What's happening, Vancouver?

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onlinediscountanvils
What's happening, Vancouver?

I'm getting out of town for the first time in two years, and I'm heading out to the best coast. I'm not a complete stranger to Vancouver, so I do have some ideas of what to see and do when I'm there, but any inside tips that I might not know about would be appreciated.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lighthouse Park if you want to see old an growth forest and  some of the nicest arbutus trees around you can get to it by public transit.  Bring a camera and wear your hiking boots if you want to go in the best trails.  Parts of the park are accessible as well and those viewing areas are also very nice.

6079_Smith_W

If you can get your hands on a canoe paddling up Indian Arm to the old power station or a shorter trip to the marine park (with an island campsite) is worth it.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/indian_arm/

http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=15&pos=29

Also, going up Lynn Canyon, or walking even part of the way to the Lions are both great hikes.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

When are you going, OLDA? Maybe we can organize a west-coast babble get-together while you're here...

Anyway, hikes are for nerds, obviously (j/k). Hipster areas are Mount Pleasant (Main St from about 7th Ave to 30th) and Commercial Drive. Avoid or embrace as appropriate. Chinatown and the DTES are worth a look for a fairly honest look at Vancouver (head next door to Gastown to see income diversity at its most grotesque). South Fraser and Main (33rd to around 50th Ave) have loads of South Asian groceries and restaurants which are pretty rad.

You should really try the sushi, even if you're not a fan. My faves are Shiro's at Cambie and 13th, Toshi's at Main and 15th and Dream Sushi at Main and 28th. None require reservations, but you'll need to show up early, particularly for Toshi's, to put your name on the table list. If you prefer your Japanese food cooked, there are lots of Itzakaya places like Gyoza King on Robson which have great Japanese small plates. All these places are super reasonably priced (for Vancouver) and you should be able to eat for $10-20.

If you're here for beach season, you should go. My favourite by far is Wreck beach near UBC. Yes, it is clothing optional, but it has the best swimming, the best sand, no fuzz telling you not to play frisbee and the people are the best, even the naked ones. The other beaches tend to be a bit cocky for my taste. My second favourite is Third Beach off Stanley Park (which you should go to) which requires a bit of a hike or ride to get to so its more secluded, has pretty good swimming and mostly good people. Both of these are more or less accessible by public transit, although you'll need to walk a bit.

I don't like Museums, but if you do, you should see Museaum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC and the Art Gallery (VAG). Cheap and good, I say. Instead, look for shows at the Biltmore, the Astoria or the Rhizome Cafe (super anarchist, lesbian-run and generally awesome cafe/bar). Or just get a drink at the Brickhouse (just south of Chinatown) or the Legion (Main and 22nd). Actually, the drink at the Legion is mandatory.

Ok fine. I also recommend Lighthouse Park and Lynn Canyon (both free and public transit accessible) even though hiking is nerdy.

onlinediscountanvils

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

I had been thinking that I'd try the Grouse Grind, but Lighthouse Park and Lynn Canyon both look like great (and perhaps less competitive) places to hike. Might be hard to get my hands on a canoe since I don't have a credit card, but the power station does look like a cool place to visit.

I have many favourite eateries in Vancouver, but have yet to try any of the places you mentioned, CF. I think a trip to the Rhizome has already been penciled-in for this trip, but maybe I'll also try one of your sushi suggestions. I need a positive sushi experience to cancel out the horrible food I ate at the last sushi restaurant I went to in Ottawa.

What about activisty events? Any good talks, workshops, or similar stuff happening in the next couple weeks?

Catchfire wrote:

When are you going, OLDA? Maybe we can organize a west-coast babble get-together while you're here...

 

I'm leaving in 3 1/2 hours, and will be staying a fortnight.

onlinediscountanvils

Lighthouse Park

Crossed that one off my to-do list this afternoon. Very nice trees and some great views over the water. Thanks for the tip, kropotkin1951.

I did get over to Deep Cove last week, but I'm still going to try to get up to Lynn Canyon before I go.

I'm loving my visit thus far, but I gotta say... these posters in shop windows all over Main Street are ridiculous:

 

I'm staying in the heart of the hipster district, CF (or at least one of them). There's no avoiding it. And I won't tell you what concert I went to Sunday night, out of fear that you might ban me. Sealed

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Here's some other suggestions for you, olda:

I second CF's glowing recommendation of The Rhizome. The food is great, at least 75% vegan, some of the healthiest food you'll find at any eatery in the city, and they always have great artwork on display from local radical artists. It's def my favourite restaurant in Vancouver.

My favourite coffee shop in Vancouver is The Grind & Gallery Coffee Bar (most locals just refer to it as The Grind) at Main & King Edward (would be 25th Ave. if it were a numbered street). The coffee is great; the ambiance is great, with antique looking wood funishings and wonderful artwork on the walls, and its a real student hangout during the fall and winter university terms (They have a few larger tables that students use for studying).

I highly recommend  Visit to the People's Co-Op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive. They're Vancouver's oldest bookstore, co-operatively run with a great selection of Marxist and anti-imperialist books, as well as a great selection of can-lit and books by local authors.

My favourite Chineese restaurant is Hon's Wun-Tun House, 1339 Robson Street. While the amiance is not great (cafeteria style), nor the service, the food is to die for. Generally considrered the the best Chinese food in the city. The other bonus is that they have a seperate kitchen for the vegitarian items, which earns them big points with vegans since there's no chance of the vegan dishes getting contaminated with meat.

I've got two favourite Indian restaurants. One is the House of Dosas at Kingsway and Knight, which is southern Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. The Dosas are a crepe made from lentils and rice, they're available with a wide variety of meat and veggie fillings. If you're still in town next Monday, they have a wonderful $5.99 for any Dosa special on Monday evenings.

My other favourite Indian restaurant is Himalya, 6587 Main Street, half a block south of 49th, in the heart of Vancouver's punjabi market. The restaurant is not nearly as prominently visible as the All India Sweets right at the corner of Main and 49th, but the food is far better. My advice is to order off the menu rather than getting the buffet, as this way your food is cooked right before you eat it.

Vancouver has a great stand-up comedy scene, if you want to take in a comedy show. The two main comedy clubs are The Comedy Mix, 1015 Burrard Street (in the Century Plaza Hotel); and Yuk Yuk's, 2837 Cambie Street. My favourite Vancouver stand-up comedian is Charlie Demers, who's a close personal friend (I've known him since we were 4). I'd also highly recommend any of the following comics: Dave Shumka, Darcy Michael, Erica Sigurdson, Graham Clark, Jane Stanton, and Paul Bae.

The Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival is this coming Sunday, August 5th. One of the largest Pride festivals in Canada (I think only the Toronto Pride Parade is bigger), it's well worth checking out if you're still in town. The Parade starts at Robson and Thurlow, heads down robson to Denman, left onto Denman down to where  Denman turns turns into Beach ave., and then onto pacific Ave. (where it splits off from Beach Ave.) and winds up at about Pacific and Bute. The parade is followed by the Pride Festival down at Sunset Beach, a couple of blocks southwest of Pacific.

If you're into musical theatre, there's a wonderful outdoor summer musical theatre called Theatre Under the Stars which takes place each summer at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. Two musicals are featured each year on alternate nights. This year's offerings are The Music Man, and Titanic.

Finally, no visit to Vancouver is complete without a visit to one of the city's numerous cheap pizza places. Vancouver's cheap pizza is highly regarded, and is one of the real treats in a city with many culinary delights.

Lachine Scot

I second the Monday special at House of Dosa. Another great place is Peaceful Restaurant on Broadway near Cambie. It's my favorite restaurant these days. I recommend the vegetarian Dan Dan noodles.

Peaceful Restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NLmP5X8sf8

Another thing happening this coming long weekend is the Powell Street festival, a Japanese community festival in the DTES. It's certainly worth checking out.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Lachine Scot wrote:
I second the Monday special at House of Dosa. Another great place is Peaceful Restaurant on Broadway near Cambie. It's my favorite restaurant these days. I recommend the vegetarian Dan Dan noodles.

Gah! How could I forget Peaceful Restaurant? Both of these places are required eating. I used to eat at House of Dosas all the time, since it's around the corner. I hit a bit of a dosa hangover, though.

Quote:
I'm staying in the heart of the hipster district, CF (or at least one of them). There's no avoiding it. And I won't tell you what concert I went to Sunday night, out of fear that you might ban me. Sealed

If I'm hearing you correctly, maybe I should send you running for the hills now...

6079_Smith_W

Okay, well if we're getting into restaurants: 

The samosas at Sweet Cherubim

Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant on East Pender

New Town Bakery on Pender

Casa Gelato on Venables and Glen. (Try the Basil and Pernod ice cream).

Paneer Pakoras from All India Sweets on South Main

Any of the takeout stuff from Fujiya

Wonton Noodle Soup at any of those places which serve golf-ball sized wontons ( the Marilyn right next to the Bank at Main and Hastings, for one)

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Left Turn, do you know if that labour dispute from a few years back at Hon's has been resolved? There was a report that they hadn't paid their staff for months and I never heard what happened after that (although I haven't eaten there since).

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Left Turn, do you know if that labour dispute from a few years back at Hon's has been resolved? There was a report that they hadn't paid their staff for months and I never heard what happened after that (although I haven't eaten there since).

This is the first I've heard of there being a labour dispute at Hon's, so obviously I don't know if it's been resolved or not.

The same thing was also happening at Cafe Amici on the drive (different owners), and there was a Facebook group calling for a boycott.

onlinediscountanvils

Thanks to all those added suggestions. There was way more than I could squeeze in on this trip, but I have some great suggestions to keep in mind for next time.

 

Catchfire wrote:

If I'm hearing you correctly, maybe I should send you running for the hills now...

A+ Cool

As it turned out, a contractor working on the house where I'm staying inadvertently saw to it that I took a break from the Internet for a few days.

 

Catchfire wrote:

Hipster areas are Mount Pleasant (Main St from about 7th Ave to 30th) and Commercial Drive. Avoid or embrace as appropriate.

I embraced my hipster side at The Foundation, Budgie's Burritos (2x), The Wallflower, and Bandidas Taqueria.

 

Lachine Scot wrote:

Another thing happening this coming long weekend is the Powell Street festival, a Japanese community festival in the DTES. It's certainly worth checking out.

Actually, my trip was - in part - scheduled around the Powell Street Festival, so I took that in yesterday.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Casa Gelato on Venables and Glen. (Try the Basil and Pernod ice cream).

Went, but chose the balsamic vinegar instead. Tongue out (actually, I forget what I ordered, but it was something much less adventurous)

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Any of the takeout stuff from Fujiya

Always.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Lynn Canyon

Went twice. Loved it!