One of the best parts of living in Seattle—in addition to the spectacular summers here—is our proximity to amazing weekend adventures. Whether it’s the mountains, wine country, Portland, or Vancouver, we are within three hours of so many possibilities.
Vancouver is one of our favorite weekend destinations and a little closer than Portland (roughly 142 versus 173 miles). It’s a gorgeous city along the water with plenty of outdoor activities. This edition is focused on art sightings and delicious food and drink recommendations.
Opus Hotel is a boutique hotel centrally located in the Yaletown neighborhood next to cute shops, restaurants, and coffee, tea, and juice bars. The rooms are colorful and modern and they offer loaner bikes to explore the city. Opus is dog-friendly, so bring your pup along! We received the best treatment for our dog, they provided a dog tent, treats, bowls, and toys.
322 Davie St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 5Z6
Murals on Main Street (Mount Pleasant)
Street art is an intimate—and free!—way to get to know a city. Plus, street art is the new fine art. Vancouver hosts a Mural Festival every year in August in this neighborhood. This free public art celebration adds new art every year, creating a vibrant, outdoor art gallery. You can easily spend 30 minutes exploring here.
An Insta-Worthy Photo Shoot (Burnaby)
Located about 25 minutes from Vancouver downtown (similar to the distance from Seattle to Renton), CONFETTI BOX is open Thursday through Sunday for a confetti-inspired photo op. Complete with interactive art installations, arrival times are spaced apart to ensure that all guests have the best experience. What this really means is: you have ample time to unabashedly play in ball pits, pose with umbrellas and ice cream cones, and throw confetti in the air. The exhibit is only open through the end of July, so make sure to visit before then!
Tickets are $35 CAD each. Book your time slot in advance here.
5850 Byrne Road
Burnaby, BC V5J 3J4
Coffee & Juice
Revolver Coffee serves ethical & fair-trade coffee brewed fresh-to-order in a casual, hipster atmosphere. There’s a nice vibe and service is friendly despite being busy.
325 Cambie St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4
Matchstick Fraser St. is a popular coffee shop in Mount Pleasant serving up quality coffee and buttery pastries in a bright space. The croissant was a decadent dessert-like indulgence. The neighborhood is charming with a gluten-free bakery (The Gluten Free Epicurean) and Bloom Room, a flower and plant shop next door.
639 E 15th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5T 2R6
Glory Juice Co. is a health-conscious way to fuel up for the day with savory bowls, cold smoothie and acai bowls, and toasts. They have a wide variety of cold-pressed bottled juices for grab-and-go as well as made-to-order smoothie and juices. The Golden Tumeric with sprouted almonds, dates, tumeric, raw honey, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne is a great morning alternative to coffee.
Five locations in Vancouver: Kitsilano, Olympic Village, North Vancouver, Coal Harbour, & Yaletown
Stop in for breakfast or dessert at purebread. with three locations in Vancouver and two in Whistler. Prepare for pastry overload. There is a wide selection of breads, savories, cakes, and treats and it smells amazing inside. Our favorite is the sticky bun. Get it.
Three locations in Vancouver: Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, & Gastown
Have lunch at Nuba, serving up Middle Eastern food in a casual, hip atmosphere. We ate at the Yaletown location (508 Davie Street), which is a block and a half from Opus Hotel. You could also do the Mount Pleasant location and then check out the murals afterward. The falafel is excellent as well as Najib’s Special: crispy cauliflower with lemon and served with tahini.
Four locations in Vancouver: Kitsilano, Gastown, Yaletown, & Mount Pleasant
Kingyo Izakaya offers a limited edition lunch Bento Box (10 per day) that comes with roughly nine items. You need to queue up before opening in order to snag one, but it allows you to sample a little bit of everything. If you miss it, don’t worry, the Sashimi Bowl and Beef Bowl are delicious.
871 Denman St.
Vancouver, BC V6G 2L9
Osteria Savio Volpe serves rustic Italian fare, including fresh pasta made daily and meats cooked over a wood-fired grill. It’s a relaxed neighborhood restaurant that’s even bustling on a Monday. The space is contemporary and industrial, with high exposed ceilings and a partially open kitchen. The menu changes daily, but sample items include cavatelli, ricotta gnocchi, and tortelli pasta dishes, half chicken on the rotisserie, and grass-fed veal chop and aged sirloin steak on the grill.
Vancouver, BC V5T 3K5
Across the street from Osteria Savio Volpe, Crowbar is laid back bar experience. Start here for an appetizer and drink and then head across the street for dinner.
The menu rotates—we had the bread with caramelized butter and olive oil, stuffed kale, brined then grilled beef tongue (which might be the best I’ve ever had), and this luscious salted egg pasta with just the right amount of bite and texture.
Vancouver, BC V5T 3K4
Vancouver is known for having stellar Asian food and Dinesty is one of our musts. Since opening the original location on No. 3 Road in Richmond—it has gained a following and expanded to five locations, with one in Vancouver on Robson Street. Expect a wait if you’re eating during the peak hours around lunch or dinner. They were the best and closest xiao long baos (soup dumplings) long before Din Tai Fung arrived in Seattle.
1719 Robson Street
Vancouver BC. V6G 1C9
There were so many tasty places we had on our list that we didn’t get to on this trip so we’ll have to plan another trip soon to do some more research. Have fun!