Vancouver

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 Granvilleisland.com 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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  • 1. Aberdeen Centre

    First-rate Asian restaurants, food vendors selling everything from kimchi to cream puffs, clothing stores stocking the latest styles, and Daiso—a Japanese bargain-hunters' paradise—make this swank...

    First-rate Asian restaurants, food vendors selling everything from kimchi to cream puffs, clothing stores stocking the latest styles, and Daiso—a Japanese bargain-hunters' paradise—make this swank mall a good introduction to Vancouver's Asian shopping experience. Take the Canada Line south to Aberdeen Station, about 20 minutes from Downtown.

    4151 Hazelbridge Way, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6X 4J7, Canada
    604-273--1234
  • 2. Circle Craft

    This artist co-op sells finely crafted textiles, wood pieces, jewelry, ceramics, and glass works. Chosen by juried selection, the artists are all local to British...

    This artist co-op sells finely crafted textiles, wood pieces, jewelry, ceramics, and glass works. Chosen by juried selection, the artists are all local to British Columbia and all their work must be made by hand.

    1–1666 Johnston St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3S2, Canada
    604-669--8021
  • 3. Edible Canada

    Granville Island

    Tucked behind the Edible Canada bistro, this little shop sells jams, sauces, chocolates, and dozens of other edible items from around the country. It's a...

    Tucked behind the Edible Canada bistro, this little shop sells jams, sauces, chocolates, and dozens of other edible items from around the country. It's a great place to find gifts for foodie friends.

    1596 Johnston St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3R9, Canada
    604-682–6675
  • 4. Granville Island Public Market

    Granville Island

    Locals and visitors alike crowd this indoor market that's part farm stand, part gourmet grocery, and part upscale food court. The stalls are packed with...

    Locals and visitors alike crowd this indoor market that's part farm stand, part gourmet grocery, and part upscale food court. The stalls are packed with locally made sausages, exotic cheeses, just-caught fish, fresh produce, baked goods, and prepared foods from handmade fudge to frothy cappuccinos. This is definitely the place to come for lunch. If the sun is out, you can dine on your purchases out on the waterfront decks. The crowds can get crazy, though, so avoid weekends if possible (or come early).

    1689 Johnston St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3R9, Canada
    604-666–6655
    View Tours and Activities
  • 5. Hill's Native Art

    Mt. Pleasant

    This highly respected store has Vancouver's largest selection of First Nations art. The place is crammed with souvenirs, keepsakes, and high-quality pieces, including carvings, masks,...

    This highly respected store has Vancouver's largest selection of First Nations art. The place is crammed with souvenirs, keepsakes, and high-quality pieces, including carvings, masks, and drums. If you think that's impressive, head for one-of-a-kind collector pieces and limited editions. Its recent move from Gastown to East Broadway makes it a 10-minute cab ride from Downtown, but the larger and brighter space makes for easy browsing.

    120 E. Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1V9, Canada
    604-685–4249
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  • 6. Holt Renfrew

    This is Canada's ritziest department store; a swanky showcase for international high fashion and accessories for men and women. Think Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and...

    This is Canada's ritziest department store; a swanky showcase for international high fashion and accessories for men and women. Think Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and other designer labels.

    737 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V7Y 1E4, Canada
    604-681–3121
  • 7. John Fluevog

    You might have seen John Fluevog shops in New York and Los Angeles, but did you know that these funky shoes were created by a...

    You might have seen John Fluevog shops in New York and Los Angeles, but did you know that these funky shoes were created by a Vancouverite? The Gastown location is worth a look for the store itself, with its striking glass facade and soaring ceilings. There's another branch at 2156 West 4th Ave.

    65 Water St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1A1, Canada
    604-688–6228
  • 8. Kidsbooks

    The helpful staff at this cheery shop is happy to make recommendations about books appropriate for young people ranging from toddlers to teens. Choose from...

    The helpful staff at this cheery shop is happy to make recommendations about books appropriate for young people ranging from toddlers to teens. Choose from the many titles by Canadian authors—excellent for take-home gifts or on-the-road reading.

    2557 W. Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6K 2E9, Canada
    604-738--5335
  • 9. Les Amis du Fromage

    If you love cheese, don't miss the mind-boggling array of selections from British Columbia, the rest of Canada, and elsewhere at this family-run shop of...

    If you love cheese, don't miss the mind-boggling array of selections from British Columbia, the rest of Canada, and elsewhere at this family-run shop of delicacies. Owner Allison Spurrell and her extremely knowledgeable staff encourage you to taste before you buy. The fromagerie is located between Granville Island and Kitsilano Beach—useful to keep in mind if you're assembling a seaside picnic. There's a second location at 843 East Hastings St. on Vancouver's East Side.

    1752 W. 2nd Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 1H6, Canada
    604-732--4218
  • 10. lululemon athletica

    Power-yoga devotees, soccer moms, and anyone who likes casual, comfy clothes covet the fashionable, well-constructed workout wear with the stylized "A" insignia from this Vancouver-based...

    Power-yoga devotees, soccer moms, and anyone who likes casual, comfy clothes covet the fashionable, well-constructed workout wear with the stylized "A" insignia from this Vancouver-based company. In addition to the flagship location at 2123 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, there are several branches around town.

    970 Robson St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 1B2, Canada
    604-681–3118
  • 11. MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op)

    Vancouver's go-to outdoor store since the 1970s, MEC stocks a good selection of high-performance clothing and equipment for hiking, cycling, climbing, and kayaking—and for just...

    Vancouver's go-to outdoor store since the 1970s, MEC stocks a good selection of high-performance clothing and equipment for hiking, cycling, climbing, and kayaking—and for just looking good while hanging around outdoors. You can rent sports gear here, too. A one-time C$5 membership is required for purchases or rentals. 

    111 2nd Ave. E., Vancouver, British Columbia, V5T 1B4, Canada
    604-872–7858
  • 12. Nordstrom

    Nordstrom Vancouver, the chain's flagship store in Canada, sizzles with fashion buzz alongside the well-known Nordstrom-style service. Three elegantly designed floors showcase label boutiques (think...

    Nordstrom Vancouver, the chain's flagship store in Canada, sizzles with fashion buzz alongside the well-known Nordstrom-style service. Three elegantly designed floors showcase label boutiques (think Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Stella McCartney), lots of Canadian designers, and themed pop-up shops, and include a restaurant, a lounge, and a wealth of concierge services, from personal stylists to free Downtown delivery.

    799 Robson St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V7Y 0A2, Canada
    604-699–2100
  • 13. Roots

    For outdoorsy clothes that double as souvenirs (many sport maple leaf logos), check out these Canadian-made sweatshirts, leather jackets, and other comfy casuals for men,...

    For outdoorsy clothes that double as souvenirs (many sport maple leaf logos), check out these Canadian-made sweatshirts, leather jackets, and other comfy casuals for men, women, and kids. In addition to this Downtown flagship store, there's a smaller branch down the street at 1153 Robson Street, and on West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, and a number of outlet stores, called Roots 73, in the suburbs.

    1001 Robson St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 1A9, Canada
    604-683–4305
  • 14. T&T Supermarket

    Check out this chain of Asian supermarkets for exotic produce, baked goods, and prepared foods. You can assemble an inexpensive to-go lunch from the extensive...

    Check out this chain of Asian supermarkets for exotic produce, baked goods, and prepared foods. You can assemble an inexpensive to-go lunch from the extensive hot food counter. In addition to this Chinatown location, there are several other branches around Metro Vancouver.

    179 Keefer Pl., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 6C1, Canada
    604-899–8836
  • 15. Artisan Sake Maker

    You can learn all about sake (Japanese rice wine), and sample the locally made product, at Vancouver's own sake brewery....

    You can learn all about sake (Japanese rice wine), and sample the locally made product, at Vancouver's own sake brewery.

    1339 Railspur Alley, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 4G9, Canada
    604-685--7253
  • 16. Ayoub's Dried Fruits and Nuts

    The freshly roasted almonds, pistachios, and cashews from this pretty Persian-style shop make excellent snacks; try them with the signature lime-saffron seasoning. Boxes of nuts...

    The freshly roasted almonds, pistachios, and cashews from this pretty Persian-style shop make excellent snacks; try them with the signature lime-saffron seasoning. Boxes of nuts and sweets make excellent gifts, too. There are other locations at 2048 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano and 1332 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

    986 Denman St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6G-2M1, Canada
    604-732–6887
  • 17. Barefoot Contessa

    This cute shop offers a creative take on '40s-style glamour and boho chic. Look for feminine clothing (dresses, dresses, and more dresses), jewelry, and bags—some...

    This cute shop offers a creative take on '40s-style glamour and boho chic. Look for feminine clothing (dresses, dresses, and more dresses), jewelry, and bags—some by local designers—as well as vintage linens and decorative accessories.

    3715 Main St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V5V 3N8, Canada
    604-879–8175
  • 18. Birks

    Vancouver's link in this Canada-wide chain of high-end jewelers—a national institution since 1879—is in a neoclassical former bank building....

    Vancouver's link in this Canada-wide chain of high-end jewelers—a national institution since 1879—is in a neoclassical former bank building.

    698 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1P1, Canada
    604-669–3333
  • 19. Boboli

    Named for the Boboli Gardens, this lavish space, complete with an atrium-like shoe department, focuses on high-end Italian labels for men and women, such as...

    Named for the Boboli Gardens, this lavish space, complete with an atrium-like shoe department, focuses on high-end Italian labels for men and women, such as Valentino, Etro, and Giambattista Valli.

    2776 Granville St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3J3, Canada
    604-257--2300
  • 20. Cadine

    This local lifestyle brand prides itself on using natural materials with timeless design to create a more mindful way of living. Carefully curated clothing and...

    This local lifestyle brand prides itself on using natural materials with timeless design to create a more mindful way of living. Carefully curated clothing and home decor pieces are displayed, gallery-like, in the airy atrium of the beautiful two-level store, with light streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows. An in-house florist produces exquisite floral designs, and the handcrafted jewelry and select home goods make the perfect gift.

    3345 Cambie St., Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 2W6, Canada
    604-225--5555

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