Ultimate Guide For The East Village
East Vancouver is known as “the traditionally working class side of Vancouver”, but over time it became a hip industrial area with lots of cafes, breweries, restaurants and shops. There are actually no sights in this part of town, except you count the East Van Cross as one, which is an outdoor Monument for East Vancouver, designed by artist Ken Lum. Anyway, in East Vancouver you get not only one, but two very vibrant streets worth exploring – the East Village (in Hasting Sunrise) and the Commercial Drive. As we’ve lived almost two years in the East Village our heart beats for the local business there and here come our most favourite spots for you.
The Farmers Market
Our very personal highlight was the Hasting Park Winter Farmers Market next to the PNE area. On a ritualized Sunday noon visit we would stroll the market for fresh local goodies and end at the alternating gorgeous food trucks for lunch.
Fantastic pastries, fresh pizza dough (for at home) and original Italian supplies. That’s what comes to our mind if we think about the Cannoli King. We are still craving for the grilled croissant with ham and cheese! Yummy... Right next to the Cannoli King you’ll find Tama Organic Life, a cute little groceries store for fresh produce and specialties like local honey and organic matcha. A little further down, the Di Oliva Tasting Bar is worth a visit, because it is probably the one and only shop specialised in olive oil in whole Vancouver.
Eggs Benny & Coffee
The Roundel Cafe is a classic in the neighbourhood. Not only are almost all of their ingredients fresh, organic and local, but also beyond super delicious! The diner look- alike interior is just the cream topping on the (pan)cake in terms of good vibes. Oh by the way – we always shared two different eggs benny (have a look at the daily menu too) and one portion of pancakes as desert – that will satisfy you enormously!
If you wanna hang out with the locals and listen real talk, the East Van Cafe is your place to go. Enjoy the casual atmosphere, order one of their delicious latte variations and try the veggie sandwich. And for a decent piece of cake you shouldn’t miss out the Black Rook Bakehouse across the street.
In terms of shopping the East Village is everything else but standard. You won’t find any stylish boutiques nor trendy fashion stores, however a few very special gems, like This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven. “Oddities, trinkets and scientific interests” is the motto and hell yes, some things they sell here gave us chills up and down! But combined with the Betamax Gallery it is definitely the coolest concept-store this diverse neighbourhood has to offer.
Not just a Taco
Tacofino! For sure you are familiar with the restaurants and probably even the success story of the popular food truck in Tofino. But did you know Hastings Commissary was the very first brick and mortar location they moved in? Well, we didn’t when we first arrived here, but we got caught on the cool light installation (designed by Omer Arbel) and the crowd waiting in front of the Taco heaven anyway. Must try: Fish Taco and Brussels Sprout Taco!
Dinner & Local Beer
The Dachi (Japanese for ‘Pal’) appears almost like a large living and dining room, filled with a bookshelf, lots of flowers and warm light installations. We fell in love with the farm-to-table concept immediately at our first visit. It’s authentic and simple rather than just fancy and pricy. And it goes by the motto ‘sharing is caring’! We recommend: The Burrata and as a desert the Chocolate Ganache!
For us the perfect sundowner usually meant drinks on the (surprise...) sundeck at the 49th Parallel Brewery. Check out our separate Guide for Drinks in East Van, if you are interested in the breweries and cocktail bars here.