A Compressed Restaurant and Shopping List for Visitors to Vancouver

It wasn’t until I started working on this piece that the West Ender newspaper in Vancouver renamed itself to WE. I’m not sure where I’ve been … Regardless, WE is a free newspaper that is not mainstream and concentrates on local arts and culture. It’s the kind of paper that I try to find when I’m travelling as the content and ads are more real than mainstream papers.

In the February 23-29 issue, WE published its “Best of the City 15th Annual Readers’ Choice 2012” survey results. The survey covers many subjects, not of all of which is of interest to out of town guests. For example, “Most Trustworthy Politician” isn’t going to help you enjoy a one week vacation in Vancouver.

To help you out-of-town visitors, I’ve taken the relevant categories from WE‘s survey and given you the top results. If figure this way if you use this as a mini guide with low risk of failure, you’ll do well.

Dining Out

New Restaurant that opened in 2011
Hawksworth – 801 W. Georgia (in the newly reopened Hotel Georgia) – 604-673-7000 – HawksworthRestaurant.com

Chain Restaurant
Cactus Club Cafe – multiple locations (all with stunning looking servers) – CactusClubCafe.com

One-of-a-Kind Restaurant
Calabash – 428 Carrall – (Caribbean food with a giant rum list) – 604-568-5882 – CalabashBistro.com

West Coast Cuisine
Coast – 1054 Alberni – 604-685-5010 – CoastRestaurant.ca

Seafood
Blue Water Cafe – 1095 Hamilton – BlueWaterCafe.net

Indian
Vij’s – 1488 W. 11th – 604-736-6664 – Vijs.ca

Thai
Sala Thai – 102-888 Burrard – 604-683-7999

Korean
Jang Mo Jib – 1719 Robson – 604-642-0712 – JangMoJib.ca

Singaporean
Hawkers Delight – 4127 Main St. – 604-709-8188

Malaysian
Banana Leaf -multiple locations – BananaLeaf-Vancouver.com

Vietnamese
Au Petit Cafe – 4851 Main – 604-873-3328 – AuPetitCafe.com

Italian
Italian Kitchen – 1037 Alberni – 604-687-2858 – GlowbalGroup.com

French
Les Faux Bourgeois – 663 E. 15th – 604-873-9733 – LesFauxBourgeois.com

Greek
Stephos – 1124 Davie St. – 604-683-2555

Mexican
Las Margaritas – 1999 W. 4th – 604-734-7117 – LasMargaritas.com

Caribbean/West Indies
The Reef – 4172 Main St. – 604-874-5375 and 1018 Commercial Ave – 604-568-5375 – TheReefRestaurant.com

Steakhouse
The Keg – multiple locations, but my favourite is on Granville Island – KegSteakhouse.com

Burgers
Vera’s – multiple locations, but the “original” is in Kitsilano – VerasBurgerShack.com

Japanese
Tojo’s – 1133 W. Broadway – 604-872-8050 – Tojos.com

Chinese
Szechuan Chong Qing – 205-1668 W. Broadway – 604-734-1668 – SzechuanChongQing.com

Pizza
Nicli Antica – 62 E. Cordova – 604-669-6985 – NicliPizzeria.com

Barbecue
Memphis Blues – multiple locations – MemphisBluesBBQ.com

Brewpub
Yaletown Brew Pub – 1111 Main – 681-2739 – MarkJamesGroup.com

Late-Night Dining
Naam – 2724 W. 4th – 604-738-7151 – TheNaam.com

Old-School Diner
Templeton – 1087 Granville – 604-685-4612 – TheTempleton.ca

Patisserie
East Village Bakery – 2166 E. Hastings – 604-568-5600 – EastVillageBakery.com

Bagels
Sollys – multiple locations – 604-675-9770 – SollysBagelry.com

Vegetarian
Naam – 2724 W. 4th (in Kitsilano a longstanding venue) – 604-738-7151 – TheNaam.com

Family-Friendly Restaurant
White Spot – multiple locations – WhiteSpot.ca

Desserts
True Confections – 866 Denman – 604-682-1292 and 3701 W. Broadway – 604-222-8489 (Definitely the place to get your cheescake on)

Ice Cream/Gelato
Casa Gelato – 1033 Venables – 604-251-3211 – LaCasaGelato.com

Breakfast
Joe’s Grill – multiple locations – JoesGrill.com Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe – 2095 W. 4th – 604-732-6810 – SophiesCosmicCafe.com

Out After Dark

Casual Bar
1181 – 1181 Davie – 604 687-3991 – TightLounge.com

Formal Bar
Hotel Georgia – 801 W Georgia – 604 682-5566

Live Music Venue
Commodore – 868 Granville

Dance Club
Fortune Sound Club – 147 E Pender – 604 569-1758 – FortuneSoundClub.com

Gay Bar/Club
Celebrities – 1022 Davie St. – 604 681-6180 – CelebritiesNightclub.com

Post-Bar/Pre-Hangover Eats
Dennys – multiple locations – Dennys.ca

Comedy Club
Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard – 604 684-5050 – TheComedyMix.com

Shopping for the Self

Unique Gifts
Fine Finds – 1014 Mainland – 604-669-8325 – FineFindsBoutique.com

Casual Men’s Apparel
Lark – 2315 Main – 604-879-5275 – Lark.me

Formal Men’s Apparel
Harry Rosen – 700 W Georgia – 604-683-6861 – HarryRosen.com

Casual Women’s Apparel
Aritzia – multiple locations – Aritzia.com Formal Women’s Apparel
Holt Renfrew – 737 Dunsmuir – 604-681-3121 – HoltRenfrew.com Vintage Clothing
Front and Co – 3772 Main – 604-879-8431 – FrontAndCompany.ca

Shoes
Fluevog – 65 Water St. – 604-688-6228 and 837 Granville St. – 604-688-2828 – Fluevog.com

Shopping Centre
Pacific Centre – 701 W Georgia – 604-688-7235 – PacificCentre.ca

Toy Store
Toys R Us was first place, but my first place is the Granville Island Toy Company – GranvilleToyCompany.ca

Jeweller
Birks – 698 W Hastings – 604-669-3333 – Birks.com tied with Tiffany – 723 Burrard – 604-630-1300 – Tiffany.ca

Secondhand Books
Pulp Fiction – multiple locations

Health and Fitness

Local Sporting Goods Shops
MEC (a.k.a. Mountain Equipment Coop) – 130 W. Broadway – 604-872-7858 – mec.ca and Sports Junkies – 102 W Broadway – 604-879-6000 – sportsjunkies.com

Board & Ski Shop
Comor – 1980 Burrard St. – 604-736-7547 – ComorSports.com

Bikes & Bike Repairs
Our Community Bikes – 3283 Main St. 604-879-2453

Specialty Health Store
Finlandia – 1111 West Broadway – 604-733-5323 – FinlandiaPharmacy.com

Looking Good

Hair Salon
Hype Hair Studio – 2695 W. 4th – 604-732-4973 – HypeHairStudio.com

Manicure/Pedicure
Pure Nail Bar – multiple locations – PureNailBar.com

Skin-Care Facility
Renu Cosmetics – 350-1152 Mainland – 604-662-7368 – RenuCosmetic.com

Spa
Spa Utopia – 1001 – 999 Canada Place – 604-641-1351 – SpaUtopia.ca

Cosmetics Retailer
Sephora – 701 W. Georgia – Sephora.com

Tailor
Village Cleaners – 1637 Manitoba St. – 604-818-2818 – VillageCleaners.ca

Life Style Shopping

Independent Music Store
Zulu – 1972 W 4th Ave. – 604-738-3232 – ZuluRecords.com. They also one as best music store to buy vinyl records.

Art Supplies
Opus – multiple locations – OpusArtSupplies.com

Culture, including festivals and galleries

Performing Arts Festival
Bard on the Beach – 203-456 W. Broadway – 604-737-0625 – BardOnTheBeach.org

Music Festival
Jazz Festival -295 W. 7th Ave. – 604-872.5200 – CoastalJazz.ca

Visual Arts Festival
East Side Cultural Crawl – 108 – 1000 Parker St – 778 960-7575 – EastsideCultureCrawl.com

Theatre Company
Arts Club/Stanley Theatre – 1585 Johnston – 604-687-5315 – ArtsClub.com

Dance Company
Ballet BC – 677 Davie Street – 604-732-5003 – Balletbc.com

Choral Group
Vancouver Men’s Chorus – 1270 Chestnut Street – 604-669-SING – VancouverMensChorus.ca

Public Art Gallery
VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery) – 750 Hornby Street – 604-662-4700 – VanArtGallery.bc.ca

Private Art Gallery
Douglas Reynolds Gallery – 2335 Granville St. – 604 731-9292 – DouglasReynoldsGallery.com

First-Run Movie Theatre
Scotiabank Theatre – 900 Burrard – 604-630-1407 – Cineplex.com

Repertory/Art-House Movie Theatre
Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway – 604-879-3456 – RioTheatre.ca

The WE magazine website has more details on all these and more.

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