SD: Best Restaurant Patios for Sunset Watching in Vancouver

Everyone loves a sunset. Whether you consider yourself a romantic, a nature lover or city slicker, when the sun starts going down and those beautiful colours start painting their way across the sky, who can resist the urge to stop and take a wicked selfie? No one!

Here is our list of the best places to be when the sun sets over our city:

Coal Harbour Cactus Club

Always the hub of action, there isn’t a better location to watch the sun set then at the Cactus. This particularly popular location gets bonus points for having the view of the lights of the city skyline to the south, Stanley Park to the west, float planes taking off and landing in the harbour and the glow of North Van across the harbour.

Dockside Restaurant

Separated from the waters of False Creek by a wooden walk-way, the chic Dockside patio not only gives restaurant-goers a great sunset but offers panoramic views of the Yaletown cityscape and the North Shore mountains beyond.

The Wicklow

The Wicklow is a cozy tavern overlooking False Creek which has stunning views of the sun setting over the boats in the Heather Marina. On suitable evenings the sliding glass doors of the Patio Bar open up and patrons can cuddle on the couch and watch the sun slide into the night.

The Galley

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The Galley is a casual dining kind of hang-out with a view even a millionaire couldn’t afford. The patio gives burger lovers an unimpeded view of the downtown skyline, Stanley Park, the twinkling North Shore mountains, glimpses of Bowen Island (if it is a clear night) and on into the Straight of Georgia.

Image via @GalleyPatio

Mahony & Sons Stamps Landing

Get your butt in a seat during Happy Hour (3-6pm Mon-Fri), grab a pint or two and wait for your dinner guests to arrive. Enjoy live music; the finest in pub food from Guinness-infused soups to thin crust pizzas, and watch the sun go down as you cheer on the end of another day with your co-workers.

The Teahouse Restaurant

The Teahouse is so attached to having their fine dining guests watch the sun go down that they publish the Sunset Times on their website. Located at the edge of Stanley Park, the only thing between you and a gorgeous sunset is a touch of greenery and the lights of the international freighters moored in the harbour.

Bridges Restaurant

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Bridges is home to one of the largest outdoor patios with the greatest views ever. In the evening the lights of the Burrard Bridge and Granville Bridge book-end the view of the shiny downtown core. As the sun sets, it illuminates the sailboats quietly coming to dock and reflects warmly off the downtown skyscrapers.

Image via @bridgesgi

The Boathouse Restaurant

Continuously on the Best Patio’s lists year after year, it’s also the best places to relax, take in the fresh air, eat the finest seafood, and watch the sun go down. The patio is heated and in July, offers the best vantage point for the Celebration of Light fireworks competition.

If there ever was a list for sunset lovers, this is it. From casual to fine dining, you and your friends, or that one special friend can spend an evening taking in the beauty of the city and the spectacular sign-off of the sun each and every evening.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

 

SD: Best Live Music Venues in Vancouver

Over the past decade, Vancouverites have moaned about the demise of the live music venues and those who try to open new venues find blockades starting from city licensing to landlords. Venues that have survived made our list and are well worth the visit. You haven’t seen a mind-blowing show until you see Marilyn Manson at the historic Orpheum, seriously sometimes space is that tight! So whether you like your live music played in an intimate setting, somewhere downright dirty or upscale and comfortable, you will find it on this list.

The Orpheum

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This National Heritage Site was built in 1927 and is still going strong. Operated by the City of Vancouver and booking everything from the overwhelming VSO to the darkest touring death metal. The band busses line-up on Seymour and if you hang around, you may just get a peek of your favourites.

Image via City of Vancouver

The Commodore Ballroom

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For over 80 years, the Commodore Ballroom has been serving up drinks, food, and entertainment. The space is available for private events and operated by LiveNation. On most nights, the Commodore’s line-up is often wrapped around the block and the people-watching is as entertaining as the show inside.

Image via @commodoreballroom

Vogue Theatre

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Just down the street from the Orpheum and Commodore, the Vogue is more than 70 years old, cozy and comforting to watch music in. Besides live music, the Vogue also books comedy, burlesque, and just past June, hosted RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons. How apropos!

Image via @voguetheatre

Rogers Arena

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The arena is within walking distance of the notorious Granville party strip and on big show nights, posses of partiers can be seen meandering around looking for cold beer and wine stores to obtain liquor to smuggle in, and poutine. Neither are allowed and the biggest shows have a security wanding service that rivals the airport. Go for the music, big washrooms and don’t forget your ID or you will be having a dry night.

Image via @rogersarena

The Rickshaw

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Built in 1971 and originally a movie theatre, the Rickshaw is located near the most notorious corner in the city – Main & Hastings – which in itself makes coming for a show even more exciting. Everyone from Kurt Vile to Andrew W.K. has played here, with hundreds thrown in between that you have never heard of but should.

Image via @rickshawtheatre

The Wise Hall

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The Wise hall began in 1957 and was originally known as a hang-out for the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and English. Situated in the middle of the Commercial Drive residential area, the Wise has an old-timey look and feel with the ability to attract some of the best rockabilly, alt.country, and punk bands to play across Canada. The Odds, SNFU, Neko Case, Art Bergman, and Gordie Johnson to name but a few.

Image via WiseHall

The Cobalt

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Opened in 1911 in who knows what capacity, the Cobalt has been in survival mode for a decade now. 25 years ago it was a great stripper bar, then one of the best skid row bars and now it hosts karaoke, musicals, DJs, local bands and live art raffles. You never know what you are going to find after you step off the Skytrain.

Image via The Cobalt

The Imperial

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A hop, skip and a jump from Main & Hastings, the Imperial is another revitalized theatre that has gone more Asian in theme but diverse in offerings. The Imperial welcomes corporate and private events, under-the-radar bands and those so cool they don’t even need it. Recently Snoop Dogg brought his tour through Vancouver and The Imperial is where he shagged it at, enjoying himself immensely.

Image via @ImperialVancouver

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

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Refurbished in 2009, this theatre hosts opera, Broadway musicals, and performers ranging from Tom Jones to Lamb of God. The interior is a bit sterile when at a metal concert with its bright corporate lighting but the sightlines are good and who can resist shenanigans in a proper balcony!

Image via Queen E Theatre

Arguably Vancouver needs more live music venues but in the meantime, don’t let some of the locations of the revitalized venues scare you away. Take a bloody taxi or transit, just remember to leave your car at home.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

 

V.v: The Best Coffee Shops in Vancouver

Looking for a new place to get your daily injection of caffeine? Vv Magazine’s Helen Siwak rounds up the top coffee shops across Vancouver. Did your favourite make the cut? 

If Vancouver had an official aroma, it would be coffee! The proliferation of coffee shops throughout the city may have hit maximum saturation – although many would disagree – so let us help you narrow down the shops that offer not only an amazing cuppa but have other unique features that will make your morning coffee extra special or that late night waker-upper well worth the walk.

Revolver
325 Cambie St.
With a motto like ‘We’re going to make you the best cup of coffee we can. Because you’re the best.’, Revolver has a unique approach to coffee brewing, not only with their shapely carafes but also an extensive selection of brewing equipment. Plus the front window is huge and great for catching the characters on the street.

Matchstick Coffee Roasters
Multiple Locations
A coffee roasting company where co-founder Spencer trains as an amateur boxer and Annie creates charcuterie boards, is open-minded to being more than it should be and that is evident in the quality of their brews, the bread, and desserts. OMG – the bread and those giant buns!

Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe
2150 Fir St
Beaucoup’s commitment to quality is never compromised and is evident in the 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters espresso and Bellocq tea they skillfully prepare and serve, alongside the French-inspired pastries, tarts, and rich viennoiserie. The bakery’s atmosphere is light and although French, the pretentious attitude is lacking.

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Beaucoup Bakery (Image: Instagram/@beaucoupbakery)

Timbertrain
311 W Cordova St
Started by founders obsessed with trains, this coffee roaster is committed to the science of brewing perfection and refer to themselves as having a ‘slow bar’. With beans starting in Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, Timbertrain is dedicated to coffee, pure and exact.

Caffè Artigiano
Multiple locations 
To immerse yourself in a tiny corner of Europe with your coffee, take a stroll to Artigiano. While the flavours and side offerings are similar at each location, the familiarity is comforting and the baristas are totally skilled in creating all those cool latte images.

Buro Coffee
356 Water St
If you are curious about the name, it originates from the French word ‘bureau’, which is a work table, a personal or professional desk. Buro is a dedicated espresso bar so don’t go in expecting all kinds of fanciness or deviations. Not happening.

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Buro Coffee (Image: Instagram/@buro_coffee)

Milano Coffee Roasters
With a west coast heart and Italian soul, Milano has the reputation for being the tops with 30 years of roasting. You can always tell when you are getting close to their cafe off West Broadway, because the air changes and becomes saturated with an irresistible aroma that draws you into their beautiful cafe.

Prado Cafe
Multiple Locations
Prado serves 49th Parallel coffee and really wants you to come in and relax, work on your laptop and use their space as an extension of your home or workplace. Prado Cafe is always packed to the rafters and offers sandwiches and desserts (deconstructed cookie anyone?) that are handmade and so scrumptious.

Nelson the Seagull
315 Carrall St
The location of the outside tables will provide an element of danger to your day but it is well worth it to enjoy a strong delicious cuppa with the Glitter Jesus, devour the best bread in the city, and indulge in the organic chocolate, which is also divine.

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Nelson the Seagull (Image: Instagram/@nelsontheseagull)

Whether your choice is light or dark roast, slow brewed or a shot (or two), coffee will always be a very personal choice for everyone. Find the establishment that makes your experience glorious and you will never stray.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published on ViewTheVibe)

Dish and Duer builds indoor playground in Gastown flagship

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Canadian athleisure brand Dish and Du/er recently opened its unique flagship store in Vancouver’s Gastown shopping district, and it’ll have you wanting to hang around in denim.

To reflect the core performance component of the denim brand, the interactive retail space encourages movement complete with a gym floor, monkey bars, and a swing set.

“Launching an indoor playground in a retail shop is far from typical, but we’ve never been a brand that draws within the lines,” said Gary Lenett, founder of Dish and Duer.

During a pop-up store last summer, Lenett saw that people wanted to test the jeans by squatting, stretching, and even doing high kicks, so the in-store playground gives customers an outlet to see how well the product will live up to an active lifestyle before purchasing.

Dish and Du/er DESIGNED in Vancouver

The brand is Vancouver based, raised more then $280,000 via Kickstarter, and has ‘reinvented’ denim by leveraging two proprietary fabrics, L2X (Leisure to Extreme) and Nature2X. The fabrics are infused with coolmax and tencel fibres for quick dry and temperature control properties.

“Until now, denim hasn’t been a key category of the rapidly growing athleisure market,” said Lenett. “In order to launch a performance denim, we had to develop a cotton rich fabric blend that would withstand aspects of an active lifestyle with super stretch, dry wicking and antibacterial attributes.”

The highly competitive athleisure market, recently valued at $323 billion by research group NPD, demands retailers to get creative in order to be noticed. Lenett, who has worked with the likes of Levi’s, Nike, Wrangler, and Guess, among other notable brands, wanted the flagship space to be as innovative as the product.

Based on the brand’s performance features, it made sense to create an interactive space for customers to properly test the product.

The company plans to expand into the U.S. this fall.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)