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. Downtown Farmers' Market

    Downtown | Market

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

  • 2. Kitsilano Farmers' Market

    Kitsilano | Market

    More than 60 vendors set up in the Kitsilano Community Centre parking lot every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, mid-May to mid-October. Cheese, chocolate...Read More

  • 3. Summer Night Market (Panda Market)

    Market

    This market features vendors selling everything from socks to mops, but the real highlights are the food stalls offering noodle bowls, skewered...Read More

  • 4. Trout Lake Farmers' Market

    East Side | Market

    Vancouver's oldest and biggest farmers' market is crowded with East Side denizens on Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, mid-May to mid-October. There...Read More

  • 5. West End Farmers' Market

    West End | Market

    Hot food and coffee, prepared foods, crafts and local produce fill the stalls at this laid-back market running Saturday 9 am to 2 pm from May...Read More

  • 6. Yaletown Farmers' Market

    Yaletown | Market

    If you're interested in local produce, this farmers' market operates outside the Yaletown/Roundhouse Canada Line station on Thursdays from 2...Read More

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