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18 Best Hidden Restaurants, Shops, And Must-Sees In Vancouver

If it's not the best and it's not hidden, is it even worth seeing?
18 Best Hidden Restaurants, Shops, And Must-Sees In Vancouver

Do you feel like you're in a social rut? You go to all the same restaurants,  shops and hikes in Vancouver. If you're feeling like you've gotten sucked into a Groundhog Day type of time warp, then you, my friend need this list. 

I have expertly compiled a list of the most coveted spots all over the Vancouver area. Noted below are the city's best record shops, cafes for brunch,  hidden hikes and even the best barbershop in town!  Take your time browsing this list and gather all of this hot intel on the best kept secrets that Vancouver has to offer! 

These are the tried-and-true places that real Vancouverites cherish as their favourite spots to eat, shop, and places in general that you must see!

Get started here!

Restaurants 🍴

We have all of your fav food groups listed.

Shops 🛍

From barbershops to record stores to consignment boutiques, we've got you covered.

Must-Sees 👀

If you're looking for some unique sightseeing ideas, check this out!

Click "Next" for restaurants and cafes!

Restaurants

Just Waffles

Where: 3531 E Hastings St // East Vancouver

via @serena.koo

Why you should go: It's where minimalism meets breakfast foods. This is a true mom-and-pop shop where the only two people serving are literally mom and pop. You've got to try their Belgian liege waffles with fresh strawbs and loads on whipped cream on top!

Website

Duffin's Donuts

Where: 1391 E 41st Ave // South Vancouver

A post shared by 🌊Mich (@mmmichelled) on

Why you should go: It's open 24 hours, they sell donuts and fried chicken that are to die for. The end.

Website

The Pawn Shop

Where: 1117 Granville St // Downtown

via @leahgirvitz

Why you should go: Don't let the name deceive you, The Pawn Shop serves up some mean tacos that are seriously delicious. Oh, and the interior is super instagrammable.

Website

Dunbar Pizza & Indian Food

Where: 3348 Dunbar St // Dunbar

via @k8foodcouver

Why you should go: This is definitely a hole in the wall kind of place. People return to this Indian pizzeria religiously for the owner and the good food. Just go in, ask what's good today and the guy behind the counter will suggest the most random yet tastiest thing ever.

Website

Cafe Zen

Where: 1631 Yew St // Kitsilano

via @simonlucn

Why you should go: The breakfast at Cafe Zen will keep you coming back for more. This cozy little restaurant quickly becomes a cult fav for locals. People come for the service, the comfy environment but they stay for the drool-worthy food.

Website

Legendary Noodle 

Where: 1074 Denman St // Downtown Vancouver

via @mglalvarez

Why you should go: This locally owned spot specializes in handmade noodles, soups and traditional tea! It's the perfect tiny restaurant to pop into on a cold rainy day. Oh, and the creamy peanut noodles are highly recommended.

Website

Click "Next" for local shops!

Shops

The Belmont Barbershop

Where: 111 E Broadway // Mount Pleasant

via @pixelstereo

Why you should go: This little shop on Broadway is the perfect place for a trim and a clean shave. The Belmont Barbershop gives you those old school barbershop vibes and they keep their customers looking fresh. You can also book your appointment through their website really easily!

Website

8th and Main

Where: 2403 Main St // Mount Pleasant and 1105 Granville St // Downtown

via @sumanova

Why you should go: They sell over 100+ brands, and everything is super stylish. If you're into trendy boutiques, you need to check out 8th and main.

Website

Black Dog Video

Where: 3451 Cambie St // Mount Pleasant

via @panzerfrost_

Why you should go: I revel in the memories of going to Blockbuster and renting a movie for your Friday night plans. Relive those nostalgic times by supporting the locally owned store, Black Dog Video!

Website

Front & Company

Where: 3772 Main St // Mount Pleasant

via @iam_barbala

Why you should go: This stylish consignment store is my holy grail. It's the best if you like luxurious items at unluxurious prices.

Website

Paper-Ya 

Where: 1666 Johnston St // Granville Island

via @avestudiopdu

Why you should go: This is where stationary lovers congregate. It's the best stationary shop that I've ever been to in the Lower Mainland, bar none. They have everything from fancy washi tape, loads of wrapping paper to witty cards for every occasion.

Website

Red Cat Records

Where: 4332 Main St // Mount Pleasant

via @kzrgsa

Why you should go: Not only do they have an incredible selection of reasonably priced records, the staff is super knowledgeable as well! This small Vancouver shop is often preferred over its competitors.

Website

Click "Next" for places you must see!

Must See

Cleveland Dam

Where: 5020 Capilano Rd // North Vancouver

via @jgirn

Why you should go: Most people overlook how beautiful the dam is! It's a top contender as one of my favourite scenic spots in Vancouver. Although there are tons of pictures of it on Instagram, everytime that I have visited the dam it has been free of tourists!

Website

Chateau Versailles Gallery Cafe

Where: 220-2240 Chippendale Rd // West Vancouver

via @coffeebykailee

Why you should go: Indulge in the luxe life, even if it's only for an afternoon. This secret spot is in a showroom in the British Properties. Located in the Chateau Versailles Luxury Design Centre, this little hidden cafe has the best view from West Van!

Website

Norvan Falls

Where: Lynn Canyon Park // North Vancouver

via @laamtruong

Why you should go: The Norvan Falls hike is a coveted Vancouver gem. Locals trek this hike year-round to catch a glimpse of the waterfall in the lush forest. It's always a crowd pleaser.

Website

Vancouver Mural Festival

Where: Various Locations

via @sukilxyy

Why you should go: Before you say it, I know this isn't hidden but it won't remain pristine forever. If you haven't checked it out yet, you're probably the last person in Vancouver but that's okay, go now! It's totally a must see and you will have photos (and memories) that will last a lifetime!

Website

Jug Island Beach

Where: 4280 Bedwell Bay Rd // Belcarra

via @sameenkaviani

Why you should go: The Jug Island Beach hike has remained out of the limelight when it comes to hiking in Vancouver! With only 100 meters elevation and 5.5km roundtrip distance, this is the perfect half day hike for locals. At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with a private view of Jug Island!

Website

The GMS Observatory At H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Where: 1100 Chestnut St // Kitsilano

via @travelingrachie

Why you should go: Right next to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is a fully functioning observatory. The observatory is open during select evening hours by donation! Their experts guide you through an intimate viewing of clusters, constellations and if you're lucky you might even see a planet!

Website

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