Look what I found! Some hidden Vancouver neighbourhood gems

There’s something about stumbling across a small business in the middle of a residential neighbourhood that makes you feel both grateful (“I was just craving a coffee!”) and in the know (“Who else comes to this hidden gem?”). These markets, cafés and restaurants all evoke those feelings, tucked away in their secret corners.

Le Marche St Geroge

4393 St. George St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4A3

The husband and wife team behind this French-inspired market on St. George and 28th came upon the space almost by accident. Which you might too, given that it’s tucked away on a quiet residential street south-east of Mount Pleasant. The owners wanted a space to sell perfectly crafted treasures, local food and their own ceramics. This lovely, rustic and welcoming spot is the result. Always busy, the place is an extension of the neighbourhood and the values at play here.

Cardero Bottega

1016 Cardero St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2H1

Kitty-corner from an elementary school and a pocket park in the West End, this café, with its limited but comfortable seating feels like your own living room. Lovely little culinary treats are available for sale, including pints of Earnest Ice Cream, and their small but delicious selection of salads is always fresh and interesting. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for announcements about street BBQs and the movie nights they host. This isn’t your average coffee shop.

Greenhorn Cafe

994 Nicola St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2C8

Just around the corner from Cardero Bottega, another espresso bar has taken root among the leafy trees of this downtown neighbourhood. Busy since the day it opened, it has attracted legions of locals, being, as it is, smack in the middle of one of the city’s densest areas. Everything, from their pastries to their Moja coffee to their brunch and lunch is delicious. And soon owner Walter will be making his extensive vinyl collection available for sale in-store.

Adesso Bistro

1906 Haro St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1H7

The city’s original hidden gem, Adesso Bistro (formerly Parkside) welcomes diners to its canopied side patio just off Haro Street with impeccable service and delicious Italian fare. Housed in the Buchan Hotel, it’s a natural dinner choice for visitors but West Enders are lucky to have such a fine-dining option blocks (or closer) from their homes. Unwind with a bottle of Prosecco under the twinkling lights of their garden room knowing your door is just a stumble away.

Union Food Market

810 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2C4

A godsend for long-time locals in the Strathcona neighbourhood east of Chinatown, this is a lovely little family-run market and café providing all the essentials in an area that has traditionally been a hidden gem itself. Located on the busy Adanac bike path, the market sells fresh produce, dairy, meat and other groceries as well as homemade pies, samosas, sausage rolls and Portuguese egg tarts all for very reasonable prices. Their outdoor tables are perfect for catching up with neighbours.

Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana

1190 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 4G5

While somewhat hidden, this pizzeria is no secret. Even before it opens at 5 pm, a line-up is forming on Victoria Drive and snaking around the corner to William. Pumping out gorgeously blistered Neapolitan-style pizzas night after night, this East Van neighbourhood restaurant has been both a perennial favourite among locals since it opened and a destination for diners in the know. There’s got to be a side business for the local kids to entertain the line-up or sell pre-dinner lemonade.

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