Sips, Shops, and Sweets in Downtown Vancouver
When it comes to stress relievers, sipping wine, treating your sweet tooth and indulging in retail therapy are all good options to find your mellow. Next time life’s commotion gets too loud, treat yourself to a relaxing getaway across the river at these Vancouver gems.
You will definitely like what you see in the mirror at Doppelgänger, where the Pacific Northwest-inspired clothing captures the range of seasons, with affordable finds in a variety of brands. Floral sundresses radiate summer flair and knitted sweaters are perfect for chilly autumn days. Trendy threads are available for men as well.
Believe Boutique’s Bohemian chic looks often feature vibrant colors and patterns, but simpler designs and neutral colors ensure there’s always something for every style. Whether you’re looking for an elegant necklace, wool Panama hat or a flashy scarf, their superb accessory selection will add the pièce de résistance to any outfit.
If you’re into eccentric gifts and European-themed decor, Not Too Shabby is right up your alley. Truthfully, its wares can’t be pigeonholed; you’ll find vivacious perfumes and fine bath and body comforts along with witty greeting cards, cookbooks and other foodie-friendly items.
The selection of fashionable vegan and leather handbags at Wild Fern Boutique is reason enough to add it to your itinerary. Their in-house buyer thoughtfully curates an ever evolving collection of brands and unique looks you won’t find elsewhere in town.
With roots in the Walla Walla Valley, boutique winery SuLei Cellars recently opened a second tasting room on Vancouver’s Main Street, offering delectable vintages crafted from locally-grown grapes. They utilize both Old and New World winemaking practices with an emphasis on sustainability, and their Roller Girl Wines label is both affordable and approachable.
Cellar 55’s co-op tasting room features some rising stars of Washington’s wine scene, carrying quality small batch reds and whites. The charming outdoor patio wreathed in ivy is ideal for sipping in the sun — and for snacking on gourmet charcuterie, cheese and olives.
Named for the creek that runs through town, Burnt Bridge Cellars imbues the heart and soul of Vancouver into every bottle, all from an elegantly converted 1930s era auto garage. A detailed, hands-on approach shines through their Bordeaux and Rhone varietals, which are made with hand-picked grapes and are filled, labeled and corked by hand. If you want to get your own hands dirty, the stylish urban winery also hosts occasional cooking classes.
Maryhill Winery made a resounding splash when they revealed their expansive 4,900-square-foot tasting room in the reinvigorated Waterfront District. Open every day of the week, guests enjoy excellent wine while gazing at the Columbia River, listening to live music and sampling delicious seafood. Premier Wine Club Members also gain access to an exclusive Club Room and its acclaimed limited-production wines.
Seasonal pies, whimsical cookies, ice cream tacos: whatever your confectionary cravings, Treat will satisfy them. Don’t miss the rotating selection of doughnuts stuffed with fillings like Nutella, passionfruit or strawberry pinot noir.
When eating Bleu Door Bakery’s airy croissants, cinnamon loaves and macarons, it’s hard to imagine how dessert could get much better — until you’ve tried the signature Brownies From Heaven. The iconic dessert includes chocolate truffle-stuffed fudge, chocolate ganache, and a layer of flavored cream cheese that rotates daily between raspberry, coconut, peanut butter or mocha.
Dessert is not strictly confined to the end of the day, especially at Sugar and Salt. In the cafe, the sweet waffle concoctions, like maple bacon or Hippy Monkey (cherry almond granola, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream) are dependable options. In a hurry? Grab a scone from the bakery to take with you.
Though they’re known for beautiful custom wedding cakes, Simply Sweets also offers cupcakes that are just as impeccable. Delicately frosted, the bite-sized treats come in a variety of weekly rotating flavors, from red velvet to orange creamsicle. Make sure to take advantage of happy hour from 2 to 3 p.m. daily.
Vancouver is the ideal place to expand your brunch horizons and avoid excessive wait times. WildFin American Grill features savory seafood bites, such as smoked Alaskan salmon spread and calamari with jalapeño lime aioli for dipping.
You’ll find delicious eggs benedict (bacon avocado or crab lemon) at Twigs Bistro, plus mimosa specials by the water.
The basement of the Broadway Building hosts the speakeasy UnderBar, serving time-honored cocktails, microbrews, a brunch mimosa flight and yes, food: a tempting selection of sandwiches, sliders and hot dogs.
Who says beer and brunch don’t mix? Warehouse ‘23’s smoked tri-tip hash or meaty scramble goes perfectly with an ale or lager, or you can get creative at their make-your-own mimosa and Bloody Mary bar (Sunday only).
Heathen Brewing’s Feral Public House is of a similar mindset, whipping up hearty biscuits and gravy or breakfast tacos to pair with their pints.