Upcycled, recycled, repurposed: Whatever you want to call it, this is a crafter’s paradise. You never know what you’ll find — vintage postcards, encyclopedic line drawings, petri dishes or wisps of gold leaf alongside vintage-print wrapping paper, ribbons and stamps. Just as good as the thrill of treasure hunting is knowing that everything was diverted from landfill.
Urban Source, 3126 Main St. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 3G7
Chicha opened just as the hype about Peruvian food threatened to spoil us all with pisco and ceviche. While the hype’s died down, the food is still on point. Plantain chips come hot from the fryer, served with a trio of aioli — incorporating Peruvian mint and peppers — that will have you thinking about mayonnaise in a totally new way. Local seafood is highlighted in spot-on ceviche. Service can be surly; consider it part of the charm.
Chicha, 136 E. Broadway. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1A1
The bakery case at Purebread must be reinforced by industrial steel, because most mornings it should buckle under the weight of so many carbs. What started as the owners’ side gig baking bread for farmers markets has become five bakeries across Whistler and Vancouver and a loyal following for savory brioches, triple-layer coconut cake and lemon-chevre brownies (don’t knock ’em until you try ’em).
Purebread, 5 E. Fifth Ave. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1G7
Bird on a Wire
Bird on a Wire Creations boasts that more than 200 local artists are represented in the compact shop. Pick up something uniquely B.C. here, including salt-speckled chocolate, beeswax candles, earrings and ceramics. If you’re the planning type, sign up for a weekend workshop to make adult cross-stitches, flower wreaths or any number of adorable felted creatures.
Bird on a Wire, 2535 Main St. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 3E5
Regional Assembly of Text
This teeny stationery shop has a well-curated selection of greeting cards, notebooks and ephemera. The first Thursday of every month, the Letter Writing Club meets in the evening to put pen to paper — or even clack out words on vintage typewriters. Don’t miss the “lowercase reading room,” a converted cubby that’s now home to zines and self-published books.
Regional Assembly of Text, 3934 Main St. Vancouver, B.C. V5V 3P2
Craft doesn’t always mean good, even if it comes with the best intentions. At Brassneck, the beer is every bit as good as the principles behind it — thanks to owner and brewer Nigel Springthorpe, the godfather of Vancouver’s craft beer industry. Have a drink in the tasting room or fill up a growler for later. There’s no kitchen, but you’re welcome to bring outside food or visit the food trucks often parked outside.
Brassneck Brewery, 2148 Main St. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 3C5
Yes, there’s butter chicken (on the lunch buffet menu), but you’re better off sampling the South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes here. Specialties include kothu roti, a dish of chopped roti (bread) with spices and meat, and biryani, a South Indian mixed-rice dish. The vegetable curries are especially nice. As the name suggests, the house-made chutneys are the real draw here.
Chutney Villa, 147 E. Broadway. Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1W1