Planning a trip to Vancouver soon? Discover some of the best places to eat, drink and party with my lovely friend Kerry! I met this amazing lady when she joined the erotic book club I ran in London many moons ago. Since then, she’s become one of Vancouver’s most fabulous residents and is here to impart her wisdom about the city below. Lucky you. If you’re keen to experience Vancouver like a local, check out all of Kerry’s tips on my city map here.
I moved to Vancouver on a whim 5 years ago, having never been there before. I didn’t know what to expect, other than I heard there were bears and the people were good looking and polite (like the Mountie in the TV show Due South). Thankfully, all of these 3 things are true, although bears are not as common a sight as I thought.
I’m very happy to call Vancouver home and I’d love to share some of my favourite places with you!
A former porn theatre, now a great venue for dancing and live music. Nice crowd and good vibes! Check out their Motown party! More of a place for folks my age (30+), than the young ‘uns who frequent the clubs on Granville St.
Down and dirty East Van dancing joint. Check out Man Up, the all genders drag party on the last Friday of each month for fabulous performances.
Fortune Sound Club
Good roster of shows, especially hip hop. My friend works on the door and if you are a dick, she won’t let you in.
Long ass queues but their chicken and waffles are worth the wait. Put your name down and they will text you when a spot is available. Two locations: East Van and Cambie, plus a food truck downtown.
My favourite lesser-known West End spot for coffee and brunch. Makes me feel like I’m in France, not Vancouver, but maybe that’s just me…
Vancourites know their coffee. Hands down, the best coffee for me can be found at Milano‘s in Gastown, but other folks swear by Revolver. Both of these places are serious about their brew and come with extra beard.
Affordable vegan and gluten-free dishes in two locations: Gastown and Main St. I recommend their mac and cheeseburger if you’re feeling decadent.
Delicious Lebanese fare. 4 locations, each with a slightly different feel: Gastown, Yaletown, Mount Pleasant and Kits. Najib’s cauliflower is to die for, trust me.
Several different locations and food trucks for this Mexican-inspired gem. Consistently tasty.
The name doesn’t lie. OG noodle restaurant, where noodles are stretched by hand on the premises. Affordable and portion sizes are big!
New Town Bakery
Either eat in, no thrills canteen- style or grab some steamed buns to go. Take them down the road to the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese garden and watch the koi carp. I saw a heron fishing koi here the other day and it was such a perfect scene, I thought I was dreaming. New Town is cash only and they have no time for your bullshit.
Gorgeous vegetarian restaurant, open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Around since 1968. Perfect stop-off on your way to/from Wreck Beach, Vancouver’s nude beach.
👗 Vintage shopping
Beautifully curated clothes and some furniture. Good prices.
Community Thrift and Vintage
Two stores in Gastown, one unisex, and one frock shop. Community Thrift & Vintage is a social enterprise initiative, in which all profits go to the PHS Community Services Society, providing support to marginalised folks in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Great cause and really good picks.
East Side Flea
A Very cool market for independent clothes, homewares and gifts in a historic building. See website for dates. Can get very busy.
Most people in Vancouver are super into fitness and after being here a while, I caught the fitness bug too. So my ass is looking great!
My favourite spots in town are:
The lights are low and the music is loud; it’s like clubbing, but much better for you. Work up a sweat, cheered on by impossibly buff and upbeat instructors and grab an ice cool eucalyptus towel after. Bliss.
You can’t mention Vancouver without mentioning yoga and One Yoga is the best of the bunch. They have ‘pay what you can’ pricing and a yoga for the youth program. It distinguishes itself from some of the more corporate studios.
🍩 Other stuff
The go-to place for your donut fix. A wide variety of flavours and friendly staff. Vegan and gluten-free options.
Independent cinema with great programming. Best of all, you can have a beer while you watch the movie!
Queer bookshop/sex shop with an interesting history: read up on the legal case between Little Sisters and Canadian Customs involving Pat Califia’s novel, Macho Sluts. Great selection of books, great selection of dildos.
🌲 Outside of Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Terrifying but beautiful tree-top bridge walk. Free shuttle bus from downtown Vancouver.
Scandinave Spa, Whistler
You’ll need a car to get out here, but this luxury outdoor spa is well worth the trip. Soaking in their hot tubs in winter feels fabulous. Maybe you will see a bear on your way from or to Vancouver!
😊 Did you find Kerry’s guide useful? Make sure you leave a comment below and let her know!
📌 Find all Kerry’s tips on my Vancouver map here.