Vancouver Shopping

Art galleries, ethnic markets, gourmet-food shops, and high-fashion boutiques abound in Vancouver. Shopping here is more interesting and varied 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 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 cycling, snowboarding, and skiing outlets on West 4th Avenue, just east of Burrard Street in Kitsilano.

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Vancouver Shopping

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Diane Farris Gallery

  • Art Galleries

This high-profile gallery one block west of Granville Street often showcases new Canadian and international artists. ...

Robert Held Art Glass

  • Art Galleries

At Canada's largest "hot glass" studio, two blocks west of Granville Street, you can watch glassblowers in action, then browse the one-of-a...


  • Books/Stationery

These Canadian shops (most with a Starbucks attached) stock a vast selection of popular books. Check out the display tables for hot sellers...

Sophia Books

  • Books/Stationery

This is the place to come for foreign-language books, magazines, and CDs. Even the staff is multilingual so you'll probably hear Japanese,...

Please Mum

  • Clothing

With its comfortable, brightly colored clothing, this fun Vancouver-based chain is known for its mix-and-match separates for newborns...

Dream Apparel & Articles for People

  • Clothing

Come here to find a variety of wares by up-and-coming local designers. The creative selections target the hip twentysomething crowd.

Perfect Health Spa

  • Spa/Beauty

Billed as a movie spa, you can watch your favorite chick flick on a 14-foot screen while having your nails done. Locals love the space...

Spa Ethos

  • Spa/Beauty

A Kitsilano favorite, this day spa gets it right in style and service delivery. The spacious foyer gives way to the almost palpable calm...


  • Jewelry/Accessories

Environmentally friendly? Check. Locally made? Check. Funky chic and eminently wearable? Check and check. This lovely "wearable art"...


  • Sporting Goods

You can count on finding high-performance (and high-fashion) gear for hiking, camping, or just battling the rain at this chain of sporting...


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