#LoveVancouver Neighbourhoods: Strathcona + South Granville

To round out our next journey through Vancouver’s signature neighbourhoods, we visit an area thick with breweries and heritage homes, as well as a shopping neighbourhood that boasts fashion and lifestyle boutiques, art galleries and interior design stores.


Just outside of Chinatown, you’ll find a community rich with character. Just shy of Main Street, but not quite Hastings-Sunrise, Strathcona is a wonderful little neighbourhood that’s home to some of Vancouver’s most beautiful old houses.  Home to people from all walks of life and social backgrounds,
Strathcona is where people go to express themselves, and discover new points of view.
There are countless artists, musicians and creatives here that create, rehearse and record everyday. Any visit to the annual Eastside Culture Crawl will show just how many people scratch that creative itch here.

Photo Credit: Cillema

In recent years, Strathcona has begun rekindling the sense of community that’s come from so many different groups having history here. With a renewed focus on creating community spaces and partnerships for Indigenous, Black and Asian residents, Strathcona is cultivating a new identity of acceptance and celebration. When larger groups are allowed to congregate in the future, Strathcona will no doubt continue to blossom into the district where all these cultures intersect.

With many unique voices and personalities, there always seems to be a sense of discovery on the streets of Strathcona. An extremely bike-friendly area, you’re never far from a cute little corner store, a place to stop for a beverage or a selfie-worthy mural. The Union-Adanac bike route is your passage to get clear across town, often far quicker than you could drive, and the bustling cycling community knows this well. Peppered throughout Strathcona are outstanding restaurants that are required visiting for any well rounded YVR foodie. Vancouver Urban Winery/Belgard Kitchen is one of our fave spots for a date night, and continues to give special occasion takeout for a night in. If you’re in the mood for craft beer, then you’ve now entered one of the most brewery-dense areas of YVR. A six-pack from any of the nearby beer companies is sure to elevate your next evening of streaming, no matter the quality of the show. Pour yourself a can of ‘Don’t Call Me Honey’ from Luppolo Brewing, a citrus forward medley of Lillooet honey and rose petals, or crack open a Czech-style premium pilsner from Strathcona Beer Company to see what we mean. Both spots are also contenders for our fave takeout pizza in the neighborhood. A piping hot Funghi with truffle oil and goat cheese (Luppolo), or a crispy Diavola with thinly sliced Soppressata and jalapenos (Strathcona) are the perfect accompaniment to a sunset picnic.

Photo Credit: Cillema

So hop on your wheels, or take a walk through the heritage homes. You’re bound to discover something new in this history-rich district. As this neighbourhood continues to evolve, Strathcona welcomes all to join in the celebration of the people that helped create this one-of-a-kind neighbourhood.

Hidden gems we love in Strathcona:

Harken Coffee: A plant-based cafe and roastery, Harken has a gorgeous Japanese aesthetic perfect for zenned out sipping. When indoor seating resumes, this should be at the top of your list if you’re up for an afternoon of writing, or in the mood for a superb cup of coffee.

MakerLabs: 3D printing, oil painting, woodworking- MakerLabs provides the tools, space and skills to make almost anything!

La Casa Gelato: 238 flavours. This world famous and award winning gelato house is everything a sweet tooth could ever want- and more than a few flavours you never even knew were possible!

How to get there:

Coming from North or South?

Any bus that goes along Main Street will get you into Strathcona. Just hop out when you pass through Chinatown, and you’re only a few blocks away!

Coming from East or West?

Hastings busses will stop all along the edge of Strathcona. Once you’re around Heatley Avenue, you can get out and start walking South.

Learn more about Strathcona by visiting www.strathconabia.com.

South Granville

The gateway to the city! If you only know Granville Street by the downtown entertainment district, then you need to venture a little further south. Sometimes called Fairview Slopes, South Granville has the highest density of Vancouver residents outside of downtown, and it’s no wonder as this area has so many hidden gems! Known for its boutique fashions and unique small businesses, each block here offers new trends and gift ideas. Visit Ming Wo or Williams Sonoma to give a thoughtful hint to anyone who needs to up their kitchen game, or swing by Queen Bee Flower Shop to see where notables like Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez have stocked up on posies.

Photo Credit: South Granville BIA

A short walk to Granville Island, this proximity to fresh, local ingredients and seafood serves South Granville’s restaurants exceptionally well. You’re never far from a delectable meal whether you’re out for brunch-time takeout with a chorizo & avocado benedict at The Breakfast Table, or just craving authentic French croissants at Beaucoup Bakery.

Photo Credit: South Granville BIA

A terrific sense of community surrounds South Granville, and you’re sure to encounter a few warm smiles while traversing the neighbourhood. Two new public plazas have popped up in the last year, giving residents an open space to soak up some rays, play monopoly, or even bring a tablecloth and set up a candlelit date (it happens!). Having turned 100 years old in 2007, it’s one of Vancouver’s most storied districts. Did you know the Stablehouse Bistro on 13th Ave used to actually have horses way back when? Or that the whole area started out as a wilderness camping grounds for visitors and Vancouverites? Just two of the details that have given the area its character over the last century. Of course, you can’t forget about the neighbourhood “opera man” who has been serenading Granville sidewalks for years with Italian arias as he strolls by. From the lush forest maze of VanDusen Botanical Garden, to the slew of back alley murals, whether you’re looking for a piece of home, or something a little off the beaten path, you’re bound to find it here.

Hidden gems we love in South Granville:

Goodge Place: Frame-worthy greeting cards, and unique gift ideas, this tucked away shop/cafe is a fantastic local secret. Just off Granville, their quaint patio is ideal for a quiet afternoon with a cappuccino.

Miraj Hammam Spa: Canada’s first Turkish steam bath, a visit to Miraj Hammam is immediately the best part of your day. Just don’t plan anything stressful afterwards.

Stable House Bistro: A wonderful little spot for wine and tapas, their new street-patio is one of our fave ways to enjoy a solid weather forecast.

Coming from North or South?

This is an easy one. Just take any bus along Granville! Once you get over the Granville Street Bridge, heading south, you’re in the right neighbourhood.

Coming from East or West?

Stick to Broadway, as it’s the main street to get you there. The 99-B Line is fastest, then just hop out on Granville.

Learn more about South Granville by visiting www.south granville.org.

Visit www.tourismvancouver.com/love for staycation inspiration and special offers for locals.




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