In a city with countless Insta-celebrities and social media influencers, cute coffee shops and aesthetic restaurants get hyped up and often become over-packed, over-Instagrammed, and overrated. I mean, how many times have you seen Mister's Charcoal Coconut Ash ice cream on your IG feed already?
What about the underdogs? There are so many great places that have loyal customers but don't often get blown up on social media. Let me first apologize to all those whose best-kept secrets I just exposed, but people need to know!
Some of these spots you may already know, but others you might not and they totally deserve a chance. From OG restaurants to low-key cafes, hidden beaches to eclectic bookstores, here are 18 of the most underrated spots on Vancouver.
Honolulu Coffee // G1-888 Nelson St
If you're looking for a quiet place to work and sip some quality coffee, Honolulu Coffee is the spot. They only use 100% Kona coffee and their indoor atmosphere and outdoor patio just screams #aesthetics.
Aki // 1368 W Pender St
Aki is one of the few standing authentic Japanese restaurants in downtown, using super fresh seafood and traditional Japanese techniques. We defs recommend getting their Chirashi Don...soooo goood.
Boundary Bay Beach // Delta
If you don't live in the Delta area, you might not really know of or have been to Boundary Bay Beach. It may be a little bit far for a beach, but this spot is totally worth the drive if you're looking for a calm and quiet, off-the-grid beach chillin' type of day.
Acme Cafe // 51 W Hastings St
Don't let the slightly sketchy neighbourhood scare you away from this gem. Their brunch is absolutely amazing, and their home baked goods are literally what my #hibernationbody is made of. Don't forget to grab a slice of their pies (all of them are fire)!
The Cobalt // 917 Main St
If you don't frequent The Cobalt (which is okay, because the area defs looks a bit sketch), you might not know that they re-painted their front entrance a little while back. This spot is super cute for your Insta photos and your IG stories...just sayin'.
La Grotta Del Formaggio // 1791 Commercial Dr
Arguably the best Italian sandwich shop and deli in Vancouver. You absolutely have to try their focaccia sandwich with salami or prosciutto - it's to die for.
The Poke Guy // 420 Richards St
Forget lining up for Pokerrito because The Poke Guy serves a mean poke bowl, I would have to say it's my favourite in all of Vancouver. They stack your bowl sky-high and have tons of options to add to your bowl. The environment is also super low-key, which we love.
White Rock Pier // White Rock
The Pier in White Rock may be totally overrated for locals, but completely underrated for those who aren't from the area. A nice long romantic walk down the pier is absolutely sublime. And if you find yourself in White Rock, you can't leave without trying Maguroguy Sushi.
Rhinofish // 550 Main St
Rhinofish is serving up Taiwanese food on steriod. Their beef noodle soup is probably one of the tastiest menus on their item (of course among many other tasty dishes) made with super tender beef brisket and traditional Taiwanese noodles with a great bite. You also have to try the pineapple or lychee Taiwanese beer they offer there.
La Churreria // 1105 Davie St
This new churro spot on the block serves super crispy cinnamon sugar churros with thick, luscious chocolate sauce. They also have a super cute patio where you can chill in the sun.
Oliver's Landing // Furry Creek
Along the Sea-to-Sky Highway is Oliver's Landing in Furry Creek. The beach there as absolutely stunning and incredibly serene. You might even be able to spot the train tracks that make for a great photo op.
45 Degree Bubble Tea House // 1467 W Pender St
Bubble tea is an essential part of Vancouver life. 45 Degree Bubble Tea offers a super cute space and a low key ambience. It's the perfect spot to study and get some work done, or chill with the squad.
West Coast Express // Starting at 601 W Cordova St
Have you ever even taken the West Coast Express? Okay, I know the train is not an actual "place" but it's definitely underrated. Stop driving into the city, the West Coast Express is probably cheaper than the gas and the views are absolutely AH-MA-ZING!
Kokomo Foods // 611 Gore Ave
This plant-based foods cafe is taking the sun with them this fall, with "sun-inspired" menu items and a colourful open-concept space. Serving plant-based bowls like their Kokomo Acai Bowl and Hemp Caesar Bowl, Kokomo Foods is the perfect place to get your health fix.
The Paper Hound Bookstore // 344 W Pender St
Everybody knows MacLeod's by now, but just down the street you might not have taken a peak at The Paper Hound yet. It's actually been around for quite some time now, but the fact that it still stand is a testimony to their unique book collection. The cozy intimate space will make you want to stick around for hours and the owners Rod and Kim are some of the most knowledgable and friendly book worms around.
Republica Coffee Roasters // 321 W Pender St
Hailing from Langley, Republica Coffee Roasters have come to downtown Vancouver to bless the city with their aromatic coffee and provide an unpretentious low-key, chill space for city-dwellers to sip their lattes. The best part? They have a quiet sunlit nook in the back of their shop for all your introverted coffee loving needs. Shout out to the most friendly baristas ever, Stella and Judy who keep it real at Republica.
The Boss // 532 Main St
The Boss is probably by far one of the most underrated restaurants in Chinatown. The Hong Kong style cafe has been around for ages, and for good reason. Their baked goods at the front of the cafe are delicious and super authentic, and their french toast is, well as you can see above, the most indulgent thing you've ever had. And the food is super bang for you buck.
The Greedy Pig // 307 W Cordova St
If you need a place to chill, eat, and grab a couple beers with your friends, The Greedy Pig is the spot. The atmosphere is super low-key but also very friendly. Their menu is also simple, delicious, and won't break the bank.