Jewellery designer Leah Alexandra’s favourite Gastown gems

Jewellery designer Leah Alexandra is known for her delicate and timeless pieces that are all hand-made right here in Vancouver. Located in a beautiful heritage building on Carrall Street, Leah’s Gastown workshop is a great jumping off point to enjoy the historic neighbourhood’s many drinking and dining options. From coffee to cocktails, she gives us a tour of some of her favourite local gems.

Revolver Coffee

1
325 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4

I love to visit Revolver on Cambie Street for my morning coffee. They have really good quality espresso and interesting decor. The lighting, the wall mural, the vibe – everything about it is really unique. Milano Coffee Roasters on Powell Street is another one of my go-to coffee shops.

Tacofino Gastown

2
15 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C8

Tacofino is one of my favourite spots in Gastown. Its so great because you can grab a quick to-go burrito for lunch if you don’t have a lot of time, or they have an amazing patio and restaurant setting if you want to do a nicer sit-down dinner. I’m a huge fan of their trio of dips, which features guacamole, black bean dip and hummus served with tortilla chips. And the margaritas of course!

The Birds & The Beets

3
100-55 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9

The Birds and the Beets is a relatively new spot in the neighbourhood and it’s already one of my faves. When you walk in they have a lovely floral display in the window from local florist Wild Bunch. It’s such a beautiful space with light streaming in and wildflowers everywhere. The counter café offers coffee and really tasty lunch things: lots of sandwiches, salads and vegetarian-friendly snack options. You can mix and match a few different $3 small plates and then grab a bouquet of fresh flowers on the way out!

Nuba Gastown

4
207 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7

I really like Nuba for its Lebanese fare and great selection of vegetarian eats. The menu here has lots of hot and cold mezze dishes and a lot of different sharing options. The Najib’s Special – crispy fried cauliflower with lemon and tahini – is really tasty.

Cadeaux Bakery Inc

5
172 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G1

This Gastown bakery is tucked away on Powell Street so it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. You kind of have to know to go a bit farther east in order to discover their really authentic baked goods and pastries. I love the open-concept space where you can see all of the bakers doing their thing. There’s no division between the actual bakery and the café where you pick up your treats and coffee. Last Christmas I gave all of my clients cookies from Cadeaux and they were a big hit.

Ask For Luigi

6
305 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1C4

Located at the border of Railtown and Gastown, Ask for Luigi is a perfect spot to go on one of Vancouver’s many rainy days. The homey interior makes it feel like you’re dining in someone’s house and it has a really cozy, welcoming vibe. You wouldn’t necessarily think to have Italian food for brunch, but they do these pasta dishes with poached egg on top that work really well – it’s like a whole new world! There’s usually a lengthy line-up for a table, but the comfort food here is definitely worth the wait.

Purebread

7
159 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

I used to visit the Purebread stall at the Whistler Farmer’s Market and there would always be a massive line up, so I was so happy to see when they opened a location in Gastown. I love their different artisanal breads – the olive rosemary is one of my faves – but they sell out quickly so you have to get there early if you want to buy a loaf. For lunch I’ll sometimes get a savoury turnover or pizette. And their cookies are also really good.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

8
62 Cordova St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1K2

Nicli Antica Pizzeria on Cordova has really amazing pizza, and then Nicli’s Next Door is a great place to go with a group of friends. They have a fantastic sharing menu with a lot of different small dishes so you can nibble and sample a variety of antipasti plates (meatballs, olives, salumi boards) and house-made pastas. And they have a $5 house wine, which is a great deal.

Six Acres

9
203 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

Six Acres is a go-to for me when I want to have a drink and a bite to eat. I love sitting on the top floor balcony area overlooking Powell Street; it’s such a quintessential view of historic Gastown and a picturesque place to watch the action go by. In the summer months, they have a really great patio for lunch or happy hour. The menu includes beers, cocktails, wine and plenty of snacking options such as poutine and charcuterie. There’s really something for everyone so it’s a great social spot.

L'Abattoir

10
217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2

L’Abbatoir is right downstairs from my studio and it’s a lovely option when you’re looking for something a little fancier. The interior decor is incredible and the beautiful bar area is a great spot to order a craft cocktail and watch the Gastown world go by. They have really amazing happy hour deals from 5:30 to 6:30 pm each night with half-priced appetizers and drink specials. Cocktail fans will love the selection of boozy signature drinks made with fresh fruit and other creative ingredients.

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