Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop on Vancouver’s Downtown Bike Lanes

Separated Bike Lane
Where do you want to eat? I don't know, where do you want to eat? If only there was some kind of list.... Photo: Chris Keam

Bike lanes make me hungry. Yeah, I went there. If you feel the need for food, goods, or services downtown and want to get there by bike, get ready to bookmark this post, cuz you’re going to want to refer to it again and again: http://tinyurl.com/bikelanefood

Vancouver cyclist Tannis Braithwaite works and lives downtown. She has put together a great block-by-block  list of her favorite eating spots and other businesses along the separated bike lanes on Dunsmuir and Hornby, with some sweet tips on cheap eats.  The only downside to the list is that reading it makes you hungry. If you’re headed downtown and looking for a place to eat on a bike route, or anything really, from cigars to shoe repair to strippers, this list is a godsend. The information will soon be turned into a website. Check back for its permanent home on the Interwebs.

Thanks Tannis!

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Businesses along the Separated Bike Lanes

by Tannis Braithwaite

Now that the separated bike lanes are up and running along the Dunsmuir Viaduct/Dunsmuir and the Burrard Bridge/(almost)Hornby, I want to encourage you all to take a ride downtown and check out all the great businesses.  Since I’ve spent many of my days toiling in the area, I’m something of an expert on where to eat.  My favourite places have a * next to them in the list below, but there’s tons of places I haven’t been yet.  Let us know what your favourite places are, and any businesses I’ve missed that you think others should check out.

Starting at the downtown end of the Viaduct and moving west along Dunsmuir

100 Block Dunsmuir – Just west of the viaduct, near the Stadium Skytrain station

Ricky’s All Day Grill – http://www.rickys-restaurants.com/?_p=home

Fatburger – http://www.fatburger.com/home/

400 Block Dunsmuir – Homer/Richards

Frenchie’s Diner – http://frenchies-diner.com/home/menus/

500 Block Dunsmuir – Richards/Seymour, near BCIT’s downtown campus and therefore hotbed of cheap eateries including

Suzette’s Cafe – all day breakfast, soups, sandwiches  http://www.yelp.ca/biz/suzettes-cafe-vancouver

Super Wok – Chinese (or maybe Taiwanese, and I know that’s a controversial issue)

Sushi Home – Japanese http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/sushi-home

Dae Ji – Korean http://www.yelp.ca/biz/dae-ji-vancouver

Pita Wrap  http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/pita-wrap-cafe

Yume – Japanese  http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/yume-japanese-cuisine

Fresh Slice – pizza http://www.freshslice.com/

The Railway Club http://www.therailwayclub.com/

600 Block Dunsmuir – Seymour/Granville, a bit of a dull block, but you won’t starve there

A&W

Tim Horton’s

7-11

Shoppers Drug Mart

700 Block Dunsmuir – Granville/Howe, suddenly upscale, with very little to eat

Holt Renfrew  http://www.holtrenfrew.com/holts/en/home/

The Art Institute Culinary School – you can eat here, though I never have

Sephora (make up) – http://www.sephora.com/

800 Block Dunsmuir – Howe/Hornby,

SushiYa – Japanese

Bagels – this place doesn’t seem to have a name, but they have bagels

Starbucks – at the intersection of the Dunsmuir and Hornby separated lanes

Also non-eateries including – Eye Max Eyewear, Obsessions gift shop, a cigar store and Galileo Optical

Hornby – North of Hastings (bordering the mini-park)

*Mink Chocolates and Mink: A Chocolate Café – this business publicly supported the separated lane on Hornby and encouraged other businesses to do the same, plus their desserts are amazing http://www.minkchocolates.com/menu/

This area also has Palladio and Monte Cristo – two high end watch/jewlery shops as well as the Pure Indulgence Hair Spa

400 Block Hornby– Hastings/Pender

Edelweiss Café – sandwiches, breakfast

*BG Urban Café – brand new this week, salads, paninis, lasagne, etc.  I ate there today and it was good

500 Block Hornby – Pender/Dunsmuir

Shogun – Japanese causual eatery- this place has been in this spot since the beginning of time, so it’s worth a visit) http://www.foodinc.ca/6046892922/index.html

*International Cuisine Food Fare (across the street from the YWCA) — this is the best food fare downtown.  It has tons of great places serving up food on the cheap, but my favourite is India Abroad

SteamRollers – OK, not as good as Red Burrito on Robson, but a very convenient location http://www.steamrollers.com/

Brandi’s Show Lounge – extraordinarily creepy strip bar, but if that’s your thing you may as well do it on Hornby

Copper Chimney @ Hotel Le Soleil – http://www.greatervancouverhotels.com/restaurants/copper_chimney.htm

Starbuck’s – This is the same one that is on Dusmuir.  Neat eh?

Also, Scotiabank and VanCity, Brascia Menswear, Acacia Hair Salon and the *YWCA’s rocking fitness centre  http://www.ywcahealthandfitness.com/

600 Block Hornby – Dunsmuir/Georgia, not a lot to eat here but definitely some businesses worth visiting

*Book Off – weird Japanese bookstore, new and used, worth a visit for the cultural exchange factor alone, also has English books, CDs and games  http://www.yelp.ca/biz/bookoff-vancouver

Long Tall Sally / Tall Crest / Tall Girl – perfect If you’re a tall girl or girl with big feet, or want to dress like one  http://www.longtallsally.com/

Bill Reid Gallery – go check out a west coast icon  http://www.billreidgallery.ca/

Scandanavia – items from my homeland  http://scandinaviaarts.com/

Angela & Gabriel – florists  http://angelagabrielflowers.com/AGF_Home.html

SuperBest prints and stationery

My Honey’s Buns – coffee shop and the lone eatery on this block

*Tip = there’s a lovely courtyard tucked in behind Cathedral Place (that’s the building with all the nurse statues and Hotel Vancouver style roof), so you can eat your Honey’s Buns or other take out there.

700 Block Hornby – Georgia/Robson

*Griffins Restaurant in the Hotel Vancouver – a little pricey, but completely delicious  http://www.fairmont.com/hotelvancouver/GuestServices/Restaurants/Griffins.htm

*Art Gallery Café – this place has fantastic outdoor seating and excellent food  http://www.thegallerycafe.ca/cafe.asp

Café Artigiano – http://www.caffeartigiano.com/

Glass City Deli & Café – http://www.glasscity.ca/

Bellagio – Italian http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/bellaggio-cafe

Also, Peak Performance Sports and Outdoor Wear

Tip: as a reward for reading this far, I’m going to tell you where the best cheap eats are downtown (aside from India Abroad).  It’s the Italian Kitchen take out window.  Going west from Burrard along Alberni street, walk past the Italian Kitchen Restaurant and enter the building lobby between the restaurant and Bluebird Clothes.  There you will find the italian Kitchen take out window, which has most of the same food as the restaurant at a fraction of the price.  There, that was worth it.

800 Block Hornby – Robson/Smithe

In terms of food, this block has…

*Bacchus @ The Wedgewood Hotel – delicious food and wonderful unsnooty staff http://www.wedgewoodhotel.com/files_2/menus.php

*Presto Panini – the BEST Paninis in town by far  http://www.prestopanini.ca/

Wicked Café – http://www.yelp.ca/biz/wicked-cafe-vancouver-2

Kimono Japanese Restaurant  http://www.yelp.ca/biz/kimono-japanese-restaurant-vancouver

Lots of other stuff this block, including Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes, Mac Cosmetics, Starbucks, DIPT Urban Clothes, the OC Spa, Oscar’s Smoke Shop and more

900 Block Hornby – Smithe/Nelson, across from the BC Supreme Court lies another hotbed of cheapish eateries

Earl’s – http://www.earls.ca/

Tim Horton’s

HyBar Salad Bar and Hyrise Produce – live fruit and veggie bar

One Saigon – Vietnamese – http://www.onesaigon.com/

ShizenYa – organic, veggie friendly food  http://shizenya.ca/

Sushi Maki – Japanese

Café d’France – http://dinehere.ca/vancouver/cafe-de-france-hornby

Also, Marlin Travel, the Electra Health Floor (accupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, massage therapy, physio, etc.), Kim’s Shoe & Bag Repair, GR Fashion Sweaters, Icon Hair Lounge, Hair Fantasy, and Accupoint Wellness (accupuncture, massage, etc.)

100o Block Hornby – Smithe/Helmken, not too much to eat, but lots of other stuff

Relish Gastropub & Bar – http://www.relishthepub.com/relish/index.asp

Starbucks

Subway – http://www.subway.com/subwayroot/index.aspx

Sorento Market – if you’re looking for groceries to use in making your own eats, try here, it’s bigger than a corner store, smaller than a supermarket

Also: Sebastian Hair Salon, Vida Wellness Spa, Wall Centre Dental, Wall Centre Chiropractic, Wall Centre Fine Spirits, Rumours Hair Design, C:EHKO Hair, Li-Zhi Gallery

4 Comments

  1. Patti Powell | |

    Very useful and handy reference! Thanks Tannis for all the leg-and-wheel-work in getting this to us. I posted it on facebook, after seeing that Rogr Lee did already!

  2. Terry Lowe | |

    A small one-block diversion west of Hornby finds us at the Maple Leaf Deli on Burrard at Burnaby Street. Fantastic sandwiches and super cheap! Their $5 Breakfast sandwich may be one of the best deals in the city: just keep nodding “Yes” as they list off all the options you can have with it (at no extra cost).

    Highly recommended!

  3. VeganCashmere | |

    Just a thought… many people are probably biking for sustainability and the vast majority of these restaurants are meat heavy. As we’re learning – a meat-eater on a bicycle pollutes more than a vegan in an SUV. What about vegetarian dishes recommended at each of the restaurants listed?

  4. Julia W | |

    Very handy list! I love the idea of choosing a restaurant based on ease of getting there by bike. Going to dinner where car parking is hard to find / expensive has definitely diminished my enthusiasm for going out in the past.

Comments are closed.