The Elsewhere Guide to Vancouver, BC
There is so, so much to love about Vancouver. Its moody European influence, the gritty charm of Gastown, the beach village vibes in Kitsilano, the shopping, the food, the lululemon everywhere… Suffice to say it’s one of my favorite cities. I spent several days there last month at the tail end of my sojourn to the northwest, arriving by train from Seattle. Here are some of my favorite things to see, eat, shop, and do.
FOOD AND DRINK
I’m going to start with my number one. The place I wish I could order from and have delivered to me at home in Tennessee like 30 minutes later, it’s that good. Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Gastown has the tastiest pizza in a cozy, casual room that’s like a bright and clean tunnel in Italy. Their wood fired pizzas come with a pair of pizza scissors (pizza scissors!) to cut your own piece with, which just adds some coolness of the experience. And even if you aren’t gluten-free-necessary, the GF crust is better than any regular pizza.
Turf over in Kitsilano is a mixed-use space with a casual healthy restaurant/cafe on one side and a fitness studio and boutique on the other. I grabbed a fantastic piece of grilled salmon and some sweet potato wedges for lunch while hanging out in the neighborhood and everything else on the menu looked just as good. Also in Kits, as the locals call it, The Naam was a perfect spot for dinner. As Vancouver’s “oldest natural foods restaurant,” they’ve really got it down. So much so that Justin Timberlake has made a point to come here and there are often lines out the door.
Along the waterfront, Miku served some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. Trust me and order the Oshi. You’ll never be the same. I also love Cactus Club Cafe. With several locations around town, my favorite is English Bay.
My first priority here is always the fitness gear. Home of lululemon, Vancouver has one of only two lululemon Lab stores (the other is in NYC), located in Gastown. Here you’ll find rare and limited test batch type items, often a little chicer (think black, white, mesh, and super soft fabrics) than the brand’s usual offerings. For the stuff you already love, I suggest the original lululemon store in Kitsilano. It’s full of beautiful detail, and of course important history! Also in Gastown is Kit & Ace, an active lifestyle brand with lots of wearable-to-work apparel you can also move easily in, and several shops within a few blocks on the same street have stylish finds for good prices.
One of my favorite finds this trip was Bonobos. If you’re a Zara lover, here’s a similarly styled if only slightly higher priced store where you can find both basics that will be your favorite every day pieces as well as those key pieces that elevate your wardrobe. I got a teal corduroy coat that I can’t wait to debut this fall once Nashville finally drops below 80 degrees. (Should I have stayed in Vancouver…?) See also their cousin, Aritzia, in the same shopping center downtown, and of course take a walk through Nordstrom, if only to drool over the shoes.
SEE AND DO
No one is surprised that my favorite thing to do here is explore the fitness scene. Previously mentioned mix-use wellness space Turf is the Vancouver home to The Class by Taryn Toomey, my current group fitness obsession. Loud music, simple to grasp but challenging to do cardio and body weight movements, and a unique approach to the mind/body connection, I adore this method. Growing throughout the city is Ride Cycle Club, the city’s best branded and best executed indoor cycling studio. Buy some merch while you’re there.
Aside from fitness, Vancouver is a city to explore! First of all, walk as much as you can and when you can’t, use public transportation. I took the sky train or the bus just a couple of times and walked miles each day otherwise. Visit Kitsilano beach and the sea wall for coastal views and Stanley Park for nature-filled city views. Head outside of the city to Mount Seymour or Whistler for hiking and more.
Have you been to Vancouver? I’d love to hear your favorites as well!
Self-development expert and Entrepreneur Kimberly Novosel first came onto the Nashville fitness scene as the creator of Verticity indoor cycling studio. A published author and columnist, an accomplished speaker, and a sought after entrepreneur, Kimberly currently co-owns outdoor adventure company Alternate Routes, is Co-Owner and Editor here at Elsewhere, and has a new wellness studio concept in the works.