Hotdogs, Crystals, Tacos and Mountains
We began this journey of travelling in Canada and spent the winter months in the seaside city of Vancouver. Though it was cold and wet we still managed to find things to do and places to see:
1. What’s Up Hot Dog? – Hastings Sunrise
This funky small bar had a very Newtown vibe with disco balls, craft beer and Rupaul reruns! The team here have created a really safe space for the queer community and are welcoming to all people. Not only is the vibe great but the food is next level and is a must try!
TIP: Get there early as it fills up quite quickly
MUST-TRY: The Mac and Cheese Hotdog (foodgasmic) and Cauliflower Wings (WOW)
2. Revolver Cafe – Gastown
We Australians can get quite picky when it comes to coffee and to our surprise Vancouver offered up some pretty good options. One of our top picks would be Revolver Cafe in Gastown. This small cafe offers some delicious coffee blends and treats. The interior allows you to work from two different spaces and the music is always on point.
TIP: Grab a coffee from Revolver then head over to Pure Bread for a treat!
3. The Good Spirit – Gastown
If you’re into exploring the metaphysical this cute boutique store is for you. The minimalist layout makes your spirit feel free and the products on offer are carefully selected with a creative touch. You’ll find some great literature, crystals and tarot reading sessions with a great team.
MUST-TRY: Take the time to participate in a tarot reading for a mid-range price
4. Rice and Noodle – West End
As we explored the city of Vancouver we came across this delicious modern Vietnamese restaurant in the West End. The servings are large enough for two, the price is very decent and the food freshly made. This is a great place for lunch and/or dinner in a classy location.
MUST-TRY: The chicken laksa soup was probably the best laksa soup we’ve ever had
5. Stanley Park – Bike Ride
I know it’s a classic “must-do” activity when in Vancouver but it’s was actually a lot of fun. We hired bikes from the West End, riding through the park, stopping at the beach before ending our ride in English Bay. When it’s a sunny day in winter (quite rare!) this is definitely worth it with views of the mountains, seals on rocks and natural plants.
6. Pallet Coffee – Hastings Sunrise (various locations)
In our local neighbourhood of Hastings Sunrise this coffee shop was our favourite go to place for great coffee brews and make your own sandwiches. The space was a semi-industrial style which was great to work from with free WiFi. They have a few locations scattered across Vancouver but this one was our favourite thus far.
MUST-TRY: Make your own sandwich with a great selection of breads, meats and toppings
7. Lynn Canyon Park – Free Suspension Bridge and Small Hikes
When we finally got a day off together and wanted something free to do, our closest park was Lynn Canyon Park. Here you’ll find a free suspension bridge which once crossed takes you along small hikes to different waterfalls and outpost through beautiful natural forest. It’s only a half hour away from downtown yet it feels like you’re in the midst of the Canadian wilderness.
TIP: Arrive early for better photos and take the local bus that stops near the entrance
8. Pure Bread – Gastown
We must confess this was our weekly treat-yo-self (sometimes daily) stop in downtown whenever we got the chance. As soon as you walk in, the smell of freshly baked goods hits you and you’re in heaven. With only a few stores in town you will find a line of people waiting to try one of many delicious treats.
MUST-TRY: Zucchini lime pistachio loaf, raspberry cheesecake brownie and lemon blueberry jack
9. Mount Pleasant – Street Art, Restaurants and Decor
Another cool community in Vancouver is Mount Pleasant where you’ll find a bunch of street art in most of the streets off Main Street. They range from small pieces to entire blocks of art. Once you’ve walked the streets walk along Main Street where you’ll find plenty of food options and decor stores with beautiful designer furniture, home goods and stationary.
10. La Taqueria and Tacofino – Gastown (various locations)
Mexican has got to be one of our favorite foods to make at home and Vancouver has plenty of options when it comes to Mexican food. If you’re opting for a more traditional style then La Taqueria provides the goods with cheap tacos in convenient locations. If you’re looking for a modern take then Tacofino is another good option, with delicious cocktails and funky spaces.
MUST-TRY: The nachos at Tacofino and Al Pastor taco at La Taqueria