To avoid the tourist traps, look here!
This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Vancouver is filled with hidden gems that you'd only know about if you're a local — but I'm here to help you discover them.
Some of the best-kept secrets of the city are tourist-free but definitely worth checking out. As a born and raised Vancouverite, I'm dishing out where to go when you visit, or how to best explore the city if you live here.
As a food lover, I have discovered some amazing restaurants that will make you drool. Of course, I had to include where I get my favourite cocktails, and the places I visit for fun.
If you're coming from a different country or taking a weekend to be a tourist in your own city, refer to this list and avoid the tourist traps.
This old movie theatre is now the hot spot for live music. This intimate venue is super fun and has a large standing area, a couple of tables, and a small balcony viewing area.
The Fox Cabaret will also give the most vintage vibes you didn't know you were looking for. Some of the best concerts I have ever seen have been in this venue.
Mangia Cucina & Bar
This restaurant is a little gem in the Mount Pleasant area. The restaurant is situated in a heritage home that is right smack in the middle of a residential area.
If you didn't know it was a restaurant, it would be easy to mistake it for someone's home.
They serve delicious Italian eats and fun cocktails. In the summertime, there's also a cute little patio area.
Reservations are definitely recommended for this spot because it does get booked up for the weekends fairly quickly.
The Spanish Banks is a super fun spot to hang out and have a picnic with friends. The beach is huge, so it never feels crowded.
While tourists normally hit up Wreck Beach (the iconic clothing-optional beach in Vancouver), this place is much more low-key.
In the summertime, the area can get quite packed with locals playing volleyball, jogging and more.
There's even an off-leash portion of the beach, and if the tide is out, you and your dog can run for miles.
The Narrow Lounge
The name of this lounge is extremely fitting because it is really narrow. The intimate little lounge is a cool little spot to grab a late-night drink with friends.
They even have a fun and bright patio for warmer days.
This shop in Chinatown serves up seriously delicious donuts. Skip Tim Hortons and come here.
The little store has a huge selection of brioche donuts with both classic and unique flavours. These donuts have really become a favourite among many Vancouverites.
This bar has virtual golf!
It's the best spot to come on a rainy day and enjoy a fun game of golf while having a couple of drinks while doing so. Even if you're not good at the sport, you'll still have fun here.
In case you need a snack break after hitting balls, the bar serves up some delicious food.
They also have larger private rooms if you want to host a birthday party or work event.
Granville Island Brewing
Granville Island is pretty well known among tourists — but the brewery is not. After wandering through Granville Island and enjoying the views, this is the perfect stop for a cold beer or tasting flight.
They have a great industrial tasting room with delicious pub-style food. There is also a huge patio seating area out front with tent covers for rainy days.
I love to go and sit on the patio with my dog by my side. He loves it too because there's a pet treat store across the street.
In B.C., a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.