Vancouver is known for many awesome, unique places. Many of them being temporary experiences such as the pop up Christmas Pub, the Wizard’s Den and so on. Having said that, Vancouver has so many various spots for dining, drinking, instagramming, getting your hair done, partying and whatever else, that sometimes it truly is so hard to find a nice spot for a particular “thing”. This is why I have put together a guide for some of my tops spots, for things I like to do.
Vancouver’s Top Spot For Ramen.
This needs no explanation. Asian cuisine across Vancouver and Lower Mainland is so vast, it would be hard to dig your way through it all to find the perfect spot. Hands down, the best spot for Ramen in Downtown Vancouver is Horin Ramen + Sake on Robson Street. Their broth is so rich and flavorsome, it truly has no competition (except for my absolute favorite spot in Whistler, but we are talking about Vancouver now 😉 )
Given its central location, you should truly get there early, to avoid lines.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for European Grocers.
This is one of my most recent finds and I am so glad to share it with you. To date, I have been going to various little delis, however number of them carried out of date produce which on top of was overpriced. I recently came across Parthenon Market, predominantly Greek, however once inside I realized they carry variety of European Products at affordable prices. In addition, they have a deli section where you can buy fresh produce, soups and salads, Parthenon Market is located on West Broadway in Kitsilano.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for Partying.
Its no secret that Vancouver’s night life is not that great. For anyone who disagrees, you musn’t haven’t partied in the US or anywhere in Europe really. The night scene here is mostly aimed at 19 year old’s loving trance music, no dress code and very overpriced drinks.
I am delighted to share with you my favorite spot, which serves reasonably priced drinks, varied music (some 90s too 😉 ) and brings mixed crowds in for the best results. Located on Davie Street in the heart of Vancouver’s West End, you will find Junction bringing you live DJs, trivia nights, drag shows and more. The atmosphere is very welcoming and it’s always so much fun. Keep an eye on their social media, as on certain nights there might be a cover charge due to events taking place.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for Instagram Photos.
I feel torn about this place, as on one hand I really want to keep this hidden gem to myself, but on the other I feel like the world needs to know about them. The Red Accordion located on Alberni Street in Coal Harbor is a restaurant/pub located in an old historic home of the West End.
Each room is decorated as if you are at your grandmother’s house, with vibrant colors, heavy furniture and giant armchairs as well as artwork in heavy gold frames. The cocktails here are beautiful, even if a little pricey. The food is very affordable and portion sizes are great.
Its probably best to check out the place first to see where you want to sit, to get your money shot, but make sure to make a booking as seats fill up quickly!
Vancouver’s Top Spot to See a Bear.
I feel as foreign national who moved to Vancouver almost 3 years ago, seeing a bear in flesh was definitely on my “to do” list. We finally got to see a bear cub – two actually – on a hike recently and I couldn’t not share.
Minnekhada Regional Park is located in Port Coquitlam, about 35 minutes drive from downtown Vancouver. It is a medium size park, with couple of very easy hikes. It’s definitely good for a family outing. Having said that, Minnekhada is a home to many, many bear families which through time got so comfortable with people they now roam the streets and side walks. Literally.
You need to follow couple of ground rules – always leave them space and do not approach; always carry a bear spray; always make sure you are making enough noise, so as not to startle them and never, ever feed them.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for a Cocktail.
I really wanted to share some hole in the wall, unique type of a find here, however I couldn’t find anywhere that would compete with Cactus Club’s Frose this Summer. Frose is a frozen cocktail with – you guessed – rose wine. It’s consistency reminds me of the daiquiris. It goes down so easy, too easy in fact. Definitely refreshing, especially during the heatwaves we’ve been having. Cactus Club has multiple locations across town, one of the most popular ones being English Bay or Bentall Centre on Burrard Street.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for Feeling Fancy.
Whether you live in Vancouver or are just visiting, you probably noticed that Vancouver is expensive and taxes on products are insane. Nonetheless, if you have some extra cash to spend or you want to do a special date night or a fancy girls night out, I suggest you check out Reflections on the Rooftop of Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Downtown Vancouver.
Drinks and food are on the pricier side, however not ridiculously – I feel you are paying for the experience. It’s very chill, ideal rooftop vibes on a hot summer’s night. Portion sizes are what you’d expect from an upscale restaurant, smaller than “regular” restaurant, but they taste amazing.
Vancouver’s Top Spot for a Hike.
This may cause some disagreements, however this is hands down one of the best and most beautiful hikes for me – Cheakamus Lake. Located on Sea to Sky Highway, heading towards Whistler. This hike is the closest thing to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake in Banff you will find here.
The road leading up to the trailhead (last 10km or so) is a total mountainside dirt road, so if you are planning to bring a nice car, which is not equipped to handle difficult roads I suggest you think of a Plan B.
The hike itself is not a challenging hike and if you are lucky you can spot a bear or two. The water color is out of this world and extremely freezing, but the lake views are very rewarding.
If you are planning on hiking this summer, I invite you to take a look at my past posts on What to Pack for a Hike and How to Safely Hike Alone.
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