Commercial Drive is home to an exciting mix of independent cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. After all, “The Drive” is arguably the most diverse and colourful neighbourhood in Vancouver. It’s also ground zero for many of Vancouver’s largest festivals, including Illuminares, the Dyke March, Italian Day, the Vancouver Poetry Festival, the Parade of Lost Souls, East Side Pride and Car-Free Day.
The main drag runs between Venables Street and East 12th Avenue. You can travel here by using the SkyTrain to get to the Commercial Drive or Broadway stations, or by catching bus number 20.
Since Commercial Drive is outside the main tourist areas of the city, it’s a great place to meet and hang out with locals—so make sure you take some time to walk around the neighbourhood and explore by foot.
Three words that come to mind when I think of Commercial Drive: coffee, coffee, coffee. In addition to the many independent coffee shops, you’ll find some of the best Italian espresso bars in the city here, as well as a number of Italian delis, bakeries, and markets.
Although this neighbourhood used to be known as Vancouver’s “Little Italy,” today’s Commerical Drive is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. In addition to the great Italian dining, there is also Caribbean, Latin, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Japanese, West Coast and many other ethnic options.
Outdoor markets are great places to shop for picnic items to take to Grandview Park or John Hendry Park at Trout Lake.
Don’t forget to leave some room for a lip-smacking craft beer. Many of the bars feature draft and by-the-bottle offerings by local breweries that aren’t to be missed.
For more information on Commercial Drive, check out 604 Nieghbourhoods: Commercial Drive.