Brick warehouses have had mod makeovers to become sleek lofts, stylish boutiques, and see-andbe-seen restaurants. Score people-watching posts on the patios lining Hamilton and Mainland streets. Yes, that celeb you think you just spotted is the real deal
Forego reservations at the new it restaurant for a sit-down at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca ( 1133 Hamilton St., 604688-7466. Cioppinosyaletown.com) This Yaletown room has been the gold standard for more than 10 years. Chef Pino Posteraro runs it with military precision, ensuring that every bowl of his peerless spaghetti alle vongole with Baynes Sound clams is al dente, each portion of roasted scallops with tomato confit and artichokes perfectly drizzled with preserved winter truffle vinaigrette. The wine list is a mile deep, the staff expert.
The Flying Pig ( 1168 Hamilton St., 604-568-1344. Theflyingpigvan.com) brings to Yaletown a cleverly turned, no-frills, convivial (sometimes boisterous) room. Comfort food is priced to shame the casual-fine-dining outlets nearby. Hammy three-pea soup tries to steal the spotlight from excellent mains like skilletroasted chicken with mashed potatoes, pork rack with pulledpork poutine, and blackened steelhead with scallop butter.
Shellfish aficionados should blow their doubloons at Rodney’s Oyster House ( 1228 Hamilton St., 604-609-0080. Rohvan.com), where the gregarious staff will guide you through fresh half-shell specials that come with potent grated horseradish. If raw isn’t your thing, opt for the generous portion of rustic fish stew.
Vancouver gets a touch of Paris with Ganache Patisserie ( 1262 Homer St., 604-899-1098. Ganacheyaletown.com). Pastry chef Peter Fong’s gorgeous mille-feuille chocolat pistache layers housemade puff pastry, pistachio and milk chocolate mousselines, and vanilla Chantilly cream into an elegant study of crunch and aah.
A shave and a haircut may not be two bits anymore, but Killjoy
Barbers Cocktail Tavern ( 106– 1120 Hamilton St., 604-669-4604. Donnellygroup.ca) gives you serious bang for your buck. Show off your haircut ($35), fade ($25), or beard trim ($10) in the live-D.J. lounge over absinthe and sauerbraten. Classic.
Print junkies need look no further than Canada’s only Marimekko ( 851 Homer St., 604609-2881. Marimekkovancouver.com). Jackie O. put the Finnish fashion company on the map when she donned it in 1960, but the label isn’t limited to clothing. The Yaletown concept store is crammed with bright, whimsical graphics for bedroom and bath, too.
BeautyMark ( 1268 Pacific Blvd., 604-642-2294. Beautymark.ca) is our homegrown Sephora. Go there for gotta-have beauty, skin care, and hair care products in a girly paradise. In addition to sourcing Vancouver-made items like Ilia lip care and Pyrrha jewellery, you can head upstairs to Varnish and The Collective to get spruced up on the spot: facials, hair blowouts, and manicures are all on offer.
Say it with us: “es-pass day.” Once you nail the name, the French décor collections at Espace D. ( 1108 Richards St., 604662-3008. Espacedonline.com) no longer intimidate. Minimalist yet playful home and office accessories complement cutting-edge furniture, textiles, and artwork. Parisian soaps add just enough je ne sais quoi.
Distressed home accessories mingle with ultra-luxe textiles and original works by Vancouver artists at The Cross (1198 Homer St., 604-689-2900. Thecrossdesign.com), an 8,000-square-foot celebration of immaculately ontrend lifestyle.
Little dogs prance in Coopers’ Park ( 1020 Marinaside Cres.), former home to Sweeney Cooperage, the largest barrelmaker in the British Empire. The cooperage shut down its False Creek operations to make way for the Cambie Street Bridge, visible directly overhead. These days, tots and skaters join the canines to make the most of the waterfront park’s amenities.
Ardent travellers know that train travel is truly the most romantic way to go. But once upon a time, it was also the most practical. Take the time to salute Engine 374, the little engine that could (and did), pulling the first transcontinental passenger train to Vancouver in 1887. It’s currently living out golden retirement at the Roundhouse Community Centre ( Davie St. at Pacific Blvd., 604-713-1800. Roundhouse.ca).
Killjoy Barbers Cocktail Tavern
Sushi Balls at Minami
King Crab Legs BLUE WATER CAFÉ After a run-in with talented chef Frank Pabst, fresh specimens from the enormous holding tank are garnished with delicate vegetables and bathed in beurre blanc 1095 Hamilton St., 604-688-8078, Bluewatercafe.net
TASTE TH IS
Roundhouse Community Centre
Cycle City Tours