South Cambie .................34
This high street’s identity was utterly revitalized by the installation of the rapidtransit Canada Line. A sleepy little borough known mainly for our art deco City Hall, it has a slew of desirable new eateries and concept retail stores to counteract the big-box shops down the hill
Biercraft ( 3305 Cambie St., 604874-6900. Biercraft.com) has long given master’s classes in Belgian beership, with mussels and sharables like wings standing up to alcoholically powerful dubbels and tripels. The company goes local now with craft brewery Bomber Brewing ( 1488 Adanac St., 604-428-7457. Bomberbrewing.com), a hits-all-bases purveyor of clever, locally inflected suds.
Pronto Caffe ( 3473 Cambie St., 604-722-9331. Prontocaffe.ca) takes its cues from a traditional diner’s wooden booths, counter and stools, and menu board. But from this modest space comes wonderful Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes; housemade pasta selections, such as tagliatelle arrabbiata with prawns, change daily. A dry cleaner’s next door recently morphed into Prontino, a bar-forward twin to this cherished neighbourhood spot.
The line snakes past a mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe at La Taqueria ( 2549 Cambie St., 604-568-4406. Lataqueria.ca), as people patiently queue for traditional Mexican street tacos like de cachete (braised beef cheeks), pollo con mole (free-range chicken with chocolate mole sauce), and rajas con crema (roasted poblano peppers with creamed corn). The blackboard offers 12 options and daily meat/veg specials. Four tacos per person usually do the trick.
The gracious 30-seat Pied-à-Terre Bistro ( 3369 Cambie St., 604-8733131. Pied-a-terre-bistro.ca) is a fine-dining lunch gem. Settle into a sleek banquette and allow the urbane waitstaff to guide you through French fare that’s ideal for sharing. Try a lobster tortellini with smoked salmon caviar.
Gluten-free locals make the pilgrimage to Lemonade ( 3385 Cambie St., 604-873-9993. Lemonadebakery.ca) for goodies like mouth-puckering lemon tarts topped with curly white chocolate petals, nostalgic chocolate “campfire” cupcakes, and sophisticated mocha cream-filled profiteroles.
Walrus ( 3408 Cambie St., 604874-9770. Walrus-home.myshopify.com) is a pick-and-mix candy store for design freaks. Chat with owners Caroline Boquist and Daniel Kozlowski as you peruse the handmade leather bike saddle bags by Billykirk, or fall for home- steader-chic kitchen tools like walnut-topped Mason jars made in the Fraser Valley.
Shop Cocoon ( 3345 Cambie St., 778-232-8532. Shopcocoon.com) is a tiny retail retreat with cool white-washed brick walls and antique bookcases housing pretty homewares and playful jewellery produced by Canadian artisans like the talented Billy Would. Flip through the sparse racks for ecofriendly Canadian-made frocks by Elroy Apparel and Nixxi.
For weddings, graduations, and family picnics, everyone pauses and poses at Queen Elizabeth Park ( Cambie St. at W. 33rd Ave.) amidst its iconic, idyllic backdrops.
Don’t leave without soaking in the view of downtown against a majestic mountain backdrop, visible from the park surrounding the architectural treasure that is City Hall ( 453 W. 12th Ave., 604873-7000. Vancouver.ca).
The Park Theatre (3440 Cambie St., 604-709-3456. Cineplex.com) cinema was designed by architects Kaplan & Sprachman in 1941, and despite many changes in ownership, it remains a beloved art deco symbol (and meeting place) for South Cambians.
Cambie Street Bridge
TASTE TH ISBeggar’s ChickenKIRIN A whole chicken is marinated in soy and Shaoxing rice wine, stuffed with pork and vegetables, then sealedin a pastry casing. It arrives with a hammerto crack the dough. Needs a full day of prep(call ahead). 201–555 W. 12th Ave.,604-879-8038. Kirinrestaurants.com