Summer in the City: 10 Things to Do in Vancouver

You never know what will happen when you know where everyone is going. We’re profiling the hottest events across Canada all season in our new Summer in the City series. Here, get an insider's look at the hottest summer restos, markets and festivals in Van courtesy of Vancouverite Anya Georgijevic.


Ocean, beaches and parks: summer in Vancouver makes for a pretty idyllic scene. But aside from engaging in many summer sports and taking a breather on the beach, there’s plenty more to check out.

Chinatown Night Market is causing quite a buzz by mixing in local vendors and food trucks into the fold. Grab a bite at the Winner Winner Hainanese Chicken stand, peruse handmade goods by Poppytalk and comfy sportswear by Mount Pleasant Athletic Club, play some ping-pong or indulge in an epic karaoke session.

Vancouver’s exciting culinary scene keeps expanding. Experience true West Coast cuisine with the newly opened Burdock & Co., indulge in a sausage and beer feast at the highly anticipated Bestie, or taste the intricate fashion-inspired summer pastries by Beacoup Bakery and Café. For those looking for a truly unforgettable dining experience, Whistler’s famed Araxi restaurant is hosting a farm-to-table dinner in the heart of Vancouver’s picturesque Stanley Park.

Araxi Longtable Series

Araxi Longtable Series

Avid street style followers will be delighted with the new exhibition “Foncie’s Fotos: Man on the Street” at The Vancouver Museum, chronicling Vancouver street culture from the 1940s to 1970s, long before the days of The Sartorialist. Further downtown, the Vancouver Art Gallery is bound to throw the party of the summer with their summer Fuse events—these events go late, so wear your dancing shoes.

One can’t ignore the many summer festivals situated in Vancouver’s beautiful surroundings. Jericho Beach hosts the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, with performances by the legendary Steve Earle, the Cat Empire and Hannah Georgas, while the picturesque Squamish Valley goes indie with Band of Horses and Vampire Weekend at the three-day Squamish Valley Music Festival.

West Coast style is famously relaxed and breezy. No store captures that essence as well as Oliver & Lilly’s, the exclusive stockist of California design darling Heidi Merrick. The stylish boutique makes a new home this summer in the burgeoning Fairview/False Creek neighbourhood.

If you’ll be in town during the summer months, check out these must-visit shops, fests and restaurants:

1. Chinatown Night Market, Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until September 8

The revamped Chinatown Night Market marries the traditional with the hip and new.

Address: Keefer Street (Between Mail and Columbia)

2. Burdock & Co.

Vancouver’s newest hotspot restaurant is an impressive example of West Coast cuisine.

Address: 2702 Main Street

3. Bestie Sausage, Opening in July

Inspired by German street food, Bestie serves finely crafted sausages and pretzels—with craft beer, of course.

Address: 105 East Pender Street

Beaucoup Bakery & Café

Beaucoup Bakery & Café

4. Beaucoup Bakery & Café

The always-fashionable Jackie Ellis concocts the city’s tastiest Parisian-inspired pastries.

Address: 2150 Fir Street

Street Style Photo by Foncie

Street Style Photo by Foncie

5. Foncie’s Fotos: Man on the Street, Until January 5, 2014

Long before The Sartorialist, or even Bill Cunningham, Foncie captured Vancouver street style for many decades.

Address: Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street

Cost: Adult, $30; Student, $24



6. FUSE, July 19

The Vancouver Art Gallery throws an unforgettable party surrounded by art.

Address: 750 Hornby Street

Cost: Online advance ticket, $20; gallery members get in free

Vancouver Folk Festival

Vancouver Folk Festival

7. Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 19-21

In its 36th year, the festival welcomes legends like Steve Earle and the Dukes.

Address: Jericho Beach

Cost: Weekend pass, $135; Single day, $75; Friday evening, $45; Student rates available

8. Araxi Longtable Series, July 27

An unforgettable farm-to-table dinner featuring British Columbia’s finest ingredients, including wines by Mission Hill and spirits by Pemberton Distillery.

Address: Prospect Point in Stanley Park

Cost: $175

Squamish Valley Music Festival

Squamish Valley Music Festival

9. Squamish Valley Music Festival, August 8-10

A three-day indie festival takes place in picturesque Squamish Valley, just 45 minutes from Vancouver. The impressive lineup includes Band of Horses and Vampire Weekend.

Address: Squamish, B.C.

Cost: $89/day


Heidi Merrick Hiver Dress

10. Oliver & Lilly’s, Opening in August

This stylish darling, which carries must-have West Coast designer Heidi Merrick, reopens at a new location in August.

Address: 1575 West 6th Avenue