The Best of Vancouver's Gastown District
Collected by Afar Magazine
Gastown is the neighborhood where Vancouver began, at the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Now, it's a hub for down-to-earth but upscale eateries, cafes, and boutique shops. Gastown is packed with dozens of independent stores selling everything from hand-stitched Canadian-made leather goods and First Nations art to highly covetable jewelry and funky footwear.
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...
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...
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...
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...
350 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E8, Canada
Jennifer MacKay’s clothing boutique is the go-to store for fashionable locals, who know they’ll find pieces exclusively in her shop. I have a weakness for the shoes. (604) 685-8885. As told to Rhonda May. This appeared in the September, 2012...
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. ...
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...
319 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J4, Canada
You can watch chocolate being made and coffee roasted at this cute bean-to-bar chocolate and coffee house in the heart of Gastown, and it doesn’t just taste good here, they’re doing good too. East Van Coffee Roasters is a non-profit social...
65 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A1, Canada
Playful shoe designer John Fluevog’s flagship store is right in Gastown on Water Street in a gorgeous two-storey glass-fronted building that houses the design team upstairs and you’ll find his eccentrically elegant designs on the...
1 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2H9, Canada
Part high end restaurant, part exclusive lifestyle store, and all rather fabulous, Secret Location is the must-visit spot for design-conscious visitors to the city seeking something special to take home. The boutique has an eclectic mix of clothes...
320 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E8, Canada
It’s hard to visit Old Faithful and not immediately start planning how you’ll manage to afford absolutely everything in this wildly desirable modern day general store, from elegant pencils from Public Supply and Tuthilltown Bourbon barrel maple...
353 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8, Canada
Tardis-like, this cute boutique looks tiny from the outside but manages to pack plenty of exciting things inside, check out their mostly Canadian designed jewellery and accessories as well as their European and North American easy to wear designs....
44 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4, Canada
Although they design both women’s and men’s clothing, every stylish guy in Vancouver is obsessed with this Gastown store featuring the work of a Canadian design firm. The products are luxe, simple, and elegant. Find utilitarian...
27 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, BC V6B 0C4, Canada
Hidden away down the fabulously named Blood Alley, lies one of Gastown’s late night secrets; a super-fun tacos and margaritas spot. They definitely don’t take themselves too seriously here, as you can tell by the pink flamingo decor and the...
350 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J3, Canada
Pidgin may be known for their deceptively simple East-meets-West Asian-inspired menu with a decidedly French edge, but their cocktails are all kinds of fantastic too, and in a casual but cool spot like this, it’s most fun to combine the two. Try...
217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2, Canada
You’ll find people queuing outside the doors in Gastown throughout the week to take advantage of L'Abattoir's excellent bar-only Happy Hour from 5.30-6.30pm which offers half-priced appetizers from their award-winning menu, daily red and white...
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