Explore South Granville – Shopping & Eating on Vancouver’s Gallery Row

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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.

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8 Responses to Explore South Granville – Shopping & Eating on Vancouver’s Gallery Row

  1. Great article Dana. You really know the area well. Was nice to read about your visiting Vancouver as a youngster. I live in the area too. I’d like to add to your don’t leave South Granville without visiting list. No one should leave South Granville without visiting 18 Karat, Cookworks, Farmhouse, Chachkas, Industrial Revolution, Rockey Mountain Soap, Som Visao Spa, Baccis Home, Bin 942, Atkinsons, Uno Langmann, Guildhouse Antiques, Connor Butler Restaurant, Ian Tan Gallery, Douglas Reynolds Gallery, Diane’s Lingerie, Stanley Theatre and Country Furniture. Well, these are just to name a few of my favourite things on South Granville.

  2. Thanks, D. Wise!

    And thanks for leaving your own favourites! I love all of those shops too, especially Country Furniture. They have some remarkable Canadian antiques in there.

    I’ll add a few Broadway & Granville favourites of mine: Oscar’s Art Books (amazing, amazing collection of everything from classic painting to uber-modern graphic design) and the Book & Comic Emporium–Vancouver’s oldest used bookstore–at 1539 W. Broadway.

  3. Lisa Evans

    I agree that South Granville is great!
    Cross the street at 7th Avenue to Starbucks, Chali Rosso Gallery,(Picasso,Dali etc) Panache Antiques & Art,(Old Dutch masters to Lichtenstein. Also European and Asian antiques.) and Ian Tan Gallery with local artists. Also Salade de Fruit restaurant on 7th is a worthwhile and fun experience.

  4. Lisa, I love your tips! I actually haven’t tried Salade de Fruit; I’ll have to give it a go. Thanks!

  5. Declan

    What is this thing called flag walk that I keep seeing posted places that has something to do with South Granville? I thought if anyone knew about, it might be you. Thanks, Decs

    • Declan,

      Thanks for your faith in us!

      The Flag Walk uses flag decals of the 80 countries participating in the 2010 Winter Olympics to connect the commercial areas of Yaletown and South Granville. (In other words, follow the flags from Yaletown shops across the bridge to South Granville’s shopping.) Our blogger Claudia does a fantastic job explaining the flag walk here.

  6. Thanks that was a fantastic article!

  7. Wendy

    My husband and l are coming to Canada for a white Xmas 2012. Staying in Vancouver for 6 nights, Banff 9 nights, Fernie 21 nights, Calgary 6 nights then it will be time to come back to Australia. We need good ski gear – can anyone tell us where in Vancouver we can get them please. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

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