What does The Jam Cafe, The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Venue Nightclub all have in common? We've all been there, and we've all done that. I'm talking about the most well known places in Vancouver. You've definitely seen all of these spots on your Instagram feed over and over again. I'm not going to say that they are "overrated" because waaaay too many people would be deeply offended. But if I'm being honest, there are a ton of underrated restaurants, bars and spots in Vancouver that don't get the attention and love that they truly deserve.
Do you ever have friends or family visiting from out of town, and you get so bored of showing them the same touristy spots every. single. damn. time. Me too. I'm so over battling my way across the Capilano Suspension Bridge every year when my aunt Helen visits. I also don't care to wait in a lineup for over an hour just to get breakfast at the coveted Jam Cafe. I'm sorry, but I'm not doing it anymore.
This article is perfect if you're sick of going to all the same spots every weekend, or if you're just interested in discovering new parts of the city! These could be places you walk by every day but you've never stopped to take a peek inside. Get ready because I have a ton of underrated gems that are just waiting for you!
Let's get started.
Wine and dine.
Then just wine.
Everything from coffee shops to viewpoints and more.
Click "Next" for underrated restaurants in Vancouver.
Sweetery Cafe + Dessert
Where: 340 W 2nd Ave // False Creek
What we recommend: Chicken & Waffles
Why you should go: Weekend brunches at The Sweetery Cafe + Dessert are so underrated and absolutely delicious. A small neighbourhood joint offering BIG flavour.
Finch's Tea and Coffee House
Where: 353 W Pender St // Downtown
What we recommend: Pear Baguette
Why you should go: This cute little cafe is perfect for a lunch date. If you've never been then you have to try one of their infamous sandwiches. I would definitely recommend the pear baguette or the toasted brie, olive and walnut baguette!
JoongWon Korean Chinese Restaurant
Where: 1329 Robson St // Downtown
Price: 💸 💸
What we recommend: Sweet and Sour Pork, Spicy Noodle Soup
Why you should go: You've probably never heard of JoongWon, but you need to check it out. Their Korean Chinese fusion food is incredible and they claim to have the spiciest noodles in Canada. 🔥🔥
Where: 25 Victoria Drive // Hastings - Sunrise
What we recommend: Smoked Salmon Waffle
Why you should go: This Scandinavian style waffle house is super delicious and the wait is definitely shorter than it's competitors. Skip Medina Cafe and grab waffles here!
House of Dosas
Where: 1391 Kingsway // Kensington
What we recommend: Onion Rava Dosa, Eggplant Alu Dosa
Why you should go: There's nothing better than a crispy dosa. You need to check out the freshly fried dosas at this joint. You will definitely be coming back for more.
Click "Next" for underrated bars and clubs in Vancouver.
The Black Lodge
Where: 630 Kingsway Ave // East Vancouver
Why you should go: This cute little bar will take you straight back to that ski trip your family took last Christmas. The interior is adorably decorated to imitate a ski chalet from the slopes of the swiss alps. Not too mention, they have great drink deals!
Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks
Where: 103 - 11220 Horseshoe Way // Richmond
Why you should go: Let out your inner nerd at this unique brewery! This new brewery is pretty low key and perfect if you're searching for a chill place to grab beers with friends!
The Narrow Lounge
Where: 1898 Main St // False Creek
Why you should go: This grungey secret bar looks super sketchy from the outside, but it's always bumpin' inside. You have to grab drinks at this funky underground bar.
Where: 801 W Georgia St // Downtown
Why you should go: If you've been to the Prohibition you already know how chic this little bar is. It may be well known to some, but for most people, we walk by the incognito door every day without realizing its the entrance to a swanky cocktail bar.
Bells and Whistles
Where: 3296 Fraser St // Fraserhood
Why you should go: This hipster-esque bar is the coolest new place to grab beers with a bunch of friends. They have ski-ball, mini hoops and all the beer you can get your hands on. You have to take all of your friends here.
The Shameful Tiki Room
Where: 4362 Main Street // South Main
Why you should go: If you have friends visiting from out of town, please take them to the Shameful Tiki Room. If you're looking to get tipsy and have fun doing it, you need to go here! This secret bar goes easily unnoticed, but it's definitely worth checking out.
Click "Next" for underrated spots you need to check out in Vancouver.
The Paper Hound Bookshop
Where: 344 W Pender St // Downtown
Why you should go: This super small bookshop is owned by some very kind Vancouverites, Rod and Kim. You need to check out this underrated spot. If you're a bookworm like me, then you won't be disappointed.
Where: 1318 Cartwright St // False Creek
Why you should go here: I have friends that have lived in Olympic Village for months and have never been to Sutcliffe Park. This spot is definitely a hidden gem! It's usually filled with locals running by, residents walking their dogs and families playing at the park.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Where: 578 Carrall St // Chinatown
Why you should go: Everyone knows about this gorgeous garden, but not many people actually spend time in the garden just because. Spend a free afternoon zenning out at this idyllic escape right in the middle of Chinatown.
Jimi Hendrix Shrine
Where: 432 Homer St // Gastown
Why you should go: All music lovers need to stop by the Jimi Hendrix shrine on Homer St. This quirky shop is super unique and will have any Hendrix fan in awe.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Where: 5495 Chancellor Blvd // Point Grey
Why you should go: Everyone knows about Stanley Park, but the Pacific Spirit Regional Park behind UBC is the perfect part of Vancouver to explore. This park is well known to photographers and UBC students but for the rest of us, it's just another gorgeous park we need to adventure through.