What to do in Vancouver

Top Vancouver Attractions

Vancouver has about a million things to do, but here are our top choices.

Vancouver Aquarium: Located in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is a great stop on both a sunny and rainy day. Though facing some tough press recently, the aquarium is home to over 50,000 critters for you to swoon or squeal over.

Grouse Mountain: A few busses away from Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is an all-season destination. In the summer, hike the Grind or head up the mountain to catch a lumberjack show and zipline through the forest. In the winter, hit the slopes and skate on an outdoor ice rink.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Grouse Mountain’s North Vancouver cousin, Capilano Suspension Bridge is again worth the trip in sun or snow – just maybe not the rain. Take a daring trip along the side of Capilano River on the Cliff Walk or head deep in to the evergreens with Treetop Adventures, while of course taking the daunting trip across the Suspension Bridge itself.

Vancouver Art Gallery: A good spot for a rainy day activity, the Vancouver Art Gallery is home to some of the most famous Canadian works, including those of Emily Carr. It also has constantly changing exhibits by some of the greats; currently, see works by Claude Monet, Elad Lassry and Stephen Shore.

Top Foodie Hotspots

There are a billion and one foodie destinations in this city, so don’t yell at us for leaving out your favourite one. Fair warning: some of these are cheap but some are not! Check the menu before you go.

Sal y Limón: The best tacos in Vancouver, hands-down. Also, the best horchata (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). This place has a solid variety of Mexican eats, and it gets packed on the weekends. Try the carne asada if you’d like to taste God.

Bon Cafe: Snuggled right next to the more-award-winning Au Petit, Bon is arguably the better Vietnamese restaurant of the two. It’s a very unassuming joint, and the pho is very good, but the real beauty lies in its spring rolls. These things are crispy, greasy and immensely satisfying.

“The Green Lettuce: Dai Ching Chicken. Family favorite for years, not even a debate.”

— Varoon Mathur

Peaceful Restaurant: Chinese shaved noodles that might blow your mind. Make sure your water cup is full – everything here is packed with flavour and salt (in a good way). The beef rolls are to die for. Also, Guy Fieri once went there! No, wait, I swear it’s good.

Long’s Noodle House: This is actually right next to Bon Cafe. This might be the best Chinese snack bar in the city and fair warning, it gets cozy. You’ll have to share a table with some randoms if you go at a normal time, but it’s worth it. The xiaolongbao are nuts, as are the dandan noodles.

Guu: Looking for Japanese food that isn’t sushi? Guu’s the way to go. Snacking and sharing are encouraged and if you go with a group it’s a hell of a time. The tuna tataki is beautiful.

Ramen Danbo: There are a ton of incredible ramen places packed into the West End, but this one edges out the rest. Nothing warms your soul better than a hot bowl of ramen on a rainy day. Plus, the gyoza is awesome.

Burdock and Co.: This place does a share-plate style thing, but it’s focused on Pacific Northwest cuisine. Think: weird flowers and noodles you’ve never really experienced before. The other thing is it’s all really good. Strangely enough, it might actually have the best fried chicken in the world.

Absinthe Bistro: Looking for amazing French food? Absinthe should be your first and only stop. The last time our Design Editor ate there, she ate so much she thought she would vomit and still wanted more.