As Vancouver’s answer to Brooklyn, Main Street deliver on so many fronts. From a plethora of independent boutiques, coffee roasters, donuteries to a mind-boggling number of local breweries and restaurants, this place can’t be beat.
And, even though this ‘hood could make any self-respecting hipster’s head spin with options, it is still very family friendly. Leafy neighborhoods of single-family homes, multiplexes and townhomes can be found on either side of Main Street. Queen Elizabeth Park offers acres of gorgeous green space, public tennis courts, and pitch & putt golf just off 33rd. Smaller parquettes, like Hillcrest, Grimmett, Livingstone and Mount Pleasant Parks dot the landscape North of 33rd and South of 16th. And how many other ‘hoods can boast their very own baseball stadium? The historic Nat Bailey Stadium looms large at Ontario and 30th.
Though Main Street extends from Gastown to Marine Drive, the area we are talking about sits between East 5th and East 33rd (Riley Park/Little Mountain ‘hood to the south)– this is where the action is.
- 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.
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.
LOOSEN YOUR WALLETS
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.
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!)
DRINK COFFEE AT:
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
DRINK BEER AT:
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)
Want to see more? Check out some of our other Neighbourhood Guides:
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