Vancouver Shopping

Art galleries, ethnic markets, gourmet-food shops, and high-fashion boutiques abound in Vancouver. Shopping here is more unique than in many other North American cities because of the prevalence of Asian and First Nations influences in crafts, home furnishings, and foods.

Downtown Vancouver has many of the same chain stores that you can find across North America but there is also an exciting

community of budding local fashion designers whose creative clothes and accessories fill the smaller boutiques. If you're looking for interesting local shops, head beyond Downtown, especially to the Gastown and Main Street neighborhoods, and to the Portobello West Market. Keep in mind, too, that the word "mall" here can mean more than just generic shopping, particularly in suburban Richmond, where malls tend to cater to an upscale Asian community. It's almost like shopping in Hong Kong, Beijing, or Tokyo.

In the art scene, look for First Nations and other aboriginal art, from souvenir trinkets to stellar contemporary art; many galleries showcasing First Nations artists are in Gastown. Area artisans also create a variety of fine crafts, exhibiting and selling their wares at Granville Island galleries. Some local favorites are included in the listings, and the "Artists & Artisans of Granville Island" brochure, available at shops around Granville Island, has a complete listing of island galleries and studios.

Food—especially local seafood (available smoked and packed to travel), cheeses from British Columbia and across Canada, and even locally made chocolates, jams, and other goodies—makes tasty souvenirs (or delicious snacking or picnic fare). British Columbia also has a rapidly maturing wine industry, and local shops give advice about the region's offerings (and tastings, too). Remember the restrictions about taking alcohol back into your home country before you stock up.

Outdoor-oriented Vancouver is also a great place to pick up camping and hiking gear. There's a cluster of outdoor-equipment shops on West Broadway between Yukon and Manitoba streets just west of Main Street, and you’ll find several snowboard and skiing outlets on West 4th Avenue, just east of Burrard Street in Kitsilano.

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Vancouver Shopping

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Twigg & Hottie

  • Clothing

Local and national designers stock this outlet with one-of-a-kind creations ranging from the edgiest of Hollywood glam to chic street-wear...

Urban Fare

  • Food/Candy

If you're a fan of Whole Foods, check out Vancouver's most stylish supermarket. The mouthwatering food displays come from all corners...

Vancouver Flea Market

  • Antiques/Collectibles

Housed in a "big red barn," this weekend market is a five-minute walk from the Main Street SkyTrain station. You'll find all manner of...

Vancouver Special

  • Household Items/Furniture

This shop carries a stylish selection of household items by local and international designers and stocks an eclectic assortment of books...

Viti Wine and Lager Store

  • Wine/Spirits

What this diminutive shop lacks in size it makes up in quality. The shelves are stocked with a strong selection of wines, beers, and...


  • Gifts/Souvenirs

A pleasant surprise" is the motto of this airy gallerylike shop, where you never quite know what you'll find—perhaps candle holders,...


  • Books/Stationery

Travelers and armchair travelers love this shop, which feeds everyone's wanderlust. There are thousands of travel books and maps, as...


  • Department Stores

This discount department store chain is heaven for bargain hunters. Among the regularly changing stock, you might unearth great deals...

Y's Books

  • Books/Stationery

Need something to read? This well-organized shop stocks good quality used books, including many titles by BC and Canadian authors.

Yaletown Farmers' Market

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

If you're interested in local produce, this farmers' market operates outside the Yaletown/Roundhouse Canada Line station on Thursdays...


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