There is nothing better than stumbling across a hidden gem whilst exploring a city. Whether you are a local or just visiting there is always something new to discover in this wonderful city. Below are a list of some of my favourite hidden gems in Vancouver, a few you can probably read about in travel guides but some aren’t quite as well publicized. I hope you go and explore and enjoy these places and experiences just as much as I do.
- Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe
The cafe at the Art Gallery not only offers a huge selection of delicious food but also one of the nicest places to sit and relax in the summer with a glass of wine on the secluded patio. This oasis is my favourite summer lunchtime retreat.
- Vancity Theatre
If you’re a fan of festival style films and documentaries, then this is the place for you. This is the hub of the Vancouver International Film Festival, but they run festival films all year round not just during the festival. They have some of the comfiest seats in town, plus you can take alcohol into the theatre with you, win win!
- Shipyards Night Markets
Summer time in Vancouver means night markets. Most people head down to Richmond to check out one of the two options that are there. Those markets are great but a few years back I went to the Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver and found that I liked it a whole load more than the Richmond markets. Plus as an added bonus you can take the seabus straight there and there are some stunning views of Downtown on offer too. Make sure you check for what dates it’s on before you head over.
- La Casa Gelato
Located in Strathcona this place is an ice cream lovers dream. They have over 200 flavours to choose from in store and you can try them as you attempt to narrow it down and make a decision. Set aside a decent amount of time for the decision making process. I had Rice Krispie flavour last time and it was so yummy!
- Choklit Park
This is one of my favourite views of the city. The park is so tiny it hardly classes as a park, more of a gap in between houses, but the views are simply stunning. Tucked away along 7th Avenue, it’s well worth the trip out of downtown and into Fairview Slopes to see the city from a different perspective.
- Main St. Murals
Main St. is a pretty awesome place to visit, it’s full of cool shops and restaurants and is a great place to get some “local flavour” and now it is filled with awesome murals. Head there for some super Instagrammable spots.
- Queen Elizabeth Park
Stanley Park is great and all but I personally prefer Queen Elizabeth Park, it’s located out of Downtown and up past Cambie Village but it’s well worth the trip. Head here to catch the sun setting over the mountains and the city. The views are absolutely incredible and you get such a cool perspective of the city against the backdrop of the mountains.
- Kit’s Pool
Not so much of a secret or a hidden gem, but absolutely one of my favourite places to go in the summer. The views are incredible and I cannot help but get blindsided by the beauty of the blue of the pool against the blue of the ocean and the sky.
- Hot Chocolate Festival
Whilst everyone gets excited in the New Year for Dine Out Vancouver, myself included, what I get really excited for is the Hot Chocolate Festival. Local coffee shops, bakeries and chocolate shops create signature hot chocolates which are always delicious. Check out their website for dates and participating venues.
- Cocktail Roulette
Like cocktails? Like trying new things? Then the Revel Room is the place for you. Whilst you can have one of the many delicious drinks from the menu my favourite thing to do is play Cocktail Roulette. It’s pretty simple, you choose the spirit, style of cocktail and can request sweet or sour etc and then leave the rest up to the bar. They’ll whip you up something delightful and different, I’ve never had a bad experience! The Revel Room is located in Gastown slightly tucked away along Abbott Street.
Do you have any favourite hidden gems in the city? What are they? Let me know in the comments below. Happy exploring!