Vancouver: Tips from an insider

A born-and-raised Vancouverite, Brianna enjoys cruising the Stanley Park seawall on her bike and exploring the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

Best coffee
Greenhorn Espresso Bar in Vancouver’s West End is my go-to for deliciously rich coffee. Tucked away in a residential neighbourhood, the cozy café is perfect for enjoying a cappuccino and a good book. I also recommend grabbing a takeaway coffee and exploring the nearby quaint heritage houses.

young female barista pouring coffee

Best cocktail
My favourite cocktail in Vancouver is the California Chrome: a delightful and balanced blend of bourbon, poached peach, amaretto and grapefruit. This citrusy sip can be found at The Diamond, a hip second-storey cocktail lounge with large windows overlooking Maple Tree Square in Gastown.

maple tree square vancouver

Best breakfast
Arguably the best breakfast spot in town, Café Medina serves up Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in a bright, bistro-style space in the city’s Library District. Try the lavender lattes and decadent Belgian waffles with sweet toppings such as salted caramel or fig–orange marmalade – yum!

Best local view
I love taking in the scenery at English Bay, Vancouver’s most popular urban beach. From beach volleyball to palm trees to colourful sunsets, English Bay feels like a tropical paradise and it’s only blocks away from the downtown core.

view of vancouver english bay

One thing you can do for free
Take a stroll along the Stanley Park seawall – it’s the quintessential Vancouver experience. You’ll pass by soaring totem poles, the Prospect Point Lighthouse and sandy beaches, or venture into the park and discover lush gardens and leafy trails.

Something that only a local would know
One of my favourite spots on a sunny day is Deep Cove, an idyllic tree-lined inlet located on the North Shore, about 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. You can rent a kayak and paddle along the tranquil shoreline, or get a bird’s eye view from Quarry Rock – a 1.5-hour roundtrip hike that rewards with panoramic views of the Indian Arm and Deep Cove harbour below.

fresh produce market in vancouver

Favourite thing to do in and around Vancouver
Eat! Vancouver has an amazing culinary scene and is known as a “chef’s city” due to the abundance of fresh and seasonal product available. A few of my current favourite restaurants are Torafuku, for pan Asian tapas; Juniper, for seasonal west coast flavours; and Savio Volpe, for simple handmade pastas.

totem poles in stanley park vancouver

Why do you love Vancouver?
I love Vancouver because every season brings something new and spectacular to experience. You can ski the local North Shore mountains in winter, walk amongst the brilliant blooming cherry blossom trees in spring, paddleboard through False Creek in the summertime and take in the fiery fall colours of Stanley Park in autumn. There are exciting sites and activities all year round in Vancouver.

Brianna Prasloski is on the communications team at Tourism Vancouver.

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Written by Brianna Prasloski

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