Dylana of Dylana Suarez and Kiara of Tobruck Ave here! We just couldn’t stay on opposite coasts for too long. This summer we took on New York together so it seemed fit to do the same in a different country and different city. Dylana headed across the country to Vancouver this past weekend to escape the NYC buzz and breathe in some fresh Canadian mountain air. We love being adventurous, discovering new locations, views, scenes and restaurants, and that we did. With the Free People spirit in our hearts and heads we wandered all across the lower mainland up to Whistler and back, and around Vancouver, and even up to the top of Grouse Mountain. Luckily our Sunday plans included indulging in some serious rejuvenation at the most beautiful spa in the midst of the forest and mountains in Whistler.
We put together a little guide for each spot we hit in the city, so take out your travel book and mark these places with a pin, ’cause you will want to visit them if you are ever headed to the Pacific North West. Enjoy and wander with love!
Cactus Club Cafe
A popular joint for an after work drink or a late night dinner, the Cactus Club Cafe is always hopping. This chain has a metropolitan air and a wide variety of entrees that are each just as mouth watering as the next. Modern, metropolitan and beautiful, every Cactus Club Cafe location perfectly defines the Vancouver lifestyle and overall vibe. I had the cheddar cheese burger straight off the plane and Kia had the teryaki rice bowl. Delish.
Known as the best breakfast, brunch and lunch spot in all of Vancouver, Medina was high up on our list as one of the very first things to do in the city. Well known for their lavender lattes and Belgian-style waffles, this place smelled like a little piece of heaven. We went for the lavender lattes but decided to go in more of the protein direction when it came to our food selection, each having the same order of the Fricassée Champignon, but with poached eggs instead of fried eggs. It was divine. Super cute and spacious, this spot is nothing but a sweet treat.
Probably one of the best places to watch the sunset go down behind Vancouver, with some gorgeously tall and mighty trees in sight. It’s one of the most epic and long-lasting sunsets you will ever see, turning purple just a few moments before the sun disappears. Grouse Mountain is home of the famous Grouse Grind (which we didn’t attempt this day because it was freezing cold!), but for those of you who appreciate a good and steep hike, you will love taking this route up to the top of Grouse Mountain, as opposed to the Skyride gondola which we took up. The Skyride is much more scenic if you really are in it just for the view.
The Flying Pig
Another popular dinner spot that just opened a new location in the Yaletown neighborhood of the city gives Vancouver locals a taste of the best of Canadian bistro. The wine is superb, and the sides are phenomenal. We decided to share three sides, the crispy Brussel sprouts, truffled cauliflower gratin and jumbo short rib macaroni. Heavy, but totally worth it. Topped off with some wine, this combination was the best way for us to start off our night of partying with our local friends.
This brand new bar, located in the trendy Opus Hotel in the heart of Yaletown, is full of flavor and good jams. A more intimate environment, but still boasting a good amount of space to dance in, the Opus Bar feels just right. Get dressed up for Opus Bar because why not and make sure to drink something bubbly.
This 22km scenic path lines Vancouver’s waterfront. We walked around a good majority of this path to see Vancouver from all angles. You can take multiple ferries from the waterfront to get across to different parts of Vancouver, such as Olympic Village (which was created to house athletes during the 2010 winter Olympics) and Granville Island Public Market (for some delicious local food). Whether you want to walk, jog or bike, the Seawall is refreshing no matter what. And the water is always sparkly.
The best Vietnamese in town. Need we say more? It was a chilly night after a night of partying, and Pho Goodness was the best cure to get us ready for our next day adventure up to the mountains of Whistler. Their lemongrass pho eases a cold and mends a frazzled mind after a long day. Plus, the bowls are LARGE.
This epic drive up to the quaint ski resort town of Whistler is mind blowing, and filled with many stopping points to hike to some really beautiful views. One of our favorite viewpoints was Shannon Falls for the peaceful waterfall that just happened to have a rainbow going over it when we were there, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge (if you are in for a good thrill). It’s throws you right into the heart of the best of Vancouver’s nature scene.
This ski resort town was not as bustling as it would be, say, two months from now when the mountains are covered with snow, but we still felt that holiday spirit in the air. We explored the little town at the base of the slopes and caught a drink at one of the many pubs, favorites of the skiers and snowboarders after a long day on the slopes. And make sure to try a Caesar (Vancouver’s version of a Bloody Mary!).
This little hole-in-the-wall hipster currywurst spot in Chinatown is unexpected but so, so good. With cheesy Asian-meets-American diner decor, this spot is nothing but fun. Different types of currywursts, toppings and sides make for an adventurous meal, as does the selection of local beers, including the 33 Acres of Darkness (a dark beer with hints of dark chocolate and coffee . . . delish!).
33 Acres Brewing Company
Because we were so in love with the 33 Acres of Darkness beer we had with our currywurst at Bestie, we had to hit up the actual brewing company before it closed for the night. Kiara is friends with the owner, so it made sense that we had to check it out that night. Super minimal and Williamsburg, BK-feeling, this beer bar offers a great selection of some of the best craft beers I have ever tasted. Each one so unique and so different from the next. My favorite was the 33 Acres of Euphoria. This drinkable Belgian beer hits you hard, but tastes so sweet and smooth, with hints of banana and spice. The best way to end a night.
Nelson the Seagull
Smell the fresh bread already? Baked fresh daily, this place is where you want to go to get your carb on. Get anything on your bread, and if you want something more sandwich-y, they have that, too. How about some eggs, roasted mushrooms and butter on some freshly baked artisanal bread? So lovely. This breakfast spot is large and lovely, perfect to find a quiet nook to catch up on some work on the weekends with a hot cup of coffee.
Speaking of coffee (good coffee, that is), we knew we couldn’t miss out on the coffee at Revolver. This super hipster spot in the Gastown area of Vancouver has a very simple way they go about making coffee. But it’s good.Their coffee menu is updated weekly from roasters in North America and they always go through a blind taste test each week. Their regular roasts are dripped, making for some fabulously bold tastes. If you like your coffee strong, then Revolver is the place to go.
Have you visited Vancouver? Be sure to share your favorite spots in the comments!