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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  • Crafts

Run by the Craft Council of British Columbia, this tiny structure contains a veritable smorgasbord of works by local artisans. The artworks...

Dayton Boot Company

  • Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

These full-grain leather biker boots, handmade on-site since 1948, have a cultlike following because they're durable and hip, too. Originally...

DoDa Antiques

  • Antiques/Collectibles

Concentrating on mid-20th-century jewelry, ceramics, glass, paintings, and prints, this old-timey treasure box is crammed with intriguing...

Doctor Vigari Gallery

  • Crafts

In keeping with its offbeat environs on "the Drive," this gallery is home to a wildly eclectic assortment of jewelry, crafts, paintings,...

Douglas Reynolds Gallery

  • Art Galleries

In this collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art, which is particularly strong in woodwork and jewelry, some pieces date back...

Downtown Farmers' Market

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza at Georgia and Hamilton streets is the venue for this lively urban market. Baked treats, artisan food,...

Dream Apparel and Articles for People

  • Clothing

This tiny shop showcases a variety of wares by up-and-coming local designers. The creative selections target the hip twentysomething...

Edible Canada

  • Food/Candy

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

Fine Finds Boutique

  • Clothing

It's hard to predict what you'll find in this pretty little shop—it's a fun spot to browse for cute women's clothing, jewelry, and...

Front and Company

  • Clothing

Value-conscious fashionistas eagerly browse the consignment and vintage clothing in this smart shop. There's a small section of designer...


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