Much like its skyline, Vancouver’s social scene constantly changes: A hot new restaurant can revitalize — or even create — a buzz-worthy neighborhood. We circled those blocks to uncover the freshest spots in the city.
What was once a tired strip known as Hastings-Sunrise has been reborn as East Village, complete with a hip row of restaurants to attract curious urbanites from the downtown core. The street is a mix of eclectic mom-and-pop shops (Italian delis, second-hand stores and even a Dayton boot maker) along with some of the city’s best upscale-casual spots, like the newly redone Red Wagon (try the pulled pork pancakes) and Tacofino, which grew from an insanely popular Mexican (with a West Coast twist) food truck into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Meanwhile, Hawksworth Restaurant in the ornately renovated Rosewood Hotel Georgia continues to dominate the fine dining scene; its latest creation is the Zero Proof tasting menu, which combines a seasonal five-course meal with sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks like the Grapefruit, Ginger and Mint Mule.
Because of the mild climate and abundance of lush and accessible outdoor space, Vancouverites are known to be a health-conscious bunch — which explains why yoga-wear giant Lululemon was founded there. Pose like a local and snag a free trial pass to Steve Nash Sports Club for anti-gravity yoga, or make like Drew Barrymore and Ginnifer Goodwin and try an invigorating yoga/Pilates/ballet workout at Bar Method Vancouver. Kids can even stretch out at the sleek and cheerful YogaButtons Studio in Kitsilano.
Vancouver’s waterfront is lined with big-name hotels, but for a heavy dose of luxury (and the best-smelling lobby in the city), head to the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver. At 62 stories, the hotel practically touches the sky. A good lounge spot inside is MARKET by Jean-Georges, whose new fall menu includes highlights like roasted sablefish and Parmesan risotto. Or relax in the discreet Four-Star CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. You’ll see a heavy Asian influence in its huge treatment rooms, which include a bathroom, separate shower and soaker tub and fireplace. Though the plush guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Vancouver offer another choice place to unwind.
Photo Courtesy of Shangri-La