Olympic Village ..............33
Almost too good to be true, this former Olympic athletes’ village is a modernday Mayberry of boutique shops, gourmet markets, and educational attractions. The spacious town square and nearby seawall vibrate with young families, joggers, and cyclists. Lazy craft beer aficionados oversee the frenetic action from back-to-back sun-soaked waterfront patios
If Vancouver’s attitude were embodied in one restaurant, Aqua Sushi + Juice Bar ( 1764 Manitoba St, 604-559-9766. Aquajuicebar.com) would be it. The impeccably executed maki and nigiri substitute wholesome brown rice for white; in the goma-ae, you’ll find super-food kale (instead of the standard spinach) in nutty-sweet sesame dressing. Wash it all down with fresh-pressed “quench” juice (cucumber, pineapple, coconut water, pear, and lime) from the onsite juice bar.
Refuel with lunch at Terra Breads ( 1605 Manitoba St., 604-877-1183. Terrabreads.com), Vancouver’s original artisan bakery. The sandwiches feature stone hearth bread and carefully sourced local and organic ingredients, but are more hearty than fussy. Our top picks: ham and raclette with Little Qualicum cheese and balsamic fig jam, or the wild salmon with pea shoots, pickled red onion, and lemon/dill/caper mayo. The novelty at Mario’s Gelati, the manufacturing facility for Vancouver’s well-known ice cream brand, is the quantity of flavours. Mario’s makes over 500 varieties of gelato and sorbetto, 72 of which are available in the factory café Amato Gelato ( 88 E. First Ave., 604-879-9411. Mariosgelati.com). This is a mustvisit for summer visitors; revel in the shock factor of flavours such as durian fruit and strawberry goat cheese.
A visit to the showroom of Vancouver-designed menswear label Wings + Horns ( 133 W. Fifth Ave., 604-568-0140. Wingsandhorns.com) is sure to lighten your wallet and improve your image. The brand has built a well-deserved international cult following with its classic-cut garments made with high quality, and often unexpected, textiles. Wool chinos, hoodie sweatshirt bathrobes, and tailored Gore-Tex parkas are typical staples.
Destination-worthy Legacy Liquor Store ( 1633 Manitoba St., 604-331-7900. Legacyliquorstore.com) stocks thousands of craft beers, specialty wines, and hardto-find spirits, including bottles from Vancouver’s new crop of craft distilleries.
A laboratory disguised as a kid pleasure palace, Science World ( 1455 Quebec St., 604-443-7440. Scienceworld.ca) makes the whole family happy. Its distinctive geodesic dome houses five galleries with live daily experiments, as well as a mind-boggling IMAX theatre. Outside, the new Ken Spencer Science Park teaches kids about sustainability with a greenhouse, resident chickens, and interactive exhibits on energy, housing, transportation, waste, and water.
Beloved by small folk and frequently used as a photo opp for full-size humans, The Birds by Myfanwy MacLeod is a pair of 16-foot, 4,200-pound sparrow sculptures commissioned by the City of Vancouver for the Olympic Village plaza. When free of tiny climbers, the gargantuan creatures seem ready to take flight into their backdrop: the downtown skyline and looming North Shore mountains.
TASTE TH IS Guinness Float CRAFT BEER MARKET Canada’s largest draft beer list will sate for some time, but fill in the last corners with dessert—in this case, local superstar Earnest Ice Cream in a Vitamin G bath. 85 W. First Ave., 604-709-2337....
Wings + Horns