In our breakdown of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods, we count Main Street as a north-south linear amalgam of Mount Pleasant/Riley Park/Little Mountain, a contiguous high street entity (including 2-3 residential and industrial blocks on its east-west peripheries) from Prior St. all the way to 41st Ave. It boasts beautiful parks both small and large, a dizzying variety of retail shops (many of them used/vintage), a handful of art galleries, a torrent of new breweries, good record stores, a litter of interesting independent restaurants that run the cuisine gamut (including 24hr fried chicken), quality cafes/hangouts, legendary live music venues, bingo games, a happening legion, and even a farmer’s market. Known as much for its cool factor as for its diversity and down to earth accessibility, Main Street – in our estimation of its modern borders – is as honest a cross-sectioned representation of Vancouver’s cultural promise as you’ll find.
Neighbourhood colour palettes change over time, but right now we’re seeing (left to right): City Centre Motor Hotel quad-colour; exterior of the new Fox Cabaret; red signage of Pizzeria Farina; pool table felt in the Ivanhoe Pub; the polished concrete floor at Gene; 49th Parallel Coffee turquoise; takeaway box from Lucky’s Doughnuts; neon blue exterior signage at The Cascade Room; beer battered halloumi at The Acorn; “Fall Back” session stout at Brassneck Brwery; Red Truck Brewery’s red truck; the facing stones of Heritage Hall.
COMMUNITY EVENTS AT HISTORIC HERITAGE HALL
STILL OPERABLE PUBLIC TELEPHONE BOOTHS (MIRACULOUS)
THE YEAR-ROUND SIDEWALK PATIO AT JJ BEAN
WHISPERED REMINDERS OF LONG GONE BREWERY CREEK
THE COOL STORY OF DEPENCIER HOUSE
HAIRCUTS AT THE BELMONT
THE ALWAYS INTERESTING VANCOUVER SPECIAL
GIGS AT THE BILTMORE AND THE FOX CABARET
A DOZEN VINTAGE CLOTHING SHOPS OF VARYING DEGREES OF WORTHINESS
FRESH PRODUCE (AND SAUSAGES) AT THE MAIN STREET STATION FARMER’S MARKET
THE ICONIC LEE BUILDING
AN EXCELLENT SELECTION OF KNIVES AND CHEF TOOLS AT KNIFEWEAR
GAMES OF POOL AT GUYS & DOLLS
CAREFULLY CURATED VINYL COLLECTIONS AT RED CAT AND DANDELION EMPORIUM
GAMES OF BAR RULES POOL AT THE IVANHOE
STACKS OF GOOD, REASONABLY PRICED BOOKS AT PULP FICTION
THE CULTURAL DELIGHT THAT IS THE WESTERN FRONT
THE INTANGIBLY EXCELLENT HASTY MARKET
VINTAGE MS. PACMAN AT ANTISOCIAL SKATEBOARD SHOP
PEOPLE WATCHING AT 49TH PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS
PAIN AU CHOCOLATE AT LE MARCHE ST. GEORGE
SMALL PLATES & COCKTAILS AT NOMAD
BIANG-BIANG NOODLES AND XIANBURGERS AT SUNNY SPOT CAFE
LATE NIGHT BUTTERED POPCORN WITH CHILI-LIME SALT AT EL CAMINO’S
BEERS & FOOD TRUCK CHOW AT BRASSNECK BREWERY
EMPANADAS & PISCO SOURS AT CHICHA
TURKEY CROISSANTS & ESPRESSO AT ELYSIAN COFFEE
SPAGHETTI POMODORO AT CAMPAGNOLO
TURKISH FIGS & BRIE BENNY AT SLICKETY JIM’S
FINOCHIONNA PIZZA AT PIZZERIA FARINA
THE DAILY SPECIAL AT DOCK LUNCH (YOU CAN’T GO WRONG)
TAN TAN NOODLE WITH MEAT SAUCE AND GREEN ONION CAKES AT LONG’S NOODLE HOUSE
FISH & CHIPS AT THE FISH COUNTER
LEMONGRASS MUSSELS AT EIGHT & 1/2
BRASIED KALE & SAUSAGE PIZZA AT DON’T ARGUE
BEER BATTERED HALLOUMI AT THE ACORN
TURKEY DINNER AT HELEN’S GRILL
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE LAST CRUMB
BLUE CORN NACHOS & BEER AT MAIN STREET BREWING
FRESH JUICE AT THE JUICE TRUCK
DIRTY BURGER AT CAMP UPSTAIRS
DUKE’S WHIP PEPPERONI STICKS AT KAFKA’S
SCOTCH EGGS & SOCCER GAMES AT THE CASCADE ROOM
FRESH “RED DAWN” JUICE AT RADICLE JUICE
FRIED CHICKEN WITH PICKLED VEGGIES AT BURDOCK & CO.
COFFEE AND THE SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES AT GENE CAFE
BACON, WAFFLES, AND BEER (YER DAMN RIGHT!) AT 33 ACRES
TRADITIONAL FRENCH CRULLER AT LUCKY’S DOUGHNUTS
– Main Street was formerly known as Westminster Avenue. Local merchants requested a change in 1910 to help establish a commercial, cosmopolitan character.
– The area of Mount Pleasant attracted several breweries from 1888 to 1912, many of which used water from the local creeks.
– The Lee Building at Main and Broadway was the first skyscraper outside of Vancouver’s downtown core.
– Mount Pleasant takes its name from the Irish birthplace of the wife of H.V. Edmonds, a New Westminster municipal clerk with extensive property titles in the area.
– The Main and Broadway area is recognized as Vancouver’s first suburb, which developed following the nearby construction of the Kingsway and Main Street intersection in the 1890s.