When I used drive up to Vancouver as a kid with my family, I remember admiring the shops and restaurants that lead up to the Granville Street Bridge on 99 North. Back then, I didn’t know that that part of Granville Street—from 16th Avenue to the Bridge—was called South Granville, and I didn’t know that, when I moved to the city as an adult, I would call South Granville home.
The South Granville shopping district is the heart of my neighbourhood. For visitors, it’s easy to spend the day here—it’s walking distance from Granville Island and just minutes from Downtown, so you can combine a trip with other outings. It’s a fabulous place to stroll, explore and—most importantly–eat.
For shoppers, South Granville has everything from big-name, international stores to small, unique local businesses. Unlike Downtown’s famous Robson Street, which focuses primarily on fashion, South Granville is extremely varied: You’ll find fashion, but you’ll also find antiques, boutique home accessories, and some of the city’s best commercial art galleries.
South Granville’s dense population of art galleries has earned it the moniker “Gallery Row,” and even if you’re not in the market to buy, the galleries are fun to visit. They run the gamut from Canadian artists to contemporary West Coast and Asian art to First Nations sculpture.
When you’ve worked up an appetite from crisscrossing the street—because you just have to see one more shop–you can choose from a spectrum of delicious dining, right there on the spot. There’s the Pan-Asian Red Door, the Indian Maurya, or—if you can afford to splurge—the amazing West, four-time winner of Restaurant of the Year in the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.
Whatever you do, don’t leave South Granville without a trip to Meinhardt’s on the corner of 14th Avenue and Granville Street. A favourite among locals and visitors alike, Meinhardt’s is a family-owned gourmet grocery with an amazing array of specialty food items and a glorious deli that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.