Rob­son/Alberni ..............18

Vancouver Magazine - Best of the City 2016 - - Contents -

Cof­fee held aloft through throng­ing crowds, lo­cals and tourists alike come to Rob­son Street (and posh neigh­bour Alberni) for se­ri­ous re­tail ther­apy—or sim­ply to move through the heart of the city. See and be seen along th­ese busy blocks


Rob­son Street The city’s most bustling shop­ping thor­ough­fare runs from Bur­rard to Jervis and in­cludes ca­sual chic at J. Crew ( 1088 Rob­son St.), es­sen­tials at The Gap ( 1125 Rob­son St.), and im­pres­sive lux­ury-la­bel cos­met­ics at Shifeon Beauty ( 1291 Rob­son St.).

Alberni Street A block north of Rob­son, ex­pe­ri­ence our own Rodeo Drive: be­gin at the cor­ner of Bur­rard and Alberni, where Tif­fany and Co. sits fetch­ingly across from Her­mès and kit­ty­corner to the largest Louis Vuit­ton in Canada. Ex­plore the Alberni strip fur­ther to stum­ble upon Brooks Brothers ( 1026 Alberni St.) and De Beers ( 1088 Alberni St.). Just around the cor­ner you’ll find two more clas­sic jew­ellers: Birks ( 698 W. Hast­ings St.) and Cartier ( 456 Howe St.).


Hokkaido Ra­men San­touka ( 1690 Rob­son St., 604-681-8121. San­ is for noo­dle afi­ciona­dos. We feel it’s al­ways worth the wait here, where long-sim­mered broth has an un­matched milky stick­i­ness; the spicy ver­sion brings live­li­ness to what could be an overly rich ex­pe­ri­ence. And nat­u­rally, the noo­dles are per­fectly cooked. This is an out­let of the Asahikawa-based chain that has man­aged to keep ex­cel­lent and con­sis­tent stan­dards de­spite an in­ter­na­tional roll­out.

On one block of Alberni, the Glow­bal Group ( Glow­bal­ nails ex­trav­a­gance with three fash­ion-for­ward, showy em­po­ria. Ital­ian Kitchen ( 1037 Alberni St., 604-687-2858) is gor­geous and hy­per-mod­ern,

A meal at For­age ( 1300 Rob­son St., 604-661-1400. For­agevan­cou­ is a cel­e­bra­tion of the lo­cal larder. There’s plenty to love in pretty plates like elk strip loin with fir-tip jus, potato, and leek, or a bowl of Han­nah Brook Farm cress with charred onion, soft-poached egg, and bi­son bone mar­row crou­tons. with zero Ital­ian kitsch. Coast ( 1054 Alberni St., 604-685-5010) boasts soar­ing aqua­ma­rine walls with ivory and wood ac­cents flank­ing a mag­nif­i­cent cen­tral fea­ture: a tow­er­ing cir­cu­lar raw bar teem­ing with fresh seafood and booze galore. Black + Blue ( 1032 Alberni St., 604-637-0777) brings glam­our and light­ness to the steak­house, es­pe­cially the beau­ti­ful pa­tio with its warm, glit­ter­ing vibe.

Nearby: Hy’s Steak­house ( 637 Hornby St., 604-683-7671. Hyssteak­ sup­plies beau­ti­fully char­coal-licked steaks in an unironic room of white jack­ets, metal plat­ters, and sides like cauliflower gratin. While the 22-ounce porter­house may be a model of un­der­state­ment, the ta­ble­side cae­sar salad is pun­gent and deep. Por­traits of re­tired wait­ers line the walls; those still work­ing are all pro.

The ex­ten­sive wine list favours U.S. and French reds.


The Van­cou­ver Art Gallery ( 750 Hornby St., 604-662-4700. Va­nart­ is the largest gallery in Western Canada (and a 1906 ar­chi­tec­tural icon of the down­town core). Visit to dis­cover lead­ing artists from around the globe, and also lo­cal leg­ends like Emily Carr and Dou­glas Cou­p­land. (The Art Gallery Café, on the ex­pan­sive sec­ond-floor pa­tio, also hap­pens to be one of the finest places in the city to en­joy a glass of chardonnay on a sunny af­ter­noon.) The gallery plans to move to a bold new build­ing, fol­low­ing ar­chi­tec­tural plans to be re­leased some­time in 2015. Visit this site, the orig­i­nal provin­cial court­house, while you can.

Civic cen­tre Rob­son Square ( be­tween Hornby and Howe streets) was set to be the tallest build­ing in town un­til vi­sion­ary ar­chi­tect Arthur Erick­son sug­gested lay­ing it on its back. As a re­sult, you can walk all over this three-block modernist mon­u­ment, from the glass en­closed law courts to the pub­lic ice rink. Take the time to ex­plore its sev­eral lev­els and walk­ways—pock­ets of quiet, and great new views, wait for you.

Drop by Christ Church Cathe­dral ( 690 Bur­rard St., 604-682-3848. Cathe­dral.van­cou­ ev­ery Sun­day evening at 9:30 to eaves­drop on the tra­di­tional Gre­go­rian chant. Built in 1889, the cedar and Dou­glas fir in­te­rior helps the mas­sive or­gan res­onate. It’s the church the Bri­tish royal fam­ily at­tends when in town.

You can’t wan­der the down­town streets with­out notic­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of cranes build­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of green-glass be­he­moths. Th­ese four, now in the works, will be among the big­gest tow­ers in the down­town core: Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel ( 1151 W. Ge­or­gia St.), 67 storeys, ex­pected 2016; Bur­rard Gate­way A ( 1290 Bur­rard St.), 55 storeys, pro­posed; Beach & Howe Tower ( 1400 Howe St.), 49 storeys, ex­pected 2015; MNP Tower ( 1021 W. Hast­ings St.), 36 storeys, ex­pected 2015.

Shop­ping on Rob­son Street


Hy’s Steak­house

TASTE TH IS Ly­chee Mac­aron THIERRY Mul­ti­coloured piles of Thierry Bus­set’s fa­mous mac­arons ($14.75 for seven) are ideal cap­pers for an af­ter­noon of ex­haust­ing win­dow­shop­ping at Tif­fany’s 1059 Al­berni St., 604-608-6870. Thier­rychoco­


Van­cou­ver Art Gallery

Rob­son Square

Tif­fanyy & Co.


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