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Vancouver Recommendations - Part 2: Vancouver

31 May 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

These recommendations were put together by the ACA 2022 Host Team.

Food 

Green Leaf Sushi - 3416 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6R 2B3 
No trip to Vancouver is complete without some sushi! Located in Kitsilano, Green Leaf is a quick bus ride away from UBC and offers a good assortment of options, including some delicious aburi nigiri. 

Salmon n’ Bannock - 1128 W Broadway #7, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G5 
Salmon n’ Bannock is Vancouver’s only Indigenous owned and operated restaurant. Come for the amazing food made with traditional ingredients, stay for the best service in the city. Host Team member Emily highly recommends the mushrooms on toasted bannock and pemmican mousse. 

Tacofino - 1909 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 3L9 
Vancouver is not normally known for its Central and South American food, but Tacofino might just change your mind about that! Originally a food truck, Tacofino has enjoyed such success in recent years that they’ve been able to open locations all across the city. Make sure you try the fish tacos, and don’t miss out on happy hour either! 

Chickpea Restaurant - 4298 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 
Hummus-lovers rejoice! Chickpea serves Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian and vegan cuisine that feels equal parts hearty and healthy. Hip atmosphere, large portions, and their signature chickpea fries, which are a must. They've also got a great list of signature cocktails if you're in the mood for a drink.  

Anh and Chi - 3388 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3M7 
Consistently ranked as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city! There may be a line, but it's always worth the wait. 

Fassil Ethiopian - 736 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X9 
Fassil was Host Team member James’ introduction to Ethiopian food over 13 years ago and he’s loved it ever since. The atmosphere is upbeat, the injera perfectly soft and spongy, and the proprietors always welcoming to first-time eaters. For some of you, Fassil will taste like home; for others, who may be new to Ethiopian cuisine, there’s no better place to try it for the first time. 

The Pokéman: Kakigori Café and Poké Shop- 3742 W 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6R 2G4 
Not only is The Pokéman conveniently located just one bus stop away from campus on the 99 route, it also boasts some of the best poké in the city! Host Team member Ashlynn refuses to eat poké anywhere else. 

Sombreros Tacos – 1290 Howe St., Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1R5 
Authentic Mexican taqueria in the heart of downtown Vancouver that also offers other Mexican specialties and snacks. Pick up any of their specialty combinations and enjoy an evening al fresco at nearby David Lam Park.  

Breka Bakery & Cafe – 3750 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P3 
Although Breka has various locations all around the city, this location is great because of its proximity not only to UBC, but also to Hastings Mill Park, which is just a few blocks north and right on the water. Stop by Breka for a sandwich and some coffee, then head up for some sunshine and some of the best views of the North Shore mountains and downtown skyline! 

Parthenon Market - 3089 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G9
A pillar of Vancouver’s Greektown, Parthenon Market offers freshly prepared options in their deli, as well as a variety of Greek and Mediterranean specialty products. Stop in for a spanakopita or tiropita (Host Team member Maria’s favourite on-the-go snack!) while exploring the West Broadway neighbourhood. 

Puerto Mexico - 2710 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 3W2 
This newcomer to Kitsilano is one of Host Team member Emily’s new favourites. It’s asmall shop with a lot of heart and a great place to stop for a to-go street taco on your wayto the beach.  

Au Comptoir - 2278 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8 
Located in Kitsilano, Au Comptoir is a classic casual French restaurant. Host Team member Ashlynn thinks it’s some of the best authentic French food and service she’s had outside of France. 

Trafiq Café and Bakery - 4216 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 
If you ask Host Team member Emily, Trafiq has the best cakes in the city. Spend some time exploring Main Street and then stop in for a reviving sweet or savoury treat.  

Coffee 

Platform 7 Coffee - 2300 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E5 
Designed to resemble a Belle-Époque Parisian train station, Platform 7 offers a cozy, quaint experience in Vancouver’s trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood. Experience beautiful hand-crafted espresso drinks from the Espresso Bar, exquisitely brewed single origin coffees on the Brew Bar, or refreshing cold brews from the Cold Bar. 

Aperture – 243 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P5 – Cambie and Broadway; 4124 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7 – Main and King Edward 
Both of Aperture’s locations are favourites among locals and feature cozy, quiet study spaces in addition to expertly crafted coffee. Host Team member Ashlynn is a fan of the Main St. location in particular, which boasts a not-so-secret back room full of plush armchairs and couches – and did we mention a full bar? Kick back with an espresso and breakfast sandwich in the morning, or a glass of beer with a plate of nachos in the evening. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live jazz. 

Our Town Café (Main and Broadway) - 255 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1W4 
Conveniently located a stone’s throw from the Main and Broadway bus stop in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant area, Our Town features a bright, open space full of cozy tables and corner nooks where you can unwind with a coffee and some food. This would be the perfect place to have a moment to yourself before joining us for the Vancouver Mural Fest walk! 

Milano Coffee Roasters (8th between Cambie and Main) - 156 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1N2 
While centrally located and easy to access via public transport, Milano also benefits from the peace and quiet of being a couple of steps removed from the hustle and bustle of Broadway. Here, you can samplefood and some of the best traditional Italian coffee in the city while enjoying the view of an open field across the street and beautiful sunsets over downtown in the distance. Plenty of indoor seating as well as a shady outdoor patio. 

Café Cittadella (near Cambie and Broadway) - 2310 Ash St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3C2 
Discover this hidden gem inside a heritage building, serving up elevated café eats. The house was built in 1894 and has since been transformed into an espresso bar and bistro. It boasts spacious seating upstairs and downstairs, and a beautiful garden patio with plenty of shaded outdoor seating – just you and the trees. 

Grounds for Coffee (Alma and 10th) - 2565 Alma St, Vancouver, BC V6R 3R8 
Who doesn’t love a cinnamon bun? Conveniently located just one bus stop away from UBC on the 99 route, Grounds for Coffee has delicious coffee, a cozy and quiet atmosphere, and some of the best cinnamon buns in the city, including seasonal favourites. 

Arbutus Coffee (near Arbutus and Broadway) - 2200 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3Y1 
Tucked away a few blocks from the busy city thoroughfares, Arbutus Coffee is a lovely little neighbourhood coffeehouse located in a Class A Heritage Building. A casual place with great coffee, great baked goods and most importantly, an ambient atmosphere to tie it all together. 

Café Lokal (4th and Macdonald) - 2610 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P8 
Conveniently located just a 20-minute bus ride from UBC, Café Lokal is a bright, spacious spot where you can grab almost anything you’re craving – lunch, dinner, coffee, or drinks. From Wednesday to Friday, they’re open late, and you may even catch some live music during your visit. 

49th Parallel and Lucky’s Doughnuts – 2198 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7 
49th Parallel boasts some of the best locally-roasted coffee in the city, and the location closest to UBC boasts a large outdoor covered patio in addition to a cozy and vibrant indoor seating space, all in Vancouver’s trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood. Did we mention 49th Parallel offers Lucky’s Doughnuts fresh in-house? 

Pubs & Breweries 

Long Table Gin Distillery - 1451 Hornby St, Vancouver BC, V6Z 1W8 
If beer isn’t your thing, check out this intimate craft gin distillery tucked away in Vancouver’s North Yaletown neighbourhood. Stop in for a delicious cocktail made with their small-batch gins and botanical-infused mixers, or take a bottle home with you as a souvenir.  

33 Acres Brewing Company - 15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1M8 
Minimalist-style craft beers that pack a punch. Stop in for a beer and some snacks in the evening, or visit them on the weekend for brunch. Host Team member Mariarecommends trying their Mezcal Gose.  

Andina Brewing Company - 1507 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 5C3 
If you're exploring the breweries of East Van, you don’t want to miss Andina. (With its bright yellow exterior, how could you?) Andina is particularly known for crisp, fruity sours and unparalleled IPAs. Plus, a menu of Colombian snacks and shareables you won’t find anywhere else. I recommend the “platachos” — nachos made with plantain chips. 

Superflux Beer Company - 505 Clark Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3H6 
Creative craft beers and fancy hotdogs – the perfect pairing! Host Team member Maria is particularly fond of their Fountainbier Orange Cream, which tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. Perfect for sipping on their patio on a warm summer evening.  

Odd Society Spirits - 1725 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H6 
Host Team member Melanie loves the funky atmosphere and the unique small-batch craft spirits distilled onsite. Try a flight or make a selectionfrom the ever-changing cocktail list. Current personal favorite: Cream Soda Sour. 

Brassneck - 2148 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C5 
Visit Brassneck at both the beginning and the end of ACA 2022, and there might very well be new beers added to their menu in those intervening days. That’s how often they’re coming up with unique craft brews in addition to their delicious staples. Brassneck is where Host Team member James most often grabs an after-work drink with his best friend and where he brings beer-loving guests who are visiting Vancouver for the first time. 

Attractions 

Stanley Park Explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eats, natural, cultural and historical landmarks, along with many other adventures. The park offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences for all ages and interests, including Canada’s largest aquarium. 

Granville Island Tucked below the Granville Street bridge, this Vancouver institution is home to shops, boutiques, arts and culture opportunities, breweries, and of course the famous Granville Island Market, where you can try almost any kind of food – just make sure you keep it away from the seagulls! This would be a great place to stop by for a bite or just a nice walk along the water, especially after you join us for our Vanier Park museum tours just a few steps away. 

VanDusen Botanical Garden - 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1 
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world! Spot and photograph local wildlife, find your way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, unwind in a serene setting, dine on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant, or browse the garden-themed gift shop. VanDusen has something for everyone to enjoy! 

Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory - 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1 
QE Park is Vancouver’s horticultural jewel and a major draw for floral display enthusiasts and view-seekers. At 125 m above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore. It is also home to Bloedel Conservatory, which is a domed lush paradise which is home to more than 100 exotic birds, and 500 exotic plants and flowers. Host Team member Ashlynn recommends pairing a visit to this park with lunch at nearby Aperture café. 

The Cinematheque - 1131 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K8 
The Cinematheque is the home of art house cinema in Vancouver. It exhibits the kinds of films you don’t normally get to see on a big screen, movies that challenge you or blow your mind or mesmerize you visually. I also recommend The Cinematheque because it curates films from around the world, highlights under-represented voices, and often features artist retrospectives and Q&A’s with creators. 

The Rio Theatre - 1660 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5N 1W1 
The Rio reminds Host Team member James of the single-screen cinema he grew up with in his hometown. Going to the Rio fills him with nostalgia in a way the big chains just don’t. (It helps that the Rio frequently shows 70s, 80s, and 90s cult classics.) The concession stand has a great beer selection, there’s balcony seating, and — something that was not on offer at James’ hometown cinema — live events like burlesque shows or stand-up comedy.   

Bookstores 

Pulpfiction Books - 2422 Main Street; 2754 W Broadway; 1830 Commercial Drive   
Pulpfiction describes itself as one of Canada’s largest and busiest bookstores, and I believe it! Their flagship location on Main Street has a huge selection of paperbacks and comics, with particularly impressive sci-fi and fantasy sections. Don’t make the mistake of coming back later for whatever caught your eye — their shelves have a high turnover and so that book may be gone by the time you return! 

Canterbury Tales Bookstore - 2010 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A9 
In Canterbury Tales’ tightly packed shop on Commercial Drive, you can’t turn around without spotting something you’d like to take home with you. They have a diverse selection, including a mix of used and new books, and a particularly strong selection of children's and YA titles.  

Spartacus Books - 1983 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A8  
Spartacus Books is a non-profit, volunteer-run bookstore and resource centre specializing in “anti-capitalist, political books not found in big-box bookstores.” Its books, zines, comics, magazines, and other materials are related to such fields as Indigenous fiction/non-fiction, race and society, queer studies, feminism, environmentalism, and radical theory. Spartacus has been around for more than 40 years and is like no other bookstore in Vancouver! 

First Used Books - 69 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3J1 
I like my used bookstores unassuming and full of surprises, which is what you’ll get from First Used Books. This shop has a little bit of everything, with an emphasis on Canadiana, and is perfect for browsing. The proprietor — giving off some amazing Gandalf/Merlin vibes — will point you in the right direction if you're having trouble finding something. 

Lucky’s Books and Comics - 3972 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P2 
There are plenty of great comics stores in the city, but Lucky’s stands out for its dedication to independent comics and zines, especially by local artists. Lucky’s is an important part of the Vancouver comics community, hosting launches, readings, workshops, and even live music. The store offers plenty of niche publications, manga titles, and work by BIPOC/LGBTQ+ creators. 

MacLeod’s Books - 455 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z3 
MacLeod’s is the quintessential second-hand bookstore, with nary a spare inch of shelf space or even floor space. There are books stacked or piled everywhere, making this the perfect place for bibliophiles and readers who relish the thrill of the hunt.  

The Paper Hound - 344 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2V6 
Just a few blocks down from MacLeod’s, the Paper Hound is a smaller space with a more boutique-y feel and a more curated selection of titles. In their words: The Paper Hound doesn’t specialize in any one genre, instead favouring “the classic, curious, odd, beautiful, visually arresting, scholarly, bizarre, and whimsical.” 

Massey Books - 229 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6
100% Indigenous owned and operated. 1,500 square feet of books plus an art gallery showcasing emerging community artists. 

Don't forget to check out Part 1 for UBC recommendations!

To see where in Vancouver all of these recommended spots are located check out this map!


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