Neighbourhood Guide: Main Street, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Main Street stretches across the city and is full of great neighbourhoods full of character. From its distinct independent boutiques, coffee roasters, and donut shops to its seemingly endless local breweries and restaurants, it’s a cultural hub of Vancouver that you won’t want to miss as a visitor and will want to call home as a local.
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In this neighbourhood guide, we’re going to cover all the basics of what it’s like to live near Vancouver’s Main Street and what the neighbourhood is like.
Navigate using the table of contents below to jump to the section you want to see and let’s explore Main Street right now!
Table of Contents
Location: Where is Main Street, Vancouver?
Main Street in Vancouver, B.C. is kind just east to the heart of the city. It is not downtown, not uptown, but rather an entirely different corner of the city with its own distinct, perhaps independent character.
Although Main Street extends from Railtown in the North all the way down to Marine Drive in the south, Typically, the Main Street neighbourhood encompasses the area along Main between East 5th Avenue and East 33rd Avenue and contains smaller neighbourhoods known as Mount Pleasant, Little Mountain, and Riley Park.
A diverse range of single-family homes, multiplexes, townhomes, and apartment buildings can be found on either side of Main Street. Family-friendly but very engaging for young folks to call home, it’s a vibrant area full of life, art, unique shops, and restaurants.
Average rent near Main Street
Every month, liv.rent creates rent reports for Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Rent here in the Main Street area falls under the South Vancouver neighbourhood in our Vancouver rent reports. Here’s what the average rent looked like in this neighbourhood as of May 2021:
- Unfurnished one-bedroom: $1,647
- Unfurnished two-bedroom: $2,366
- Unfurnished three-bedroom: $2,917
So, rent here is more affordable typically than in Downtown Vancouver but the rental costs are still fairly high considering the affordability of other Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods like Surrey.
Average house price near Main Street
- Fill your pantry and fridge with products from the organic August Market, (at 20th), superbly stocked East is West Market (at King Ed), prime cuts from Windsor Quality Meats or the more standard Save-on-Foods (at 13th ). Alternatively, hit up the Riley Park Farmer’s Market open Saturdays 10-2pm, April 28-Oct 27 at Ontario & 30th.
- This neighbourhood boasts some of the city’s newest community centres offering an array of programming, Mount Pleasant Community Centre and Hillcrest Community Centre which has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and aquatic centre, skating rink, and state of the art gym facilities.
- Make sure to check out Vancouver’s largest Car Free Day event, held annually on Father’s Day (second Sunday in June). 21 blocks of Main Street (Broadway to 30th) are shut down to vehicle traffic and streets are lined with food, clothing and chachka vendors, community group booths, DJs and bands on every second block etc. Great day, great crowds!
- Get crafty at Collage Collage. Participate in an inspired, contemporary art class, or hold junior’s birthday party in this whimsical, modern space.
- Get old-timey or just give yourself a break from living digitally and check out the Regional Assembly of Text. Here you can peruse journals, pencil cases, t-shirts and a collection of typewriters. Join the letter writing club that meets once a month here and enjoy the tactile, mechanical pleasure of crafting a note on a vintage typewriter. Your mother will love you for it!
- Pick up or just peruse the sleek, stylish, limited edition bicycle offerings at Kissing Crows Cyclery.
- Feel young and old all at the same time – grab a beer (very cheap), play some darts or belt out a Karaoke classic at the Veterans Club at 22nd and Main. You’ll be clinking glasses with UBC philosophy students and veterans alike.
- Attend a Vancouver Canadians game at Nat Bailey Stadium.
- And how many other ‘hoods can boast their very own baseball stadium? The historic Nat Bailey Stadium looms large at Ontario and 30th.
- To the south, Queen Elizabeth Park offers acres of gorgeous green space, public tennis courts, and a fun pitch & putt golf course just off East 33rd Avenue. Smaller parks like Hillcrest, Grimmett, Livingstone and Mount Pleasant are dotted throughout the area.
Schools near Main Street
Langara University is located nearby at 49th and Ontario as are the beautiful Emily Carr School of Art and Design and the Centre for Digital Media – a collaboration between Emily Carr, SFU, UBC, and BCIT.
There are countless elementary schools nearby including Simon Fraser Elementary, General Wolfe Elementary and Livingstone Elementary and Sir Charles Tupper, Eric Hamber and Churchill Secondary Schools serve the area.
Transportation near Main Street
Food & entertainment near Main Street
Shopping on Main Street
Main Street is lined with an impressive selection of independent shops selling all variety of items. Here’s a list of some of our favourites:
8th & Main, Still Life, Anti Social Skateboard Shop, Much and Little, Bird on a Wire, Denman Cycle, Kissing Crows Cyclery, Vancouver Special, Neptoon Records, Eugene Choo, Woo to See You, Umeboshi, Front & Company, Ollie & Quinn.
Food & drink on Main Street
Nuba, Cascade, El Tocador, La Taqueria, Don’t Argue Pizzeria, Slickity Jim’s Chat n’Chew, El Caminos, Anh& Chi, Bob Likes Thai, Nomad, Sun Sui Wah, Fish Counter, Acorn, The Arbor, Trilussa, Shameful Tiki Room (or just share a potent Volcano Bowl cocktail for 4 here!)
Some of the city’s best coffee is served in cafes along Main Street. Here are our picks:
Kafka, Elysian Café, 49th Parallel/Lucky’s Donuts, JJ Bean, Liberty Café, Coco et Olive, Continental Coffee, Trafiq, Matchstick Cafe
Sing Sing Beer Bar, Brassneck, 33 Acres, Red Truck, Main Street Brewing, Faculty Brewing, Electric Bicycle Brewing, Big Rock, R&B Ale, Craft (Detailed Brewery Map here)
Check out our other Metro Vancouver neighbourhood guides:
- Commercial Drive
- The West End
- North Vancouver
- Marine & Cambie Hub
- New Westminster Brewery District
- Richmond, BC
- Arbutus Ridge
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