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Vancouver city guide

Kissa Tanto

For the Japanese-Italian pasta

Tannis Ling, Joël Watanabe and Alain Chow of Bao Bei tighten their hold on Chinatown with this tucked-away second-floor spot that evokes a 1960s Tokyo jazz club. The My Private Tokyo cocktail, a play on an amaretto sour, delights with its plum-salt rim. Chef Watanabe’s cooking marries Japanese and Italian: Chewy housemade tajarin egg noodles, tossed in butter and miso-cured egg yolk, are topped with a medley of mushrooms, including shiitake and porcini. Tiramisu features whipped soy and plum-wine-soaked ladyfingers.

Osteria Savio Volpe

For a family-style Italian meal

This bright and clean-lined Mount Pleasant osteria, designed by Craig Stanghetta, proposes luxurious family-style Italian fare, like on-the-bone bistecca alla fiorentina cooked over fire. Chef Mark Perrier works in an open kitchen preparing tortellini stuffed with new potato and green garlic; a pretty dish of white anchovy with radish and soft-cooked farm egg is served over a silky green sauce of blended herbs and bread. The wine list traverses Italy from top to bottom, and batch-made negronis are poured from wine bottles.

Rain or Shine Ice Cream

For the buzz-worthy cones

With a weatherproof name, this ice cream shop has developed a coterie of year-round devotees who can’t get enough of their Salted Caramel, London Fog or Blueberry Balsamic. They also dutifully line up for waffle-cone “tacos” filled with two scoops of ice cream on Taco Tuesdays.


For a java jolt

Vancouverites revel in the Pacific Northwest trait of treating coffee like it was cold fusion. The myriad spots that employ beakers and atomically precise measurements in search of the perfect brew are endless, but the Matchstick mini-chain excels at making a great cup. It also bakes some of the city’s best housemade bread.


For the most inventive cuisine

The jewel in Vancouver’s culinary crown, Hawksworth restaurant continually sits atop the city’s best fine-dining lists, offering elevated à la carte dishes and an imaginative seasonally changing, multi-course B.C. Journey Menu. Cocktails are creative and locally inspired and the wine list is deep and diverse.

Keefer Bar

For the seasonal cocktails

In Vancouver’s up-and-coming Chinatown, local haunt the Keefer Bar is dark and daring. Drinks listed as “prescriptions” at this cocktail apothecary use ingredients like deer-antler bitters and red cardamom. Ask the bartender about the Fountain Cocktail, a curatively delicious and ever-changing daily concoction.

Grapes & Soda

For the natural wine

This intimate 25-seat natural-wine bar, the first of its kind in Vancouver, is located next door to its sister restaurant – and Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2014 runner-up – Farmer’s Apprentice. Grapes & Soda shares the same hyper-locavore philosophy, but here the wine is the focus. Grab a seat at one of the rustic wood tables – complete with cellphone drawers – and order a bottle of Frank Cornelissen Contadino, grown biodynamically on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, and pair it with a plate of duck confit with carrots, apple and greens.

St. Lawrence

For the foie-gras-filled French-Québécois cuisine

Pacific Rim-, sushi- and downward-dog-oriented B.C. loves its foie-gras-filled French-Québécois cuisine. This cozy, teal-panelled spot excels at fat tranches of smoked-ham-studded pâté en croûte accompanied by two kinds of mustard and bottomless crocks of cornichons. Sautéed sweetbreads with mashed potatoes and morels are doused with a deep, savoury jus. The team weaves cheerfully between tables, bearing cocktails of fresh watermelon, pastis, gin and cherry liqueur, and brightly acidic natural wines.

Como Taperia

For the chorizo and Basque cider

Pours of on-tap vermouth and sherry zip by at warp speed as servers strive to keep up with the thirsty crowd at this jumping Mount Pleasant watering hole, named #2 on the 2019 Canada’s Best New Restaurants Top 10 list. Salty, addictive, traditional small plates of Madrid and Barcelona range from canned conservas (razor clams served with imported potato chips and Catalan Espinaler hot sauce) to whipped potatoes with a crispy-edged deep-fried egg (yolk still molten), finished with a bright orange slick of chorizo and pimentón. Still thirsty? Wash it down with a Bereziartua Basque cider, poured from on high in the flamboyant manner of the region.

Ugly Dumpling

For the pork dumplings

Don’t be fooled by this restaurant’s name. Yes, there are plump daily dumplings on the menu (today’s stuffed with pork, cabbage and miso), but so much more. Our shy server from Tokyo, flashing a mouthful of silver, brings us smooth sake, gin, cucumber and lemon verbena cocktails. Then come soy-and-vinegar-dressed Kelowna morels and crispy-skinned duck breast with a side smear of dark-green fermented yuzu chili paste – somehow made even better by a dry, fruity Hakuin Masamune Tokubetsu Junmai. If only every neighbourhood hang with a rustic, laid-back vibe served comfort food as accomplished and confident as Darren Gee’s. No wonder it was a contender for Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2019

Granville Island Public Market

For the freshest local fare

If Vancouver is a foodie’s paradise, then Granville Island Public Market is its Mecca. Professional chefs, locals and tourists collide at one of the country’s best public food halls. Perched on the waters of False Creek, this is ground zero for 100-mile fare like terrines and sausage (Oyama Sausage Co. for juniper and wild-boar charcuterie), fresh shellfish and small-batch sake (Artisan Sake Maker for premium food pairings).

Rennie Museum

For the private tour

Find one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country housed in the Wing Sang building, Chinatown’s oldest structure. Thanks to its patron, real estate marketer Bob Rennie – one of the top 200 collectors in the world – works from Rodney Graham (named to the Order of Canada) to Turner Prize-winning artists Martin Creed and Simon Starling can be viewed in an intimate setting with a post-private tour discussion. (Tours, for up to 15 participants, are free.)

Museum of Anthropology

For First Nations art

The Museum of Anthropology showcases the province’s best collection of native art in a stunning concrete and glass structure designed by Arthur Erickson, the city’s greatest architect.

Kitsilano Pool

For swimming

Fresh off a $3.3-million renovation, Vancouver’s only saltwater pool is perched on the edge of Kitsilano Beach, so you can keep both the mountains and the city in your sights.


For vintage finds

This lifestyle shop in the heart of Kitsilano is a delightful mash-up of new and old. Shop well-priced and unusual taxidermy, antique wind-up toys, old CP Rail monogrammed dishware, medical charts and new pieces that recall the charm of yesteryear. (Think bicycle-print gift wrapping and apothecary jars.)

The Soap Dispensary and Kitchen Staples

For the eco-friendly products

Open since 2011, the city’s first dedicated refill store is a favourite among eco-conscious Vancouverites looking to stock up on all-natural soaps, household cleaners, simple glass dispensers and DIY ingredients like beeswax and essential oils (it stocks over 800 bulk items). In recent years, the shop has moved beyond soaps, offering workshops, kitchen tools and local food products ranging from freshly milled flour to grains and legumes.

Out & About

For the Japanese objects

West Cordova’s Out & About boutique lines airy shelves with quality everyday objects – think small-scale Muji – and specializes in Japanese-made and -inspired household items, like tea-party-ready pots and glassware.


For understated luxury

This 62-storey hotel houses three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s seafood-driven restaurant, Market by Jean-Georges; a holistic spa that offers Caudalie treatments; and an underground entrance favoured by visiting celebrities – all set in a sleek temple of minimalist design.

Fairmont Pacific Rim

For the perfect view

Enjoy views of the North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet from your in-room soaker tub; then book a table at Botanist, a garden/champagne lounge/cocktail bar and dining room inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s flora. Stanley Park’s trails and bike paths are a short walk away.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

For the Canadian art

This Georgian Revival landmark, whose storied guests run the gamut from Katharine Hepburn and Elvis to Frank Sinatra and the Queen, has been updated for a new generation of glamorous visitors. Discover works from one of the largest private collections of Canadian art viewable to the public, including Alan Wood’s Garden series and six tongue-in-cheek pieces by Douglas Coupland.

Skwachàys Lodge

For the sweat lodge and smudge room

Owned and operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society (and pronounced “skwatch-eyes”), this boutique hotel offers easy access to Gastown bars and eateries. The circa-1906 building, restored in a striking aboriginal motif, includes a sweat lodge, smudge room and the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery.

Loden Hotel

For the ideal location

This boutique hotel is steps from Robson Street shopping and a 20-minute walk from Stanley Park. The spacious suites, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and bathrooms equipped with dimmable lights and soaker tubs, may inspire you to linger indoors. Make use of your room’s Lululemon mat and start the day with the hotel’s yoga TV channel.

Opus Hotel

For the upscale experience

At this 96-room Yaletown property, service is discreet but at the ready, whether you’re booking a tour to see Stanley Park and Granville Island or requesting doggy treats for your canine companion. Unwind in your Deluxe Courtyard Room, which opens up to its own garden area with seating for two and a twinkly-by-night tree. Canadian touch: The Beverage Butler service brings Canadian libations and snacks – like glasses of Gray Monk Odyssey Rosé Brut paired with housemade macarons – directly to your room

The Burrard Hotel

For the retro motel vibe

This made-over mid-century motel, located between Vancouver’s vibrant West End and the downtown core, is a sleek hybrid of chic 1950s retro design and such contemporary conveniences as the on-site Elysian Coffee, which pulls a mean espresso. Explore the neighbourhood like a cool kid would, thanks to the fleet of bright-orange Brodie city-cruiser bikes available free of charge to guests.

The Listel Hotel

For the cultural angle

The Listel, located on bustling Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, is stocked with museum-grade art on almost every wall, and almost all of it is for sale. Book seats at the buzzy central bar at Forage, where chef Chris Whittaker delivers pan-roasted halibut from Haida Gwaii, in northern B.C., with kasu brown butter and smoked potatoes.

Info about getting from the airport, public transportation and more.

Getting from the Airport

The Canada Line connects the airport to the SkyTrain transit network, reducing the travel time to 25 minutes and the cost to $5. Cabs from the airport are a flat fee to various quadrants of the city (from $20).

Public Transportation

The SkyTrain light rail network, which runs along Cambie to Richmond and includes the Canada Line, makes it a very efficient way to get around.


If you want a taxi, it’s best to call for one; otherwise, you’ll spend 10 minutes trying to hail one unless you’re right outside a hotel. Travelling by taxi can get expensive: One trip across a bridge runs up the meter dramatically and a 15% tip is usually expected. The Zoro app ( allows customers to book any cab in the vicinity from their mobile devices.

Black Top & Checker Cabs: 604-731-1111
MacLure's Cabs: 604-831-1111
Vancouver Taxi: 604-871-1111
Yellow Cab: 604-681-1111

Weather in Vancouver

Monday overcast clouds
11°C Oct 19, 2020
Tuesday light rain
9°C Oct 20, 2020
Wednesday light rain
9°C Oct 21, 2020
Thursday scattered clouds
8°C Oct 22, 2020
Friday light rain
7°C Oct 23, 2020
Saturday sky is clear
7°C Oct 24, 2020
Sunday few clouds
6°C Oct 25, 2020
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Book today for the lowest fares to Vancouver

FromToDepartureFare TypePrice

Taipei, Taiwan, China (TPE)

Vancouver (YVR)

Mar 29, 2021-

Sep 24, 2021


Taipei, Taiwan, China (TPE)

Vancouver (YVR)

Apr 15, 2021-

Oct 08, 2021


*Fares displayed have been collected within the last 48hrs and may no longer be available at time of booking. Learn more about this offer. Additional baggage fees and charges for optional products and services may apply.