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Best Vancouver Shopping Streets

Shop Along Robson Street, West Fourth Avenue, Main Street and More

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Shopping along a city street is an entirely different experience than walking through the mall or even browsing through market stalls. The sidewalk becomes a runway of sorts, yielding some fun people-watching and fashion-scoping.

Vancouver's best streets for shopping are spread around the city, from Downtown and Gastown to the East Side. Each offers a targeted collection of shops, window displays, and cafés to peruse. The streets below are where most Vancouver shoppers go to hunt for styles and bargains, and where it's tough to walk a block without finding a new treasure or temptation.

1. Robson Street

© Chloë Ernst

The best-known shopping street in Vancouver, Robson runs through the center of Downtown and extends into the West End. The name-brand stores tend to be well-known international labels (rather than quirky or local).

From the intersection of Robson and Granville streets, walk west and notice as the street gets busier with eye-catching storefronts through to Jervis Street. For a break, pop into one of the coffee shops at the corner of Thurlow Street.

  • Best in the Neighborhood: Liberty Wine Merchants, Canucks Team Store
  • Clothing: Roots, Plenty, Below the Belt, Bebe, Boy's Co, Sakura, Lululemon, Guess, Zara, Aritzia, Banana Republic
  • Jewelry and Accessories: Aldo, Blue Ruby, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Cosmetics: Lush, Kiehl's, The Body Shop
  • Food: Cupcakes, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Gelarmony Gelato Café

2. West Fourth Avenue

© Chloë Ernst
The artery of Kitsilano, West Fourth Avenue boasts a slightly more independent spirit than Robson. There's a fun mix of well-known and ready-to-be-discovered shops, mostly stocking lifestyle products like trendy fashions, chic gifts, unique kid's items, and even some pet products. Items tend to fall in a moderate to high price-point, although there are usually good sale racks at the clothing shops.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Lululemon, Moulé
  • Clothing: Gravity Pope, Mantique, Orb, Plum, Spank, Swimco, Wear Else, Moulé
  • Shoes and Accessories: Gravity Pope
  • Sports: The North Face, Pacific Boarder, The Boardroom, Comor
  • Kids: Crocodile, Hip Baby
  • Gifts: Moulé, Kitchen Corner, Zulu Records
  • Food: Purdy's Chocolates, Kitsilano Wine Cellar, Whole Foods, Candy Aisle, Jackson's Meat and Deli, 7 Seas Fish Market

3. Gastown's Cobbled Streets

© Chloë Ernst
Whether stocking souvenirs or indie designer labels, Gastown shops are eclectic and easy to access from Downtown. While Water Street (between Richards and Carrall streets) is the main thoroughfare and the location of the Steamclock, shoppers can also venture along West Cordova, Abbott, and Carrall streets. After shopping, find yourself in a great location for drinks and eats -- including cocktails at The Diamond.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: John Fluevog, Army & Navy
  • Art: Hill's Native Art, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery
  • Clothing: Army & Navy, deLuxe Junk Co., Dream, One of a Few, Venus & Mars
  • Shoes and Accessories: John Fluevog, O.K. Boot Corral
  • Furniture and Housewares: Parliament, Inform Interiors, Örling & Wu
  • Gifts: Canadian Maple Delights, House of McLaren, Jade

4. Granville Island

photo Chloë Ernst
It's hard to spot the street signs on Granville Island, mostly because the mini-ferries, buskers, and boat traffic are all much more interesting. But there are some great spots to browse outside of the Granville Island Public Market, and the neatest shops line Duranleau, Johnston, and Cartwright streets, as well as Railspur Alley.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Granville Island Public Market, The Umbrella Shop, Edie Hats, Opus
  • Galleries: Gallery of BC Ceramics, Federation of Canadian Artists
  • Art and Craft Supplies: Opus, I'm Impressed Paper Arts
  • Gifts: The Raven and the Bear, Granville Island Broom Co, Paper-Ya, Hartman Leather, The Hang Out Place
  • Food and Drink: Granville Island Brewery, Artisan Sake Maker, Lobsterman, Oyama Sausage Co., Liberty Wine Merchants

5. Main Street

© Chloë Ernst
From East Broadway, Main Street cuts south with a changing retail personality. It transitions from antiques to consignment clothing to the Punjabi Market (also known as Little India). More and more, though, the streetscape through the Mount Pleasant and Little Mountain neighborhoods is a hipster hangout. Head to The Whip for post-shopping drinks.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Twigg&Hottie, Sellution Vintage Furniture, Front & Company
  • Clothing: Twigg&Hottie, Barefoot Contessa, Two of Hearts Boutique, C’est La Vie Consignment Boutique, Front & Company
  • Antiques: Bakers Dozen, Maynards, Sellution Vintage Furniture
  • Art and Craft Supplies: Regional Assembly of Text
  • Furniture and Housewares: Vancouver Special

6. South Granville

© Chloë Ernst
Perhaps due to its proximity to the ritzy Shaughnessy neighborhood, South Granville is home to some of Vancouver's pricier boutiques. The district stretches uphill from the Granville Street Bridge, encompassing a cluster of art galleries known as Gallery Row. There is also a range of household and clothing shops, but the retail options taper out by West 16th Avenue. For simple-but-good dining before or after shopping, stop in to Paul's Place Omelettery.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Marion Scott Gallery, Dianes Lingerie
  • Art Galleries: Kurbatoff Gallery, Bau-Xi Gallery, Douglas Reynolds Gallery, Ian Tan Gallery, Marion Scott Gallery, Winsor Gallery
  • Clothing: Anthropologie, Boboli, Misch, Dianes Lingerie, Spank
  • Accessories: Lord's Shoes & Apparel, Tilley Endurables, UGG Australia
  • Antiques: Scott Landon Antiques, Uno Langmann
  • Furniture and Housewares: 18KARAT, Country Furniture, Urban Barn, Villa Beau Interiors
  • Food: Meinhardt Fine Foods

7. Commercial Drive

© Chloë Ernst
A walk along Commercial Drive between Venables Street and East 13th Avenue offers as much entertainment-wise as it does shopping. It's a lively district, and the friendly neighborhood was once known as Little Italy. A few cafés remain from that era (try Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar or Café Roma for an Italian-style coffee), but generally a more eclectic group of Vancouverites has moved in.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Mintage, Kalena's, Wonderbucks
  • Clothing: Jean Queen, Spank, Mintage, Blue Sky Clothing
  • Shoes and Accessories: Exposure, Kalena’s
  • Gifts: Wonderbucks

8. West Broadway

© Chloë Ernst
Active Vancouverites need the gear to do all those outdoorsy things -- whether it is cycling, hiking, kayaking, or skiing. On West Broadway between Alberta and Ontario streets, a string of shops sell everything from rainproofs to hiking socks and climbing ropes. Mountain Equipment Co-op, which opened in Vancouver in the 1970s, is undoubtedly the biggest draw.
  • Best in the Neighborhood: Mountain Equipment Co-op
  • Outdoor Gear: AJ Brooks, Eco Outdoor Sports, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Sherpa Mountain Products, Taiga, Valhalla Pure
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