What could be better than starting off the morning with avocado on toast? Nelson the Seagull is a delightful spot to enjoy homemade sourdoughs, organic baked treats, lattes made with almond milk and all things comforting yet healthy. This café has a nostalgic feel, so it’s easy to feel at home.
After getting a coffee fix, make your way to East Van Roasters and indulge in their signature house-made chocolate. It will be hard to choose a few – East Van Roasters has a decadent selection of hand rolled truffles, single-original chocolate bars, and organic drinking chocolate. Each delicious purchase supports a great program. The local chocolatier is a social enterprise that gives training and job opportunities to the women residents of the Rainier Hotel.
Let your search for new threads begin at Community Thrift & Vintage. From 1970s frocks to leather Doc Marten boots, this is where you can find some of the most affordable vintage fashion in the city – and the selection is ever-changing to include new colourful, embellished and dreamy fashions. This shop is also a social enterprise providing employment experience to women with barriers, so keep in mind that each purchase is helping to support a meaningful cause.
After digging for vintage goods, head over to LYNNSteven and browse the racks for the latest womenswear collections from contemporary brands like Mackage, J Brand, and Sam Eldeman. The fashion here is feminine, trendy yet wearable. LYNNSteven stocks hard-to-find brands and locally designed jewellery, so there’s always something one of a kind.
The Block carries quality fashion by local indepedents & established European labels
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Tuc Craft Kitchen, a friendly restaurant serving homestyle comforts. Tuc Craft Kitchen offers food for feasting, serving up hearty dishes with West Coast flare and a great roster of classic cocktails and local craft beers. The Gastown restaurant has lots of heart and partnered with the Mealshare program to help feed the less fortunate. If you order a mealshare item from their menu, Tuc will donate a meal to someone in need.
Continue your quest for new fashion at Nouvelle Nouvelle, a cool fashion boutique carrying art objects, locally made accessories and hip lines from Sweden and beyond. Over at Mi Kemistry, you’ll find fashion from a different spectrum. Inspired by streetwear and unconventional looks, Mi Kemistry carries bold, edgy designs with pop art motifs, colourful prints, and other daring pieces that will turn heads.
After shopping along Abbott, head to Water Street and peruse the unique shops along the block. For cute knick-knacks, Meadow Gifts has got quite the selection of jewellery, baby apparel, novelty gifts and cards that will make you smile.
Grab a beer or two at the cozy, brick-lined establishment, Six Acres
There are more stylish boutiques towards Richards St. One of a Few is a chic ladieswear shop showcasing a selection of contemporary designs that are effortlessly stylish. Over at Cordova Street, you’ll find colorfully lavish feminine styles at Artemisia. Inside the shop, their neighbour next-door, L’Atelier offers reclaimed furniture and retro inspired décor that are worth a peek. For more sophisticated modern fashion, The Block carries high-quality clothing, shoes, and accessories by European brands and independent locals.
And now, it’s time to wind down with a few bites at Six Acres. This cozy brick-line nook is great for casual gatherings. You can order a few rounds from their top-notch beer and spirits selection and rustic comforts like cheddar corn fritters and seared bison steak salad. Once you’ve had a few sips and nibbles, end the night with a Guinness pint at The Irish Heather. The Heather is beloved by locals and one of the friendliest drinking establishments serving some of the best beer pours and an endless selection of whiskey and scotch – and let’s not forget about their steak and ale pot pie!
For more ideas on where to shop and eat, check out our recent guide for a look at ‘what’s new’ in Gastown.