Dating in Vancouver: 3 Commercial Drive date ideas

Commercial Drive is the modern day Mecca for Vancouver’s earth-loving, coffee-sipping, nano-beer making types. While Kitsilano claims to be the original home to Vancouver’s hippies, Commercial Drive comes in at a close second place.

Commercial Drive is my spiritual home in Vancouver. During my university years I would trek over from Vancouver Island to stay with friends who lived on Commercial and East 1st Avenue. We would order garlic fries from Wazubees (RIP) and wander the drive checking out shops like Beckwoman’s, The Jean Queen and Sweet Cherubium.

The vibrance, multiculturalism and great food on The Drive continues to draw me east. So you probably won’t be surprised by this little statement: the Commercial Drive area is one of best date destinations in the city. As a part of my regular ‘Dating in Vancouver’ features, I implore you to ask that cute boy/girl on a date and explore one of the most down-to-earth yet exuberant hoods in Vancouver. 
Park Life
You don’t need a wad of brown or even green notes to have a great time on Commercial Drive. The hood was made for caffeine fueled wandering. A great date itinerary: grab your to-go mug, your crush and maybe a furry friend or two and take a walk down the length of the drive popping by the area’s abundant parks. My two favourite places for coffee represent the two ends of the Commercial Drive spectrum: north and south, old and new.

If you’re meeting on Commercial’s north end visit the Portuguese pumping heart of the Drive: Joe’s Café. Grab a capuccino, don’t burn your tongue and wander east a couple blocks through Victoria Park before zagging west to check out Grandview Park. If you’re starting north grab an Americano at Prado and mosey south towards Commercial and 15thAvenue, veer east and do a loop around John Hendry Park (aka Trout Lake).

Micro-brews and good spirits
The north end of Commercial Drive at Powell is a hot bed of nano-breweries and even a brand new, small batch distillery. I suggest grabbing a substantial lunch at Memphis Blues Barbeque House on Commercial before walking north to visit Storm Brewing Company (310 Commercial Drive). Tastings at Storm are available Thursdays – Saturdays and they’re free. Just don’t forget to tip the hard working beer pourer(s).

Next mosey further North, turn right on Powell and stop over at Odd Society Spirits (1725 Powell Street). Each Thursday – Sunday, you can taste their vodka, gin and the best darn crème de cassis liqueur you’ll ever have. After your spirited stop, head further east along Powell to Powell Street Craft Brewery (1830 Powell Street). One of the newest nano-brews on the block, Powell Street’s tasting room is open Wednesday to Saturday.

Wine, dine & dance
If you’re looking to glam it up during your Drive date then Federico’s Supper Club is the place to go. Federico’s is a the perfect venue to channel your inner Fred and Ginger. The Commercial Drive institution not only serves up delicious Italian fare, selections from its extensive wine list but Federico’s also offers live music and entertainment five nights a week.

If you despise eating in one place and then leaving just to stand in line to dance somewhere else, Federico’s Supper Club is the solution to this aversion. I’ve been to Federico’s for many a birthday shindig but never a date. Their Brat Pack evening is on my December to do list. For $40 you get a two course dinner and a Vegas-style performance by three 1950s-esque crooners: Franky, Sammy and Dean. See you on the dance floor.

Where do you like to take that special someone on Commercial Drive? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.

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