Want to learn how to Gastown like a local? The Gastown team has put together a series of guides to share how our locals like to spend a day in Gastown. These locals or Gastowners are the best source for finding out how to navigate one of the world’s most diverse neighbourhoods filled with award-winning restaurants, independent fashion, and a vibrant nightlife culture.
How to Gastown Like a Local: The Urbanite Edition
Image via itstodiefor.ca
Kick-start your day with a cup of coffee brewed by the coffee masters at Timbertrain (325 Cordova St). This is a great place to meet friends for quality coffee and conversations. Many local coffee connoisseurs are praising Timbertrain’s caffeinated drinks as the best in the city. Everything on the coffee menu is brewed with beans that are hand selected and roasted by Timbertrain. Try a glass of their signature cold coffee (served on tap) and grab a seat inside their carriage booth.
Menu Skate Shop
Gastown is the epicenter of Vancouver’s menswear scene. There’s a strong community of shops housing a killer selection of urbanwear and street fashion. Dutil (303 W. Cordova St) is must-visit shop for all things denim. Dutil’s denim library is always stocked with raw denim from leading brands: APC, Flippa K, Naked and Famous, and Nudie jeans. For fashion-forward urban fashion, Playheads (306 Water St) has a mix of basic and luxury streetwear from brands like Supreme, Boy London, STAMPD, and D by D.
Pop by Menu Skate Shop (114 Water St) for a cool selection of skateboard decks, snapbacks, and sneakers from popular brands like Diamond Supply Co, Supra, and Red Dragon. Everything inside is approved by founder/owner Syd Clark (an OG Red Dragon) so, you’re guaranteed to find topline skateboard gear.
Dominion Barbers | Image via Dominion Barbers
Take a quick break from shopping and enter the man cave that is Dominion Barbers. Dominion Barbers (214 Abbott St) is like a lounge and cutthroat parlour combined in one, with magazines, a flat screen television, pinball machine, and dartboard. You’ll definitely want to come for the cut and stay to hang out!
Once you are properly groomed, continue scouting for cool men’s finds on Abbott Street. Nouvelle Nouvelle (209 Abbott St) carries hip clothing, unique apothecary, and accessories that are handcrafted by emerging Vancouver designers. Tees.ca (227 Abbott St) has a solid collection of T-shirts with eye-catching graphics, designed locally and exclusive to their shop.
Sea Mosntr Sushi | Image via jeremylim.ca
Take a lunch break at Sea Monstr Sushi (55 Powell St). This sushi joint is Oceanwise certified and one of the only places offering authentic Japanese sushi prepared fresh by experienced sushi chefs. Destroy your hunger with their Chirashi Don, spicy tuna maki, and a cold mug of Sapporo.
After you’ve finished your last bite, cut through Sea Monstr Sushi to visit Sharks + Hammers (54 Alexander St). Sharks & Hammer is unique shop with a rare assortment of creative zines, art and music books, hip hop memorabilia and streetwear gear from SSUR, FUCT, and more. If you’re a proud Vancouverite, show off your local pride and grab a “Welcome to East Van” tee.
Board of Trade Co | Image via stylelist.ca
Head to Powell Street to get “stussified.” Stussy Vancouver (49 Powell St) is where local streetwear trendsetters go to get their hands on surf wear, logo-branded tees and hoodies, and exclusive designs by special guest artists. For bold independent fashion, stop by Board of Trade Co (206 Carrall St) for a curation of one-of-a-kind fashion from the best up-and-coming designers.
It’s time to grab some grub! Visit Peckinpah (2 Water St) and make yourself at home munching down on delicious smoked meats. The menu is easy to love and features Carolina style barbecue and mouthwatering comfort foods like beef brisket, short ribs, and house made corn dogs, and pumpkin bread pudding. Six Acres (203 Carrall St) is another great place to dine and relax. The cozy, brick-lined restaurant offers a casual bar-style setting, rustic sharing plates and an excellent beer selection.
The Portside Pub
For more good times, make your way to Portside Pub (7 Alexander St). The friendly, three-level pub embraces Maritimes pub culture with welcoming hospitality and east coast comfort food. This is a great watering hole serving 24 crafts beers from 48 taps and Jameson whiskey right from a bathtub! If you’re a music aficionado, stop by Portside on Fridays and Saturdays to get your live DJ fix.
Finish the night by busting a move at Shine Nightclub (364 Water St) where you will find popular local DJs spinning old school hip hop, rap, and house. The underground venue has a more casual and intimate feel than most nightclubs. You definitely want to keep tabs on their events listings. Shine hosts a number of live shows featuring some of the biggest names in music, as well as emerging DJs and producers.
Related post: How to Gastown Like a Local: The Gentleman’s Edition