In light of my Vancouver Guide finally being complete, I have asked Catherine Kim, a second year UBC law student, to write today's blog about one of her favourite neighbourhoods in Vancouver. After living in Vancouver for nearly her entire life, I'm sure you'll find her expertise on this area to be much more enlightening than mine! Happy reading!
Undoubtedly one of the most colourful neighbourhoods within Vancouver, Commercial Drive represents a mosaic of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Where Commercial Drive meets Broadway represents not only the eastern most stop of the 99 B line but also a traffic hub to get to downtown Vancouver, the suburbs and beyond. Commercial Drive & Broadway is also minutes away from Trout Lake, a great place to catch some sun, watch happy dogs play. Trout Lake also features a marketplace on Saturdays. (Kaitlyn's note: this is also where the Mature Students and Family BBQ will be taking place this year on September 11th!)
Commercial Drive itself is rich with culture and history. The Drive is commonly viewed as a meeting place for the eclectic, free-spirited, open-minded and adventurous. Many will find the Drive offers something for everyone.
For an escape from the culinary quotidian, Commercial Drive is an ideal starting point for the adventurous and thrill-seeking diner.
For deliciously fun mexican, try Me & Julios! Their soft taco platter offers a choice of a variety of meats including beef, chicken, fish and shrimp. This restaurant is also known for their Sunday brunch goods - the huevos benedict (eggs benefdict) with veggie hash is especially noteworthy. For a taste of Ethiopa's best, try Harambe! This restaurant offers different colourful savoury meats served on a bread spread - it comes out looking like an edible painter's pallet. Eating with your hands has never been so delicious.For vegetarians and vegans alike, Cafe Deux Soleils offers an array of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads. Reasonably priced and generously portioned, the Cafe also offers entertainment in the evenings including "Poetry Slam" nights and Thursday "Open Mic" nights.For the pizza and pasta lover, try either Marcello's or Lombardos - both restaurants are known for their great thin crust pizzas.One of the Drive's most famous restaurants is Havana. Havana offers Cuban influenced dishes with everything from pulled pork sandwiches, jerk chicken salad to paella. They also offer a great plantane appy with a great accompanying dip.For the carnivore and barbequed meat lover, the Memphis Blues BBQ is a MUST. The platters at Memphis Blues offers an array of barbequed meats of your choice along side corn bread, potato salad, coleslaw and possibly even fries. Their poutine also features barbeque sauce instead of gravy!For a taste of Montreal's finest poutine, try Belgian Fries. Belgian friers offers an array of different kinds of poutine topped with a variety of meat, veggie and cheese accents. The collection of mayos and dips to choose from is also impressive. Oh and the place also features a bunch of unique desserts such as deep fried ice cream and deep fried mars bars. For some Caribbean flavour, try the Reef. Known for its colourful jerk meat seasonings, the Reef knows how to dress their meats.
Commercial Drive also represents the home of many beverage hot spots. For a taste of a variety of beers and fun tapas, Stellas is a must. It's loud in there though, so not the most conducive to deep, thought-provoking conversation. As the home of Little Italy, Commercial Drive offers an array of quaint Italian cafes that start along First Ave as you walk northbound. The many italian eateries also offer great gelato, paninis and biscotti. Many of these eateries are great sports bars to "boot".Commercial Drive is also a coffee lover's dream. In addition to the Starbucks, Blenz & Tim Hortons, lower key coffee shops such as Prado & JJ Bean offer a great place to read, people watch and converseCommercial Drive also offers a range of boutiques and stores particularly for the keen vintage shopper. In addition to Mintage, the Drive offers boutiques such as Barefoot Contessa filled with dainty trinkets. In addition to smaller scale record and bookstores, if you're in need of home decor, Wonderbucks is a great place to find common household goods and also very very reasonably priced non-tacky wall hangings etc.
People often find hours and hours can go by on the Drive so If you are in town before school starts and are looking for a vibrant and novel place to spend an entire afternoon or evening, be sure to visit the Drive.
Written by Catherine Kim