Commercial Drive Bars & Restaurants Vancouver

Commercial Drive Bars & Restaurants Vancouver

Deli Counter at Santa Barbara Market on Commercial Drive Vancouver - Photo by Dana Lynch

Deli Counter at Santa Barbara Market on Commercial Drive. Photo by Dana Lynch

1. Shop the Italian Delis: Santa Barbara Market

Historically the hub for Italian Canadians in Vancouver, Commercial Drive has several Italian-style delis, offering meat and cheeses at great prices and very high quality. The most popular Italian deli on the Drive is (1322 Commercial Drive), where the line for the deli (located in the back of the store) can get so crowded on weekends that it takes 45 minutes to wait your turn. (Be sure to remember to take a number!) But people do wait 45 minutes, because that's how much they adore the delicious prosciutto, cheeses, and olives!

If you can go during the day on a week day--when the deli isn't too busy--the knowledgeable staff will help you pair your deli picks with one of their huge assortment of olive oils.

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Grandview Park on Commercial Drive Vancouver - Photo by Dana Lynch

Grandview Park on Commercial Drive. Photo by Dana Lynch

2. Bring the Kids: Baby & Toy Stores, Playgrounds & Parks

Commercial Drive in Vancouver is a great place to shop for expecting parents and parents of young kids. I bought my first nursing bra on Commercial Drive at Room for Two(1409 Commercial Drive), one of theTop 5 Baby Stores in Vancouver. When my kid was a toddler, I shopped the Drive's kid and toy stores and spent hours at the Drive's great parks (including the elaborate playground at Grandview Park).

For all the details: Activities for Kids & Families on Commercial Drive.

Inside Cafe Deux Soleils commercial drive vancouver - Photo by Dana Lynch

Inside Cafe Deux Soleils. Photo by Dana Lynch

3. Relax at a Unique Café: Café Deux Soleils

If you love unique cafés, Commercial Drive in Vancouver is the place to go: the Drive is teaming with independent and local cafés all along its length, ranging from Italian cafés for espresso lovers to vegetarian cafés to student haunts with late-night wi-fi.

For me, the two stand-outs are Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive), which is both a café and one of the Best Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Vancouver, and the Vancouver-based JJ Beans (2206 Commercial Drive), which has the most delicious fresh muffins (not too sweet!).

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Biercraft Tap on Commercial Drive - Photo by Dana Lynch

Biercraft Tap on Commercial Drive. Photo by Dana Lynch

4. Grab a Beer (or Three): St. Augustine's & Biercraft

Commercial Drive in Vancouver isn't a nightlife district; there are pubs and bars, but they don't stay open super late and they don't attract hard partying (for that you need to head downtown). But Commercial Drive is a go-to destination for beer lovers. The two stand-outs for grabbing a tall, cold one are among the Best Vancouver Beer Pubs & Taprooms: St. Augustine's and Biercraft Tap.

The ultra-laid-back St. Augustine's (2360 Commercial Drive) is the place to go for local beers; try their Sample Paddle to taste four different beers for under $9. For an incredibly extensive selection of Belgian beers, head to the more stylishBiercraft Tap (1191 Commerical Drive).

commercial drive vancouver restaurants: memphis blues - Photo © Chris Mason Stearns

Memphis Blues Barbeque.Photo © Chris Mason Stearns

5. Eat!

There are many, many restaurants on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, and they cover practically every type of cuisine imaginable, from vegetarian to barbeque, El Salvadorean to Italian to Thai to Japanese, vegan muffins to poutine. Here are just a few of my favourites:

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