurateur Tannis Ling and executive chef Joël Watanabe of Vancouver-favourite Bao Bei. A rich interior of deep jewel tones and accurately jazz-inspired atmosphere mirror an equally assorted and delightful dining experience.

    • 263 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1T8, Canada

    • 1 (778) 379 8078 http://www.kissatanto.com

  • Litchfield

    Lifestyle & design shop

    • Influenced by his life on the West Coast and formative years in Japan, Jonathan Litchfield’s eponymous Gastown store is filled with objects to elevate the everyday. Browsing through the long and narrow boutique, refined wares such as handmade scented soaps, painted ceramic dishes, and titanium camping gear line the shelves.

    • 38 Water St, Vancouver, BC, V5M 4B7, Canada

    • 1 (604) 428 5880 http://www.litchfieldtheshop.com

  • Neighbour

    Menswear shop

    • The marriage between classic cuts and contemporary style lives happily together at Neighbour. An extension of owner Saager Dilawri’s obsession with quality fabrics, the shop stocks essential pieces that over time, will wear and age as well as you do. After four years of success with his men’s outpost, Dilawri expanded, opening Neighbour/Woman (over on 45 Powell Street), which follows much of the same ethos. In both stores, you’re bound to discover wonderful, lesser known labels.

    • 12 Water St, #125, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1A5, Canada

    • 1 (604) 558 2555 http://shopneighbour.com

  • Old Faithful Shop

    Homewares & lifestyle shop

    • Now bi-coastal with a sister location in Toronto, Ontario, Old Faithful Shop stays true to its West Coast roots. A modern general store which harkens to a bygone time, the renovated 19th century storefront takes inspiration from co-founder Walter Manning’s grandparent’s store. Carrying well-crafted goods for a decidedly endearing household, find artisanal pantry ingredients, cosy living accessories, and a small library of publications inside. As well as, resident french bulldog, Jean-Pierre, or as they call him, “the Boss”.

    • 320 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1E8, Canada

    • 1 (778) 327 9376 http://www.oldfaithfulshop.com

  • One of a Few

    Womenswear shop

    • Longstanding One of a Few was one of the first to set up shop in Vancouver’s historic Gastown before the neighbourhood became the creative and fashionable hub that it is today. Featuring pastel brogues and a dedicated vintage line, the boutique is an expertly curated collection of clothing that invokes images of femininity and ease.

    • 354 Water St, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1B6, Canada

    • 1 (604) 605 0685 http://oneofafew.com

  • Roden Gray

    Menswear shop

    • Vancouver’s landscape of menswear retail is rich and varied, and Roden Gray undoubtedly reigns as one of the best for high end apparel and accessories. Catering to its effortlessly on-trend clientele, they stock industry favourites and designer basics. Housed in a contemporary space of ever rotating displays and knowledgable staff, you’re sure to find something covetable here.

    • 8 Water St, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1A4, Canada

    • 1 (604) 689 7302 http://rodengray.com

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge

    Sight

    • Every local in every city, at one point or another, is guilty of taking for granted their city’s most celebrated tourist destinations. For Vancouver, one such example would be the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Originally built in 1889, this footbridge entrenched in the Coast Forest Region spans 460 feet long and is a sight that represents great history and wonder.

    • 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC, V7R 4J1, Canada

    • 1 (604) 985 7474 http://capbridge.com

Additional Recommendations

Credits

Words: Sheila Lam  Photos: Jennilee Marigomen and Gillian Stevens