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May we suggest

Site-Specific / March 15, 2017

Curated Recommendations for Vancouver

An art dealer, a curator, an artist and a public-gallery director share their tips for shopping, dining and sightseeing in Terminal City
Products at Charlie and Lee. Products at Charlie and Lee.

Treasure hunting

To begin: “Shop for a good compact umbrella at London Drugs that you want to hold all day and can afford to lose,” jokes gallerist Wil Aballe.

When curator Tarah Hogue wants to find the “standard garb of loose-fitting frocks”—a requisite for curators— she opts for Charlie and Lee (223 Union St.), which “carries items made in North America or ethically sourced from elsewhere.” Also on Hogue’s list: One of a Few (354 Water St.) for signature (read: pricey) pieces.

And there’s no shortage of menswear options in the city. Aballe likes to browse Roden Gray (8 Water St.), which is stocked with distinctively minimal Common Projects sneakers and tattered Yeezy tops, while gallery associate Kyle Besuschko turns to the carefully selected clothing and products at WANT Apothecary (2956 Granville St.).


East Van Roasters (319 Carrall St.), a favourite of Richmond Art Gallery director Shaun Dacey’s, serves coffee with a cause: preemployment training and work opportunities to residents of the Rainier Hotel, where women are treated for addiction.

Artist Howie Tsui gets his soup dumplings, with “skins so thin you can see the soup and filling within,” at Long’s Noodle House (4853 Main St.). In the mood for laphet thoke (pickled tea leaf salad) with “a very addictive texture and brine quotient”? To quell this specific craving, Tsui suggests Laksa King (2546 E. Hastings St.).

When Dacey wants dinner and entertainment, he hits up Ole Wings and Tapas (1256 Robson St.) for Korean fried chicken, soju and endless K-Pop videos. Honey’s Donuts (4373 Gallant Ave.) near Deep Cove makes the “best post-hike snack,” says Dacey. “The original donut before all the hipster ones.”

And head to the suburbs, “where all the best food is,” notes Dacey, including the “mind-numbing, real-deal Sichuan cuisine” at Cheng Du Xiao Chi (150–4160 No. 3 Rd.) in Richmond.

A breath of fresh air

“As cliché as it sounds, the attraction of the West Coast is nature,” says Besuschko. “Local mountains like Cypress and Grouse are perfect for skiing if Whistler is too far away.”

If you’re visiting ARCs, Hogue recommends Crab Park on Main Street for a city beach: “It’s my favourite, because you can watch cruise ships coming in, helicopters taking off and containers being loaded on and off the dock.”