Welcome to the first segment in a new blog series called "A Designer's guide to...." in this case Vancouver. This series is in collaboration with my personal photographer and husband, Levi Groeneveld, a Vancouver interiors, architecture and fine art photographer. We love to travel and explore new places at home and around the world. We were inspired to start this guide as a way to share our experiences and offer inspiration to those looking to explore a new city. This Summer we are going to be living in Paris and plan to travel to many other cities throughout the year. Stay tuned for city guides from around the world as our journey unfolds. Whether it's an eclectic neighbourhood coffee shop, a trendy new restaurant, or a place to get beautifully designed home accessories, a designer's guide is here to give you a curated list of places that offer great design in all forms.
Without further adieu, welcome to Main Street! Home to some of the city's best independent boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants. Always refreshing and lively, a day on Main is a day well spent.
4939 St. George Street at the corner of E. 28th Ave., Vancouver BC
A few blocks East of Main Street lies the hidden gem of Le Marché St. George. Start your day off right at this lovely neighbourhood cafe with an amazing cup of coffee and a delicious treat. The offerings are always changing but you can be sure that the daily selection will be scrumptious. One of my favourite parts of the experience was the vintage silver serving trays, spoons, and saucers they used to serve their guests. Monocle Magazine called it one of the world's best cafes. The market is charming and rustic and offers a selection of gourmet items that are worth checking out. This place is not to be missed!
2. JoJo's Place
4376 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Calling all antique lovers! This is a great place for industrial vintage finds. Many of the pieces are restored to their former glory in-house and they do a wonderful job. The store is as eclectic as they come but you're sure to find a gem in one corner or another!
4366 Main Street, Vancouver BC
As you walk down Main street be sure to pop into Nineteen Ten, a modern vintage boutique with a wonderful selection of furniture, lighting, and accessories. Beautifully designed, this store showcases it's offerings in a creative and eclectic way. If you're looking for the perfect vintage accessory, this is your place.
4. Vincent Park
4278 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Next up is the great, Vincent Park boutique, offering a curated selection of men and women's clothing and accessories. The store has an edited design with pops of interest like a photo booth in the middle of the store. Fun! Stop here for that classic piece your wardrobe is missing, or for something a little more of the moment; they have a good mix.
5. Eugene Choo
3683 Main Street, Vancouver BC
If you're looking for a unique designer piece, look no further than Eugene Choo. Offering a nice mix of labels like Aigle, A.P.C., Picnic, and Henrik Vibskov, this relaxed boutique gives you both local and international options. Don't forget the Annex next door which offers a great selection of men and women's shoes and accessories. The atmosphere at Eugene Choo is friendly with lots of natural light and a simple yet curated display. Don't miss it!
3638 Main Street, Vancouver BC
You're probably tired from shopping now so you might as well head on over to Umeboshi, take a seat in their awesome vintage theatre chairs and try on some shoes! Not just your ordinary shoe collection, these are a carefully curated selection of handcrafted beauties you need in your closet now. Do yourself a favour and invest in a well made pair of shoes that will last for many years to come. Find brands like Coclico, Dieppa Restrepo, Argila, Rachel Comey, and Oak Street Bootmakers on the shelves here. Finally can we please turn our attention to the miniature shoe last on the front door stopper. Squee!
3612 Main Street, Vancouver BC
If you like mid-century modern design, then Vancouver Special is your kind of store. They have everything for the modern home from clocks to sofas to teapots. Take a browse at their interesting library of design and architecture books or the entries from a student design competition they currently have on display. Some brands of interest here are Braun alarm clocks, Mountain Beanbags, and HAY sofas. Check it!
3604 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Look no further then their long list of awards and accolades to realize that flower factory is one of the best in the city. I can personally vouch that their work is nothing short of amazing as I worked with them for my own wedding. Stop in to browse their wide collection of flowers and succulents and be sure to check out what they're busy working on for their next event. Visiting with a friend later? Why not whip up a little bouquet and make their day. There is nothing better than fresh flowers in the home.
9. Burdock & Co
2702 Main Street, Vancouver BC
You must be getting hungry by now so head on down to Burdock & Co for some seriously delicious food and drink. Their menu consists of share plates that change to reflect the seasonal availability of ingredients. There is a focus on sourcing local ingredients, naturalist wines, and craft beers. We tried the ricotta nettle gnudi, buttermilk fried chicken, and rosemary smoked muscles. They were all amazing but the gnudi, similar to gnocchi, is a must try. The design concept here is rough and refined. It mixes industrial elements like the lighting and bar stools with delicate tile work on the bar to achieve a space that is worth checking out in it's own right. Burdock & Co's relaxed charm and friendly service will keep you coming back on the regular! Check out the dinner menu here.
2148 Main Street, Vancouver BC
After dinner, head down to Brassneck Brewery and taste some great local beers! Tasters come in flights of four. Pick your favourite one and hang out all night. Rotating food trucks hang outside the front door and they are happy to let you gab something and bring it in. If you like what you've tasted, grab your own growler and take some home. You can't get it anywhere else so now's the chance to stock up. Growlers are the resealable glass bottles that are taking the beer world by storm lately. There are a variety of sizes available, all adorned with some pretty awesome graphics and branding (There are also T-shirts if you like the graphics too). The staff here are friendly, knowledgeable, and happy to help you find a beer you're sure to love. The design in here is industrial with lots of reclaimed wood and concrete floors. You can check out the beer being made next store through gaps in the walls which is a feature I particularly like about the design. Brassneck Brewery is sure to cap off your adventure in a fun and lively way.
That concludes our curated tour of Main Street! This by no means is an exhaustive list of all of the great spots on Main with elements of good design. We could go on and on, but for now we'll leave it at 10 spots! Hopefully something has peaked your interest and you will get out and explore this great city!
Bryony + Levi
All photos copyright Levi Groeneveld.