You’ll know from our last visit to Vancouver, we only had a whole 24 hours to explore the city — and in between all that, still had to get ourselves to a visa appointment — so you KNOW we didn’t get to do as much as we wanted. (See our recap over here). This time, we luckily had 4 whole days to do everything we couldn’t before. Vancouver was buzzing with so many events on — Gay Pride Weekend; as well as the Fireworks for the Honda Celebration of Light. Here’s our 4 day Vancouver Travel Diary:
It is unlikely that you will ever see an itinerary from us without a coffee shop on, and this one is no different. That coupled with Vancouver’s exploding coffee culture, you’ll have plenty coffee shops options on your next visit to Vancity! Our first stop at 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters on Main Street was completely unplanned, but my favourite of the lot. We were on our (long) walk to breakfast, when we found this spot. Since we had a few minutes to kill before our brunch reservation, we decided to try it.
The coffee shop was PACKED with locals getting their morning coffee and baked goods. As you can see from the pictures below, you’ll likely be tempted by Lucky’s Doughnuts served in the coffee shop. Seriously, the flavours are amazing. It’s a bit out of the way from Downtown, but totally worth the mission — just definitely take a cab/taxi.
Breakfast like a Local at Burdock & Co:
Burdock & Co focuses on the farm-to-table concept that I love. All the ingredients were fresh or house-made, and tasted incredible. I had the eggs benny on a gluten-free scone with buttered kale and Craig ordered the smoked salmon on the house sourdough (see the brunch menu here). For all you gluten-free sufferers, do yourself a favour and get yourself one of their gluten-free scones. You’ll thank me. Besides the food, the staff were lovely and that made our first breakfast in Vancouver just that much better.
If you missed our visit to Vancouver, follow us on Instagram to see what we get up to in Greece!
While you’re on Main Street, you might want to take a stroll to check out all the Instagram-worthy walls in the area. And if it’s your thang, here’s a full post by the Local Wanderer.
Stroll through Gastown:
The Gastown Steam Clock along with the Gassy Jack Statue are the famous landmarks always surrounded by tourists snapping away. But I love Gastown for it’s red brick paved streets packed with cute boutique stores; trendy foodie spots that you have to try and a vibe unlike the rest of downtown Vancouver.
Late Lunch at Ritual:
Yet another farm-to-table concept, I loved this little casual spot in the West end so much so that we went back twice. Ritual also offers all day brunch. WINNING. Plus, the staff are some cool guys. If they don’t make you smile, no one will.
Dinner at L’Abbatoir:
L’Abbatoir is a must! Great food, great ambience and great service — we would definitely return! Craig had the steak and it comes with a more-ish sidedish of oxtail marmalade. He wanted two more side bowls of that dish! Next time, I’m going for the duck — everyone raves about it! Annnnnd, we will most definitely have a dessert next time. Sadly, this was teh last day of our sugar-free 3 weeks so we had to make sure our willpower was strong!
Fireworks at English Bay:
If you saw our post on Instagram, you’ll know we clocked in at 25km of walking on this day. Part of that is because we thought the fireworks display was happening at Victoria Bay instead of English Bay. We ended up running through downtown to get to the other side and reach the fireworks for the last 10 minutes. And then… We both woke up with walking-injuries! Anyone else get exploring/travelling injuries? #ForTheLoveOfTravelling
Breakfast at Jam Cafe:
On our last visit, we noticed Jam Cafe and were hoping to get in then but once we saw the long queue down the street we opted for Chambar next door. This time we had planned to get there before 8am but an unplanned sleep-in meant that we only arrived at 8am and just missed the first sitting. This time, we did wait in the line — a whole 50 minutes until the next available table. Was it worth it? Well… You’ll have to wait for our next blog post.
Head to Granville Island:
I love markets so I was so excited for this one! It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was and I’m sure you could get lost but we grabbed a map on a stand near where our cab dropped us off and continued on. If I lived nearby, I would be here way too often! The fresh fruit and vegetable stores are amazing and so are the flower stores! But one shop, which I thought was ridiculously cool and quirky, is a must-see in my opinion. It’s called MAKE, and you can even make your own embroided shirts, caps, whatever! Or get something fun printed! I think it’s a really cool concept store!
Lunch at Sen Pad
My Pad Thai craving was completely satisfied by a quick lunch from Sen Pad Thai. We obviously just missed the lunch rush because just after our order came out, there was a pretty long line up — but one definitely worth waiting in.
Dinner at Hawksworth:
We loved Hawksworth so much on our last visit that we decided to return again! We ordered our favourite wine again — the Selbach-Oster Riesling 1995 — and it was even better than last time! The food was fantastic as usual and the service was impeccable. If only we were then retiring afterwards to a beautiful room upstairs in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. But sadly, they were all booked up on our visit.
Breakfast at Medina Cafe:
We had yet another wait for brunch here. We arrived pretty soon after opening but they had already had a line up and again, we just missed the first seating. Luckily they do take your details down and tell your to return in an hour, which is technically better than waiting (& wasting time) in a line. The food was amazing and so was the vibe. Definitely end with a coffee and a waffle.
We don’t usually spend precious time in new cities shopping up a storm but to be fair, there was a sale and we do have an upcoming beach holiday in Greece. We hit their Pacific Centre store, just a short walk from Medina, and found Craig a pair of outrageous swim shorts for Greece — stay tuned for pictures!!
Seafood Dinner at Cardero’s:
Cardero’s is right on the water in Coal Harbour, and for a weekday night, it was busy! We did manage to get a table in the lounge but if you’re hoping to sit in the dining room definitely book ahead! We ended up spending hours here catching up with a Vancouverite friend that we made on our last visit — and it was the perfect spot to sit and chat over some drinks and food. The fish is obviously amazing and I would highly recommend the halibut with the whisky mustard butter sauce. YUM!
Coffee & Breakfast at Nemesis:
Although they don’t offer many gluten-free options, I managed to organise a yoghurt for me, minus the yummy granola that Craig got to eat. If you aren’t gluten-free take advantage of their incredible baked goods — they all had me salivating just looking at them. Besides the food and coffee, this corner cafe seems like the perfect place to camp out with a continuous flow of good coffee while you work on your laptop.
Taco Tuesday Lunch at La Tanqueria:
Apparently everyone in Vancouver abides by Taco Tuesday religiously because we arrived to a very busy restaurant full of locals likely on their lunch break. We each grabbed 3 tacos and cleaned our plates — no wonder the locals love it!
Back to Edmonton:
Sad to leave Vancouver (and the coast) again, but good news, we will be back in Vancouver at the end of November for a week! What should we do then??
PIN THIS FOR LATER
I hope you enjoyed our 4 day travel diary! Thank you to everyone who commented on Instagram with suggestions and recommendations! Keep ’em coming!