A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

18 Thoughtful Gift Ideas: From Good Bottles to An Island Get-Away

You probably can’t replicate (or out-do) Beaucoup Bakery’s Framboise Vanille Bûche de Noël at home.⁠..so why bother trying? Photo credit: Beaucoup Bakery

Visiting friends and family over the holidays? Skip the Ferrero Rocher this year and seek out goodies that will show your thoughtfulness and keep money in your local economy…

A calendar is something you look at every day, so gifting one that doubles as a piece of art is a nice idea – like this lunar one by local illustrator/tattoo artist, River Miller, available in-person from Birds & the Beets, Slice of Life and Bebop Ink.

Forget the cliche poinsetta. From “Piccolo” (thoughtful gesture-sized) arrangements to “Paradiso” floral statements and extravagant metallic holiday wreaths – local florist, La Bomba, has something artful and intelligent to bring to your next holiday get-together. Get your order in here now.

We think that a bottle of really good olive oil makes an excellent gift. The Scaldaferri family takes theirs seriously: only sustainable and ethical practices are used to produce Orazio’s 100% Italian “tree-to-table” olive oil, from the growing to the in-house labelling.

Another awesome gift that comes in a bottle: wine! Even better: a pack of the stuff selected by some awesome local, knowledgeable, grape-loving folks, like these ones from Apéro Mode and Juice Bar.

Looking for something for the beer- or whisky-lover in your life? The second release in Odd Society Spirits’ Community collaboration series, using a mash inspired by Luppolo Brewing‘s New World Sour beer, should please both. Check it out.

Mucker Next Door is stocked with cool stuff in all price points, plus a bunch of nice Holiday Bundles (great for cutting down on decision-making).

Help a friend to ‘explore flavour’ by signing them up for Sauce Club. Seriously – your friends will thank you: the smoky, spicy, sweet goodness of their smoked habanero pineapple Hawaiian Breakfast sauce is a game changer.

Perk up the coffee-lover in your life with some Modus coffee. Make them extra happy by hooking them up with a custom espresso cup and saucer set by ceramicist and coffee aficionado, Dustin Ryan Yu.

On that note: anyone who appreciates ceramics would be glad to add a piece by Nanase Design to their collection (you can find Nanase online, or treat yourself to a visit to Out And About in Gastown where you can see Nanase work in person (and get delightfully sidetracked by the stunning collection of everything else at this thoughtfully curated store)

Brown sugar steam buns, Basque cheesecake, fresh soy milk…. Give someone a Taiwanese breakfast thrill with an order from Baker’s Breakfast Joint.

Know someone who could use some time out of the city to unwind? Hook them up with a night in an airstream at Wildernest on Bowen Island (and then maybe invite yourself along – it accommodates two, after all!)

In case you hadn’t already heard, one of our fave local brands/shops/women, Sunja Link, recently launched their own house brand of inclusive, no-nonsense and ethical skincare products. We’d be hard-pressed to think of a single person who wouldn’t appreciate any (or all) of them. Find out more.

Since you’re at Sunja Link, pop next door to Nouvelle Nouvelle. The knack that this Main Street shop has for sourcing classic staples with an edge of down-to-earth cool extends beyond clothing to unique accessories and household items (from ceramics, lighters and candles to gloves, hats and jewellery).

Got kids on your holiday gift list? Collage Collage is a safe bet for eliciting joy in children of all ages at any time of the year.

Looking for a plant-based treat? To Live For Bakery on Nanaimo can hook you up with all manner of baked goods: loaves of banana and lemon poppy seed, cookies, croissant and cakes.

For the bookish sort: we just updated our mapped Guide to Vancouver’s Bookstores.

The non-alc beverage game has really hit its stride in Vancouver – evidence can be found on the shelves of (surprise!) The Drive Canteen. From beer, to wine and booze, they’ve got it all, in spades (check out the selection online here). No excuses for showing up without a nice bottle of something for everyone in-hand!

In charge of dessert? You probably can’t replicate (or out-do) Beaucoup Bakery’s Framboise Vanille Bûche de Noël (vanilla bean mousse, raspberry pressed sablé, raspberry ganache and jam) at home.⁠..so why bother trying? Preorder yours for pick-up or delivery here.

Get Schooled on International Cocktail Culture at Laowai

After an intense year of hands-on cocktail-related 'research', the team at this Chinatown speakeasy is primed to share their love of global cocktail culture with Vancouver via a bunch of boozy events (on their own stomping ground) as part of Vancouver Cocktail Week.

Fifth Annual ‘Frieze Los Angeles’ Takes Place Feb. 29th – March 3rd

Los Angeles, here we come! Here’s a run-down of what to expect from this year's 'Frieze Week'.

Four Super Tasty Spots to Catch a Canucks Game in East Van

It’s been over a decade since there’s been “can’t miss” hockey in Vancouver! As the playoffs approach, here’s a list of a few of my favourite spots with great food and full-volume sound to catch a game.

Merci Bakery is Now Open for Business

This popular Farmers Market staple is now ready to open doors at their new brick-and-mortar Commercial Drive location.