South Main Street ...........38

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

This cool-kid utopia of young artists, bearded baris­tas, and web de­sign­ers with French bull­dogs in tow, will re­mind you of Port­land. Embrace it. The cul­ture here of­fers a rare and un­de­ni­ably plea­sur­able mix of in­de­pen­dent cafés (full of lap­top-tot­ing lo­cals), smartly edited bou­tiques, and some of the city’s most ad­ven­tur­ous eats


The dé­cor is up­scale base­ment (con­crete walls, bare-bulb-styled fix­tures, moulded-wood chairs), but the food at Cam­pag­nolo ( 1020 Main St., 604-484-6018. Cam­pag­nolorestau­ is tra­di­tional North­ern Ital­ian with touches of lo­cal in­ven­tive­ness. Fried gar­banzo beans, or ceci, are a favourite to start. A nice se­lec­tion of piz­zas and pas­tas are in the $14-19 range, with a few care­fully cho­sen mains at $21-24. The chang­ing side dishes are in­spired. Be­hind the main room is a small bar and a few ta­bles, fun for watch­ing games on the TV or clus­ter­ing with a group. Rou­tinely packed at din­ner de­spite the no-reser­va­tions pol­icy.

You don’t ex­pect a veg­e­tar­ian place to be named one of Canada’s best new restau­rants. There are many sur­prises in store at The Acorn ( 3995 Main St., 604566-9001. Thea­corn­restau­ with chef Brian Skin­ner at the helm. The menu un­set­tles then de­lights din­ers, most of whom are not veg: raw beet ravi­oli with macadamia cheese; un­de­ni­ably meaty hen of the woods mush­rooms with golden beets in an ap­ple-green, creamy nas­tur­tium emul­sion. Do try a house cock­tail.

Chef/owner/evan­ge­list An­drea Carl­son at Bur­dock & Co. ( 2702 Main St., 604-879-0077. Bur­ is a pi­o­neer of the lo­ca­vore scene, craft­ing deeply sat­is­fy­ing com­fort food like panko-breaded but­ter­milk fried chicken and bis­cuits, quail cas- soulet, and Ger­man but­ter pota­toes with pick­led garlic.

The Al­ibi Room’s Nigel Springth­orpe thought Con­rad Gmoser, who’d spent 15 years at Steam­works (his Pil­sner won gold at the 2012 B.C. Beer Awards), would need a few weeks to mull it over, but con­vinc­ing him to open a brew­ery with a tast­ing room “took about 13 nanosec­onds—it was a very firm ‘Yes!’ ” Their bare­bones Brass­neck Brew­ery ( 2148 Main St. Brass­ fea­tures 12 beers, ro­tat­ing of­ten on the taps and for growler re­fills; when you get hun­gry, cross fin­gers there’s a pa­tient food truck wait­ing out­side.

The sec­ond lo­ca­tion (after Kit­si­lano) for favourite cof­fee roaster 49th Par­al­lel is a 100-seat gem that boasts the in­clu­sion of side project Lucky’s Dough­nuts ( 2902 Main St., 604-872-4901. Luck­ys­dough­ un­der the same roof. We like the ad­dic­tive co­conut bis­marck (glaze and cream filling!) and the salty-sweet ba­con ap­ple frit­ter.


Van­cou­ver Spe­cial ( 3612 Main St., 604-568-3673. Vanspe­ stocks Dan­ish so­fas, stylish table­top ac­ces­sories, and a sweet li­brary of art and ar­chi­tec­ture books. It’s also where you’ll find Van­cou­ver-de­signed screen­printed bags and linens by For­est and Waves.

Shops on Main can feel a lit­tle dear, but Much & Lit­tle ( 2541 Main St., 604-709-9034. Muchan­dlit­ de­liv­ers a smartly edited se­lec­tion of home goods that com­bines en vogue aes­thet­ics with ac­tual util­ity. Ger­man-made shoe-shin­ing brush kits, cozy wool Pendleton blan­kets, and clas­sic cof­fee bean grinders are favourites. Plus, they’ve sourced hon­est-to-good­ness os­trich feather dusters.

F As in Frank ( 2425 Main St., 604568-5130. Fas­in­frankv­in­ stocks vin­tage snap­back hats, RayBans, a killer Polo col­lec­tion, and a sea of Levi’s cut­offs. Given that the own­ers sort through over 100,000 pounds of cloth­ing a day, it’s no won­der they also whole­sale their awe-in­spir­ing “top shelf” inventory of gar­ments to high-street re­tail monsters like Ur­ban Out­fit­ters, along with rent­ing it out by the piece to us lit­tle guys.

Nine­teen Ten Home Bou­tique ( 4366 Main St., 604-558-0210. Nine­teen­ )— named after Coco Chanel’s de­but year—is a one-stop shop for vin­tage and mod­ern dé­cor. Edi­son-era cage lights and Eames-style chairs (at non-Eames prices) add eclec­tic el­e­gance. The kids’ col­lec­tion is mis­chie­vously chic.


Lo­cal star­chi­tect Bing Thom’s flower-like Sun­set Com­mu­nity Cen­tre ( 6810 Main St., 604-7186505. My­sun­ fea­tures a re­strained West Coast pal­ette of con­crete, glass, and wood, and is topped by a dra­mat­i­cally curved roof. The in­door ice rink and bas­ket­ball courts of­fer year-round fun for fam­i­lies, and drop-in ex­er­cise and sports classes from yo­galates to qigong to pick­le­ball.

The ridicu­lous seven-foot ca­nine known as the Main Street Poo­dle ( Main St. at E. 18th Ave.) wants your at­ten­tion. That’s why he’s perched on a 25-foot pole and has his own Twit­ter ac­count. Artist Gisele Aman­tea en­vi­sioned her gi­ant faux porce­lain fig­urine speak­ing to Main Street’s un­der­ly­ing aes­thetic that glo­ri­fies kitsch. Although the price tag on the pub­lic art en­raged many, the sen­ti­ment sounds just about right to us.


Brass­neck Brew­ery

Main Street Poo­dle

Nine­teen Ten Home Bou­tique

Bur­dock & Co.


49th Par­al­lel / Lucky’s Dough­nuts

TASTE TH IS Fin­no­chiona PIZZERIA FA­RINA This one trans­ports us straight to Napoli with its combo of fen­nel sausage, tangy to­mato sauce, chewy pro­volone, de­light­fully stinky parme­san, and spicy pep­per kick. 915 Main St.,...

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