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Tell me what to do in Vancouver

CasualCasual flap flap flapwiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm going to be spending 6 days or so in Vancover next week to visit some family. It would be cool if some of the Canadians here could reccomend some stuff to do. For some context I'm a 23 year old guy, I'm mostly going to be on my own. Since I'm not paying for a hotel I'll probably have a couple of hundred dollars to burn though.

So advice away Canadians!

Casual on
i write amazing erotic fiction

its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
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Posts

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Definitely spend a day downtown. I did that and I had a great time.

    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm about your age and a Vancouver native so I'll see what I can do!

    Major landmarks of Vancouver that might interest you:
    • Stanley Park: There's no excuse for missing this. It's one of the best public parks in the world for a reason. You could spend an hour here or all day. The seawall is exactly ten kilometres long, so it'll take you two hours or so to walk it. Or consider renting a bike or rollerblades! If you're into it, check out the Vancouver Aquarium, it's very popular and I really like it.
    • Granville Island: The market itself is as much of a MUST for tourists as it is for locals. If you're nearby and you feel like some fresh food, you could spend ages here picking out fresh produce and dairy and meats and candy and pretty much every type of food imaginable. Get a coffee and a chocolate croissant from the Blue Parrot and sit in the courtyard while listening to live music. Granville Island is doubly entertaining if you like gift shops and art galleries of all types. It's not hard to spend several hours browsing the pottery shops and First Nations art exhibits.
    • Gastown: Similar to Granville Island, only on a smaller scale and without the Market. Gastown is where Vancouver started and there's a lot of history there. Check out some of the gift stores but also the amazing pubs are bars that line Water Street. Start at Waterfront Station and work your way down.

    Other things you might like:
    • Grouse Mountain: I'm not sure if you would enjoy this on your own but if you have the means to get there, Grouse Mountain has a lot to do besides just skiing. It IS getting late on in the season but considering how cold it was, it should still be in full winter mode by this time next week. Try skating or snowshoeing, or just explore the lodge, the movie theatre and the fantastic restaurant up at the very top.
    • West 4th: I worked on West 4th until a few months ago - this street is the most recognizeable part of Kitsilano and some sections of it are really, really cool. Some of the best restaurants in Vancouver are located here. Lots of hip bistros and tapas bars.
    • Commercial Drive: I've only been here once or twice in my life (which is frankly a little embarrassing) but it's really popular. The Drive is a East Vancouver landmark: very ethnic, small-scale and roots-based shops and restaurants here (granola is the first word that comes to mind!), and what's more it's not that off the beaten track. I don't know where you'll be staying; it's a little to the east of Granville and the downtown area but as far as East Vancouver goes, the drive is pretty much the central hub of everything that goes on. Wikipedia says that the skytrain has made Broadway and Commercial the busiest intersection in the city (even more so than Granville and Robson!), which doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
    • Robson Street: Vancouver's downtown "shopping" street, equivalent to Bloor St. in Toronto. Lots of boutiques as well as high fashion chains.
    • The Canucks: If you're okay with spending an absurd amount of money (and well worth it, says I) you could always go to a Canucks game! I have no idea how popular ice hockey is in New Zealand, or what your experience is with it. I don't think I need to say anything else regarding its popularity here. You'll be forking out at least seventy bucks per ticket but if you like sporting events it's certainly an experience to remember :P

      One thing though! If you're by yourself, and you are interested in seeing a Canucks game, Rogers Arena offers single tickets (single seats by themselves) for half price. The cheapest seats in the arena are $65 before tax, so half of that is just over $30 CAD. If you can snag them at www.canucks.com, they're a great way to see the game. I'm a big fan myself, so (as lame as it sounds), once or twice a season I'll unwind from work and school by buying myself a ticket, grabbing a beer or two in Yaletown and then going to the game. Lots of fun.

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  • DangerbirdDangerbird Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Grab a Japadog downtown and find out what the sensation is all about!

    If Steven Seagal and Ice Cube like 'em, they must be good right?!?

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you're here during one of their games and into socccer, go see a Whitecaps FC game. Its our first year in MLS, and the atmosphere in the first game was insane from what I heard on TV and from people who went.

    Riku covered many of the good streets to check out, but Main Street in Mt. Pleasant is pretty nice too and is an up and coming area, lots of good restaurants.

    If you're into more cultural stuff, theres the Art Gallery downtown, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC has an amazing collection of First Nations artwork and artifacts. There's also a classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden.

  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What Corvus said. I totally forgot, Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden is fantastic, and so is the Museum of Anthropology. I find that often overshadowed is the Nitobe Memorial Garden, the walled Japanese garden in UBC. I absolutely love it, definitely one of the most peaceful places in the city.

    I don't have a lot of experience with the Mt. Pleasant area beyond a few choice restaurants.

    But that reminds me.
    • Dim Sum: There are dim sum restaurants all over the place. The dim sum here is up to the standards of Hong Kong and Shanghai style. Proper dim sum is lunch time, with a big group, and involves people pushing around carts with massive quantities of food. If you get the chance, go for it, it's amazing. (May I suggest the Golden Great Wall? http://www.goldengreatwall.ca/)
    • Sushi: Mandatory. It's widely claimed that the sushi in Vancouver is the best in the world, including Japan, and this is actually more or less true. Sushi take-out places are EVERYWHERE. Throw a rock and you'll hit one. As Douglas Coupland puts it, there are a few bad sushi restaurants, a ton of good sushi restaurants and some absolutely outstanding sushi restaurants. In my experience there's actually not much variation: most businesses, whether they produce take-out sushi or bar quality sushi, are all pretty damn good, with the exception of a few very, very high class restaurants such as Tojo's (arguably the best Japanese restaurant in the world). Sushi is Vancouver's bread and butter. No joke.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SUSHI

    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    saggio wrote: »
    MOTHERFUCKING SUSHI

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Great posts so far, thanks to everyone. Don't be afraid to keep them coming if you think of anything else. Six days is quite a bit of time to go around one city.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • AtheraalAtheraal Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you're looking for good quality sushi at non-exorbitant prices, check out Toshi's on Main & 16th. They open at 5, but there's always a lineup, so I'd come a little early.

    If you're into such things, there's an event on saturdays outside the downtown art gallery, where you can check out skilled jugglers/hoopers/etc and even try your hand at it. There's a thing in a similar vein on sunday nights at Trout Lake, which is right by commercial drive. Basically the same circusy stuff, but on fire, with live drumming.

    edit: Oh, and if you've a hankering for a late night (early morning?) burger, fries, and spiked milkshake, go to Lucy's diner on Main & 12th. Open all night, and very tasty.

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  • InHumanInHuman Registered User
    edited March 2011
    There's a hipster restaurant on mainstreet called the foundation that makes pretty beastly veggie nachoes for 15 bucks a plate.

    Variable wrote: »

    you're coming off like a massive dick here
  • AtheraalAtheraal Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    InHuman wrote: »
    There's a hipster restaurant on mainstreet called the foundation that makes pretty beastly veggie nachoes for 15 bucks a plate.

    Only get them if you manage to pick up some friends along the way, though. Or if you feel like eating leftover nachos for the next two days straight.

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  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Shabusan This place is awesome. It's sushi, but also has fire pits at each table so you can order all manner of raw meats and cook them :)

    Also as others have said - Stanley Park is amazing. There are also some really cool hikes up in North Vancouver if you've got sturdy boots/poles/snowshoes. You can hire snowshoes and stuff if you need them. I've spent a lot of time in Vancouver (5 years back and forth from the UK!) and I'd never gone hiking until January this year. It blew me away.

    Also if you can get out there, Steveston is a nice little heritage town, really pretty, and with lots of good places to eat.

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  • DangerbirdDangerbird Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Basically, what everyone is telling you to do, is to go from place to place and eat until you throw up... then eat some more!

  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    if you want to eat and eat and eat until you throw up, and you are in Vancouver, there is only 1 place you can go...

    Memphis Blues BBQ House

    I love the place, but can only go about once per year because it takes me that long to build up the courage to take on their Elvis platter. 8 of us went in January, and ordered 2 of the platters. The manager advised against it and asked if we knew what we were doing. Once we told him we'd been there before, he nodded, and backed away, before the carnage could begin...

    See below for an image of the Elvis in all it's glory:
    Spoiler:

    Be warned, if you visit Memphis Blues, prepare for Meat Sweats and a couple of days of vegetarianism afterwards <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

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  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I read in a thread about BBQ a month or two ago that it's widely considered that Memphis Blues, despite being located in the Pacific Northwest, is one of the most authentic BBQ experiences you can find outside of the South. (different BBQ regions aside)

    I've always wanted to go.

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  • dan_jonesdan_jones Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Hello all, my first post here so I thought I'd roll with something I know.

    If you can get out to the North Shore (North Vancouver), a Seabus across is great experience. Heading up to any of the three local mountains is a great idea, if there is decent weather. Grouse is the best option if you are without a vehicle because the bus pretty much drops you off at the gondola. (I'm biased and exclusive to Seymour).

    If you want to make it a truly Vancouver experience and can't find Canucks tickets, I might suggest a Vancouver Giants game, their tickets are reasonable and watching the young guys play is a great experience, as they are all trying to prove their worth.

    If you have vehicle I'd recommend exploring the sea to sky corridor Squamish and Whistler offer tons of outdoor (some free, some paid) activities.

    Have fun and rock on.

    (Writing this makes me realize I don't do half the things I should in this city!)

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    cmsamo wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    ...


    There is enough food on that plate to end world hunger. I did mention I'm probably going to be on my own right? o_O

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Memphis Blues is a challenge to be overcome, not a meal.

  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well, if you're alone, Memphis Blues does have nice plates of managable food, rather than the gut-busting platter.

    A few other thoughts on things to do in Van:

    (1) Visit the Aquarium (it's in Stanley Park)
    (2) Take a Harbor Air seaplane ride (I recommend the Fly and Dine if it's running, but it's seasonal)
    (3) Ride the Skytrain from Waterfront station all the way around the loop (just to see the greater area)
    (4) Go Kayaking in English Bay/False Creek

    Damn, there are so many things to do.

    I'm heading over myself on April 10th (for work) and contributing to this thread is making me want to plan my own downtime activities :)

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Whelp, got my flights booked. I just hope I don't waste too much of my precious time ther getting over jetlag (coming from Wellington). On that note any nice coffee shops? I do like me some espresso.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    We should all go on a meal trip in Vancouver >.>

    I personally like Guu, a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant. Yes it is a chain but the one at Thurlow and Robson is just awesome in terms of a Japanese Bar atmosphere.

  • DangerbirdDangerbird Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've heard good things about Guu but never had the chance to try it out. Plus the name is fun to say.

  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Casual wrote: »
    Whelp, got my flights booked. I just hope I don't waste too much of my precious time ther getting over jetlag (coming from Wellington). On that note any nice coffee shops? I do like me some espresso.

    Speaking of Robson and Thurlow...

    DSC00352.JPG

    I'm not a Starbucks hater, but I go there to drink dessert, not drink coffee.

    As for good coffee places? Try 49th Parallel on West 4th, near Yew. Definitely one of the best coffee bars in the city. Superb espresso and you can tell they really take their coffee seriously.

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/762509/restaurant/Kitsilano/49th-Parallel-Coffee-Roasters-Cafe-Vancouver

    1325071.bin?size=620x400




    ...I say we all need to go out for a meal.

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  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Granville Island is sooooooooooo goddamn fantastic. Get the soup there. Ohmigod so good.

    I had what was probably the best bowl of ramen of my life in Vancouver. I just which I could remember where it was or what it was called... It had a blue awning. And salty ass broth oh man.

    They're gonna bury you, they're gonna finish. They're gonna stand 'em up six by six by six.
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Also, if you're interested in Granville Island-like marketplaces and piers and whatnot, I'd suggest Lonsdale Quay or Westminster Quay.

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  • SloSlo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    We should all go on a meal trip in Vancouver >.>

    I personally like Guu, a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant. Yes it is a chain but the one at Thurlow and Robson is just awesome in terms of a Japanese Bar atmosphere.

    Its also one of those places you should eat before going to.

    When are you coming out here? Soon, or in the summer? Because the view gets exponentially better in the summer.

  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Slo wrote: »
    We should all go on a meal trip in Vancouver >.>

    I personally like Guu, a Japanese fusion tapas restaurant. Yes it is a chain but the one at Thurlow and Robson is just awesome in terms of a Japanese Bar atmosphere.

    Its also one of those places you should eat before going to.

    When are you coming out here? Soon, or in the summer? Because the view gets exponentially better in the summer.

    He's coming out for next week. So most likely a lot of rain.

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  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I had what was probably the best bowl of ramen of my life in Vancouver. I just which I could remember where it was or what it was called... It had a blue awning. And salty ass broth oh man.

    Either Motomachi or Kintaro? Both are relatively close to Stanley Park and Kintaro probably has the longest queues and the slowest service because of the queues (but the ramen is kinda worth it, especially if you go on a weekday).

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »

    DSC00352.JPG

    ...I say we all need to go out for a meal.

    Holy shit! Could that be where this came from?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENGUYeiGtNk

    As for going out for a meal, I'm game if we can get enough people together for it. It would have to be some place relatively casual though, I'm not exactly travelling with evening wear. Maybe if we get enough people we could tackle the Elvis after all!

    EDIT: I arrive on the 26th of March and leave on the 3rd of April.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Go to the Alibi Room and St. Augustine's if you want to experience some of the great local beers.

  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    He was talking about Houston, TX. It's actually a fairly common phenomenon - like Walmart, Starbucks uses its national profits to enable business strategies unavailable to smaller coffee shops. In Starbucks' case, it's opening a ton of franchises in the same area so that while the individual shops may lose money, the corporation gets all the coffee-buying money in the area. Once indie shops or competing chains close their doors, Starbucks remains because those franchises have a much larger pool of resources to draw from.

    As far as food tourism, I love The Templeton on Granville Street for breakfast food. It's a great diner in which most of the decor survives from the original 50s diner which sat in the same location. They even have a Wurlitzer, though I'm not sure if it works.

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    Also, if you're interested in Granville Island-like marketplaces and piers and whatnot, I'd suggest Lonsdale Quay or Westminster Quay.

    How's Westminster Quay these days? It was kind of run down for a while wasn't it?

  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I had what was probably the best bowl of ramen of my life in Vancouver. I just which I could remember where it was or what it was called... It had a blue awning. And salty ass broth oh man.

    Either Motomachi or Kintaro? Both are relatively close to Stanley Park and Kintaro probably has the longest queues and the slowest service because of the queues (but the ramen is kinda worth it, especially if you go on a weekday).

    Oh my god it was Kintaro you are the best person in the history of people!

    My buddy and I hailed that shit as legendary. Salty pork broth oh jesus. And there's some bloody good ramen in SF, but goddamn.

    Cheers, sir. Next time I head up to Whistler, I'll treat you to a bowl on the way.

    They're gonna bury you, they're gonna finish. They're gonna stand 'em up six by six by six.
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Corvus wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    Also, if you're interested in Granville Island-like marketplaces and piers and whatnot, I'd suggest Lonsdale Quay or Westminster Quay.

    How's Westminster Quay these days? It was kind of run down for a while wasn't it?

    God, I recommended that out of simply coming up with ideas. I don't think I've been to Westminster Quay since I was about seven years old.

    But honestly, it's New Westminster. Why, just thinking about driving through downtown New Westminster at four in the afternoon on a Friday gives me an aneurysm.

    Yes, New West is a little...run down. I've been to Lonsdale like twice in my life though and there's this little cafe there that has fantastic paninis.

    Orik, I've never been to the Templeton, is it pretty good?

    I worked next door to Sophie's on West 4th and Arbutus for a while and god that place has a loyal following :? I know several people personally who say it's overrated, but try telling that to the line patiently waiting outside twenty deep on a weekend. It's a Kits landmark.

    Casual: yes, there are Starbucks' everywhere here, there are eight on Robson Street alone. It's pretty ridiculous.

    Another suggestion: if you do end up going to Granville Island (which you should if you're a sane, logical person) and you have the time, visit Granville Island Brewing Company! The original brewery is under the Granville Street bridge, you literally can't miss it. They do tours and tastings daily. Good stuff (but avoid the Brockton IPA, it's awful)

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  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SCIENCE WORLD!

    Or Science World at Telus World of Science to be more correct. It is easy to get to as it is by the Mainst/Scienceworld Skytrain stop. Totally one of my most favorite things to do in Vancouver.

    Also last summer the daughter and I spent 2.5 hours at the Aquarium (cause that was all the change I had for parking and no credit card) And we felt a bit rushed at then end. The Aquarium rocks!

    Other things have been touched on on. Umm Gastown is also a favored wandering place but also kinda full of tourist trap shops.

  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I had what was probably the best bowl of ramen of my life in Vancouver. I just which I could remember where it was or what it was called... It had a blue awning. And salty ass broth oh man.

    Either Motomachi or Kintaro? Both are relatively close to Stanley Park and Kintaro probably has the longest queues and the slowest service because of the queues (but the ramen is kinda worth it, especially if you go on a weekday).

    Oh my god it was Kintaro you are the best person in the history of people!

    My buddy and I hailed that shit as legendary. Salty pork broth oh jesus. And there's some bloody good ramen in SF, but goddamn.

    Cheers, sir. Next time I head up to Whistler, I'll treat you to a bowl on the way.

    I went to a ramen place on Denman over a year ago and I'm 99% sure it was Kintaro. My god was that good. But so much food. Wow. Totally did me in.

    edit: Oh my god. How did I forget Science World? I'm ashamed!

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  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    There's a chocolate shop near Granville market that is simply outrageous. I'm sure one of you awesome locals knows what I'm talking about.

    They're gonna bury you, they're gonna finish. They're gonna stand 'em up six by six by six.
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    There's a chocolate shop near Granville market that is simply outrageous. I'm sure one of you awesome locals knows what I'm talking about.

    Chocolatas? I've never been there, but I do know that the chocolate store inside Granville Market itself is AMAZING. Also the fudge shop right next to it. Absolutely divine.

    There's a Rogers Chocolates on Granville Island too. OP, it's a chain, but I suggest you don't miss it, Rogers is a BC institution (started in Victoria well over a century ago).

    Also apparently the ramen place I went to was Benkei. Which doesn't have the best reviews on Yelp. Clearly the people reviewing were disappointed with the amount of ramen itself because the entire meal was just fucking massive.

    Definitely going to drop by Kintaro.

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  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    On the topic of places to eat, Twisted Fork is amazing.

  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    yeah, the templeton is rad. i've had almost everything they serve and i've never had a bad experience.

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