The West End community is where to go to when you are ready for a mix of small-town and outdoorsy. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and pubs, and you can easily escape into the woods of Stanley Park. The villagers of this little downtown neighborhood live steps from the beach, they are super close to Robson shopping and can easily walk to the Granville Strip.
Bordered by Denman Street, English Bay, Robson Street. You will find a significant number of buildings with heritage designations including some of the family mansions built in the 1890’s and early 1900’s.
The best plan is to wander through the weekend garage sales, then head towards the Sylvia Hotel and Restaurant. This landmark is where you tell your friends to meet you. From here you can head West into Stanley Park or travel north up Denman Street and grab a coffee at Milano Espresso & Gelato. IIf you head south you can grab tacos from the Cactus Club Concessions Stand. You can take a 15-minute walk heading due east and you will land in the middle of Davie Village.
Davie Village is the LGBT+ center of the city and the home of Canada’s first rainbow crosswalk. During the day the atmosphere is very carefree making it a great place to people watch and eat Churros and Mexican Style Coffee from La Churreria. The nightlife begins way before dark. Stick around, and you’ll see what we mean.
West End Farmers Market
Ten minutes from the Vancouver Art Gallery bordering Nelson Park is the West End Farmers Market, the place to go for locally sourced farm fresh produce, dairy, and artisanal goods. Take a browse and enjoy a meal from one of the local stands or the fleet of food trucks that are on rotation.
West End Restaurants
Thanks to its diverse mix of cultures and long history as a landing place for new immigrants to Canada, West End has some of the best and widely varied dining options in the city. Here are a few of our ‘can’t-miss’ favorites:
Handmade pasta, popular pizzas, and buttermilk chicken to die for are why this place stays full. The wait for a table is worth it, and you have the option of being there at 5 PM when to doors open. The service is prompt and the staff is very friendly.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
If you’re looking for authentic Japanese cuisine, look no further than Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, located just ten minutes over from the Alberni shopping on Robson street, right next to the EB Robson Bus Stop. Their ramen is as authentic as it gets, made with ingredients imported directly from Japan and prepared by traditionally trained chefs, you won’t be able to visit just once!
History Of The West End
Despite being home to residents of all backgrounds today, the West End was Vancouver’s first upscale neighbourhood thanks to the railroad families that came to call it home when it welcomed the addition of the Canada Pacific Railroad terminal at Coal Harbour.
The West End has had many faces since then, going from ‘Blue Blood Alley’ to an increasingly popular neighbourhood for middle class families and small businesses before becoming a transitional landing space for immigrants after the second world war.
These histories have all had their part in creating the unique blend of culture you find in West End today. If you want to spend a day experiencing Vancouver culture, West End is the place to be. You’ll need more than one visit to truly explore this cozy slice of city life.