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What to Do in Vancouver

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Vancouver is one of the most vibrant cities in Canada. This glittering metropolis between the mountains and the sea offers eclectic art, music, and theater scenes, and a vast array of enticing restaurants. Here, you will find thick pine forests and whimsical public art installations amid a bevy of beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. With so much culture packed into one place, it can be hard to decide what to do during your stay. Let this list be your guide and inspiration.
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315 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6A 0A7, Canada
The owners at this breakfast and lunch spot make almost everything from scratch and by hand, from grinding chickpeas for their hummus to making almond milk for the granola. They even offer vegan butter. (604) 681-5776. As told to Rhonda May. This...
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45 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C7, Canada
This little hideaway in a back alley, with its communal tables and chalkboard menus, is where I go with friends when we want to share snacks. They match wines to "tasting trios" selected from their cheese and charcuterie cellar. It’s best to let...
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162 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2, Canada
They serve comfort dishes here, but the simplicity is deceptive. The burger, for instance, is made from bacon, brisket, and chuck. Cocktails are an experience: Order absinthe and they will bring out the proper bohemian barware so you can party...
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325 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4, Canada
If you’re a coffee nerd, Revolver is the place to go for personal-size, pour-over coffees brewed from their unique lines of beans. Hang out for a while and you’ll run into everyone who lives at this end of Gastown. (604) 558-4444. As told to...
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370 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7, Canada
Like the name says: just braised or slow-roasted meats, served on ciabatta buns. They are known for their hand-carved porchetta, but I order the daily special—that is, if I can get there before 2 p.m. The restaurant is first come, first served, so...
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43 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4, Canada
Mark Brand revamped this 55-year-old institution while keeping it a place that longtime Gastown residents could still recognize and enjoy. The classic menu at this part butcher shop, part retro diner includes burgers, fried chicken, and sundaes. ...
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801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada
Originally opened in 1927, Vancouver's Hotel Georgia was the celebrity haunt of everyone from Elvis and the Rat Pack to Errol Flynn and Katharine Hepburn. The hotel closed in 2006 for a multimillion-dollar restoration project, and reopened as the...
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1001 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B7, Canada
I shouldn't eat ice cream, yet I do. Being lactose intolerant, naturally I was born addicted to ice cream, sorbet, and gelato. I will be bold and say that it is the best gelato in Vancouver if not the country. After all, the owner went to school...
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10 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4, Canada
Coffeebar is a great place for a pit stop while exploring Gastown in Vancouver. It's quaint, offers a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, and it's full of hip Vancouverites.
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530 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7, Canada
Japadog is one of those odd and wacky combinations of a hot dog with Japanese toppings, but it works! I had the Terimayo, a teriyaki-drenched dog topped with seaweed. Not substantial for the $5 price tag, but a good snack. The location on Robson...
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791 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T4, Canada
One of western Canada's most celebrated chefs, Ned Bell, oversees the kitchen at Yew Restaurant and Bar, located within the downtown Four Seasons Hotel connected to the Pacific Centre Mall. The dining room has the feeling of a forest—with high...
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62 E Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1K2, Canada
I'm a lover of fancy pizza, and Nicli Antica did not disappoint. Their pizzas are fresh and covered in delicious and creative toppings. Pies run about $10 and two pizzas would feed three people. They even have a brunch pizza with toppings like...
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578 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2, Canada
Amid the bustle of Chinatown stands this lovely 15th-century-style garden, named for the father of modern China. Even though it was built in 1986, artisans from Suzhou constructed the entire property without nails, screws, or power tools. The...
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6 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9, Canada
A clandestine spot to imbibe in Gastown, the Diamond is the speakeasy when you're in Vancouver. Bar none, one of the best bars I have been to on recommendation from Nathan at Judas Goat. They will make you anything here, like a tasty pisco sour....
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750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada
Western Canada’s largest public art museum weighs in at almost 12,000 works. The collection here is strong on Emily Carr, a modernist compatriot of the Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s who were deeply...
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801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada
Award winning Hawksworth Restaurant located in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia brings Vancouver fine dining to world class levels. Chef David Hawksworth shares his culinary vision taking his training from his stints at Michelin starred restaurants in...
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Looking for a cheap eat or quick snack? Bun Me Baguette's food cart located at Robson and Hornby does the trick. For around $5, you can get a sandwich that can easily be split between two! I had chicken, but there's a tofu option as well. The...
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909 Burrard St #100, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2N2, Canada
Le Crocodile has been in Vancouver for an impressive 26 years and is the result of chef Michel Jacob wanting to create a memorable dining experience for foodies such as myself. The traditional plates in this small bistro call 1930s Paris to mind,...
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Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
The Vancouver Seawall is the most popular recreation location in the entire city, if not in all of Canada, and it's for good reason. This stunning 22-km long trail leads from downtown along the shoreline of Stanley Park and offers some of the most...
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1669 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
The market community at the Public Market really makes Granville Island a must-visit in Vancouver. The vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables that aren't on the East Coast really stand out, especially on farmers market days. The market goes...
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Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Vancouver’s most famous urban space, the thousand-acre Stanley Park, epitomizes everything that locals here love about the outdoors, and visitors have many ways to explore the expansive grounds. Hiking trails weave around totem poles and hemlock...
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333 Menchion Mews, Vancouver, BC V6G 3H2, Canada
Situated on the water near Marina Square in Vancouver with views of Stanley Park and the beautiful mountains is a great spot for seafood in all styles. You'll be entertained by the seaplanes taking off as well as the wonderful dishes passing...
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Lions Gate Bridge Rd, Vancouver, BC, Canada
One of my favorite things about Vancouver is the Lions Gate bridge, the three-lane thoroughfare that links the downtown core to that nature lover's paradise known to locals as the "North Shore." It's no Golden Gate, but the Lions Gate Bridge has a...
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The Vancouver area is home to many parks. The city is super green and designed for outdoor activities, from just hanging out on a bench to working out and playing with the kids. No matter where you go, you'll find art installations. They're such a...
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135 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3, Canada
After a long day relaxing near the lily pads in Vancouver's beautiful Chinese gardens, head a few blocks towards Chinatown for some of the best cocktails west of Chicago. Keefer Bar is located on the ground floor of this restored turn of the...
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7501 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
A true highlight of a visit to Vancouver is, of course, Stanley Park. A bonus is the Teahouse Restaurant at Ferguson Point. The view from the outdoor patio is stunning and the food is wonderful. I had this delicious seafood chowder that was made...
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Celebrity chefs Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala serve brightly spiced dishes at their flagship restaurant—often hailed as one of the world’s finest for Indian food. Their wine-marinated lamb popsicles are legendary, but their menu has other...
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Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
The lush green forest, soaring trees and various lakes are reason enough to spend the day meandering along Stanley Park's well kept, well posted trails. Turns out the city has given you another reason: the Stanley Park Environmental Art Project....
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1181 Melville St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A3, Canada
Fresh local produce combined with classic cooking techniques gives this traditional French bistro a West Coast Canadian edge. Just a few blocks from Coal Harbor, the location can't be beat. For something light, fresh, and French, try the endive...
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325 W 11th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1T3, Canada
Peg Steley travels the world, collecting baubles and objects to use in her exquisite jewellery designs. Specializing in necklaces, Peg's designs can be found at a couple of city retailers, but as she works from her home studio (which is tucked...