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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Aberdeen Centre

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

First-rate Asian restaurants, vendors hawking everything from kimchi to cream puffs, clothing stores stocking the latest Hong Kong styles,...

Artisan Sake Maker

  • Wine/Spirits

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

Ayoub's Dried Fruits and Nuts

  • Food/Candy

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

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

  • Books/Stationery

Local-chef-turned-entrepreneur Barbara-Jo McIntosh spreads the good-food word with scores of cookbooks, including many by Vancouver-...

Barefoot Contessa

  • Clothing

This cute shop has a creative take on '40s-style glamour and boho chic. Look for frilly feminine clothing (dresses, dresses, and more...


  • Jewelry/Accessories

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


  • Clothing

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

Chocolate Arts

  • Food/Candy

Looking for a present for a chocolate lover? Check out the chocolates in First Nations motifs, specially designed by Robert Davidson,...

Circle Craft

  • Crafts

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

Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery

  • Crafts

The collection of First Nations jewelry, ceremonial masks, prints, and carvings at this gallery is impressive. Check out the gorgeous...


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